Retro

[RETRO GAMING] Remember River City Ransom?

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the home of many nostalgic memories in the form of popular games like the first Metroid game, Duck Hunt, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, and Contra, per Den of Geek.

However, there are those games that were released on the NES that, while not well-known, were well-received by those who played them due to memorable stories, gameplay, or mechanics.

One of these NES games is River City Ransom.

River City Ransom – History, Plot, And Gameplay

River City Ransom, known in Japan as Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, is a Beat ‘Em Up action-fighting game with elements of a role-playing game developed by published for the NES by Technos Japan on April 25, 1989, per Strategy Wiki.

The game’s story follows the story of Ryan and Cross Town High’s top punk, Alex (also known as Riki and Kunio respectively, in Japan), as they go on a quest to save Ryan’s girlfriend, who is kidnapped by River City High’s top gang leader, Slick (also known as Yamada in Japan), who just so happens to be Alex’s arch-rival.

As with most beat ‘Em Up games, the goal is to slug through the game’s many levels and enemies until the player reaches, fights, and defeats the final boss. In River City Ransom‘s case, that would be Slick.

Although not the most well-known NES video game, it is memorable due to the game incorporating certain elements of an RPG. According to TV Tropes, the game allows players to customize Ryan and Alex through power-ups, such as Stone Hands, Dragon Feet and Grand Slam, and items that provide bonuses.

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Players can also have Alex and Ryan pick up various background items to damage enemy mobs. For instance, trash bins and discarded pipes can be used to deal damage against enemies, providing unconventional solutions to a Beat ‘Em Up game. You can even have Alex and Ryan pick up a fallen enemy and throw them against another enemy, damaging both at the same time.

The game was also known to be humorous at some points in the game, making it more memorable.

The game has a sequel that was released in Japan only in the form of Downtown Special: Kunio-Kun ni Jidaigeki Dayo Zen’in Shugo!, which brings River City Ransom to historical Japan, improving on River City Ransom‘s mechanics and gameplay.

River City Ransom also got remade in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance, providing players with more moves, gangs, weapons, characters, and the option to have up to three allies fighting with you. However, it lacked a proper 2-player mode.

Where Can You Play River City Ransom

River City Ransom is still one of the nostalgic NES brawlers that are still enjoyable even it was remade in 2004, according to IGN. As such, in the world of LEDs screens, VR gaming, and the metaverse, the game can still provide a lot of enjoyment.

You can play the remake of River City Ransom on the PC through CD Projekt Red’s Good Old Games’ official website. If you want to play the original 1989 version, you’ll have to go to the Nintendo Store if you have a Switch.

Playthroughs for the game are available on YouTube for those curious about the game but unable to play it. You can watch one of them below:

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