Street Fighter Nostalgia: Urban Champion NES Review

Welcome to the world of Street Fighter nostalgia. The beloved video game franchise, Street Fighter, has been an essential part of the video game industry for many years. Since its inception in 1987, Street Fighter has become a cultural phenomenon that has changed the gaming landscape, inspiring numerous competing titles, movies, action figures, and more. The series has left a permanent mark on the hearts and minds of gamers worldwide, influencing the development of the fighting game genre. In this article, we will be exploring the roots of the Street Fighter franchise, its cultural significance, and how it influenced one notable game in particular: Urban Champion, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Let us discover how one of the earliest fighting games came to be, and how the Street Fighter franchise played a vital role in its evolution.

Urban Champion NES: A Game from the Past

Urban Champion, developed and published by Nintendo, hit the market in 1984 and is known as one of the company’s first fighting games. It was designed for the NES system and sold over a million copies worldwide. The game’s designer was Yoshio Sakamoto, who would later be famous for creating the Metroid franchise along with other beloved Nintendo characters.

Urban Champion is an important game because it helped lay the foundation for future fighting games, including the game that would later become the iconic Street Fighter franchise. The game’s controls were some of the first to use different buttons for kicking and punching. It was one of the earliest video games that allowed gamers to engage in one-on-one combat with another player or against the computer. The game also paved the way for fighting games that could be experienced over an extended period of time, with gradual momentum building from match to match.

The plot of Urban Champion revolves around two characters fighting in an urban environment. Players walk through the city where they fight against antagonistic opponent characters. The game does not have a sophisticated plot or detailed storytelling. Instead, the game follows the concept that the player must knock out the opponent within a matter of minutes before moving on to the next opponent. Urban Champion’s gameplay involves simple moves, easy to learn and difficult to master, which quickly became the game’s unique selling point. There were only two attack options, punch and kick, while moving left and right, and dodging attacks.

It’s essential to remember the significance of Urban Champion when exploring the world of fighting games. It may not have been as famous as other classic games, like Street Fighter, but the title lays the groundwork for all fighting games that would come after it. Urban Champion represents one of the earliest examples of a game with a one-on-one combat system. Through its gameplay mechanics and its groundbreaking design principles, the game would play an essential role in laying the foundation stone for a genre that would grow and become immensely popular.

Nostalgia in Gaming: Can Old Feel New Again?

Nostalgia has become a significant driving force in the gaming industry, with companies utilizing it to remake and adapt older games to appeal to modern audiences. By bringing back memories of old games, gaming companies are banking on nostalgia to connect with players who may crave the comfortable familiarity of the games of their youth. However, the use of nostalgia in the gaming industry raises important questions: Is nostalgia a valid tool to use in modern gaming, or is it just a way to cash-in on gamers’ emotions? Furthermore, is it essential to preserve video game history, or is it acceptable to discard old games and move forward?

As gaming technology progresses rapidly, and gamers become more demanding, the power of nostalgia to evoke strong emotions in players and its impact on gaming culture cannot be ignored. For instance, many classic games have lost their popularity as the gaming industry moves forward. Yet, gaming companies are increasingly releasing remastered and remade versions of older games, such as Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Resident Evil 2, and Final Fantasy VII Remake, demonstrating the interests of preserving gaming history and revitalizing nostalgia.

However, there is an ongoing debate within the gaming community about the validity of these nostalgia-laden releases. Are gaming companies just profiting off players’ emotional connections with classic titles instead of producing original content? It seems that the answer is multifaceted. While some releases are unimaginative cash-grabs, others genuinely attempt to revamp old titles with improved graphics, mechanics, and plotlines.

In a fast-evolving industry, it’s integral to preserve old games that helped shape gaming as we know it. Nostalgia offers a way for younger generations to discover and appreciate the gaming history and culture that came before them. By breathing new life into older games, game developers can bridge generational gaps and reconnect gamers to timeless classics. The challenge lies in finding a balance between catering to modern audiences’ ever-changing needs while respecting and preserving the past.

The Street Fighter Impact on Urban Champion

Street Fighter is among the most recognizable, iconic and long-running video game series in history. It has undoubtedly influenced or inspired numerous other fighting games, including Urban Champion, released for NES in 1986. The similarities between Urban Champion and Street Fighter are striking and noteworthy.

Urban Champion is a two-player game in which the players control a set of boxers who repeatedly punch at each other, trying to force one another to fall off the screen or obey the referee. The game’s control mechanics are the same as Street Fighter, but its gameplay is simplified, and it was not as successful.

Street Fighter II, the second entry in the series released in 1991, is considered one of the most groundbreaking video games of all time. Its success led to a worldwide phenomenon with movies, television series and dozens of sequels, remakes and adaptations. What set Street Fighter apart was its characters with unique moves and combos, as well as its detailed storylines, graphics, and sound design.

