Urban Reign by Namco


Game Name: Urban Reign

Game Developer: Namco

PAL Release: o3/02/06

Game Type: Scrolling Beat-em-up

Game Description: Urbain Reign is a very simple game seeing that you are tasked with only on job, beating people up with an easy to learn fighting system which is also pretty deep to for a game of this type.

This can be played in 4 players in Vs. mode or 2 player co-op in the game’s story mode. There are more than sixty characters to unlock as well as various weapons and arenas to fight in.


The first right screenshots are promotional  shots from Namco to be used by websites to promote the game.


Urban Reign happens to be one of my favourite multiplayer games on the PS2 and I consider it to be an underrated classic. Not many people have really herd of the game but once I show it to them and we play a few multiplayer fights they really enjoy the game too.

Urbain Reign was also another game I first imported, though play-asia before they stopped sending Sony console games to Europe. I brought it originally for £4. Then when my import machine broke I luckily managed to find this game second hand for £5 here in the UK so I doubt this game will set you back that much if you where to track it down today.

The game itself is very simple to learn all the controls and techniques to but requires skill in learning when to use said skills in battle. Like Namco’s other games like Tekken and Soul Calibur players can juggle combo their opponents and the game has some incredibly smooth animation, some of the best on the PS2. While there is no block button the players can evade attacks by pressing the dodge button thus making it imposable for players to ‘turtle’ and abuse the block button. You can also use double team moves and grapple using weapons, do fancy running jumps of walls and perform multiple areal attacks or grapples on your opponents, this game can get quite crazy.

Thanks to the fact that this game has a ton of characters and is easy to learn how to play make it a very popular game in my household when friends come around. Unfortuantly the PAL version has no cheat code to unlock everything so if you are buying in Europe you are going to have to go though the single player modes Story, Survival and Score Attack to unlock everything which now might be a good time to talk about.

The story is simple enough, you play as Brad Hawk who gets paid to help out the Chinese triad leader of the town. There are one hundred stages to clear and along the way you will unlock new allies to help you fight the enemy and more experience to upgrade Brad. There are some twists in the story but most people who will play this won’t care much for it as they will want to get though it quickly to unlock everything. The most annoying thing to unlock is the end boss who is rubbish but requires ‘S’ rank on every score attack level which is hard to get as you must use a average fighter and not get hit to much to get a decent score.

My only problem with the single player stuff if that they tend to to the scrolling beat-em-up thing of recycling enemies a lot in this game. At one point you are literally fighting multiple bosses from previous stages just like the old days of Final Fight and Streets of Rage. Some of these boss characters have a move that makes it so they can’t be hurt for awhile which is annoying so you have to run a lot till it runs out then attack them. Other than that the single player is an enjoyable experience that will test an experienced scrolling beat-em-up fan and the difficulty curve is not to steep which is all you can ask for in a game like this I suppose.

The graphics and sound are what you might expect from Namco and everything does look quite nice. You can tell the animation was lifted from their Soul Calibur and Tekken games and hey even some Tekken characters made their way in to this game. But the presentation is very smooth and the game always runs at a great 60 frames per second so no complaints on that front from me.

Overall I really enjoyed playing Urbain Reign both in single and in multiplayer. Good scrolling beat-em-up are hard to come by on this system, hell even Capcom attempted to revive the genre with little success. But Namco have made a fantastic game with Urbain Reign and I would high recommend any one who like fighting games to check this game out right now!

Best Bit: Playing the game with friends with everything unlocked.

Worst Bit: Recycled boss fights just like the old 16bit brawlers.

Most Memorable Line: They guys do all the talking with their fists so unsurprisingly there are not memorable quotes so to speak.


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