Street Fighter V is now on its last legs. That’s not supposed to be an insult but a compliment, considering how bad it was reviewed when it was released slightly over five years ago. Capcom continued to build on the game’s mechanics and adding the stuff, such as an actual arcade mode, which was lacking when the game launched. They even made a few adjustments to the mechanics, such as adding a secondary V-Skill and V-Trigger for each character, along with the new V-Shift move.
However, the biggest thing Capcom has done for Street Fighter V is bolster the roster. They’ve been adding new characters for the past five years and, now at a whopping 43 playable characters, not including Eleven, Street Fighter V has a lot to choose from. One of the more popular additions is Akira, a fairly shy teenage girl who love to ride motorcycles, her brother is a notorious school gang leader and is a superb martial artist. That’s normal in the world of Street Fighter, right?
For some gamers, they might think Akira is a fresh new Street Fighter character and, in a way, they’d be correct. Akira’s never appeared in any of the previous Street Fighter games before. But she’s not exactly new because she did appear in another Capcom produced fighting game. No, Akira has already appeared twice as a playable character in both Rival Schools and its sequel, Project Justice.
Veteran fighting game fans are probably familiar with both of those games but I do know there are also going to be some who aren’t. That’s because Capcom hasn’t touched the property for ages. In fact, the last game, Project Justice, was released more than two whole decades ago! Well, I enough time has passed so I really think Capcom should look into remastering both Rival Schools and Project Justice.
Now, I’m not taking this suggestion lightly. In fact, you might find it strange how I’m requesting Capcom just remaster these games and not demand for a third entry. While I definitely would want to see the a new game in this highly underrated fighting game series, I just want to be a little more realistic and, to be honest, just treat the Rival Schools franchise fairly when it comes to the other older Capcom fighting game franchises.
First of all, it appears that almost all of Capcom’s older fighting games have been given some kind of re-release on newer systems. The Street Fighter games have ultimately been re-released and repackaged in collections numerous times already and I can understand that. It’s still their biggest fighting game franchise. But you may not have realized Capcom has managed to re-release some of their other fighting games as well. All three Darkstalkers games was re-released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 a good while ago. While not a commercial success, they at least they took the time to give fans a chance to download them if they wanted the games. Even the Marvel Vs. games got a re-release as Marvel vs. Capcom Origins… until Capcom lost the Marvel license. Still, they managed to get a compilation out there.
Heck, with the entire #freemvc2 movement gaining traction, there’s a chance we actually might get Marvel vs. Capcom 2 re-released to the public! Suffice to say, I’m really a huge believer of the #freemvc2 project and I want it to succeed. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about Rival Schools and Project Justice. If Capcom does actually get the Marvel license back and they do free Marvel vs. Capcom 2, I do hope they switch over to consider re-releasing Rival Schools and Project Justice, another game that’s been caught in limbo.
This does highlight how Capcom has managed to re-release their more popular fighting game franchises in the past as compilations. But what’s missing from that list of games? If you’ve been paying attention (and if you read the title), you’d know it’s the Rival School games.
Speaking of the Marvel vs. series, if you love those games, you’ll also love the Rival School games. In fact, it does seem like Rival Schools and Project Justice share somewhat of a symbiotic relationship as they seem to share mechanics between themselves. Rival Schools appeared to borrow things like air launchers and chain combos. Marvel vs. saw how some of the Team Up Techniques like Hinata’s Guts & Power and Tiffany’s Love and Peace can buff the point character’s super bars and life bars and shuffled that into things like Jill Valentine’s Recovery assist and Amingo’s Defense Up assist.
Of course, both Rival Schools and Project Justice have their own unique mechanics, like the Tardy Counter, where you can initiate an attack right after blocking a move to, hopefully, perform a powerful reversal attack. You can also diffuse normal attacks by hitting it with an attack of your own. But the most memorable mechanic of the games are the Team Up Techniques where you command your partner or partners to jump in and do something crazy. It could be the aforementioned buffs but, most of the time, it’s going to involve a really crazy and powerful attack that does massive damage. In Project Justice, your opponent can even block the Team Up Attack just like countering a throw, and it becomes a quick minigame where the winner is the character who gets the first hit. It’s just crazy fun and, because both Rival Schools and Project Justice isn’t out on current systems, is just locked in my memory and only viewable on things like YouTube. It’s much more hype to experience it yourself by playing the game, though.
As good as the games are mechanics-wise, I do believe they need a bit of a face lift, which is why I do want the games to undergo some kind of remastering instead of just being a straight up re-release. The other Capcom fighting game compilations had the benefit of being 2D sprite animated games. So, while they may look low-res and blocky, they still have this “retro” look that still looks okay. If the sprites are too grainy, it would still be possible to simply touch up the art a little bit to make them palatable. Rival Schools and Project Justice unfortunately use 3D models, which can look really dated instead of “retro” in this day of age.
I will say Project Justice, as it still has some decent polygonal models even today, can go without getting an update. However, Rival Schools, being a game that was released way back in 1997 on hardware equivalent to the original PlayStation, the game can look really rough around everyone’s polygonal edges. Capcom would need to clean things up a bit for Rival Schools but, in retrospect, I still believe the gameplay would be good enough to be fun. But I’m just afraid modern gamers would look away because of how blocky everything does look by today’s standards.
Now, the question is, can Capcom actually re-release or remaster Rival Schools and Project Justice? I think they can, honestly. I read somewhere a long time ago the main reason they haven’t released either game on the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live is due to licensing issues. That was a whole twelve years ago! The mere fact they even added Akira to Street Fighter does show they have, at the very least, the proper licenses for some of the characters now. If they can get Akira into Street Fighter, I guess it’ll only take a little more effort to get everyone. So why not take the leap and bring both Rival Schools and Project Justice to modern consoles? With Akira in Street Fighter V, I betting some fans would like to see where she originally came from, wouldn’t they? And, while they’re at it, give them a proper facelift as well by remastering them.
Then again, I would also be happy if you produce a sequel, Capcom. Just sayin’.
Do you think it would be possible for Capcom to remaster the Rival School games? Let me know in the comments section below!