City Connection[a] is a platform arcade game developed and published by Jaleco in 1985. The player controls Clarice in her Honda City hatchback and must paint every section of a highway throughout twelve stages, each taking place in a famous city from around the world. Clarice is constantly under pursuit by police cars, which she can take out by launching oil cans at them, temporary stunning them, and then ramming into them with her car. It was released in North America by Kitkorp as Cruisin'.
Japanese arcade flyer.
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System,Famicom, MSX, ZX Spectrum, Mobile phone, Windows|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players (alternating turns)|
|CPU||M6809 (@ 2.048 MHz)|
|Sound||Sound CPU: M6809 (@ 640 kHz). Sound Chips: AY8910 (@ 1.25 MHz), YM2203 (@ 1.25 MHz)|
|Display||Raster, 240 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 1664 colors|
Jaleco would port the game to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and MSX. The NES release received mixed to positive reviews, although digital re-releases would receive a more negative reception. The NES release would be included in Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 in 2003 and in JaJaMaru Jr. Denshoki Jaleco Memorial a year later. Hamster Corporation released a digital version on the Wii Virtual Console in 2008 and the PlayStation 4 in 2015, the latter under their Arcade Archives label. The rights to City Connection are currently owned by a company named after such, City Connection, following the bankruptcy of Jaleco's parent company in 2014. A mobile phone sequel, City Connection Rocket, was available through i-mode in 2004.
The player takes control of Clarice, a blue-haired teen in her Honda City hatchback, in her efforts to travel the world in order to find herself the perfect man. Clarice traverses through twelve scrolling stages, all based on famous locations across the world (including Japan, China, Paris and Easter Island). After the twelfth stage, the game will simply loop back to the first at a higher difficulty. To clear each stage, the player must paint over all the roads by driving across them, changing the pavement color from white to green. The car can jump over large gaps to reach higher sections of the stage.
Clarice is constantly under pursuit by police cars, and must avoid flag-waving cats that will block her from moving past them. By collecting oil cans found in each stage, the player can shoot these at police cars to temporary stun them, and knock them off the stage by ramming into them. Cats are invulnerable and cannot be defeated by any means. If the player remains on the same stage for an extended period of time, spikes will extrude from the ground, instantly causing them to lose a life. On occasion, a red-colored balloon may appear in the stage. Should the player collect three of these balloons, they will be warped to a new area and be granted with a large sum of bonus points.
Development and releaseEdit
City Connection was developed by Jaleco and first released in Japanese arcades in July 1985. The car the player controls is a Honda City hatchback, which is believed to be the source for the game's title. In North America, the game was licensed to Kitkorp and released as Cruisin’, though is identical to the original aside from the title. The song used when Clarice hits one of the flag-waving cats is “Flohwalzer”, known in Japan as “Neko Funjatta” (lit. “I Stepped on the Cat”). The game is one of the first to use a new music track for each stage rather than reusing a single song. One stage features a remix of the song “Highway Star” by Deep Purple.
Ports of City Connection were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Famicom, ZX Spectrum and MSX. The NES version replaces Clarice with an unnamed male protagonist, alongside other minor differences. The Famicom release was included in the Japan-only PlayStation compilation Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 in 2003, as well as the Game Boy Advance compilation JaJaMaru Jr. Denshoki Jaleco Memorial a year later. A digital re-release of the NES version was ported to the Wii Virtual Console in 2008 and later the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console services in 2013. A mobile phone version was released on 23 September 2002. The arcade version was ported by Mediakite to Microsoft Windows in 2003, published first by PCCW Japan then later re-published in 2004 by Jaleco. A 2003 mobile port, titled City Connection DX, was released for the Japanese i-mode online service. In 2014, Hamster Corporation released a digital version of the game under their Arcade Archives series on the PlayStation 4, which was soon released on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
The NES version in particular would receive a mixed reception. AllGame gave a positive review for the NES release, applauding its gameplay and graphics, concluding with “while this game is not revolutionary by any means, it deserves to be played.”. Japanese magazine Yuge ranked it as one of the 100 best Family Computer games of all time, praising the visuals, gameplay and music. Computer Entertainer US concluded that the game is "enjoyable in the short run, but we doubt that it has sufficient staying power to keep most gamers playing it over and over again.
Reviewing the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console digital release of the NES version, Nintendo Life and IGN would give a lukewarm reception - both would critcize its graphics and music for being too simplistic, alongside labeling its gameplay as difficult to understand for newcomers. Nintendo Life gave a similar negative response to the Wii U Virtual Console port of the NES release, concluding with "Steer clear of this one." Eurogamer wrote that the Wii Virtual Console port of the NES version was “certainly not worth getting passionate about".
A sequel, City Connection Rocket, was developed by Studio Runba and released for Japanese mobile phones in 2004, available from Jaleco through i-mode. The game places Clarice as a spy for a secret organization to capture criminal leaders from around the world. Rather than painting sections of the road, Clarice must now collect briefcases placed in each stage whilst avoiding police cars and other types of enemies. This game was bundled with City Connection DX for a re-release under the Appli-Archives series for the PlayStation Vita, available for the PlayStation Mobile service. The service closed in September 2015, delisting the game from the PlayStation Store and other supported devices.
Clarice would make an appearance as a playable character in GUNbare! Game Tengoku: The Game Paradise 2, misspelled as “Claris”, as well as the Sega Saturn re-release The Game Paradise Crusin’ Mix as downloadable content. The rights to City Connection are currently owned by a Japanese developer named after such, City Connection, who purchased Jaleco's video game assets following the bankruptcy of their parent company, Game Yarou, in 2014.
- In Japanese: City Connection (シティコネクション Shiti Konekushon)
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