Like many video game mascots, Kunio-kun is celebrating a landmark birthday this year. However, unlike Sonic's 25th and Link's 30th, no one is baking Kunio-kun a cake for his 30th. He has to beat up a bunch of thugs with a garbage can, collect their loose change, and buy one for himself. At least smiles are still free.
The star of River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, and Nintendo World Cup returns to the 3DS to clean up the streets of Tokyo. Joining him in his crusade are gang of rowdies recruited through the time-honored methods of dodgeball and arena violence. Generally, allies engage the nearest target, but their strategies can be cycled throug with a quick button tap. Unlike past American releases, Kunio's environment includes Tokyo districts and landmarks. This localization shift hasn't erased the classic attack names and memetic fuel from prior English River City titles, but the setting is definitely more Japanese.
I started my demo in Ueno, where I had to rough up some toughs from the Demon Lion Gang. These no-good punks had the audacity to tell me, "Today's date goes on your gravestone!" A few throws and uppercuts later, justice had been restored. I already had several skill books equipped which gave access to more powerful attacks, like triple kick. Shops sell additional skill books, as well as food and equipment. I filled two of my three equipment slots with fine leather shoes and a silk undershirt, keeping an eye out for ways to improve my vital statistics such as Kick and Punch.
Demon Lions defeated, I hopped a train from Ueno to Shibuya. Shibuya's streets were just as friendly: the Lion Alliance Thuggettes, a local girl gang, attacked without any provocation. I picked up one of the thugettes and used her as bludgeon to drive back her friends. When they were defeated, they left gang badges, which I sold at a nearby store. The proceeds were spent on a celebratory Steak Special and Pasta Bonanza. What a delicious life.
River City: Tokyo Rumble will be released in summer 2016 in digital and physical editions. The physical edition will include a Kunio-kun keychain.