River City Girls (熱血硬派くにおくん外伝 リバーシティーガールズ, "Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio Side Story: River City Girls" ) is an spin-off game in the Kunio-kun series, developed by WayForward and published by Arc System Works. The game was released on September 5, 2019 for PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch (on the Nintendo eShop), Sony PlayStation 4 (through the PlayStation Store) and Xbox One (via Microsoft Store). Limited Run Games released a physical edition of the game.
The game is the first collaboration between Arc System Works and WayForward, but it is the second time that WayForward works on an intellectual property that previously belonged to Million Co. (they previously worked on Double Dragon Neon).
The game is directed by Adam Tierney (Cat Girl without Salad: Amuse-Bouche, Silent Hill: Book of Memories) and Bannon Rudis, who was involved with the art and sprites in River City Ransom: Underground. Kay is the game's lead animator, while Rem (Illustrator of the Devil's Candy webcomic), Eric Huang, Hunter waneella and Danalyn Reyes created the game's art. Ribbon Black designed the game's UI and initial logo. Studio Yotta and Nathan Malone worked on the game's trailer. NateWantsToBattle, Chipzel, Christina Vee, Dale North and Megan McDuffee composed the game's soundtrack. James Guintu is the game's lead programmer while Midori "Murasaki" Sato of Foxlight Games is one of the game's programmers.
The game was in development for nearly three years .
River City Girls stars Kyoko and Misako, two street-tough high-schoolers who must fight their way through the six regions of River City to rescue their kidnapped boyfriends, series mainstays Kunio and Riki.
Before starting the game the player can choose from three different save files. Following that they can choose the number of players (either one or two), then the game's difficulty (Normal or Hard). The final option is to enable or disable friendly fire. The game has no online functionality. Players can then choose their characters, either Kyoko or Misako. Both characters play similarly, but each has unique moves and animations.
In most areas where combat is initiated, chains and a lock will surround the edges of the screen (referred in-game as a screenlock. At this point, similarly to Shodai Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun and Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, the player will be unable to leave the area until all enemies are defeated.
Defeated enemies will drop money when defeated, just like in River City Ransom. Each character has their own separate levels, experience and money balance like in River City Ransom: Underground. However, the completion of quests grant experience and money rewards to both characters, ensuring that the one that the player is not using in a single player game does not fall behind in levels or money. As bosses are defeated in the game, enemies become stronger.
If two players are playing together and one of them is knocked out and loses all of their health, it is possible for the other player to revive them by repeatedly kicking them while they are down. An angel leaving the character's body will act as a timer so that the other player can perform the revival as fast as possible. The angel gets nearer to the body as the downed character is hit.
Once introduced, Godai will have players undertake numerous side quests, and like previous beat 'em ups in the series, they will be able to enter various shops to purchase items, food and gear to learn new abilities and increase stats. There are also various NPCs that the player can interact with.
When a character gains a level, their stats increase. Similarly to River City Ransom: Underground, characters gain the ability to learn new moves with a level, but they must be purchased in Dojos. Characters will gain some moves when leveling up which do not have to be purchased in a dojo. Upon defeating the final enemy in an area, they might beg for their life. Grabbing them then pressing a certain button will allow the player to recruit them. They can then be used to assist the player. The player can pick up various objects during the game and use them as weapons, but they will break apart after being used multiple times.
Some areas of the game have Sabu statues, which can be broken. Players are rewarded when all 25 of them are destroyed.
Pressing the Start button pauses all action in the game and opens up an interactive menu using the character's phone:
- Character: Status screen of the current character, showing their stats and the consumable items that they are carrying.
- Map: Shows all six regions of River City and quests in progress or completed. Pressing the Light Attack button shows a map of the current area where the player is located.
- Movelist: Displays all the available moves for the current character.
- Accessories: Allows the player to equip two different accessories from a list that they have gathered.
- Recruits: Shows a list of all enemies that have been recruited.
- Settings: Shows most of the settings available from the Mode Select screen.
The game's level cap is 30.
- ST (Stamina): Character's maximum health. The maximum is 39.
- SP (Special): The meter used to perform special moves. Maxes out at 27.
- AT (Attack): How much damage a character makes with their attacks. The maximum is 25.
- AG (Agility): The character's moving speed when walking or running. 22 is the maximum.
- WP (Weapon): Damage done with weapons. The maximum is 20.
- LK (Luck): When defeated in Normal difficulty, enemies may randomly drop food items that replenish stamina. This stat, which maxes out at 15, determines this frequency.
