Rival Schools

Year: 1997
Platform: PlayStation
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: 3D fighter
Rating: ***

A 3D fighter from Capcom that seems more like a co-ed version of the "Asuka 120% Burning Fest." series than anything else. High school students are mysteriously disappearing, and corrupt school leaders are being suspected of the kidnappings. Finally, a group of students get together to investigate these occurances and search for their missing friends. How this translates into a fighting tournament, I have no idea. The characters have a very anime feeling to them, and six out of the twenty characters are girls (including one very sexy nurse). Strangely enough, one of these schoolgirls is Sakura from the "Street Fighter Alpha" series. Much like "Asuka 120%", the characters' attacks are school related, with volleyballs, baseball bats, and even textbooks being used as weapons. Also like "Asuka 120%", there's a "Burning Vigor" gauge that fills up as you're fighting. When it's full, you can perform some super-powerful attacks. The game also offers a unique tag team approach, where you can switch out characters or perform special team-up techniques for maximum damage. The game is refreshingly fun and zany, and has a rocking soundtrack. The only downer is that like many Capcom fighters, the "dial-a-combo" techniques are difficult and annoying to perform.