Arch Rivals is a basketball video game released by Midway for arcades in 1989. Billed by Midway as 'A Basket Brawl', the game features two-on-two full court basketball games in which players are encouraged to punch opposing players and steal the ball from them. Arch Rivals was the second basketball video game released by Midway, sixteen years after TV Basketball (1974). Home versions of the game were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Genesis/Mega Drive, and Game Gear.
Arch Rivals allows players to select from a variety of fictional teams (although arcade operators can change the team names to reflect real ones) and players. One playable character, 'Tyrone' was also featured in the animated The Power Team segments of the television series Video Power.
Arch Rivals (Game Gear)
In turn, the game has been considered a forerunner to Midway's popular arcade basketball game, NBA Jam.
Games generally follow standard basketball rules; a full game consists of four quarters, with four minutes each. Each team has two players, and the objective of the game is to outscore the opponent until the final buzzer sounds. A player can call for his teammate to pass him the ball or to shoot it in this battle royale.
If the game results in a tie after four quarters, multiple sudden death overtime periods are added, in which case whoever scores the next basket will win the game. Every overtime period is one minute. If, however, no score occurs after overtime the procedure repeats.
The difference between Arch Rivals and other basketball titles is the ability to freely punch an opposing player without penalty and steal the ball away. The referee will only call shot clock violations. Also unique to the game are various on-court hazards such as soda cans and candy wrappers thrown onto the floor. If a ballhandler steps on those, he falls onto the floor allowing his opponent to steal the ball from him. Players could also fall over the referee in the same way as the objects on the floor, as well as steal the ball with a maneuver called the 'flying leap' where the player would jump forwards at the opposition ball carrier. If the maneuver missed, the player would roll along the floor. If successful, the player would tackle the opposition holding the ball. In the Arcade version the 'flying leap' would pull the opposition's shorts down, revealing the opponent's underwear.
There are eight playable characters, each with a unique characteristic. The teams in Arch Rivals are selected at random, with Player 1 playing as the home team and Player 2 (or the computer) as the away team. The teams in the arcade version are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Natural High and Brawl State.
Also, the arcade operator can customize the team names and colors through the game's 'Hometown Heroes' feature.
The four home ports of the game have lower-quality graphics than the arcade version, due to being released on 8 and 16-bit systems. The NES version of the game contains a glitch where a 3-point dunk can be achieved. The Sega Genesis version received poorer reception due to a glitch where almost 95% of shots taken from anywhere on the court would result in a basket.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Arch Rivals was designed for the Sega Game Gear, which was an 8-bit handheld game console manufactured
by Sega in the years 1990 - 2001. It was a direct competitor to the black and white console Game Boy and historically the third oldest color handheld console.
The unit price of Game Gear was approximately $ 150 and worldwide around 11 million units of this console were sold. More information about Sega Game
Gear can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
3 different online emulators are available for Arch Rivals. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Arch Rivals are summarized in the following table:
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