Controls & Moves
The game has a Light Attack button, used to perform combo attacks, and Strong Attack button, which can be used as a combo finisher or to knock down enemies. A separate button is used to jump, while the remaining face button is used to perform a Special Attack. When one of this attacks (such as Misako's Stone Hands or Kyoko's Dragon Feet) is acquired by the player, an SP Meter will appear below the character's Stamina Meter (the Life Gauge). The right trigger button is used to block and, when blocking as soon as an attack lands on the blocking character, a parry can be performed. The left trigger is used to call in Recruits when they are available.
Pressing the Light Attack while on top of a weapon allows a character to grab and use them. Pressing the Block button drops the weapon, while the Strong Attack button has the character throw them. Unlike previous River City Ransom games, characters cannot jump while they have a two handed weapon such as a box or trash can. If a character is wielding a weapon of any kind, the cannot dodge up or down, but they can still wall jump. Like in Shodai Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, weapons can be used for a limited amount of time before they break.
Double tapping left or right allows the character to run in that direction, while double tapping up or down allows characters to dodge in that respective direction (similarly to Streets of Rage 3). Characters can wall jump by pressing the Jump button when in contact with a wall. When enemies are hit multiple times, they will be stunned and can be grabbed from the front or from behind. Using the Light Attack button from the front allows characters to hit the enemy multiple times, the Strong Attack button is used to throw them. From behind, the Light Attack button performs a knockdown attack.
- Virtual Pet:
- Gym Shorts:
- Makeup Kit:
- Love Letter:
- False Eyelashes:
- Frill Bra:
- Knife Earrings:
- Music Player:
- Fake Tattoos:
- Hasebe Charm:
- Pepper Spray:
- Deco Nails:
- Spiked Knuckles:
- Bomb Bra:
- Bomb Shorts:
- Athletic Top:
- Athletic Bottom:
- Heart Earrings:
- Padlock Bra:
- Ribbon Bra:
- Smart Watch:
- Fishnet Top:
- Frilly Bottom:
- Coin Purse:
- Mami Charm:
- Cat Ribbon:
- Cat Pin:
- Bunny Button =;3:
- Tank Button:
- Dodge Ball
- Baseball Bat
- Wooden Plank
- Chain Whip
- Magic Wand
- Frying Pan
- Beam Sword
- Trash Can
- River City High School:
- Ocean Heights:
- Sanwakai Tower:
- Kyoko: Riki's girlfriend who first debuted in Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka. She is voiced by Kira Buckland.
- Head Stomp -
- Donkey Kick -
- Volley Save -
- Dab! -
- Dragon Feet -
- Crescent Kick -
- Spin Kick -
- Volleyball Set -
- Acro Circus -
- Double Dropkick -
- Hook Kick -
- Cheer Drill -
- Frankensteiner -
- Pogo Kick -
- Handstand Kick -
- Volley Spike -
- Misako: Kunio's girlfriend, her debut in the franchise was in Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen. Kayli Mills provides her voice in the game.
- Jump Hammer -
- Bruce Backhand -
- Rolling Punch -
- Haymaker -
- High Kick -
- Hop Knee -
- Nutcracker -
- Stone Hands -
- Backflip Kick -
- Back Fist -
- Spiral Uppercut -
- Dropkick -
- German Suplex -
- Stungun -
- Backpack Swing -
- Powerbomb -
- Riki: Kunio's rival, closest friend and Kyoko's boyfriend. Kaiji Tang voices him in the game.
- Fatal Steps -
- Combing Hair -
- Bird Kick -
- One Inch Punch -
- Cheap Shot -
- Harder Punch -
- Shadow Combo -
- Stone Launcher -
- Acro Dragon -
- Acro Flip -
- Sweep Kick -
- Acorn Breaker -
- Half Moon Kick -
- Table Flip -
- Piledriver -
- Stone Hands -
- Kunio: The protagonist of many of the games in the Kunio-kun franchise. He is voiced by Greg Chun in the game.
- Jump 180 Kick -
- Back Elbow -
- Slide Tackle -
- Eat -
- Flying Knee -
- Side Heabutt -
- Super Kick -
- Uppercut -
- Goalie Punch -
- Hot Blooded Punch -
- Roundhouse -
- Clothesline -
- Pavement Smooch -
- Sauna Towel -
- Air Pavement Smooch -
- Hurricane Kick -
- Burnov: Guest character from the Double Dragon series. This is his first appearance in the Kunio-kun series.
- Godai: Voiced by Sean "Jacksepticeye" McLoughlin. Godai provides Misako and Kyoko with a series of sidequests during the game.
- Hiroshi: Kunio's best friend, voiced by Kyle McCarley.
- Kaori: Either, new character, or Yōichi's girlfriend from Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey Bu: Subette Koronde Dairantō.
- Mihoko: Either, new character, or the character that briefly appeared in Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantō Hen.
- Naritaka: Either, new character, or Naritaka of Hanazono High School from Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu. He is voiced by Nathan Sharp.
- Yoko: From Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey Bu: Subette Koronde Dairantō.
