In Urban Champion, you fight an opponent who looks just like you but has bright green hair. Your ultimate objective is to knock him down a manhole, and this is accomplished through a series of fights.
Each bout takes place in front of a building, and the objective is to keep hitting your opponent so that you knock him off of his corner of the sidewalk. Once this is accomplished, you walk over to the next building and start over again. At some point, there will be an open manhole adjacent to the opponent’s corner of the sidewalk, and knocking him off will send him down the hole.
You start the game with a 99 second time limit and a stamina of 200. For each punch you throw, you lose 1 stamina, and for each punch the opponent lands on you, you lose 10 stamina. Some interesting things interrupt the fight, like people dropping flower pots from the second story windows, and the police driving by. If a player is hit with a flower pot, they lose stamina and are stunned momentarily. When the police drive by, both players back away and act as if they aren’t up to anything. If one player continues to try and fight while the police are driving past, then that player is arrested and forced back by one building.
This actually sounds like it might be a cool game, but sadly the game play falls well short of the mark. The experience can best be compared to the fighting sequences in most 8 and 16-bit hockey games, which is NOT a compliment. It’s frantic button-mashing at it’s worst. I suppose you could slow down and try to play the game with a bit more strategy, but that just makes you feel like you’re leaving yourself open to get punched in the face.
This game was part of the original 30 black box games released by Nintendo during and right after the launch of the NES. Urban Champion is easily the worst first-party NES game I have ever played, and should be avoided unless you are trying to collect a complete set of black label games.