River City Girls Zero’s Fresh Coat Of Paint Isn’t Quite Enough & More Latest News

Riki, Kunio, Misako, and Kyoko laugh as they walk arm in arm down the street.

Images taken moments earlier than catastrophe.
Image: MannerForward / Arc System Works

We may need to attend a short while longer earlier than we are able to ora ora ora our manner into River City Girls 2, however beat ‘em up fans can satiate their hunger by time-warping into the rerelease of a much older game from the ‘90s, now retitled River City Girls Zero. It’s out for almost each platform now, together with PC and Switch.

River City Girls Zero, put collectively by MannerForward, is a localization of the Almanic-developed 1994 16-bit Super Famicom sport Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka. Thanks to the success of 2019’s River City Girls,  Shin Nekketsu Kōha is formally playable within the West for the primary time ever. Instead of speeding into brawls because the sukeban girlfriends Misako and Kyoko (don’t fear, they’re playable later within the sport), you get again within the saddle as their beaus, Riki and Kunio.

River City Girls Zero / MannerForward / Arc System Works

Read More: River City Girls Is Like River City Ransom But With Girls

The begin of the sport sees Riki and Kunio in jail after the pair had been framed for against the law they didn’t commit. After the requisite banchō squatting, the pair beat up the hardest guys within the slammer, escape, and start their warpath to unearth the jerk who orchestrated their demise. From this level on, RCG Zero’s narrative turns into a bloody sport of phone wherein the delinquents and their girlfriends beat up a string of punchable faces earlier than discovering who framed Riki and Kunio. While RCG Zero’s preservation of Shin Nekketsu Koha’s graphics and music are welcomed, the preservation of its ‘94-era gameplay proved to be a hindrance to my enjoyment of the game.

Unlike RCG’s wealth of combo strings and wacky particular strikes, RCG Zero has a restricted arsenal of assaults. Your toolkit consists of a punch, a kick, blocking, a particular punch and kick, and the tried-and-true leap punch or kick assault. On paper, these bare-essential mechanics comprise each beat ‘em up. But in practice, they’re extraordinarily limiting, particularly contemplating the finickiness of the fight.

Riki and Kunio beat down goons on a rickety wooden bridge.

The denizens of River City are actual and they’ll damage you.
Screenshot: MannerForward / Arc System Works

While it was simpler to land full combos in RCG, beginning your assault too near the enemy might result in whiffs and retaliation. RCG: Zero gives a lot much less margin for error on each fronts, so in the event you don’t execute completely, 9 occasions out 10 the enemy’s assault will land first and knock you swiftly onto your beneficiant ass, making for an irksome playthrough.

If your button inputs occur to be a millisecond slower than that of the pc’s, your would-be flurry of assaults is swatted away by a easy punch or kick. To take care of this, I both needed to cheese enemies with leap kicks or get fortunate by placing throughout the slender window of blocking certainly one of their assaults. All the identical, both of those ways made for a pyrrhic victory.

Misako and Kyoko kick a bad guy off the top of a merry go round.

Misako used “flying sukeban.” It was actually efficient.
Screenshot: MannerForward / Arc System Works

This made the gameplay much less like a frenetic beat ‘em up and more like a methodical game of kiting and micromanaging enemies at a chess player’s tempo. To make issues worse, punches and kicks out of your characters really feel futile compared to enemies as a result of, not like you, they don’t stagger when placed on the receiving finish of a combo. To make issues all of the extra irritating, their punches are likely to land extra usually and hit twice as onerous as yours. A sport being troublesome is all effectively and good, however a sport being this busted is simply extreme.

RCG Zero lacks RCG’s revive mechanic of stomping the ghost again into your Ok.O.’d physique, in addition to merchandise pickups. Instead, the 4 playable characters function your additional well being bars. For instance, if Kunio is getting torn from ass to urge for food, you possibly can swap to Riki, Kyoko, or Misako and make the most of their full well being bars to finish levels. But due to the aforementioned finickiness of hitboxes and enemies hitting arbitrarily tougher than you, preventing bosses turned a spree of swapping between characters and praying that my punches would land first.

While RCG Zero’s gameplay was aggravating, all the things else concerning the sport was fairly rattling nice. Right off the bat, the sport wastes no time evoking the texture of a Saturday morning anime with its catchy theme track by returning Girls composer Megan McDuffie. Its opening cinematic was additionally masterfully accompanied by the slick and profound throwback anime model of David Liu.

RCG Zero additionally has a bunch of customizations. From the pause display screen, you possibly can toggle a CRT (old-school TV) filter and alter the border artwork and display screen dimension. The sport additionally helps you to select between a comparatively literal translation and extra vivacious RCG-model textual content. Although MannerForward initially discovered itself within the middle of some discourse over its wording of the unique textual content as “literal,” I most popular the RCG-style localization for its taste of side-splittingly hilarious language and since the extra I performed RCG Zero, the extra I discovered myself lacking RCG.

Read More: River City Girls Sequel Aims To Perfect That Juicy Fusion Of Anime And Wrestling

Misako kicks a nearby motorcyclist off the road.

“Let go my motorcycle. I don’t know you.”- Kyoko (in all probability)
Screenshot: MannerForward / Arc System Works

This isn’t to say that RCG Zero is bereft of its personal enjoyable beat ‘em up segments, it’s simply that they proved extra tiresome than thrilling after some time. RCG Zero’s gimmicky ranges additionally are likely to overstay their welcome with the lengths of among the motion segments. As enjoyable because it was to leap atop a merry-go-round and kick baddies off their rooftops, having to repeat the motion an odd variety of occasions afterward made the artistic setpiece really feel like padding for the sport’s runtime. I’m additionally beginning to consider that bike struggle scenes in video video games simply suck as a result of the gripes I had relating to padding and the sport’s demand for fine-tooth comb hitbox precision had been solely exacerbated through the lengthy stretch of RCG Zero’s freeway fights.

Suffice it to say, though RCG Zero is a recent coat of paint on prime of Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, the rote preservation of the old-school beat-’em-up’s gameplay does a disservice to the sport. Instead of simply injecting its modernized tackle the franchise by means of the lavish new cutscenes and textual content, I want MannerForward had put some additional time into punching up its fight as effectively.


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