River City Girls is reminiscent of games like Fighting Force and Streets of Rage and firmly finds its place in the River City world. It’s a beat-em-up video game where you fight through levels completing mini objectives while pursuing the main objective.
In this case, your main objective is to recover your boyfriend who is presumed to be kidnapped from school. During your hang out session with your friend in detention, you get word that both of your boyfriends were taken. The plan is to break out of detention, punch your way out of the school and embark on an adventure to save your boyfriend’s lives.
You play as either Kyoko or Misako. I chose to play as Kyoko (she doesn’t even go to the school she is trying to escape from). As you’re breaking out of detention the principle puts out an APB out for you and makes all the high school students (excepts the ones who are just standing around for some reason) attack you to stop you from leaving.
I won’t spoil the full story of the game, but you eventually get out of the school and make it to the place where your clues lead you only to find out it’s a dead-end. Plus, your relationship with those boys is not what it seems. Which is hilarious because there is a foreshadowing of that at the beginning of the game.
This video game plays like earlier games where you have to constantly pick up items to heal yourself. For instance, an apple or a salad replenishes your health. Leveling up also gives you a full health bar.
You can also recruit NPC’s to briefly help you while you are engaged in a fight. They complete one attack and then go back into your pocket dimension until they are needed again. If they get knocked down more than 3 times they are no longer available to help and you have to find someone else. You can only recruit the NPC if they beg you to. This sometimes happens if they are the last man standing during your fight.
This is a two-player game, but I played solo. The narrative still moves forward as though two people are playing though. Your partner goes through dialogue and drops hints or blatant direction to help you progress in the game.
Combat/ Boss Fight:
You can pretty much get through the levels without knowing many combos, so feel free to button mash. Knowing the combos, of course, will help defeat easy mobs quicker. Plus, my favorite heavy move in this game is Kyoko’s dab. It’s cheaky, but I loved it. You play about 5 1/2 hours to find a dead-end, but the end boss fight is the most challenging part of the game with multiple layers. The boss has sword attacks, clone decoys of herself, and fire cyclones attacks that take down your health very fast. This fight is all about patience and combos. It was my favorite fight in the game.
Once you beat the game, you unlock your boyfriends as playable characters to rerun the story.
I enjoyed this game a lot. Although I didn’t take part in the co-op feature, I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I played on PS4, but this game is available on Steam, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The soundtrack is fun and honestly, I like these types of games so I went through it again. I think you’ll have a good time with this game if you give it a try.