One of the most devastating losses of the previous generation of gaming was the delisting of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World off various online stores. The classic beat-em-up based on the hit movie and graphic novel evoked the fun of games like Streets of Rage or River City Ransom. Thankfully, WayForward out of nowhere announced a spiritual sequel to the latter game, River City Girls, and after playing the demo at Anime Expo 2019, all I had in my mind is that I am finally getting the Scott Pilgrim sequel I always yearned for.
River City Girls stars series regulars Kyoko and
Misaki (who have shown up before in other spin-off titles from some Japan-only
titles in the Kunio-Kun series). The two girls must explore six
different areas of River City in order to save their boyfriends, Kunio and
Riki. Both girls play the same, as they share similar special attacks, but they
have their own unique animations.
The girls can punch and kick their way into a myriad of different enemies, who when defeated, they “barf” out money. Players can use this currency in shops for healing items or even increasing the girl’s stats. Both girls can use either light or heavy attacks, and when enemies are dizzy they can even throw them across the screen. Objects such as bats or bins can be used as weapons, but they break after repeated use. Enemies can also be aggressive, but thankfully you can easily block their attacks.
The game also has a stylized pixelated look reminiscent of its predecessors. This represents itself more by its characters and objects not having any strong outlines encircling them. The game is colorful, also boasting fluid animations. Unfortunately due to the loud crowds, it was hard to listen to any music or dialogue during gameplay. That being said, the writing was cheeky, a tad crass and all around enjoyable. The boss encounter against the girl’s muscular senior definitely made me chuckle a few times as both parties lobbed creative insults at one another.
Based on my short time with River City Girls, this doesn’t only look like a revival of a franchise that die-hard fans will enjoy, but its visual style and sharp writing will appeal to newcomers as well. Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long for the full game. River City Girls is due out on September 5th 2019, for PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.