Review: Jaleco Brawler's Pack (Retro)

Jaleco Brawler's Pack: Official GBAtemp Review

Retro 2,182 views 3 likes 15 comments
Reviewed by Prans Dunn, posted May 6, 2018
May 6, 2018
  • Publisher: Retro-Bit
  • Developer: Jaleco
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
I was not yet born when the first SNES game cartridge was published. But I sure was when the latest one was published, and that was just a few months ago! Let’s discover what the Jaleco Brawler’s Pack, a brand new SNES multicart, packs in 2018!
Prans Dunn

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Packaging & Contents

The cartridge comes in a faithfully-recreated brand new SNES box, albeit sans the “Original Nintendo Seal of Quality” tag. To stress that this is a collector’s item of sorts, the Jaleco Brawler’s Pack comes with some nice extras like the dust cover, stickers and button pins. So out of the new retro box you'll find:

  • Jaleco Brawler's Pack Cartridge
  • Cartridge Dust Cover
  • Instruction Manual
  • Exclusive Button and Sticker Set

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Even if blowing on the cart will not make it magically play, the addition of a dust cover is very much appreciated in order to keep dust off the cart (or help those who still believe that dust will prevent the carts from booting feel better).

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Even if the custom cartridge is of a good and sturdy quality, I deplore the fact that it is not like the original SNES carts. Nevertheless, they are of good quality.

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Retro Console, New Cartridge, Retro Games

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Published by Retro-Bit, the Jaleco Brawler’s Pack is a 4-game multicart for the SNES. While this multicart itself is brand new, the games aren’t. They were released back when the SNES was still current-gen but on separate and dedicated cartridges. The Jaleco Brawler’s Pack includes them all in a single cartridge and is even officially licensed by Jaleco, the original developer. The included games are:

  • Rival Turf (1992)
  • Brawl Brothers (1993)
  • Rushing Beat Shura (1994)
  • Tuff E Nuff (1993)

Rival Turf, Brawl Brothers and Rushing Beat Shura actually comprise the Rushing Beat trilogy of beat 'em up games. Somewhat lost in translation, the games seemed unrelated following various changes to the games' storylines and characters during localization. In Japan they were originally released under the names of Rushing Beat, Rushing Beat Ran — Fukusei Toshi, Rushing Beat Shura.

These games play like the classic beat ‘em ups Streets of Rage, Final Fight or Double Dragon complete with regular attacks, special attack and weapons for you to pick up and use to your advantage.

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Rival Turf

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LOOK OUT, STREET SCUM! HERE COME THE BRAWL BROTHERS! They're rough, they're tough, and they're tired of the street punks that have taken over their turf. And that spells trouble for trash-talkin' Big Al and his mob of inner city riff-raff. Because these brothers are out to take back the streets, no matter what it takes-and they won't stop punching, kicking, and slamming until they clear the trash from every alley in America!

Choose between Jack or Oozie in this Final Fight clone or, even better, ask a friend to join with its 2-player mode to clear the “trash” from the streets with punches and kicks though 6 stages! The VS mode also allows you to battle with your friend by choosing one of the two available characters.

Brawl Brothers

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People are going missing in Bayside City and the rumors say someone conducting a shady human cloning experiment is responsible. For Rick (a.k.a. Hack) and Doug (a.k.a. Slash) this situation has become personal. Especially after three friends from their martial arts gym get abducted. The duo set off to the enemy's secret air fortress to sort this out. These guys know all the moves, from martial arts to pro wrestling throws, and they don't hesitate to use them. They’re not afraid of using knives, bats, and other things they find to get the job done. And if that wasn’t enough, when they get hurt they get angry and you really don’t want to mess with them then. They ignore damage and hit even harder than usual! They’re ready for the action. The question is: are you?

The sequel to Rival Turf comes back with its two-player mode and two additional characters to choose from. Body slam, leg sweep, jab or hook your way through 10 stages to uncover the mystery. Oh and the VS mode is back baby!

Rushing Beat Shura

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It's the year 2015 and the most powerful organization of the planet, a company named Deutschland Moldavia, is threatening to take over the world by genetically manipulating humans into mindless slaves or powerful monsters.

Interestingly, the PAL version of the Jaleco Brawler's Pack (or my copy of it in any case), come with the original Japanese Rushing Beat Shura which has some English in it but the texts during story telling is all in Japanese.

Aside from its regular beat ‘em up gameplay and 4 playable characters with different fighting style, this one allows the player to choose his/her path with different boss fights and endings.

The VS mode also allows you to brawl it out with up to 3 other friends! This title is definitely the most ambitious out of the Rushing Beat trilogy!

Tuff E Nuff

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Following a great war that destroys most of the earth, Tuff E Nuff sees four of the earth's toughest people come together to do battle, and earn the right to attempt to depose the mighty ruler.

The odd one out of this compilation is Tuff E Nuff, a Street Fighter II clone unrelated to both Rushing Beat trilogy and side scrolling beat 'em up genre that this multicart set out to pack. Choose from 4 characters with their own styles of kicks, punches and throws to challenge Jade the ruler at the end. Fights are best-of-three and the 90-second time limit can be turned on or off.

Other than the Story Mode, there are the 1p VS 2p and VS CPU modes for you to practice.

Closing

At an MSRP of $39.99, the Jaleco Brawler's Pack is a nice addition to collectors of SNES carts since it comes with a few extras. While the games themselves are nothing extraordinary, they do provide some mindless retro fun and this cart is an adequate and affordable way to discover lesser known games. They all run flawlessly, with the same retro feel intended when I slapped the cart into the Super RetroTRIO Plus.

Verdict
Pros
+ 4 games in one cart
+ Cartridge Dust Cover
+ Exclusive “Collector’s” Button and Sticker Set
Cons
- Custom cartridge design is not like original SNES ones
- Not the best SNES games out there
7.5
out of 10
Overall
Whether you are a hardcore retro beat 'em up games fan or an SNES carts collector, the Jaleco Brawler's Pack is recommended to be considered for your collection, even if the games aren't the best of the best. The latter fact might not be enticing for the rest of potential buyers but it might be a good way to discover lesser known games of the SNES era and have some mindless fun!
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