River City Girls

The River City game series—or Kunio-kun as it is known in Japan—is soon to get a very different addition in WayForward’s upcoming River City Girls.

North American fans may know Kunio-kun by its heavily “Americanized” NES releases, such as Renegade, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, and Crash ‘n’ the Boys. River City Ransom EX may be the most known title from Kunio-kun in North America, which was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004.

River City Ransom involves two high school students, Alex and Ryan, as they make way through River City in an attempt to rescue Ryan’s girlfriend, Cyndi, from Slick, the game’s main antagonist and gang boss.

River City Ransom brought an extremely polished blend of gameplay to the NES as an open-world action role-playing beat ’em up. The game allows players to freely venture through stages and fight enemies, collect weapons and objects, and shop through several different malls where they can buy food, books, and other items that will power up the character and even teach them new moves.

After years of silence, the River City series is coming back after WayForward recently announced its upcoming installment, River City Girls.

River City Girls takes the original plot of River City Ransom and puts a feminine twist to it. Players will roam the streets as the new protagonists, Kyoko and Misako, in an attempt to rescue their kidnapped boyfriends.

River City Girls will span across six different regions and include new enemies, quests, and NPCs. The combat will stay true to classic River City style, allowing the player to string together combos based on punches, kicks, weapon swings, and object tosses.

However, one big difference between River City Girls and River City Ransom is that enemies players defeat along the way may offer to join them in their journey. Manga-style cutscenes will also set the title apart from the original and help tell a new story.

River City Girls will release digitally on PC via GOG, Humble Bundle, and Steam for USD$29.99 on September 5. Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One will also receive digital releases on this date. A limited physical version of the game is also in the works and will be released through Limited Run Games, but a release date has yet to be announced.

Fans in attendance at the 2019 Anime Expo, which ends Sunday, also have the opportunity to give River City Girls a playtest at the Arc Systems Works booth.

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Craig Snyder
Craig fell in love with video games after being spoiled with all of the NES games he could ever want as a kid, and his passion for gaming continues decades later. After discovering a knack for writing in grade school, the two have come together nicely for him. River City Ransom and Final Fantasy VII are his jams.

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