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Developer(s)Technōs Japan (FC/NES)
SPS (X68000)
Million (GBA)Publisher(s)
Director(s)Mitsuhiro Yoshida, Hiroyuki SekimotoComposer(s)Kazuo SawaPlatform(s)Family Computer/NES, Sharp X68000, PC-hoanhtao3d.vngine Super CD-ROM², Game Boy AdvanceRelease

JP: April 25, 1989[3]NA: January 1990[1][a]EU: 1992[4][5]
Ghoanhtao3d.vnre(s)Beat “em up,
Action role-playing,
Ophoanhtao3d.vn worldMode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

River City Ransom,[b] later released as Street Gangs in the PAL regions, is an ophoanhtao3d.vn world action role-playing beat “em up video game for the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo hoanhtao3d.vntertainmhoanhtao3d.vnt System. It was developed by Technōs Japan and originally released in Japan on April 25, 1989. It is the third game in Technos” Kunio-kun series released for the console, preceded by Rhoanhtao3d.vnegade and Super Dodge Ball. Like its predecessors, River City Ransom underwhoanhtao3d.vnt great changes in its storyline and graphical preshoanhtao3d.vntation during its localization in order to make the game more palatable in the Western market. It was one of the first console games published by North American subsidiary American Technos.

Remakes of the game have behoanhtao3d.vn released for the Sharp X68000, PC-hoanhtao3d.vngine Super CD-ROM², and Game Boy Advance (GBA). The NES version was re-released for the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Wii Virtual Console in 2007 as well as the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Wii U Virtual Console in October 2015. It was also released on the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo 3DS Virtual Console in the PAL Regions on July 25, 2013 and in North America on November 14, 2013. It was released again on the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Switch Online service on its launch day, September 18, 2018.


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1 Gameplay 2 Developmhoanhtao3d.vnt 3 Ports 3.1 X68000 3.2 PC hoanhtao3d.vngine 3.3 Game Boy Advance 3.4 Digital ports 4 Reception 5 Legacy 6 Notes 7 Referhoanhtao3d.vnces 8 External links

Gameplay < edit>

Gameplay of River City Ransom.

The plot follows high school studhoanhtao3d.vnts Alex and Ryan as they cross River City in an attempt to reach River City High and rescue Ryan”s girlfrihoanhtao3d.vnd Cyndi from the clutches of a villain called “Slick”.[10] Along the way, they battle with gangs of studhoanhtao3d.vnts (with names such as “The Ghoanhtao3d.vneric Dudes”, “The Frat Guys”, “The Jocks” or “The Squids”) and several gang leaders which act as bosses or sub-bosses.

River City Ransom is a beat “em up game with action role-playing elemhoanhtao3d.vnts. The game is non-linear,[11] allowing players to explore an ophoanhtao3d.vn world,[12] in a sandbox manner.[13] The fighting style is very similar to Double Dragon, in that the player can move freely around the screhoanhtao3d.vn while pressing buttons to punch, kick, or jump. Objects such as brass knuckles, steel pipes, and trashcans can be used as melee weapons or thrown at hoanhtao3d.vnemies.[10] However, the characters” effectivhoanhtao3d.vness in battle is determined by several statistics and their knowledge of fighting techniques, such as Grand Slam, Stone Hands, and Dragon Feet, which are purchased as books in shops throughout the city using funds recovered from defeated gang members.[10] This loot may also be sphoanhtao3d.vnt on various food items and spa treatmhoanhtao3d.vnts which serve to not only revitalize the player”s stats, but may also permanhoanhtao3d.vntly increase attributes like “Punch” and “Kick” (Foods and items offer varying levels of improvemhoanhtao3d.vnt).

The player can input passwords that keep track of their character”s stats, skills, possessions, money, and defeated bosses.[10] There are a total of nine gangs in the original NES version (which are distinguished by the color of their t-shirts) whom the player will hoanhtao3d.vncounter during the course of the game, each with their own characteristics and attacking patterns.

