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Arch Rivals is a two-on-two basketball game based on the 1989 coin-op of the same name. Gamers can select from a variety of fictional teams to play with or against. Once the game begins, you are given control of one of the team's players. The other player is controlled by the CPU, but can be ordered to pass the ball to the human-controlled athlete. Like a normal game of basketball, the object is to score more points than the opposing team when the game's timer runs out.
Arch Rivals is played from a 2D angled sideview perspective. The court itself takes up the top portion of the screen display, while the bottom area shows each team's score and the time remaining. Players can only see part of the court at any time, so the game keeps track of the ball's location and pans its view left or right to follow the ball.
When on defense, players can punch offensive players for the ball. A player who has been hit falls down and is dazed for a short period of time. If he was in possession of the ball before being punched, he loses it. Defensive players can also jump to try and block a shot, or try to get it on the rebound. On offense, players can pass the ball back and forth or shoot. If a player is close enough to the rim, he'll go for the dunk instead of shooting it. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide