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Title: Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu
Author:Technos Japan Corp.
Rom Player: JNES
Reviewer: Zaruki

Synopsis: The Nekketsu Kunio-kun series was a series of unique beat'em ups and violent sports games. Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu (also known as Riki-Kunio) is no exception, but with a different concept. This is not a beat'em up with flooding enemies approaching and engaging you, nor is it a game of common sports (I.e. Football, Baseball, Soccer), this is a 2-on-2 (or just a 4 fighter free-for-all) fighting game.

Controls/Gameplay: It's not a beat'em up like Renegade or River City Ransom, but the controls are very similar, having the A button for punching, the B button for kicking, and the A+B activates the jump. Depending on what character you play (or rather, what combination of birth dates you pick), you play a character with different fighting skills like a charging, flying, rolling attack, or the mach kick. Joining strength between you and your partner can activate special powerful elemental attacks that are devastating, yet hard to pull off (assuming your partner's played by the CPU). Sometimes, activating certain skills (like the flying rolling attack) takes patience to pull off, but overall, the controls are responsive and easy to master.

Story: One day, Kunio finds a note posted on his locker about a fighting tournament held by the powerful Tiger Brothers. Naturally, Kunio accepts any kind of competitive challenge thrown at him, so he rushes to enter the tournament. Riki notices that he passed by and reads the note Kunio dropped, which was the same invitation to the tournament back at his school, and naturally enters the competition with Kunio. In the game, you create a character to play through the tournament and choose an existing character as a partner and go through over a dozen matches against various tag teams up until you come up on top to fight the Tiger Brothers.

Music/Sounds: First of all, you have the Big Ben Chime remixed to an 8-bit tune, which sounds good. Different fighting arenas have different tunes, very good to the ears, and you get to hear the sound effects that you see like the punching, kicking, and the combination ice attack.

Originality: Another strong point in many Technos games, this is something like 1-on-1, only that it's 4 directional and it's tag team simultaneous. (You can think of it as a pre-historic form of Super Smash Brothers). It mixes one-on-one fighting with 4 directional movement and a type of competition game that mixes into one incredible game.

Overall: A solid Kunio title if you like playing fighting games. You do get to play your favorite characters, Kunio and Riki, although what would have made this game have a better rating if it had the Double Dragon Brothers (Ryuuichi and Ryuuji, not Billy or Jimmy mind you), where they can kick duck with their Cyclone Kicks. It's actually minor, but it would have made the rating better. An exceptionally entertaining game, yet overlooked by Nintendo of America for a U.S. Translation and release for reasons beyond my comprehension.

Editor's note: As the review suggests, this game is almost entirely in Japanese.

Best Cheats: To play as any of the premade characters like Kunio and Riki, after creating your character, choose the partner who you plan to play as, then check their stats/info, copy their password, then restart the game to the point where it asks to create a new character or use existing characters via password and input the character's password to play as that character.

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 8
Originality: 10
Overall Rating: 9

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