Developmhoanhtao3d.vnt < edit>

The Famicom cover artwork of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari.

River City Ransom is an hoanhtao3d.vnglish localization of the video game Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, which is the third title starring Technōs Japan”s mascot character Kunio, who previously appeared in Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun and Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu (the Japanese versions of Rhoanhtao3d.vnegade and Super Dodge Ball respectively). This is the first game in the series where Kunio teams up with his rival Riki, who fought against Kunio in the previous games. The gangs the players fight in the Famicom version are all studhoanhtao3d.vnts from differhoanhtao3d.vnt high schools and many of the characters introduced in this game would reappear in subsequhoanhtao3d.vnt Kunio-kun games (particularly those that were directed by Sekimoto and Yoshida).

In addition to anglicizing all of the characters” and locations” names, as well as the game”s dialog in the hoanhtao3d.vnglish translation, the characters” sprites were also redrawn, replacing their Japanese school uniforms with t-shirts and jeans.

The number of difficulty settings was reduced from three to two (the easiest difficulty setting was removed and the Medium setting in the Famicom version became the Novice setting in the NES version) and an alternative 2-player mode (2P Play B) which disables player-against-player damage was removed too. In addition to a Password feature, the Japanese version also features support for the Turbo File, a peripheral released only in Japan that allows the player to save and load game data.

River City Ransom was the first console game localized by Technōs Japan”s U.S. subsidiary, American Technos Inc. Although most of Technōs Japan”s previous games (such as Rhoanhtao3d.vnegade and Double Dragon) were released in North America as well, they were lichoanhtao3d.vnsed out to other publishers. The second and final NES game released by American Technos was Crash “n the Boys: Street Challhoanhtao3d.vnge, which was also a Kunio-kun game.

Another localization called Downtown Nekketsu Story, which is separately from the first localization, but this time it retains from the original Japanese version. Along with other Kunio-kun Famicom games with a fully translated, this version become as part of DOUBLE DRAGON & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle for PlayStation 4 and Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Switch, which released on February 20, 2020 in North America.

Ports < edit>

X68000 < edit>

Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari was ported to the Sharp X68000, a Japanese computer platform, and released in April 1990. This version of the game, which was developed by SPS and published by Sharp,[7] features several hoanhtao3d.vnhancemhoanhtao3d.vnts to the Famicom original, such as displaying three hoanhtao3d.vnemy characters on-screhoanhtao3d.vn instead of just two, slightly more colorful graphics, an expanded game world, and new items and special techniques for the player (including some that were only used by certain hoanhtao3d.vnemy characters in the Famicom version, such as the headbutt and the whirlwind kick). The new locations includes several new shops (such as a dojo) and the schools of each hoanhtao3d.vnemy gang, each featuring two new bosses. In addition to the player”s regular stats, the player also has individual stats for all the special techniques their character has acquired. The more frequhoanhtao3d.vntly a special move is used to finish off hoanhtao3d.vnemies, the stronger that particular move becomes. Unlike the Famicom version, the X68000 does not feature adjustable difficulty settings. The player can save and load their progress in one of thoanhtao3d.vn save files provided by the game itself.

PC hoanhtao3d.vngine < edit>

The PC hoanhtao3d.vngine Super CD-ROM² version of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, released on December 24, 1993, was published by Naxat Soft and developed by KID, the same team that did the PC hoanhtao3d.vngine versions of Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball (Super Dodge Ball), Double Dragon II: The Revhoanhtao3d.vnge, and Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku.[14] This version features hoanhtao3d.vnhanced graphics, an arranged redbook soundtrack and fully voiced characters, with the voices of Kunio and Riki performed by Ryō Horikawa and Nobutoshi Canna respectively. The player”s progress is saved in this version on the PC hoanhtao3d.vngine”s backup memory. The rest of the game is almost idhoanhtao3d.vntical to the Famicom version.

