River City Girls Zero’s Fresh Coat of Paint Isn’t Enough

Ricky, Kunio, Misako and Kyoko laugh as they walk hand in hand on the street.

Photos taken moments before the disaster.
image, Wayforward / Arc System Works

we may have to wait A while ago We can do it now now now in our way River City Girls 2But beat ’em up fans can satiate their hunger by doing time-wars in the re-release of a very old ’90s game, now re-titled River City Girls Zero. It is available for almost every platform including PC and Switch.

river city girls zeroPut together by Wayforward, is the localization of the Almanic-developed 1994 16-bit Super Famicom game Shin Neketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, Thank you for the success of 2019 River City Girls, shin neketsu koha Officially playable in the West for the first time. Instead of participating in fights as sukeban girlfriends search And Kyoko (don’t worry, they’re playable later in the game), you’re back in the saddle as their boyfriend, ricio And Kunio,

River City Girls Zero / Wayforward / Arc System Works

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Ricky and Kunio are seen in prison early in the game after the pair are framed for a crime they did not commit. after need bench squatting, the pair beat the toughest people in the slammer, escape, and begin their battle path to unearth the setbacks plotting their demise. from this point on, RCG ZeroThe story turns into a bloody game of telephone in which the criminals and their sweethearts beat Ricky and Kunio to punchable faces before they can find the culprit. whereas RCG Zeroprotection of shin neketsu kohaWhile its graphics and music are welcome, its preservation of its ’94-era gameplay proved to be a deterrent to my enjoyment of the game.

Different RCG’s wealth of combo strings And wacky special trick, RCG Zero Has a Limited Arsenal of Attacks, Your toolkit consists of a punch, a kick, blocking, a special punch and kick, and a tried-and-tested jump punch or kick attack. On paper, every beat up is covered in these bare-essential mechanics. But in practice, they are extremely limited, especially given the subtleties of combat.

Ricky and Kunio beat up the goons on a wooden bridge.

The residents of River City are real and they will hurt you.
screenshot, Wayforward / Arc System Works

While it was easier to land full combos in RCG, starting your attack too close to the enemy could lead to whiffs and retaliation. RCG: Zero offers much less margin for error on both fronts, so if you don’t execute perfectly, nine times out 10 the enemy’s attack will land first and knock you swiftly onto your generous ass, making for an irksome playthrough.

If your button inputs happen to be a millisecond slower than that of the computer’s, your would-be flurry of attacks is swatted away by a simple punch or kick. To deal with this, I either had to cheese enemies with jump kicks or get lucky by striking within the narrow window of blocking one of their attacks. All the same, either of these tactics made for a pyrrhic victory.

Misako and Kyoko kick a bad guy off the top of a merry go round.

Misako used “flying sukeban.” It was really effective.
Screenshot: WayForward / Arc System Works

This made the gameplay less like a frenetic beat ‘em up and more like a methodical game of kiting and micromanaging enemies at a chess player’s pace. To make matters worse, punches and kicks from your characters feel futile in comparison to enemies because, unlike you, they do not stagger when put on the receiving end of a combo. To make matters all the more frustrating, their punches tend to land more often and hit twice as hard as yours. A game being difficult is all well and good, but a game being this busted is just excessive.

RCG Zero lacks RCG’s revive mechanic of Bringing the ghost back to its KO’d body, as well as item pickup. Instead, the four playable characters act as your additional health bars. For example, if Kunio is bursting with donkey hunger, you can swap out Ricky, Kyoko, or Misako and use their full health bars to complete the stages. But due to the aforementioned subtlety of hitboxes and enemies arbitrarily hitting harder than you, fighting bosses swap between characters and pray that my punches land first.

whereas RCG ZeroWhile the gameplay was on the rise, everything else about the game was great. Right off the bat, the game wastes no time returning the spirit of Saturday morning anime with its catchy theme song. girls musician Megan McDuffy, Its opening cinematic was also excellent, with David Liu’s slick and intense throwback anime style.

RCG Zero There’s also a bunch of customization. From the pause screen, you can turn on a CRT (old-school TV) filter and change the border art and screen size. The game lets you choose between a relatively literal translation and a more lively one RCGstyle text. Although WayForward initially found itself at the center of some discourse On its wording as “literal” of the original text, I preferred RCG-style localization for a taste of side-splittingly hilarious language and because the more I played RCG Zeroas much as i found myself missing RCG,

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Misako kicked a nearby motorcyclist into the street.

“Let my motorcycle go. I don’t know you.” – Kyoko (probably)
screenshot, Wayforward / Arc System Works

this is not to say that RCG Zero Devoid of their own fun beat ’em up segments, it’s just that they proved to be more exhausting than exciting after a while. RCG ZeroEven the gimmicky levels of some action segments outweigh their reception with length. As fun as it was to jump over a round and kick baddies off their roofs, repeating the action multiple times afterwards felt like padding for the creative setpieces for the game’s runtime. I’m also starting to believe that motorcycle fight scenes in video games just suck because of the gripes I had about padding and the game’s demand for fine-toothed comb hitbox precision only during long stretches. had accelerated RCG ZeroThe Highway Fights.

Suffice it to say, though RCG Zero have a fresh coat of paint over Shin Neketsu Koha: Kunyo-tachi no BankaCram protection of the gameplay of old-school beat-’em-ups hurts the game. Rather than injecting its modernized take on the franchise through gorgeous new cutscenes and text, I wish WayForward had put some extra time into its combat as well.

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