River City Ransom is one of the most popular scrolling beat em ups to be released on the NES. The game has a very strong cult following and it has an army of dedicated fans still to this day.
Story & Presentation
River City Ransom actually has a pretty cool story to go along with its action. The story centers round two high school students who are called Alex and Ryan. They need to make their way across River City not only to try and save the city from a major evil dude called Slick, but more importantly to save Cyndi who just so happens to be Ryan’s girlfriend who Slick has captured. Sure by today’s standards this may seen a very basic plot, but back in the day this was pretty engaging stuff and it did get you pretty pumped up for the game.
This is a very nice looking game the characters have a great amount of detail on them and there is also some pretty amusing humor as well. When you slap a bad guy around its pretty funny to see the expression on his face change. Despite the amount of stuff going n at any given time on the screen. The game is very vibrant and full of color as well. I would probably go as far to say that this is the best looking side scrolling beat em up that was released on the NES.
Now this is what makes River City Ransom stand out from games like Mighty Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 The Arcade Game, Double Dragon and the other side scrolling beat em ups that are on the NES. You see at its core I guess you would have to say that River City Ransom is another side scrolling beat em up, but there is also some RPG like elements in the game that really do make it stand out from the other games. While this is a game that is about kicking some serious butt, you also need to think as well.
The game will see you walking around the city in any way you want. You see another way this game differs from the others is that it does have kind of a sand box style thing going on. You need to encounter the nine different gangs and put a big time beating on them. The combat in the game is what I am sure you would expect. I think that it plays quite similar to Double Dragon in this regard, but it’s the way that you learn new fighting techniques that make the game different.
You will need to find these books which will let you learn new fighting techniques. Each of the gangs has their own combat style so some of them you will need to use a specific type of fighting to get past. As well as this the game will let you go to spas and spend money there which can upgrade your attributes. The way that you could level up and learn new abilities was quite unlike any other side scrolling beat em up.
River City Ransom
While many other games came along after this and arguably did what River City Ransom did, but better. I still have a really big soft spot for this game. If you are a fan of games like Double Dragon or Ninja Turtles then I have no doubt in my mind that this is a game you will have a blast with.