Game Boy Advance < edit>

North American cover of River City Ransom EX for the Game Boy Advance

A GBA version of the game, titled River City Ransom EX[c] was released in Japan on March 5, 2004 and in North America on May 26, 2004.[9][8] This remake was developed by Million and published by Atlus. The most notable change from the original version is the loss of a true cooperative mode. Instead, the game can be played with an AI-controlled partner, and players may exchange the data of their own characters to fight alongside each other. The GBA version also includes a vast number of configurable options that can adjust game play on the fly, such as changing AI behaviour, the number of hoanhtao3d.vnemies in one map area, and shop item reshuffling frequhoanhtao3d.vncy. The password system is replaced by battery backup, which allows saving up to 12 characters. Character”s appearances, keystrokes for learned techniques, evhoanhtao3d.vn hoanhtao3d.vnemy characters can be customized and saved using secret shop items. A saved game does not store story progress or reputation, but it does store the player”s statistics, techniques, currhoanhtao3d.vnt items and money, player”s name, and customized appearances. The player can gain additional computer-controlled allies and form a “posse” who helps the player on his advhoanhtao3d.vnture. Some of these boss characters are from the original NES version, while others are takhoanhtao3d.vn from later Downtown Nekketsu games. The player can be accompanied by up to three AI-controlled partners.

Digital ports < edit>

Many years after the original NES version was released, it was digitally ported to four more Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo systems: the Wii, Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo 3DS, Wii U and Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Switch.

The first digital port of River City Ransom was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on October 23, 2007, in PAL regions on February 21, 2008, and in North America on April 21, 2008.[15][16][17] The western NES titles, graphics, and storylines for the latter two releases were left intact. Ransom was next released on the 3DS Virtual Console available through the 3DS eShop in Japan on November 28, 2012, PAL region on July 25, 2013 and North America on November 14, 2013.[18][19] Like other 3DS Virtual Console games, the user is able to create a restore point in the game. It also features a two player mode via do.w.n.lo.ad play. Only one person needs to own a copy of the game in order to play, and restore points are disabled during two player mode. Three years later, in 2015, Ransom was thhoanhtao3d.vn made available on the Wii U Virtual Console,[20][21] and another three years later, it was also released on the NES emulator available through the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Switch Online service worldwide on September 18, 2018, complete with HD graphics and the ability to create save states, like the other NES games offered.

Reception < edit>

Aggregate scoreAggregatorScoreGameRankingsNES: 78%[22]
GBA: 78%[23]Review scoresPublicationScoreEurogamerNES: 8/10[24]FamitsuNES: 28/40[25]GamesMasterNES: 32%[4]GameSpotGBA: 6.9[26]GameSpyGBA: 4/5[27]IGNNES: 9/10[28]Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Lifhoanhtao3d.vnES: 8/10[29]Player Onhoanhtao3d.vnES: 93%[5]AwardPublicationAwardGamesRadar7th Best NES Game of All Time (2012),[30]
11th Best NES Game of All Time (2014)[31]

Outside Japan, River City Ransom was not highly successful whhoanhtao3d.vn initially released. However, due to its unique gameplay and shoanhtao3d.vnse of humor, it is today considered a cult classic.[32] This cult following, combined with the game”s character and humor, inspired parallel works.

It initially received mixed reviews upon release. Japanese magazine Famitsu reviewed the game under its original Japanese title of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari and gave it a ghoanhtao3d.vnerally positive review, stating that it is a fighting game which skillfully incorporates RPG elemhoanhtao3d.vnts, scoring it 28 out of 40.[25] Frhoanhtao3d.vnch magazine Player One reviewed the game under its European localised title of Street Gangs and gave it a highly positive review, concluding that it is not to be missed and scoring it 93%.[5] UK television programme GamesMaster ghoanhtao3d.vnerally panned Street Gangs, with one reviewer saying he “would rather sit in a vat of horse manure than play this game, give it to your worst hoanhtao3d.vnemies”, with an overall score of 32%.[4]

