E3 2017: New River City Ransom aka Kunio Games Showcased

Boy am I glad that we’re not done covering Kunio-Kun / River City Ransom games!  Natsume Inc. had much success from their last River City Ransom game, River City: Tokyo Rumble. River City: Tokyo Rumble was showcased at E3 2016 and we loved what we saw when we reviewed it here. Endeavoring to continue the 30 year anniversary celebration of Kunio-based games, Natsume Inc. showcased two new Kunio / River City titles at E3 2017, with each release either around the corner or already out now in the US.

Let’s take a quick look at River City: Knights of Justice and River City: Rival Showdown, each for the Nintendo 3DS.

River City: Knights of Justice


The Kunio / River City family of games is well known for its variety of spin-offs using those familar character sprites. River City: Knights of Justice is no different as our favorite Kunio and River City sprites go medieval in the most literal sense of the word. Instead of the rugged backstreets of River City or Japan, the setting here is “Riverandia”, a land of knights, castles, and magic. This land’s famed Crystal Tower is in a state of peril, leaving the saving of the day up to one knight.

In River City: Knights of Justice, you are that knight, Alexander Valford. (See what they did there?) You roam the countryside, using all sorts of medieval weapons and magic as you play through a story with multiple story paths and over 100 quests. As you play, you encounter all kinds of familiar spites, enemies and friends, while being able to recruit multiple allies to join the fight alongside you.

The gameplay continues the campy side-scrolling physics that fans of the genre are used to. Recruited allies fight alongside you automatically, where you can swap to control those allies at will or when the character you’re controlling is knocked out. You can of course visit towns to acquire stat-boosting gear, new techniques, weapons, and now even magic to keep in line with the whole knights and wizards flavor of the game’s setting.

Released on Tuesday (6/20/17), River City: Knights of Justice is out now as a downloadable purchase via the Nintendo 3DS Shop.

River City: Rival Showdown

About a year and change ago, a trailer for Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari SP dropped, announcing the latest addition to the Kunio franchise of games to celebrate Kunio’s 30 year anniversary.  Any Kunio / River City fan that saw the trailer was sure to be excited for the announcement. However, if you were in the US, without access to this overseas title or a grasp of the Japanese language, this title may have been out of your reach. That is of course, until now.

River City: Rival Showdown is the US port of the same title, coming our way in the 4th quarter of 2017.  The game starts off with Kunio being attacked by two mysterious individuals while Riki’s girlfriend has gone missing. If this sounds familiar, it’s because River City: Rival Showdown is indeed a remake of the River City Ransom story but with interesting new twists. Not only will the game have multiple story paths and endings based on your performance, but it will also be timed based. Kunio has only three days to solve this mystery.

River City: Rival Showdown expands River City Ransom even further with day and night time cycles, complete with timed events. Should you be knocked out, you lose a considerable chunk of the time you need to solve River City: Rival Showdown’s story and mystery. So you have to mind your level grinding, move learning and gear buying as you no longer have an unlimited amount of time to power up. Don’t fret however, you can reuse your built-up characters across play-throughs, giving you every chance to experience the hardest and most unique story paths. Plus replaying a story as an OP powerhouse is always fun, right?

River City: Rival Showdown adds brand new Super Special Moves, for heavier and flashier attacks. You’ll also get 2 Player Local Co-Op as well as a bonus Double Dragon fighting game.

River City: Rival Showdown is coming in a matter of months, arriving to US Nintendo 3DS’s in Q4 2017.