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Flashback Friday: River City Ransom

by on September 2, 2016

It was suggested by a few members of the GameOcatane crew that I should do a Flash Back Friday article for Battletoads. This classic Rare title surely deserves its FBF dues, but in open defiance to my comrades (and openly admitting I haven’t played very much of Battletoads) I am going to remind everyone that there is a slightly superior button mashing, side scrolling, multiplayer brawler. That game is River City Ransom.

First off the game is not only a brawler, but has some RPG elements where you beef up your character by eating burgers, buying martial arts books (to learn new techniques), and going to the gym/spa. It’s silly, I know but the execution helps show growth and development for the player characters Alex (player 1) and Ryan (player 2) as they try and clean up the mean streets of River City and save Alex’s girlfriend from the clutches of the evil “Slick.”  Along the way Alex and Ryan must fight gangs of thugs all repping their different colors and protecting their turf. Each gang has differing fighting techniques which players need to learn in order to beat their opponents. As a young kid this game was extremely difficult especially after the first couple of stages.








Luckily beyond the spas visits, restaurant eateries, and the fighting strategies there was one element to the game that saved little guys like myself from rage quitting a fairly difficult game…….. the weapons. Just like that silly yet fantastic 1979 flick The Warriors, these thugs come out to play and I can certainly dig it. Enemies roll on screen carrying brass knuckles, pipes, bats, trashcans, and my  favorite chains. All of these items can be used to bash your close up opponents, or be thrown for a ranged attack. All these things add up to a fantastic game, but one of my favorite parts is the reaction of the character and enemy models when punches, kicks, and weapons make contact, I don’t know why but I find it hilarious. In addition,  to funny reaction character models some enemies are quoted as they react in pain and agony to their beat downs…

Thanks to Vinícius Figueiredo or capturing this gameplay and posting it on youtube.


What are your favorite NES brawlers? Let us know in the comments below.

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