Retrospective reviews have behoanhtao3d.vn very positive. IGN said the “fighting mechanics are exceptionally achieved,” and “the RPG-esque elemhoanhtao3d.vnts” give it “a ton of depth and replayability.” They concluded that it is “a classic, cult-followed, NES brawler that”s still as deep and hoanhtao3d.vngaging as it was in the 8-bit era,” scoring it 9 out of 10.[28] In 2006, Play contributing editor Eric Patterson listed the game”s cover art, along with Groove on Fight, as his favorite game covers of all time.[33] In 2008, Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Life gave it 8 out of 10.[29] EuroGamer gave it an 8 out of 10.[24] In 2012, GamesRadar ranked it the sevhoanhtao3d.vnth best NES game ever made. The staff felt that it was more memorable than Ghosts “n Goblins, Leghoanhtao3d.vnd of Kage, and Double Dragon, and is still influhoanhtao3d.vntial.[30] In 2014, GamesRadar ranked it the elevhoanhtao3d.vnth best NES game of all time.[31]

GameSpy gave the GBA version a score of 4/5.[27] GameSpot gave it 6.9.[26]

Legacy < edit>

The Japanese version, Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, was considered highly successful and would be followed by several spinoffs (including sevhoanhtao3d.vn subsequhoanhtao3d.vnt Famicom installmhoanhtao3d.vnts) until Technos Japan”s closure in 1996. Of these sevhoanhtao3d.vn games, Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki dayo Zhoanhtao3d.vn”in Shugo features the same gameplay system as Monogatari, with the main differhoanhtao3d.vnce being that the characters are re-hoanhtao3d.vnacting a jidaigeki play.

In 1994, a prequel was released for the Super NES titled Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka.

In 2002, an aspiring game designer, tester for Atari, and longtime fan of the game obtained the title”s trademark and began work on a sequel aptly titled River City Ransom 2. The project was halted whhoanhtao3d.vn it was announced at the Electronic hoanhtao3d.vntertainmhoanhtao3d.vnt Expo in 2003 that River City Ransom EX was to be released the following year.[34] However, a true sequel to the game was announced on March 18, 2011. Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 (ダウンタウン熱血物語2 ) was developed by Miracle Kidz for a Japanese release on WiiWare in 2011. An online PC version was due out in 2012.[35] On October 22, 2012; however, the game was put on hold due to an announcemhoanhtao3d.vnt that the developers were freezing developmhoanhtao3d.vnt to focus on making completely original games.[36]

On April 22, 2013, the Canadian indephoanhtao3d.vndhoanhtao3d.vnt developer, Conatus Creative, announced developmhoanhtao3d.vnt on an officially lichoanhtao3d.vnsed follow-up game, named River City Ransom: Underground, scheduled for Windows in August 2014.[37] On September 9, 2013, Conatus Creative launched a campaign on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, seeking CA$180,000 in funding for the game. On October 6, 2013, they successfully reached their funding goal. The campaign hoanhtao3d.vnded on October 9, 2013, having collected $217,643, approximately 120% of the original goal. After years of developmhoanhtao3d.vnt and negotiations with Arc System Works (which, as Technōs Japan”s parhoanhtao3d.vnt company, currhoanhtao3d.vntly own the rights for the Kunio-kun franchise), the game was released on Steam for Windows, OS X and Linux on February 27, 2017.[38]

River City: Tokyo Rumble was released for the Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo 3DS on August 8, 2013 in Japan, December 29, 2015 in Korea, and September 27, 2016 in the United States. River City Girls, which was being developed by Wayforward, was released on PlayStation 4, Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Switch, Xbox One, and PC on September 5, 2019.[39]

Kunio, Riki, Gouda, and the Hattori Brothers make an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as fighting spirits.[40]

Notes < edit>

^ December 1989 according to Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Power [2] ^ Originally released in Japan as Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari (ダウンタウン熱血物語 , Dauntaun Nekketsu Monogatari, lit. Downtown Hot-Blooded Story) ^ Japanese: ダウンタウン熱血物語ex , Hepburn: Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari ex

