Developed and Published By: Wayforward Categories: Beatemup Release Date: 12.15.22
The girls are back! Well, they were sorta back earlier this year with River City Girls Zero, but this time they’re back in a game that’s actually a River City Girls game! And if you liked the first game, you’ll LOVE this one. And I loved the first game.
You have your boyfrends, Kunio and Riki back, and everything is all good…except behind the scenes, the Yakuza have taken over Cross Town again. The schools, the mall, you can’t go anywhere anymore! Lets go take it back! We have Kyoko, Misako, Kunio, and Riki, much like the first game, but now we have Marian from Double Dragon, going from Damsel, to shopkeep, to musclebound asskicker!..my kind of woman. We also have Provie from River City Underground, a project both RCG games’ co-director Brandom Ruddis worked on previously.
Kyoko and Misako have been slacking for perhaps a bit too long since the end of the last game. They’re XP is all gone! This is as good of a contextualization of going back to level 1 as any, so lets get going! As soon as we get off the couch after a lecture from Kyoko’s mom. Everything should immediately be familiar to you. Light attacks, strong attacks, throws, standard for any Kunio game. Leveling up and earning new moves, going into shops to eat, healing you while also upgrading stats. This is a big part of the Kunio franchise and for good reason. You can buy and eat food right away, or bank it if you think you’ll get into a tricky spot. However, you might want to save your money for some accessories.
In the first River City Girls game you could recruit enemies to help you out in the form of assists. Beat them down until they beg you to stop, go up to them, which will grab them and then press ZL or ZR and they’ll join you in the asskicking. You can even hire stronger recruits. But very much like Kyoko and Misako, I too am a broke girl and will sacrifice the finer aspects of life just to get a nasty, greasy burger.
You can even use the environment to help you out. Whether it be a random weapon, ball, or bike in on the ground or even a bike. You can grab it and just knock some teeth out. Jump off of walls, knock people into walls. Toss those troublemakers into pits from construction or pools of water! If you knock someone into a vending machine, you can even get a free meal out of it.
You have a smart phone, as many a teenager do now adays. This is more or less your menu. Different apps cover different points of interest. Your inventory, movelist, a map. Your quests and side quests are put in a messaging app. There’s even a cute little Instagram-like app that has art in it. The more games that rid the standard menus, the better.
Speaking of sidequests, River City Girls 2 has plenty. It’s often busywork for others, but it’s a fun distraction and leads to some really rad setpieces. Need to mess with some Yakuza in the basketball court? You have a Mega Ran concert just playing in the background with a breakdancer as a hazard. It’s great. Some get more mini-game centric, like a game of dodgeball, making the only way of harming an opponent is to…throw a dodgeball at them.
Lets briefly mention your base of operations. Your house. At first, it’s just a place to switch playable characters, see Kyoko’s mom, and maybe listen to music. The people you recruit? They’re just chilling at your place, partying with Kyoko’s mom…uh oh. You can look at little bios of them too, much like the first game if you want. Gotta recruit them all!
The same fantastic presentation of the first game returns. The manga cutscenes? Check. The great voice actings? Check. The downright stunning music by Meghan McDuffie? You bet your tuckus it’s back. Even the phenomenal spritework returns. And I’m not sure if it’s me, but the animation was improved. This is a great thing all around, but then the quite large amount of reused assets from the first game is noticeable. None of it is bad really, but I can imagine it’d be a issue for some. For me though, it’s just more of a good thing.
I might be in the minority, but I love the voice acting, as well as the writing. It’ll reference the first game, point out how much of a creep a specific character is. The girls will fawn over some heavenly abs (me too). There’s always something to be said. When you’re fighting, knocking someone out will have them give some dialog ala River City Ransom, while your character will have a voiced line. My favorite being “YOU DON’T EVEN GO HERE”.
River City Girls 2 is a bit of a slow game. Or at least methodical. Animations can see more drawn out, there’s plenty more dialog, and the biggest one, constantly loading screens. Screen to screen gives you about a two second loading screen. Not terribly long, but when backtracking, this is kinda annoying.
Like before, this is a good co-op game. Even moreso with four players and you always have at least four characters to play as, with two being unlockable to make it six. If you’re *that* person, turn on Friendly Fire too. With every character having individual style and moveset, this really does make for that great party kind of game. And if you wanna play online, you can do that too, but it confines you to 2 players.
I’ve said it before, but this is very much an enhanced retread of the first game. If you liked it, you’ll like this. If you want something brand new, you’re gonna be disappointed. I got what I wanted out of this game. It’s the first game, but bigger. More dense, longer.
Buy Now: $39.99
*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of reviews