BARF: River City Ransom Sequel Incoming

Yesterday, as I was picking through piles of retro Kickstarter projects, I commented that some series, such as Mega Man and Zelda, hadn’t been part of my childhood and therefore didn’t tug at the sepia strings of nostalgia. I do have a soft spot as wide as Totoro’s belly for River City Ransom though. There simply aren’t enough open world beat ’em ups with basic RPG features. There have been rumours of a sequel for some time but the latest confirmation, from Combit Studios, pitches the licensed successor as a PC game, launching in August 2014, with a crowdfunding campaign to begin this summer.

It probably shouldn’t look too much different to the original.

I’m going to start shaking my head solemnly at the first sign of 3D. The website doesn’t contain anything of the sort, but then it contains very little indeed.


  1. Lunarpac says:

    Those sprites look quite a lot like the ones from World Cup Soccer on the old NES (in fact, the guy on the right in the screenshot looks exactly like one of the players from World Cup).

    • riotnrrd says:

      Good eye…I’m pretty sure that some Dodgeball game for the NES used some of the same characters as well.

      • hajimeowari says:

        I believe the company was called Technos Japan. I mainly remember them for River City Ransom, Dodgeball, and the Double Dragon series. Pretty sure they had an arcade version of Dodgeball out way back in the day.

    • Noodlemonk says:

      Oh, boy! World Cup Soccer was the definite foot to ball game during my childhood! I remember Mexico and Argentina being awesome and Cameroon not so much – although they did get some credit from my sisters for their fabulous pink uniforms…

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        I remember that it was a bit like a mixture of a soccer game and a family friendly version of Blood Bowl. You could beat up the other team so much that their guys didn’t get up again for the rest of the game (even the goalie, I think).

    • phenom_x8 says:

      Yeah they’re all the same sprites used throughout their series (soccer, fighting tournament, triathlon, hockey,etc) mostly released in JApan. Developed by Technos, the same technos who port double dragon to NES. You should try them all, its still absolutely fun even nowadays ( there’s fan translation for all of the series). My 8 yr old nephew still loved to play it in emulator when visiting me in my apartment.

      • sidhellfire says:

        Man, that Ice Ice! Hockey Challenge game was really intense on multiplayer. Even my sister liked it, and that was quite an achievement.

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      That’s because they’re all part of the same franchise, based around a character called Kunio-kun, who is one of those Japanese violent high school boy characters who exists to fight other violent high schoolers. He first appeared in a game that was released in the US as Renegade.

      The guys on the last level were meant to be really evil because they bought knives to the fist fight.

      In between violent school adventures (RCR’s original version had like 3 sequels with different engines for the SNES and a a weird comedy samurai thing that also used the same engine) he would apparently play violent school sports.

      And run some sort of fast food concession.

    • Xander77 says:

      I’m pretty sure there was a whole series of sports games with the same basic mechanics/sprites, but only a few of them ever made it outside Japan.

  2. iniudan says:

    River CIty Ransom, my favorite game on the NES along Zelda and Kickle Cubicle (still my favorite puzzle game to this day).

  3. Danda says:

    So there will be a Kickstarter? Please report about it when it happens!

    But aren’t they still making new Kunio-kun games in Japan? “Riki Densetsu” was released only a few months ago:

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, River City Ransom hasn’t just already had *a* sequel, but is a long-running franchise in Japan. For a game so widely loved, it’s kinda sad that almost nobody seems to know that there’s a ton more of them out there already.

  4. Memph says:

    It’ll need to be pretty hot shit to compete with the utterly fantastic Streets of Rage Remake. I hope they do spruce it up as, dare I say, 8-bit beat ’em-ups are just far too limited to still be enjoyable for long, or even worth paying for at all when the originals are so easily obtainable.

    It’d also be nice to see some nice 16-bit graphics finally doing the rounds again, instead of the multitude of 8-bit imitations we keep on getting hit with in the name of retro.

