If there’s one important lesson that I learned from the 1992 SNES game Rival Turf!, it’s that I probably shouldn’t have spent money on the 1992 SNES game Rival Turf! But the other important lesson I learned is that nothing says justice quite like the cop from The Village People wrapping himself in hundreds of strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups and punching the heck out of tactless criminals across two continents.
Rival Turf! is one of those games in the latter category that so bad it’s still bad, but at least it serves that function in a bland and uninteresting way. What it does add to the genre, however, are vague homosexual undertones, which make any video game worth playing.
At least there are no women in Rival Turf! to get in the way of the undertones. Err, action. I meant action. Wait, no, I mean... Never mind.
There’s not much about Jack Flak that separates him from Axel, Cody, David Robinson or any other regular joe found in these kinds of games, except that his jacket kind of makes him look like Marty McFly from Back to the Future 2 or perhaps even Aries from Final Fantasy VII. It’s the unfortunately named Oozie Nelson, the Mexican wrestler turned male stripper/cop, who takes center stage. An enigma: If Nelson is supposed to be Hispanic, why does he look like a black guy in the character select screen and a white guy in the ending? The world may never know.
|These character designs are totally rad!|
You know how real gangs have specific colors and styles that they wear to show that they’re gang members? You’ll see none of that tripe in Rival Turf! I learned a long time ago from games like this that for gang members in the early ‘90s, anything went as far as fashion. You want to wear a motorcycle helmet and a pair of MC Hammer pants? Go for it! An eye patch, bicycle shorts and wrestling boots? Sure! A Saran wrap t-shirt, a cockring and a hat made of breadsticks? Hell yeah! Not one to break from tradition, Rival Turf! dives right on to the “randomly dressed from Hot Topic and grandma’s attic” bandwagon.
I guess I should explain Angry Mode, which sounds like what happened to all the children who paid $50 for this game when it was new. Angry Mode makes your character invincible for a short amount of time, as indicated by his flashing white, like this:
Note: Angry Mode does NOT affect your gloves.
Then it was off to South America after hitching a ride on a nearby enemy military chopper for three more rounds of… rounds! Did you know that gangs in Brazil are basically the same as the gangs in America, only with more green in their wardrobes? Forget social studies; why aren’t children all across the world playing Rival Turf! in school to drink deeply of its vast educational value?
After fighting my way through some kind of factory instead of just walking around it to get to the final stage, the gang leader, Big (gay?) Al, decided I had slaughtered enough of his poorly dressed, unarmed henchmen and attempted to kill me by wearing white after Labor Day. Of course, this threw Nelson into Angry Mode and you can guess what happened from there. Then I watched the credits, secure in the knowledge that not one of the billions of gang members that I ruthlessly executed was smart enough to bring a gun to the battle and put and end to Nelson and Flak’s brutal love and/or friendship.
So remember kids, crime doesn’t pay. The next time you decide to steal some candy or cigarettes or kill a man, think about this: When the cops catch you, the last thing you’re likely to see before blinking out of existence is the heavy, possibly homosexual boots of justice stomping you and your friends’ skulls into a fine powder.