River City Ransom was a sort of niche game on the original NES. Since then, the franchise has continued to flourish in Japan with spin-offs and sequels. We finally got a taste of that with the release of River City: Tokyo Rumble last year. It was apparently a big enough success that Natsume is readying two more games in the series to be released in the U.S. later this year.
The first of the bunch is River City: Knights of Justice. It will be an e-Shop exclusive game for the 3DS and definitely takes a different direction from prior games. Instead of the usual back alleys and cityscapes, the game takes place in a fantasy world where you play as medieval heroes who must take on the evil villains. You’ll have swords, staves, and magic spells at your disposal. This one is scheduled to release later this summer.
The second game is called River City: Rival Showdown. Kunio is off on a quest to rescue Riki’s girlfriend who has been kidnapped. He only has three days to unravel the mystery surrounding the event. This one is more traditional in its setting and will have you beating up a host of bullies to rescue the girl. As always, there are plenty of characters to talk to and RPG elements to keep players entertained. It’s scheduled to come out later this fall.