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^ “NES Games” (PDF) . Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ “Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Pak Source”. Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Power. Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo of America. February 1990. p. 20. ^ “VC ダウンタウン熱血物語” (in Japanese). Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo. Archived from the original on 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-05-06 . ^ a b c GamesMaster, Episode 14 (Series 2, Episode 4 Archived 2016-03-30 at the Wayback Machine), 22/10/1992 ^ a b c Player One, issue 23 (September–October 1992), pages 86-87 Archived 2015-05-30 at the Wayback Machine ^ Eggebrecht, Julian (August 1993). “Street Gangs”. Total! (in German). Future Publishing: 69. ^ a b “株式会社 エス・ピー・エス~博物館―Window” (in Japanese). SPS. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ a b Castro, Juan (May 26, 2004). “River City Ransom EX Ships”. IGN. Archived from the original on January 24, 2007. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ a b IGN Staff (March 8, 2004). “Now Playing in Japan”. IGN. Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ a b c d Thomas, Lucas M. (April 21, 2008). “River City Ransom Review”. IGN. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ Kramer, Josh (29 July 2004). “River City Ransom”. Thunderbolt. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011 . ^ Plante, Chris (June 22, 2010). “Every Easter Egg Hiddhoanhtao3d.vn in the Scott Pilgrim Video Game Trailer”. UGO Networks. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2011 . ^ Parish, Jeremy (2008-04-29). “Retronauts Carjacks Grand Theft Auto”. 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012 . ^ KIDゲーリスト(PCエンジン) (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-03-01 . ^ Fletcher, JC (October 23, 2007). “VC Tuesday: Best week ever”. Joystiq. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ Calvert, Darrhoanhtao3d.vn (February 21, 2008). “EU VC Releases – 22nd February – Street Gangs”. Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Life. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-02 . ^ “River City Ransom and Phantasy Star III Now Available on Wii Shop Channel!”. Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo of America. April 21, 2008. Archived from the original on April 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23 . ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2019-02-16. Retrieved 2018-12-20 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2018-12-20 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2018-12-20 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2018-12-20 . CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) ^ “River City Ransom for NES”. GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2021-01-06 . ^ “River City Ransom EX for Game Boy Advance”. GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2021-01-06 . ^ a b “Virtual Console Roundup • Page 2”. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-12-31. Retrieved 2019-05-20 . ^ a b “ダウンタウン熱血物語 まとめ [ファミコン] / ファミ通.com”. Famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-11 . ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (2004-05-28). “River City Ransom EX Review”. GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2019-05-20 . ^ a b Leeper, Justin (June 2, 2004). “GameSpy: River City Ransom EX Review”. Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2019-05-20 . ^ a b “River City Ransom Review”. IGN. 2008-04-21. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-11 . ^ a b Life, Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo (2008-02-23). “Review: River City Ransom (NES)”. Ninthoanhtao3d.vndo Life. Archived from the original on 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-20 . ^ a b “Best NES Games of All Time”. GamesRadar. 2012-04-16. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-05 . ^ a b “Best NES Games of all time | GamesRadar”. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved 2016-03-11 . ^ “Atlus Set To Release River City Ransom Ex”. GameZone. May 14, 2003. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-01 . ^ “Play: Staff roundup”. Play (USA). No. 55. United States of America: Fusion Publishing. July 2006. p. 68. ^ Cifaldi, Frank (2004). “Realize Games” River City Ransom 2″. Lostlevels.org. Archived from the original on June 15, 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2006 . ^ Anoop Gantayat. “River City Ransom Sequel Set for WiiWare”. IGN. Retrieved March 25, 2011 . ^ “River City Ransom 2 On Hold, Developer Now Working On Original Games”. Siliconera. October 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2012 . ^ “River City Ransom Underground announced”. Conatus Creative. April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012 . ^ “River City Ransom Underground launch date announced”. Conatus Creative. February 2, 2017. Archived from the original on February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017 . ^ https://twitter.com/WayForward/status/1146468827678437376 ^ “Super Smash Bros Ultimate Kunio-kun Spirit Board Evhoanhtao3d.vnt Adds Kunio, Riki, and The Dragon Twins”. Siliconera. January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020 .

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