River City Girls Zero’s new coat of paint isn’t enough

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

Images taken moments before the disaster.
Image: The WayForward / Arc system works

We may have to wait a little earlier we can now now now our way to enter River City Girls 2but thug fans can satiate their hunger by warping time in the reissue of a much older game from the 90s, now renamed The girls of River City Zero. It is now available for almost all platforms, including PC and Switch.

The girls of River City Zeroput together by WayForward, it is a localization of the 16-bit Super Famicom game developed by Almanic in 1994 Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka. Thanks to the success of 2019 River City girls, Shin Nekketsu Kōha is officially playable in the West for the first time ever. Instead of running into fights like sukeban friends Misako And Kyoko (don’t worry, they are playable later in the game), you get back in the saddle as their boyfriends, Riki And Kunio.

River City Girls Zero / WayForward / Arch system works

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The start of the game sees Riki and Kunio in prison after the two are framed for a crime they didn’t commit. After the requirement crouched bancho, the couple beat up the toughest guys in the slammer, run away and start their war journey to unearth the jerk who orchestrated their disappearance. From this point forward, RCG ZeroThe narrative becomes a bloody phone game in which the delinquents and their friends beat up a series of stinging faces before discovering who framed Riki and Kunio. While RCG Zerothe conservation of Shin Nekketsu KohaGraphics and music are welcome, the preservation of the ’94 era gameplay proved to be an obstacle to my enjoyment of the game.

Unlike RCG ‘S. richness of combo strings And extravagant special moves, RCG Zero has a limited arsenal of attacks. Your tool kit consists of a special punch, kick, block, punch and kick, and the proven jump punch or kick attack. On paper, these essential mechanisms make up any fighting game. But in practice they are extremely limiting, especially considering the delicacy of the fight.

Riki and Kunio take down the henchmen onto a rickety wooden bridge.

The people of River City are real and will hurt you.
Screenshot: The WayForward / Arc system works

While it was easier to get full combos RCGstarting your attack too close to the enemy could lead to murmurs and retaliation. RCG: Zero it offers much less room for error on both counts, so if you don’t perform perfectly, nine times out of 10 the enemy attack will land first and drop you quickly on your generous ass, creating an annoying game.

If your buttons are a millisecond slower than your computer’s, your potential flurry of attacks is blown away by a simple punch or kick. To deal with this, I had to either frame enemies with jump kicks or get lucky by hitting inside the narrow window to block one of their attacks. However, one of these tactics resulted in a Pyrrhic victory.

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

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

This made the gameplay less like a fast-paced fighting game and more like a methodical game of kiting and micromanaging enemies to the beat of a chess player. To make matters worse, your characters’ punches and kicks seem useless 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 much as yours. A difficult game is fine, but a failed game is just too much.

RCG Zero lacks RCG‘s mechanical revival of stepping on the ghost in your knocked out body, as well as the withdrawal of the articles. Instead, the four playable characters serve as extra health bars. For example, if Kunio gets ripped out of the ass by appetite, you can switch to Riki, Kyoko or Misako and use their full health bars to complete the stages. But due to the aforementioned fussiness of hitboxes and enemies arbitrarily hitting harder than you, fighting bosses has become a character swapping spree and praying that my punches land first.

While RCG ZeroThe gameplay was aggravating, everything else in the game was pretty damn great. Right from the start, the game wastes no time evoking the atmosphere of a Saturday morning anime with its captivating theme song coming back. Girls composer Megan McDuffie. Its opening footage was also masterfully accompanied by David Liu’s elegant and profound anime style.

RCG Zero it also has a lot of customizations. From the pause screen, you can activate a CRT (old school TV) filter and change the border graphics and screen size. The game also allows you to choose between a relatively literal translation and a more lively one RCG-styled text. Although WayForward initially found itself at the center of a conversation to its formulation of the original text as “literal”, I preferred the RCG– localization style for its hilarious flavor of break-it-all language and because the more I played RCG Zerothe more I found myself missing RCG.

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Misako throws a nearby biker off the road.

“Let go of my bike. I don’t know you. “- Kyoko (probably)
Screenshot: The WayForward / Arc system works

This is not to say that RCG Zero lacks its fun fighting segments, it’s just that they turned out to be more boring than exciting after a while. RCG ZeroThe deceptive levels of ‘s also tend to prolong their welcome with the length of certain action segments. As fun as it was to jump to the top of a carousel and chase the baddies off their rooftops, having to repeat the action an odd number of times afterward made the creative set like a filler for the duration of the game. I’m also starting to believe that motorcycle fight scenes in video games just suck because the complaints I’ve had about padding and the game’s demand for fine-toothed comb hitbox accuracy have only been exacerbated over the long haul. from RCG Zerothe struggles on the highway.

Suffice it to say, though RCG Zero it’s a fresh coat of paint on top Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, the mechanical preservation of old-school fighting game gameplay does the game a disservice. Instead of simply injecting his modernized version of the franchise through the lavish new cutscenes and text, I wish WayForward had put in a little extra time to punch the fight of him as well.


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