River City Girls 2 Is The Beat ‘Em Up That Dreams Are Made Of

Misako, Kyoko, Riki and Kunio pose in front of the graffiti wall.

Picture: WayForward / Arc System Works / Kotaku

As the new year began, there were only a handful of video games that caught my attention, and most of them were spinoffs to the classic beat ’em up series. Kunio-Kun (or River City). City Girls On The River 2 finally arrived in the US on December 15th after changing its release date all year, and the game not only met the high expectations set by its predecessor, but exceeded them too.

City Girls On The River 2Developed by Wayforward, is a pixel art beat ’em up action game that takes place right after first game. In the opening moments, the rough sukeban duo of Misako and Kyoko kicks yakuza-related boss Sabuko out of her skyscraper window. However, when Sabuko survived the fall and reported it back to her incarcerated father, he decided to solve the problem on his own by breaking out of prison and taking control of River City. His first step, humorously, was to order his son to beat up Misako and Kyoko and get them suspended from school for their fighting behavior. Unsurprisingly, Kyoko and Misako used their newfound free time to play a series of video games at Kyoko’s for two months straight.

Nintendo / WayForward / Arc System Works

Much of my enjoyment of previous levels of RCG2 is how it writes narrative around the video game team stripping away all of the awesome power-ups and moves they had in previous games. What ignites their adventure is not a heroic call to save their town from a swarm of Yakuza. The only reason they’re not hikikomori is because they want to go to the mall to buy a new video game. In addition, Kyoko’s mother worried that being lazy for many months might cause their lower backs to go haywire.

Turns out Momma Kyoko isn’t far away as the girls quickly discover that they’re not as strong as they once were. This narrative excuse for them not practicing is not only the reason why Misako, Kyoko and their boyfriends (who are also playable) have no money and no experience points, it also gives I spent some time in the real world sniffing out combos at the start of the game.

While relearning moves in sequels was a source of frustration for me, re-earning them in RCG2 by accumulating enough experience mid-battle is fun. For example, I often play Kyoko because I love the “ora ora oras” that her English voice actress, Kira Buckland, as well as her sparkling heavy attack, apply rainbow. So whenever I level up while putting together a group of yakuza, the perfection of the basic combos pays off with the added power of the next moves back into the hot battle. burn.

Sabuko fell to her knees while her father looked at her disapprovingly.

Father is sad.
Screenshots: WayForward/Arc system works

RCG2 speed up the predecessor’s frenetic race towards the final boss by encouraging players to take their time as they fully immerse themselves in the world of River City. To hammer this point home, RCG2 leans more heavily on its RPG elements with new additions like its fake Twitter social media app, where you view messages from NPCs and follow their quests. Correct, RCG2 have side quests. After completing a side quest, you can recruit characters to fight alongside you. However, since money rules everything around you in River City, if you want help from an ally who died in battle, you’ll have to cough up the same amount of powder as the first time to get help. their help again.

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Another quality of life improvement with RGC2 is that combining enemies in the corner with a light attack button no longer makes you accidentally jump into the next area by mistake. Now, you have to click and hold the prompt button to enter the next area so that the game doesn’t confuse you crushing the button with the lust of the flesh to advance to the next area. At least this was annoying in the first game, as it forced me to stop saying “my turn forever” while repeatedly bouncing enemy walls so I wouldn’t trigger the zone switch. It also has safe houses all over the map where you can restore your stamina and swap characters instead of having to go back to the start menu.

Kyoko checks her phone for the Honkr update.

the Honkr crisis.
Screenshots: WayForward/Arc system works

Unlike the prequel game, Zero River City Girlfight in RCG2 has a faster and more satisfying rhythm. Instead of feeling like I had to stagger and mimic the enemy’s attack patterns to sneak in a punch just to get the enemy to hit harder and more often than I ever dreamed of, RCG2The margin of error is much more forgiving and makes you feel as powerful as the bosses you encounter. Every attack is super fast and its block and block counters are responsive and satisfying to execute. Extra cherry on top RCG2 is that it has two-player online co-op in addition to four-player local co-op so you can have fun with your friends whether they’re in the same room as you or in a different state, depending depends on the method. Your internet connection is reliable.

While shedding me river city girl rust ring, I was mesmerized by how amazingly expansive the previous game was compared to its predecessor. I entered the game anticipating a beat-up adventure on the tracks, but I found a River City that feels more alive and worth exploring than ever. All in all, RCG2 standing at the top of the pile Kunio-Kun the game as a must-play for veteran players as well as newbies.


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