After the success of River City Ransom: Underground, Arc System Works in partnership with WayForward have decided to turn the series on its head and introduce a new storyline with River City Girls, which will release on September 5th.
River City Ransom was first released in 1989, and it didn't take long for the beat-em-up to achieve worldwide recognition for being one of the most interesting and enjoyable games of its generation. From there, Technōs Japan's parent company, Arc System Works, would handle negotiations with other developers when it came to the franchise, causing Conatus Creative's title River City Ransom: Underground to be released five years after it was first created. After the outpouring of support for that title, it seems that Arc has softened its stance a little bit, and fans of the franchise will be able to play as Kyoko and Misako this time around.
While it's understandable why Arc would be so strict about its franchise, given the quality of game they have produced, it seems that they have learned from their mistakes and have finally given developers the creative freedom they desire. If the game ends up being a smashing success, it might cause other publishers to rethink how they approach their rights to certain series and may lead to more creative titles in the future.
WayForward is no stranger to beat-em-ups, as they have created titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of The Ooze and Double Dragon Neon. Now, the studio has revealed through a teaser trailer on its official YouTube that it has been working on a new installment in the franchise entitled, River City Girls. The game will place players in control of Kyoko and Misako as they fight their way through six regions inside River City on their way to rescuing their boyfriends, series icons Kunio and Riki. Additionally, players will be able to purchase food and other items which are designed to unlock new abilities. River City Girls will be for purchase digitally for $29.99 on the Nintendo eShop, Steam, Xbox Live, PlayStation Store, GOG, and Humble Bundle, with a limited run of physical copies being released later.
It’s always nice to see a modern update to a classic title, and WayForward has done a terrific job in partnership with Ark in creating something that has the chance to be truly special. The initial price point is also good news as it follows the trend of other recent titles which have found a great amount of success due to a lower purchase price.
The fact that Ark has loosened its restrictions on how a game within the franchise is produced is certainly great news for the entire industry and fans alike. While it's hard to know how successful the new title will be, it's hard to imagine it won't do well given that the fan reaction is extremely positive at this moment.