River City Ransom (NES) Review

Released by Tecnos Japan in the US in 1990, River City Ransom is an open-world beat em up title with many rpg elements. It’s part of the Kunio-Kun series, which also include Renegade, Super Dodge ball, and the Crash n The Boys series. The plot involves Alex and Ryan as they fight their way through mobs of gangs to break into the River City High School to beat down the leader of the gangs named Slick and save Ryan’s girlfriend. You’ll encounter a number of mobs all wearing different shirts and some stronger than others with names like “The Frat Guys” and “The Generic Dudes”and get money from them upon defeating them and the gang leaders on your way to the high school. One funny aspect is your enemies yelling “BARF!!” upon defeat. Collected money can be used to increase all your stats along with your endurance and max health bar. Items to buy include special books to make your attacks faster, items to wear to increase your stats, other goodies, and various foods. The game doesn’t tell you what these items you can buy in the malls do, so it’s a lot of trial and error or looking up a walkthrough, or having the map from Nintendo Power. There is one path to getting to the high school and you have to fight a series of gang leaders on the way, and sometime backtrack to fight others. Fighting style is punches and kicks, using weapons, and jumping like the Double Dragon games.

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