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Rival Schools: United by Fate

10 wins

I attribute my wins to the fact that I went through the Lesson Mode to master the game, while my opponent lacked the skills to beat me. This mode teaches you the finer points of the game, and grades you according to your performance, in keeping with the "school" theme.

I enjoy playing the schoolgirls because they are quick and agile. The characters are diverse, and play differently. The team aspect also makes the game particularly interesting. It's nice to have somebody to help you out of a jam.

Rival Schools has a good feel to it, due in large part to the cartoony graphics. The game has a lot of bells and whistles. When you pull off a special move, the entire screen goes black. These spectacular moves are more on par with Samurai Showdown, and leave Lieu Kang's fireball looking quite dull.

Rival Schools is easy to pick up. The moves are not as complicated as Tekken or other fighting games, so you can play it with novices and have a good time.

-- Sarah Wichlacz

The Rundown

2 discs

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Play Modes



You defend your school from the other school, and gangsters and superheroes are thrown in for some excitement. Fighting is in teams, and you can pull off team-up attacks to really mess up your opponent.

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5 wins

Sarah is constantly schooling me in fighting games. It's a decent showing that I beat her half the time. Whether this helps plead my case, or if will just make my next victory seem all the more triumphant remains to be seen, but at least I had a great time losing.

Rival Schools is a blast. Finally, a game that has a legitimate reason for putting in dozens of schoolgirls. The characters are unique and interesting, and the play is marvelous. There are 24 extra characters you unlock as you play, which also adds to the replayability of the game. Several modes also become available only after defeating the single-player mode.

The control is also noteworthy, and Capcom continues its tradition of bringing us hyperreal fight scenes. Overall, I give a strong endorsement to Rival Schools.

Shawn Rider --