The Master of Beat 'em ups , Capcom , has made any number of Beat 'em ups . What with the famous Street Fighter series and the X - Men arcades systems too , Capcom have produced this little gem aswell. Rival Schools like any beat em up , has a paper thin storyline . Basically around all the high schools , "students have been mysteriously disappearing with no clue as to their whereabouts. These disappearances were taking place in many different locations simultaneously". Hmm , spooky eh? But don’t worry , Shaggy and Scooby aren’t needed here , just a group of psychotic schoolchildren armed with baseball bats , volleyballs , footballs or their fists . Cue the plot of "the kids will sort it all out" and thus begins a ridiculous yet hilarious story depending on the character you choose. The 1P game is a kind of story mode , basically each stage you run into other high school kids each trying to figure out what’s going on and you eventually fight each other for no real reason whatsoever (but hey , its funny). Advancing through to the final stage reveals the mastermind behind the abduction and apparently high school kids are being brainwashed to perform tasks for this evil headmaster. Despite the ridiculous story , this game is superb. The fights themselves are set in a three dimensional environment which is great for dodging . The fighting system is brilliant as it uses a simple combo system which is really easy to pick up for novices and impossible to put down for experts. The game contains a training section on one of the two discs (being arcade original and the extras CD) and this helps greatly as one of the characters comes on for you to sadistically beat into the ground , aswell as learning all the techniques for fighting. Such techniques include dodge , tardy counter , defensive fall , rival launcher and team up technique to name but a few. Actually th
e latter of these techniques is fantastic . For each fight you choose not one , but two characters , and once in the fight you have a "Burning Vigour" bar which gets filled up every time you hit or get hit etc.. Once you reach two bars full , you can summon your other character to either aid you by restoring health or helping you do really ridiculous moves that usually involve flashy camera angles. This game has very few bad points as there is great replay value , what with two discs plus bonus features and characters to obtain as well as 16 individual base characters to choose from and master . The game only falls down on one player , but on two player the fights are so hectic , even more so than the computer on the hardest difficulty , that you will find it very hard not to come back to this game and have a quick play every now and again.