River City Ransom: Underground pulls on my nostalgic heart strings HARD. The original River City Ransom was released back in 1989 and I remember spending countless hours playing on my cousins NES when I was a child. 28 years later, River City Ransom: Underground gets released with major improvements such as juggle combos, multiple selectable fighters, 4 player co-op, and…wait for it…GAME SAVES!
Like most video games, you start off with a simple tutorial. Here you get to play as one of the OG characters, Alex in the last stage of the original game. This pretty much removes the worry if you need to play the original game to enjoy the sequel. Pretty much kick and punch your way up to the roof of the school.
Once you finish the boss at the end of the tutorial, you’ll fast forward to 19XX and you get to select from 4 starting characters. Other characters will be available as you progress in the game. Each has a unique fighting style.
- Bruno – Luchador – Grapple and high-flyer based attacks.
- Glen – Shotokan – Punch and kick combo and juggle attacks.
- Provie – Break Dancer – Fast moving and combo rich aerial and spin attacks.
- Paul – Boxer – Punch attacks with good rush and evade movements.
I’ll tell you right now. Early game, you may die quite often. And with each death, the amount of money will get cut in half. When you level up, in River City Ransom: Underground your max allowed stats will up go, however the stat itself will not. I found this out the hard way and found myself getting frustrated when bosses would one-shot me. But follow these tips here and hopefully you won’t die so often as I did. You’ll thank me later.
- Glen, Paul and Provie are the easiest to use
- Focus on building your Strength and Stamina stats first. Strength determines how hard you can hit and Stamina is how often you can get hit before dying. Various food items and books in shops will be found in the game that will build these stats. Later invest on building Agility and Attack stats.
- Combos and juggling. Early game you’ll start with a basic punch and kick attack and a special. You’ll find Dojos in the game that will teach you your characters combos and additional moves. Each move has a cost and a level requirement so save up early on. When you get to your mid game, you should be able to kill an enemy with one combo easy.
With Glen, make sure you get his Double Kick Combo at level 10. Do the combo then juggle with his Special, Blustery Kick
As you progress in the game, you’ll find yourself running all over River City doing missions. If you forget what your objective is, head to the World Map and the text will tell you where you need to go. Nope, there really isn’t a fast travel system, however, there are shortcuts via the Subway. Nonetheless, each area is small and getting to the next area is only a screens away.
River City Ransom: Underground is a must buy for any old-school, retro gamers and beat ’em up fans. Highly recommend that you play with a controller of course. As for myself, I’ve have been seriously enjoying this game. At the time of this article, I’ve already put in 22 hours and only bought the game last week.
River City Ransom: Underground is currently only available on PC via Steam for $19.99.