River City Girls 2 reviewed by Jarrett Green on PC. Also available on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Whether you’re a long-time fan of these games, or you’ve just been recently introduced to the beat-’em-up by the genre’s renaissance over the past few years, River City should be your next stop. River City Girls 2’s RPG elements, dense combat, and witty sense of humor is a real shot in the arm to a genre that has been celebrating its history lately, but also in need of some innovation. Here, by expanding on its 2019 revival of the foundational design concept laid all the way back in 1989, Wayforward has blended history seamlessly with modern day vibes to create something true to its roots and new on the scene at the same time. You might call being led back and forth through the city’s map stale, but you can’t say those locations aren’t gorgeous and full of great music.
Series is so old and spans so many Consoles that you may have stumbled Across one of its games without even Knowing it's part of a connected Universe of beat-em-ups River City Girls 2 is both a sequel to the excellent 2019 Beat em up and the final form of the Best known game in the series 80s action RPG Pioneer River City Ransom it's only Marginally different from the one before It choosing to refine systems and expand In size instead of entirely overhauling How anything works but when you kicked So much but the first time why change Your Technique The details of how and why the Yakuza That Kyoko and Misako thought they'd Chased out of the city in the previous Game are back and shaky but those Punchable jerks have taken over the School and all the local hangout spots That's reason enough to start a Two-fisted crusade to rid them from the Streets One cracked skull or broken rib At a time while the story itself is Light and easy to ignore the writing is Sharp and funny it's full of Consistently chuckle-worthy one-liners And banter between the protagonists and The various enemies and Side characters They encounter who's ready to party Tonight by party do you mean hand you Your ass again you get straight into the Brawling pretty quickly with all four
Returning characters our two leading Ladies and their boyfriends River City Ransom Heroes kunio and Ricky playable Out of the gate in single player or up To four player co-op the early game can Feel particularly shallow until you Purchase or unlock new techniques with Only a handful of moves at your display The button spammy nature of this genre Will never feel more apparent however That serves as a stark contrast to what A great beat-em-up can be once you get Further down the combo Rabbit Hole the Offensive options feel spectacular There are a lot of moves to learn in River City Girls 2 but the ease of Inputs means it's a cinch to cycle them Into your game plan everything's just a Direction plus light heavy or special Attacks characters also fit pretty easy To Define archetypes that make each of Them distinct from each other in Important ways while Misako and Kyoko Are both all-arounders the former has a Much better air game while the latter Can lock down her surrounding Zone with Her Chun Li inspired kicks or repel them With the world's sturdiest dab As the best friends feel like two sides Of a similar coin so do their boyfriends And the new characters Pro V and Marion Ricky and Proby are speedsters moving Quickly and bamboozling opponents with Blinding strikes besides being a total
Unit Marion is also the more Hands-On Grappler to compliment kunio's brawler Instincts there's something for just About every type of beat-em-up fan but You may still want to drill down on one Character and stick with them non-active Characters level up far more slowly than The ones in the field meaning you're Setting yourself back several levels Every time you switch if you're not Consistently leveling them all evenly The gang's victims come in a wonderful Array of shapes and sizes and many of Them are references to kuniokun history Beat em ups as a genre or pop culture at Large they can be very tenacious and Until you get better crowd control tools The way they simply surround you to Whale away at your flanks can be enough To frustrate thankfully most of those Tough fights can be avoided by simply Running to the exit with relatively few Scenes locking you into combat before You can progress As with the first River City girls Enemies you take Occasionally surrender and plead to join Your crew at which point you can use Them like assist characters in fighting Games River City Girls 2 goes a bit Further supplying a selection of NPCs Who can join you without having to beat Them into submission first and that's Another great way to circumvent grinding
Through opponents unnecessarily it would Have been nice to have a similar Solution for the final hour toward the End is especially tedious because you're Funneled through gauntlets of locked Screens staving off wave after wave of Bad guys in a climax that felt more like Busy work than a final test there's more To this eight-hour Adventure than Simply Street Fighting though shortly after Embarking on the quest to save the city You'll occasionally be doing odd jobs Like catching ghosts robbing a Yakuza-owned bank and training the Locals in the Lost Art of dodgeball These were much appreciated meanderings That helped break up the punch drunk Monotony the stranger the distraction The more it was missed when it was gone Equipping gear bought its stores Sprinkled throughout the seven regions Of the city helps even the odds in Combat items that give you a health Shield when your health is low or add Elemental properties to heavy attacks Are go-to's but there is a wide variety Of gear options available food items Though one-time use consumables can be Stored for when you need them and Grant Characters a permanent stat buff the First time they eat them so if you do Choose to grind there will be plenty of Places to spend all that hard-earned Money
Thank you for shopping the map of River City is much bigger than the previous Game's rendition the first time kicking Ass through locations like the vibrant Fish markets of Ocean Heights or the Sleek offices of the technos complex is A treat because they're so well drawn And colored that said the size of the City means that even with the presence Of a fast travel system you have to Spend an awful lot of time backtracking Through parts of the city to check boxes To progress the main quest also many Screens feature lots of obstacles and Architecture that can become challenges For platforming or add a bit more Tactical thinking to the fights you pick But just as often it means slipping off Edges or having your view of the action Blocked by something in the foreground But again the scenery deserves attention Character models and backgrounds have a Chunky pixel style that mixed with the Silky smooth animations capture an Expressiveness that deserves to stand Shoulder to shoulder with beautiful Retro contemporaries like Streets of Rage 4 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shredder's revenge this is also true of The music Megan mcduffie's killer Soundtrack bangs with toe tapping genre Bashing instrumentals in some of the More prominent areas songs feature Lyrics from villains taunting you
I'm better than you there's so much Energy in the music that it's hard not To be motivated to kick every face in The room Whether you're a long time fan of these Games or you've just been recently Introduced to the beat em Up by the Genre's Renaissance over the past few Years River City should be your next Stop River City girls 2's RPG elements Dense combat and witty sense of humor is A real shot in the arm to a genre that's Been celebrating its history lately but Also in need of some Innovation here by Expanding on its 2019 Revival of the Foundational design concept laid all the Way back in 1989 Way Forward has Blended History seamlessly with modern day Vibes To create something true to its roots And new on the scene at the same time You might call being led back and forth Through the City's map stale but you Can't say those locations aren't Gorgeous and full of great music For more check out our reviews of TMNT Shredder's revenge and gigabash and for Everything else stick with IGN We Call you all done