Released in 1992, Rival Turf focuses on the themes of inner-city crime and drugs to create a backdrop for an early 90s cyberpunk comic type adventure. At the time of its release Rival Turf was acclaimed for its detailed story.
Rival Turf was known as Rushing Beat in its native Japan, and was the first part of a trilogy of brawlers that would later be released in the US and Europe as Brawl Brothers and The Peace Keepers.
The story opens with Jack Flak contacting his police officer friend Oswald "Oozie" Nelson over the kidnapping of his girlfriend Heather. Oozie has been closely checking the activities of street gang "the Street Kings" and its leader "Big Al". He believes that Big Al is the culprit behind Heather's disappearance and so both Oozie and Flak take the law into their own hands and set out to clean up the streets and find Heather.
The story takes Jack and Oozie through the streets of LA taking down members of the Street King gang and leads them to South America where they are able to put an end to their illicit drug operations and also rescue Heather.
Rival Turf is essentially a side-scrolling beat 'em up adventure game in the vein of Final Fight or Streets of Rage but it has a few innovations within its plethora of modes. The game also uses Nintendo's mode 7 graphic system which allowed graphics to be rendered in a near 3D environment.
The game can also be played simultaneously in co-op. Which is to say that the player can tackle the game's story with a friend or alternatively fight their friend competitively in a head-to-head versus match.
An angry mode is also incorporated which means that when a particular player is nearing death they become almost invincible for a short period of time.