River City Ransom (known in Japan as Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari) is a highly influential beat 'em up RPG from 1989 that has seen numerous ports and remakes over the years. I'm partial to the PC Engine version, myself! Back in 2017, an enhanced remake of Ransom was released on 3DS called River City: Rival Showdown. That game is now heading to PlayStation, Switch, and Steam in October with both local and online co-op!
In River City: Rivals Showdown, Kunio and Riki, Kunio's rival, must battle through the streets of River City to rescue Riki's girlfriend, Mami, from the evil Dragon Twins. The game takes place over four days, with the players' actions during the first three days determining the scenario and ending of the fourth day. There's also a day-and-night cycle as well as events that can only be attempted once per playthrough. This time-based, multiple story paths system (not present in the original River City Ransom) encourages multiple replays. Stats and items carry over between playthroughs, reducing frustration.
- Craft your own story and unlock various endings in [Story] mode!
- Brand new story events await as you battle through three days of hot-blooded high school hostilities! Characters and dialogue change with each completed event, culminating in a variety of unique endings.
- Utilize flashy new special techniques to send your adversaries packing!
- Stone Hands, Dragon Feet -- Kunio already has quite an arsenal up his sleeve.
- Bring even more bravado to the brawl with an array of fresh, never-before-seen macho maneuvers! And that's not all! Ultra moves make their return, with enough firepower to bring any would-be challengers to their knees!
- Play against friends in the 2D fighting game mode!
- "Double Dragon Duel 2023" (or DDD for short) is an all-new 2D fighting game bundled in at no extra cost.
The bonus fighting game mode is cool and all, but we're especially thankful that Rival Showdown's Story Mode will support 2-player local and online co-op. The GameBoy Advance remake, River City Ransom EX, inexplicably lacked co-op support. Arc System Works isn't making that mistake here, so the 2023 version of River City: Rival Showdown is likely to be the best version of River City Ransom ever made.
River City: Rival Showdown will arrive on PlayStation, Switch, and Steam on October 12. It will cost $24.99.