Giuseppe Mengoni, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milano, Italy, 1865-1877 VS Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Ely, United Kingdom, 1083–1375 VS John Eisenmann and George H. Smith, The Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 1890 VS Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Noyon, France, 12th century
Scenes from the attract mode of Rival Schools: United by Fate, a 3D fighting game from Capcom released in 1997. It was not Capcom’s first foray into the field, as that honor belongs to the Star Gladiator. I personally find the Rival Schools series a lot more interesting than Capcom’s other 3D fighters (including Street Fighter EX), even though I don’t play them much due to my mild aversion to 3D fighters.
In Rival Schools, you pick two characters to form a team and take on all comers to identify the source of attacks against general schoolgoers in the area. Your secondary character can only be brought in for occasional team-up attacks–you don’t truly swap in or out during combat–and must come from the same school, which is an interesting twist. Aesthetically, the game looks decent for the time, with polygons on par with what Namco was offering in its fighters. The game also walks a precariously balanced line between colorful over-the-top characters and a dark “edgy” setting of the late 90s.