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Retro Game of the Day! Arch Rivals

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved - and some that we didn't - during the formative years. Today's entry is Arch Rivals.
Retro Game of the Day! Arch Rivals
 

Arch Rivals by Midway, arcade release in 1989.

 

Yes, hard to believe it, but there was a time when sports games didn't necessarily need to take themselves uber-seriously in videogameland. In fact, it was unusual that they would - most people remember the landmark title NBA Jam, which was somewhat tongue-in-cheek arcade basketball; but how may remember its predecessor, Arch Rivals?

 

This was an interesting little game put together by the pros at Midway, back in the day they had quite a notable style on everything they touched (in a good way!) Tapper, Rampage, and so forth, they all had a very distinctive "Midway Look" to them...

 

Anyway, a pretty simple if reduced version of the B-Ball sport was here. Basically, this was basketball with 2-man teams, and the name of the game was violence. Not over the top violence (no blood 'n guts to be found here), but certainly enough to be unsportsmanlike - but that was the gimmick of this game. Merely steal the ball, or smash your opponents job, whatever it would take to sink one before the buzzer was all that mattered.

For me, I never really gave this game a fair shake (it was hard to look at any other basketball during the 8-Bit days when Double Dribble was cleaning house) and something about the stark black backgrounds felt rather uninviting; but for a time, lots of people were having a good time punching lights out in Arch Rivals.

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