    Speaking of SoR, where the hell is Sega with an actual sequel after shutting that down? They must have seen how well received it was.

    • Wedge says:

      I would imagine this will be an original game, and not a remix using all the assets and levels of the base game (not that there was anything wrong with it, SOR Remix was fan fucking tastic).

  5. Solidstate89 says:

    Oh my god YES!

    One of my absolute favorite games for my childhood. Especially since it was one of the few NES games I owned with really good co-op. Playing this with a friend was fantastic. Especially since there was “friendly fire” and you could throw trash cans at one another. Or better yet, throw the trash can and have your partner ride on top of it like a logger.

    Oh man, what a nostalgia.

  6. Headwired says:

    Sadly it doesn’t have a PC release, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game owes a lot of its gameplay to River City Ransom. It has a great soundtrack as well.

    • belgand says:

      It’s basically just an excellent clone with great art and music. It even has the secret shop found in essentially the same location.

      And if you wanted a RCR remake, but somehow don’t like Scott Pilgrim then I cannot fathom your existence.

      True, it didn’t come out for PC, but the four-player local co-op was really designed for consoles.

      • ankh says:

        If I want an RCR remake and I don’t own a console, am I allowed to exist?

  7. UmmonTL says:

    “I’m going to start shaking my head solemnly at the first sign of 3D.”

    I love how one of the related videos for me was this:

  8. phenom_x8 says:

    Greatest NES game ever. I’ve spent my childhood with this series playing co-op with my cousin.
    I’m mostly playing the Japan import that consist many of the series, there’s Hockey, Soccer, Triathlon, Fighting Tournament, and even basketball series. All with their own unique gameplay that totally joyous when played multiplayer.
    The quality (and quantity) of the animation and graphics are staggering. Its trully unbelievable they can packed all of it inside an 8-bit machine that make it on par with SNES, I think there’s no NES game that much better than this series (I’m also read that its called Kunio kun series in Japan, because the main player are named Kunio )
    Its also makes me learn Japanese Kanji a bit. I knew which button is for START, Continue or END , helped me a lot when moved to Playstation with many of their unique japanese game (google Toma Runner for example)

  9. MOKKA says:

    I remembered picking this game up in a bargain bin and then I remember the fun me and my brother had playing this game on lazy sunday mornings. One of the best games I had on the NES (along Mega Man 2 and Kirby’s Adventure).

  10. gruia says:

    RIKI KUNIO rules !

  11. Wolvaroo says:

    What a coincidence. I was just playing this with a coworker the other day. He told me it was a lot like the Scott Pilgrim game, which I’ve never seen before.

    • Jackablade says:

      The Scott Pilgrim vs the World game is definitely heavily inspired by River City Rampage, with the added bonus of Paul Robertson’s rather brilliant pixel art.

      Combit Studios will have their work cut our for them making this sequel better than that game

  12. Skabooga says:

    “Are we having fun yet?” is what I’ll be continually saying out loud to myself as I play this game.

    Even if it is essentially more of the same as River City Ransom, I could totally see myself getting this sequel. RCR had a most delightfully playful, faux-serious atmosphere.

  13. Captain Joyless says:

    Let’s be clear: if you grew up in the 80s the strings of nostalgia are neon, not sepia.

  14. ScubaMonster says:

    Surely there have already been fan games? River City Ransom isn’t exactly rocket science that’s hard to produce.

  15. Dezmiatu says:

    I played the spoof Rom of this game called Wilford Brimley Battle. Even as a half-assed Quaker Oats spoof, the game was pretty damn fun.

    link to

  16. BrfngnlxYkzyxzK says:

    Yet one more childhood memory getting crapped on. All RCR needs is a re-release. Done.

  17. fishyboy says:

    If anyone’s interested in River City Ransom-likes for PC, the original Zombie Smashers X is free and a lot of fun.