What Is The River City Series?
Never heard of the latest Japanese series coming to the Nintendo 3DS? We've got all the must-know details.
Checking up on the latest news in the world of Nintendo 3DS reveals that River City: Knights of Justice is about to make its way over to everyone's favorite 3D-enabled handheld. For many players, this is great news — however, many others are left wondering what exactly the River City series is. Although it's not one that's totally familiar to Western audiences, there are a few older titles that players may remember, and for everyone else, we've got all the crucial details needed to understand the series and get amped up for its long-heralded return North America.
What Is The River City Series All About?
The first step in understanding the River City games is understanding that they aren't referred to as River City games — instead, the games are collected under the Kunio-kun banner. Games in the Kunio-kun series include several old-school classics, most notably including River City Ransom, Street Challenge, and Super Dodge Ball. With that said, the North American and European releases of these games were often heavily modified from their source titles, which may be the reason behind their confusing rebranding.
Over 30 games in the Kunio-kun series have been released to-date, with the earliest release for Japanese arcades dating back to 1986. Most of these titles weren't released outside of Japan, and the few that were include Kunio no Nekketsu Dodgeball Densetsu, which released in North America for the Neo-Geo in 1996; Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari EX, a remake of the first Kunio game that was released in North America for the Game Boy Advance as River City Ransom EX in 2004; and River City Super Sports Challenge All Stars Special, which released for Windows PC and PlayStation 3 in 2015.
Regardless of their individual differences, Kunio-kun games all star the protagonist Kunio, named after Kunio Taki, the former resident of Technos Japan, as well as a host of other characters. Many if not most of the games follow the beat-em-up style of gameplay, which notably inspired the likes of Double Dragon, a title considered to be a spiritual successor to the original title Nekketsu Kona Kunio-kun.
So What Is River City: Knights Of Justice?
Publisher Natsume recently revealed that they'd begun Western localization work on a game called River City: Knights of Justice, which was released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS as Nekketsu Mahou Monogatari, a title which roughly translates to Hot-Blooded Magic Story. The game follows series protagonist Kunio and the rest of the Kunio-kun characters as they are transformed into medieval-themed heroes and villains. Knights of Justice will likely include many traditional Kunio-kun elements, albeit with this time around with swords, staves, and magic. Also, as a bonus, the game's location will not be River City, but instead the more fantasy-sounding realm of Riverandia.
Players can get their first hands-on experience with the title at the Natsume booth at this year's E3 from June 13 to June 15. Additionally, anyone who wants to get a taste of the game can also watch the opening cinematic for the game's Japanese version, featured above, which is packed with style but admittedly lacking in details, or a much more informative gameplay trailer, which we've featured below.
River City: Knights of Justice is set to release exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS eShop sometime this summer.
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