- Linda: Enemy character from the Double Dragon series.
- Trash: The third stage boss from The Combatribes.
- Misuzu: One of the bosses in previous Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun games. She is voiced by Laila Berzins. She is the game's first boss.
- Yamada: The final boss of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari. Voiced by Griffin Puatu in the game. He acts as the second boss of the game.
- Hibari: New character voiced by Mary Josephine Hanson. She is the game's third boss, a fashion designer in Uptown with the most popular clothes.
- Abobo: Guest character from the Double Dragon series, he has made multiple cameos in the Kunio-kun series since River City: Tokyo Rumble. Patrick Seitz provides his voice in the game.
- Noize: New character. Voiced by Erika Harlacher.
- Sabuko: New character voiced by Xanthe Huynh. Sabu's daughter, who is leading the Sanwakai in his absence. Unlike Sabu, who uses a firearm, Sabuko is a martial artist who fights using a katana and elemental ki attacks.
- Hasebe & Mami: Kunio and Yamada's middle school classmate along with Riki's girlfriend. Both characters debuted in Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari. They are voiced by Cristina Valenzuela and Sarah Williams, respectively.
Downtown Nekketsu characters Nishimura and Reika appear as shopkeepers in the game, voiced by SungWon Cho and Victoria Holden, respectively. Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun characters Shinji and Kumiko also appear in the game, voiced by Ross O'Donovan and Anna Brisbin respectively. Kenji from Super Dodge Ball for the Neo Geo also appears in the game.
Jimmy Lee, Billy Lee, Marian, Kodani and Skullmageddon from the Double Dragon franchise also appear as shopkeepers. Bimmy and Jimmy run the dojos of the game. Arin Hanson, Dan Avidan, and Sean Velasco voice Billy, Jimmy and Skullmageddon, respectively.
Bullova and Martha Splatterhead from The Combatribes also appear in the game, the latter is voiced by Erika Ishii.
Cryaotic voices Demetri, a new character and shopkeeper.
Although the game only has English voice acting, the Japanese script makes changes to some scenes:
- Instead of being in detention, Misako and Kyoko are taking supplementary lessons before the game begins, since detention is not actually practiced in Japanese schools.
- Mr. Rudis, the math teacher in the first cutscene (named after Bannon Rudis), is named Kawanaka. Kawanaka was the coach of the Nekketsu High School Baseball Team in Downtown Nekketsu Baseball Monogatari: Yakyū de Shōbu da! Kunio-kun. He was a math teacher and was selected as coach for the team for this reason, even though he knew very little of the sport itself.
- River City Girls will be the first time in the franchise in which Hasebe, Mami, Misako and Kyoko interact with one another. The first time all four characters appeared together in a game was River City Super Sports Challenge ~All Stars Special~. They also appear together in River City Melee: Battle Royal Special, but they never cross paths in the storyline. Hasebe and Misako appeared together in Kunio no Oden, but the two did not interact in that game either.
- Dwayne and the rest of the masked tiger wrestlers that appear as enemies in the game are based on Toraichi and Toraji, the Tiger Brothers and final bosses of Nekketsu Kakutō Densetsu.
- NintendoSoup Switch Review
- NintendoLife Switch Review
- Seafoam Gaming PS4 Review
- Gamers Heroes
- Switchaboo Switch Review
- Starburst Magazine Review
- Análisis, HobbyConsolas (Spanish)
- Gaming Guardian (Spanish)
- Official site (English)
- Official site (Japanese)
- WayForward Unleashes River City Girls Details
- River City Girls Wants to "Beat You Over the Head" With Character (USGamer)
- River City Girls Beats Down The Doors In Stylish, Old-Cool Glory (HappyGamer
- We Talk To WayForward About All Things River City Girls! (GoNintendo)
- Destructoid article, We chatted with WayForward about River City Girls' ass-kicking heroines and the Kunio-kun legacy (Destructoid)
- How River City Girls Brings Both Freshness and Familiarity to the Kunio-Kun Series — An Interview With Director Adam Tierney
- RPGamer River City Girls Interview with Bannon Rudis
- River City Girls launches September 5 for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC
- The River City Girls Take To The Streets In September
- WayForward and Arc System Works Announce River City Girls
- Arc System Works and WayForward announce River City Girls
- ↑ River City Girls English + Physical + Pre-order Bonus Announced
- ↑ Limited Run Games will release a physical edition of the game.
- ↑ River City Girls Questions Answered By Game Director Adam Tierney – Insight For The Big Fight. (HappyGamer)
- ↑ River City Girls to Feature a “Pokémon-Like Character-Collection Aspect” of 50+ Recruitable Enemies. (OnlySP)
- ↑ Abore in River City Girls
- ↑ The inspiration behind the tiger masked wrestlers in the game.