The Street Fighter series also popularized the use of special moves, combos, and fighting techniques, which added depth to the genre. Before Street Fighter, fighting games had been simple affairs, with limited mechanics and moves. Street Fighter introduced complex button combinations and special moves that had never been seen before. In fact, they were so important that gamers developed the concept of “combos,” which are moves that can be strung together, launching an endless string of attacks.

Overall, it is hard to view Urban Champion without acknowledging the Street Fighter series’s impact on video gaming. Without Street Fighter, fighting games may never have evolved beyond the initial punch, kick, and block mechanics found in Urban Champion. It’s safe to say that Street Fighter set the precedent followed by most future fighting games, and popularized the formula that is still in use to this day. Urban Champion may not have aged well, but it remains an essential piece of gaming history, a relic of an aging era, and a tribute to beloved classic gaming design.

Critiquing Urban Champion: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Urban Champion, released in 1984, is considered among the first-ever fighting games, despite being simple, repetitive, and lacking any significant technical feat. Here, we will review the game’s overall gameplay, graphics, soundtrack, and its strengths and weaknesses.

A. Analyze the overall gameplay of Urban Champion

Urban Champion’s gameplay is straightforward, with the player controlling the protagonist as they face off against another opponent in a street fight. Players can punch, dodge punches, and land uppercuts, with the goal of knocking the enemy down into the open sewer. The game has levels that increase in difficulty, with faster opponents and more significant obstacles, such as falling flower pots and runaway trash cans. While the gameplay is fun and straightforward, it does not offer much depth or variety, and the repetitive nature of the game can be tiresome.

B. Critique the game’s graphics and soundtrack

The graphics of Urban Champion were good for their time but are now outdated. The game’s color palette is bland, and the design of the characters is uninspired, with only minor changes in their clothing as levels increase in difficulty. The soundtrack is equally sparse, with the same monotonous tune playing in the background throughout the game.

C. Cite the game’s strengths and weaknesses

Urban Champion’s strengths lie in its pioneering role in establishing the fighting game genre’s concept and foundation. The game’s simple mechanics were easy to understand, and many fighting games that followed used Urban Champion as a template. However, the game’s repetitiveness and lack of depth make it challenging to enjoy for longer periods. The graphics, although good for their time, do not hold up well, and the game’s soundtrack is forgettable.

Overall, Urban Champion’s place in video game history is undeniable, but the game’s relevance has waned over time as the genre became more complicated and diverse. While it is worth playing as an essential and foundational game in the fighting genre, it does not hold up well to the current standards.

Ultimate Urban Champion Review Scorecard

Urban Champion is one of the pioneering games of its time, laying the groundwork for the fighting game genre we know today. In this article, we’ve looked at the game from various angles, discussing its gameplay mechanics, similarities with Street Fighter, and the concept of nostalgia in gaming. Here’s a summary of our key takeaways:

Overall, Urban Champion is a decent game that offers a nostalgic experience for those who played it before. Its gameplay mechanics are unique and helped pave the way for future fighting games, but the graphics and soundtrack may not age well.

Our final scorecard for Urban Champion NES is 7/10, based on the analysis of sections II to V. While it may not be an excellent game to play in the modern era, it’s worth exploring for gaming enthusiasts, as it’s a part of video game history.

In conclusion, Urban Champion may not be remembered as fondly as other classic NES games, but it’s significant to the genre’s development, and its place in gaming history is irrefutable.

Note: This is just a sample conclusion based on the outline. The article’s actual conclusion may differ based on the final content’s direction and tone.


  1. What is Urban Champion and how did it contribute to the fighting game genre?

    Urban Champion is a video game released in 1984 for the NES. It is widely regarded as one of the first fighting games and helped to pave the way for future titles in the genre.

  2. What is nostalgia in gaming and how are gaming companies adapting older games for new audiences?

    Nostalgia in gaming refers to the sentimentality and affection players feel for older video games. Gaming companies are adapting older games for new audiences by re-releasing titles on modern consoles, remastering games with updated graphics and mechanics, and developing sequels that build upon the original game’s legacy.

  3. Did the Street Fighter series really have an impact on Urban Champion?

    Yes. Despite being released five years after Urban Champion, Street Fighter helped to establish many of the tropes and mechanics that would become standard in the fighting game genre. Without Street Fighter, it’s possible that Urban Champion may not have been as successful as it was.

  4. What are some strengths and weaknesses of Urban Champion?

    Some strengths of Urban Champion include its simple and intuitive gameplay mechanics, its tight controls, and its importance to the history of the fighting game genre. Some weaknesses include its lack of variety in gameplay, its repetitive nature, and its mediocre graphics and sound.

  5. What is the final scorecard for Urban Champion?

    Based on our analysis of sections II to V, we give Urban Champion a score of 6/10. While the game is important to the history of the fighting game genre, it does have some significant weaknesses that prevent it from being a truly great game.

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