River City Ransom was a pioneer in so many ways. It was brought RPG-style leveling, attack acquisition, and item hunting to the cute co-op beat-’em-up genre nearly 20 years before Castle Crashers was released. It was also one of the few games of the era that took place the real world, with realbutts. The series has been widely influential across all forms of media (I’m looking at you, Scott Pilgrim) but for multiple reasons (many of them legal) the series hasn’t seen much life in recent years. A GBA remake came out forever ago, a WiiWare sequel was announced and canceled a few years back, and a couple remakes were released on the 3DS in Japan, but other than that, nothing.
Thankfully, a small group of hard working developers are doing their best to keep the series alive. River City Ransom: Underground looks like everything one could ask for in a new entry in the series. The art direction stays true to the original, but the animation is phenomenally smooth. Given how many different types of enemies their planning (including a luchador, an electric guitar player, and Darth Vader cosplayer), it’s going to take a lot to get this done, though I’m sure their hard work will be worth it. Add in a soundtrack byRich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland, it’s hard to imagine that this wont be a winner.
The Kickstarter goals haven’t been met yet, though there’s still plenty of time. PS Vita and PS4 stretch goals were recently announced, which may help pick things up a bit. I emailed the developers with a vote of support and the contact info for Dan “eShop” Adelman, so if you’d like to see the game hit the 3DS and/or Wii U as well, let them know!
River City Ransom: Underground [Kickstarter]