Game Review

Urban Champion Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Won't somebody think of the children?

Urban Champion is back, and is a menace to society. It's a danger to young gamers for two reasons. If you're the type of gamer that thinks brutality and violence has no place in a title played by children, this tale of brawling 8-bit thugs bringing mayhem to the streets is a primitive but potent example of those vices. If, more realistically, you're a gamer that thinks rubbish games shouldn't be released to be played by inadvertent newcomers, then this is a download to avoid at all costs.

The fact that this game has previously returned on the Wii Virtual Console and, to the bemusement of many, the 3D Classics range, boggles the mind. It's acceptable for early NES games from the mid '80s to be primitive and, on occasion, awful, as they were produced under challenging circumstances. Quite why we have to endure them in 2013, however, is another matter.

Summarising Urban Champion is easy, as its simplicity makes free flash games and the very worst shovelware look complex and well thought out. You face off with a coloured clone, running right before aiming a soft or powerful blows at the head or stomach. When holding up or down to aim punches you also block the equivalent area, while you can also dodge away from attacks. A side-on Punch-Out!! this 'ain't, however, as little strategy is necessary. Yes, you have limited stamina, but unless you get drawn into a tough bout many rounds in you're unlikely to see it hit zero. The goal is to push your enemy off the screen twice, before the third time punching them into a manhole; they do the same to you, and that's it.

There are a couple of small extra details. Distressed citizens occasionally hurl flowerpots from above, while occasionally a police car will drive past as the two brawlers whistle and look innocent. The latter is charming, but aside from these diversions this is a button tapping spam-fest. If you try and get strategic you'll get bored due to the simplicity of the enemy AI, so we found that a rhythm of heavy punches constantly to the head or body — it varies per enemy — often does the trick. The brain disengages after quite a few bouts — you just keep going on and on — so by the time tougher enemies come, you're likely to be in a zombified state that leads to eventual death. Death brings a sweet embrace. You could play two-player, but who wants to play this with a friend?

We'll give Urban Champion credit for one thing, it has some funky music. No, seriously, it's pretty decent 8-bit fare in that department.


When Urban Champion was released it would surely have been mediocre even for its time, but played in the modern era it's painfully bad. It's rubbish, and we'd rather take to the streets and pick random fights — which we'd in all likelihood lose — than play this again. Ding ding, let this be the final bell for this one.

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User Comments (33)



MeWario said:

Having these games released over and over doesn't annoy me, they're a part of gaming history and are neat to experience sometimes - though briefly. It's my wish that the Eshop be a kind of gaming museum and that should include the greats as well as the warts. What annoys the heck out of me, though, is Nintendo charging so much for this garbage! It's insane. More flexibility is needed in their pricing because as it is, it's ridiculous. Heck I'd buy this for a dollar just so I can see how bad it is



KeeperBvK said:

It's really not that terrible, at least in multiplayer.
It's not "garbage" or "rubbish".



Falchion said:

Me and my girlfriend, who isn't very good at video games, have fun with this game due to its simplicity. But i have it on the nes and would not pay $5 for it on the wii u



KevTastic84 said:

@MeWario Yeh i think that pricing Super Mario Bros 3 at the same price as some of the NES's poorer affairs does take away from the cleverness of the VC or eshop. I'd more likely purchase some of the poorer titles (when i get a wii u) if they were a helluva lot cheaper.



StarBoy91 said:

Ehhh, I like Urban Champion tbh, but I'm not going to defend it either, since I know that it's gotten so many detractors. But to each their own.



Hyperstar96 said:

The hate for Urban Champion on this site amazes me. There are much worse and more overrated games out there, why focus on an NES game from almost 30 years ago that was never a big deal to begin with?




I really wish Nintendo would stop releasing this garbage. If they released it with other games, GOOD GAMES, then I wouldn't care, but ugh.



StarBoy91 said:

@Bliquid - Urban Champion is a game that I've played when I was very little with my cousins (albeit on a plug'n play) and I remember liking it a lot, it's got some charming moments; like whenever a police car comes by both combatants will back up to their corners and act casually. That's funny. Also, it is quite colorful for a brawler. I own it for the Game Boy Advance's e-Reader, and it's not exactly Street Fighter-worthy, and I do acknowledge that compared to all other fighting games out there this one has not aged particularly well. Still, I recognize that it's got off-turning flaws and that it's basic, but I would never bring myself to call it awful. Even if I hadn't experienced it when I was younger, I don't think I would be too hard on it, since God knows there is a lot worse out there. I find it fun to play once in awhile, but just in short bursts. I guess you could call it a guilty pleasure of mine.



SpookyMeths said:

@Hyperstar96 Because Nintendo, inexplicably, keeps releasing this game over and over. Meanwhile, actual classics are being ignored entirely at this point.



Hyperstar96 said:

@CaviarMeths Then look at it this way: it's already been rereleased in every possible way, meaning there won't be another rerelease for many more years, if ever.



SheldonRandoms said:

Nintendo should make another Urban Champion game (not counting the 3D classic )

Also, Urban Champion will never go away, it shall stay alive forever through virtual re-releases.



WesCash said:

Go away Urban Champion, nobody likes you. Except Nintendo, apparently. Maybe this is MIyamoto's favourite game...



Melkaticox said:

Nintendo should revive this franchise and make it a beat 'em up :B it worked with Kid Icarus and Uprising.



retro_player_22 said:

I don't get how someone at Nintendo still like this game. Just because it was made by Miyamoto doesn't mean it's gonna be good. It would be good if a new entry was made instead.



tom_q said:

Imagine if Nintendo released vc games people wanted, wouldn't that be crazy?



Ras said:

I like this game. Had it on the NES, have the 3D version. That one is the only one I need. I'd buy this if it was one of their $.30 games, though.



OdnetninAges said:

"we'd rather take to the streets and pick random fights — which we'd in all likelihood lose — than play this again."

I'd like to see that. I can imagine it now.

Go to a high school and shout "XBONE SUUUUUCKS!"

You'll get more than enough fights that way.



DarkEdi said:

A bad game is a bad game, not matter if Nintendo put it in all their consoles one and once again. This game sucks.

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