Misako, Kyoko, Riki, and Kunio pose in front of a graffiti-covered wall.

Image: WayForward / Arc System Works / Kotaku

When the year started, there were only a few video games that caught my interest, and chief among them was a spin-off of the classic beat ’em up series. Together with (or River City). River City Girls 2 finally arrived in the US on December 15th after shifting release dates all year, and the game not only lived up to the lofty expectations set by its predecessor, but exceeded them.

River City Girls 2Developed by Wayforward, this pixel art action beat ’em up takes place instantly. the first game. A rough sukeban duet in the opening moments Searches and Kyoko a yakuza-affiliated boss threw Sabuko from a skyscraper window. However, when Sabuko survives the fall and reports to her imprisoned father, she decides to break out of prison and take matters into her own hands, taking control of River City. His first move, hilariously, is to order his son to beat up Misako and Kyoko and suspend them from school for their punches. Not surprisingly, Kyoko and Misako use their newfound free time to play a bunch of video games on Kyoko for two months.

Nintendo / WayForward / Arc System works

I had a lot of fun with the previous levels RCG2 how he writes around the trope of video games stripping their protagonists of all the awesome power-ups and moves they had in previous games. What drives their adventure is not a heroic call to save their city from the Yakuza horde. The only reason they aren’t hikikomori is because they want to go to the mall to buy a new video game. Oh, also, Kyoko’s mom is worried that months of laziness might break her back.

It turns out that mother Kyoko wasn’t far behind, as the girls quickly realize that they aren’t as strong as they used to be. This excuse for their lack of experience is not only why Misako, Kyoko, and their boyfriends (who are also playable) have no money and zero experience points, but it also gives me some real room to breathe. combos at the start of the game.

Relearning the moves from the sequels is a source of frustration for me, but getting them back RCG2 The average battle is enjoyable by gaining enough experience. For example, I usually play Kyoko because I love her English voice actress, Kira Buckland, and her glittering fierce attack. rainbow dab. So when I leveled up in the middle of a group of yakuza melds, the perfection of the basic combo strings was rewarded with the added oomphu of follow-up moves that came back in the heat of battle.

Sabuko falls to her knees while her father stares at her disapprovingly.

The crime father is upset.
Screenshot: The WayForward / Arc System works

RCG2 picks up on its predecessor’s frantic dash towards the final boss, encouraging players to take the time to fully immerse themselves in the world of River City. To hammer this point home, RCG2 It leans more towards RPG elements with new additions like a fake Twitter social media app where you view messages from NPCs and follow their questlines. yes, RCG2 has a side quest. After completing a side quest, you can recruit characters to fight alongside you. However, since cash rules everything around you in River City, if you ask for help from an ally who dies in battle, you’ll have to cough up the same amount of dough as you did the first time to get their help again.

Read more: River City Girls The Sequel Aims To Perfect The Juicy Blend Of Anime And Wrestling

With a further improvement in the quality of life RGC2 so hooking enemies with a light attack button no longer causes you to accidentally waltz into the next area. Now, you have to hold down a button to enter the next area so the game doesn’t confuse your keystrokes with a physical desire to go to the next area. This was annoying, at least in the first game, because it forced me to stop saying “it’s my turn forever” at the same time that I didn’t trigger the transition to the field by bouncing enemies into the wall indefinitely. There are also safe houses around the map where you can restore your stamina and switch characters instead of going back to the start menu.

Kyoko checks her phone for a Honkr update.

Honkr collapse.
Screenshot: The WayForward / Arc System works

Unlike the prequel game, River City Girls Zerofight RCG2 it has a faster and more satisfying rhythm. Instead of feeling like I had to stagger and hide enemy attack patterns for enemies to land harder and more often than I imagined, RCG2The margin of error is more forgiving and you feel as powerful as the bosses you face. Each attack is very fast, and his block and parry counters are responsive and satisfying to pull off. Extra cherry on top RCG2 In addition to its four-player local co-op gameplay, it also has two-player online co-op where you can battle your friends whether they’re in the same room or in a different situation. Your internet connection is secure.

While shaking me River City Girls ring pas, I was impressed by how surprisingly spacious the previous game was compared to its predecessor. I went into the game expecting an on-rails bashing adventure, but found River City feeling more alive and exploratory than ever before. In general, RCG2 stands at the top of the pile Together with A must-play for beat ’em-up veterans and beginners alike.

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