A fresh coat of paint from River City Girls Zero isn’t enough

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

Images taken just before the disaster.
picture: WayForward/Arc system works

We may have to wait a little longer before we can ora ora ora our way in River City Girls 2but beat ’em up fans can satisfy their hunger by being time-warped into the re-release of a much older ’90s game, now re-titled River City Girls Zero. It’s now available for almost every platform including PC and Switch.

River City Girls Zerocompiled by WayForward, is a localization of the 1994 16-bit Super Famicom game developed by Almanic Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka. Thanks to the success of 2019 river city girl, Shin Nekketsu Koha is officially playable in the west for the first time ever. Instead of getting into fights like the Sukeban girlfriends Misako and Kyoko (don’t worry, they’re playable later in the game), you get back in the saddle as their beau’s, Riki and Kunio.

River City Girls Zero/WayForward/Arc system works

Continue reading: River City girls Is like River City ransom But with girls

At the beginning of the game, Riki and Kunio are in prison after being framed for a crime they didn’t commit. According to the requirement squatting banchō, the two bash up the toughest guys in the slammer, escape and begin their warpath to unearth the idiot who orchestrated their downfall. From this point RCG zeroThe narrative of turns into a gory phone game, with the delinquents and their girlfriends beating up a series of punchy faces before finding out who set Riki and Kunio up. While RCG zero‘s preservation of Shin Nekketsu KohaGraphics and music are welcome, but keeping the gameplay from the 1994 era proved to be a hindrance to my enjoyment of the game.

not how RCG’s Abundance of Combo Strings and crazy special moves, RCG zero has a limited arsenal of attacks. Your toolbox consists of a punch, a kick, a block, a special punch and kick, and the tried-and-true leap punch or kick attack. On paper, these absolutely essential mechanics make every beat ’em up. But in practice, they’re extremely limiting, especially considering how finicky the combat is.

Riki and Kunio knock out idiots on a rickety wooden bridge.

The residents of River City are real and they’re going to hurt you.
screenshot: WayForward/Arc system works

While it was easier to land full combos RCGStarting your attack too close to the enemy can result in a touch of retaliation. RCG: zero offers much less room for error on both fronts, So if you don’t execute perfectly, Nine times 10, the enemy’s attack lands first and quickly smacks you on your generous butt, making for an annoying playthrough.

If your keystrokes are a millisecond slower than the computer’s, your potential barrage of attacks will be snuffed out with a simple punch or kick. To deal with that, I had to either cheese enemies with jump kicks or get lucky by striking within the narrow window to block one of their attacks. Nonetheless, each of these tactics resulted in a Pyrrhic victory.

Misako and Kyoko kick a villain off the top of a carousel.

Misako used “flying sukeban”. It was really effective.
screenshot: WayForward/Arc system works

This made the gameplay less of a frenetic beat ’em up and more of a methodical game of kiting and micromanaging enemies at the pace of a chess player. To make matters worse, your characters’ punches and kicks feel pointless compared to enemies because, unlike you, they don’t stagger when placed on the receiving end of a combo. To make things even more frustrating, their punches tend to land more often and hit twice as hard as yours. A difficult game is all well and good, but a game this broken is just overkill.

RCG zero is missing RCG‘s Revive mechanic by Stomp the ghost back into your KO body, as well as item pickups. Instead, the four playable characters serve as additional health bars. For example, if Kunio is ripped from ass to appetite, you can switch to Riki, Kyoko, or Misako and use their full health bars to complete the stages. But because of the aforementioned subtlety of hitboxes and enemies randomly hitting harder than you, fighting bosses became a killing spree that had you swapping between characters and praying my punches would land first.

While RCG zero‘s gameplay was annoying, everything else about the game was pretty damn good. Right off the bat, the game wastes no time in evoking that Saturday morning anime feel by returning with its catchy theme song girl composer Megan McDuffie. The opening film was also masterfully accompanied by David Liu’s sophisticated and profound throwback anime style.

RCG zero also has a number of adjustments. On the pause screen, you can toggle a CRT (old-school TV) filter and change the border graphics and screen size. The game also lets you choose between a relatively literal translation and a livelier translation RCGstyle text. Even though WayForward initially found itself at the center of some discourses I preferred that to his wording of the original text as “literal.” RCG-style localization for his taste of incredibly hilarious language and because I’ve played more RCG zerothe more I missed myself RCG.

Continue reading: River City girls Sequel aims to perfect this juicy fusion of anime and wrestling

Misako kicks a motorcyclist near the road.

“Let go of my motorcycle. I don’t know you.” – Kyoko (probably)
screenshot: WayForward/Arc system works

That’s not to say RCG zero doesn’t have any fun beat ’em up segments of its own, it’s just that after a while they proved more tiring than exciting. RCG zero‘s gimmicky levels also tend to overwhelm their welcome with the length of some of the action segments. As fun as it was to hop on a merry-go-round and throw baddies off their rooftops, having to repeat the action an odd number of times afterwards made the creative setpiece feel like cushioning for the game’s runtime. I’m also starting to think that motorcycle fight scenes in video games just suck, because the complaints I had about the padding and the game’s demand for fine-toothed hitboxing precision only got worse over the long run RCG zero‘s highway fights.

Suffice it to say though RCG zero is a fresh coat of paint on top Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, routinely retaining old-school beat-’em-up gameplay is detrimental to the game. Rather than just slotting in his modernized take on the franchise through the lavish new cutscenes and text, I wish WayForward had put a little more time into intensifying his combat as well.

https://kotaku.com/river-city-zero-wayforward-arc-system-works-review-1849574361 A fresh coat of paint from River City Girls Zero isn’t enough

Curtis Crabtree

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