River City Ransom Underground is your classic beat’em up with a lot of new-age improvements. It’s fantastic. With numerous characters that feel and act different in battle and plenty of nerds and jocks to kick in the face, it’s a beautiful thing to experience. I like this game more than Mother Russia Bleeds, and that’s saying a lot.
So, as far as the music goes, it’s classic RCR – nothing out of the ordinary here, but, it shouldn’t be different. This is nostalgia. The animations are tight, beautiful, and really animated. I can always tell what is going on, even in the midst of a very hectic battle. It’s just wonderful.
As far as the controls go, I only have one really sticky complaint, and that’s that P, K, G, S, and J are how they explain your controls. This is punch, kick guard, special and jump, which, is fine, but, when I go to the moves list, I might not know which is the punch or kick button. It’s not a huge issue, and, it’s pretty easy to figure out how to do what you’re trying to do, but, it’s the one thing I really had a complaint as far as the controls went. I can’t stress enough how cool it is that each character feels completely different. I really enjoy playing as Paul, the boxer, but Rudy is pretty awesome too. To explain, Paul doesn’t have any kicks, and his grapple is slow and really has one purpose, to grab guys and then punch them to knock them away, which you can just do with a dashing attack, Rudy, on the other hand, starts with a big powerbomb and ends up building up better grapples as he levels. Other characters all have their own styles and stats which can be leveled up by eating foods.
Each character has different skins, too. So, my Paul looks like Little Mac from Punch Out!! I’m not mad at that, Lil’ Mac is a badass.
The different street gangs you fight with are all kinda funny, there’s the goth kids, the nerds, jocks, hood rats, ect. Each has it’s own fighting style and a few special moves, just like the characters. It’s really neat!
Man, I’m just fangirling here over River City Ransom Underground. I suppose that happens sometimes. There are a few little complaints I have about the game, however.
The storyline includes Ryan and Alex talking to you and occasionally showing up when you beat up a boss, and then they walk around and fight with you, it’s annoying because… they aren’t always with you. It’s supposed to feel like you’re a gang working together, but, when they just aren’t there half the time, it just feels weird.
All in all, it’s 20 bucks, which is a huge investment for a 2D beat’em up, but, this is one of those cases where I’m not too upset with it. There’s over 500 unique moves, tons of weapons, it’s just really well done. The online isn’t even terrible. It lets you grab a buddy and go win the game with them in tow. They can bring their single player character over, or grab one that they haven’t used to be closer to your level. Try this game out, you won’t hate yourself.
Disclosure: We received this game for free.
Developer/Publisher: Conatus Creative Inc.