The original River City Girls released to much acclaim as Misako and Kyoko took on the towns Yakuza to get their kidnapped boyfriends back and unknowingly clean up the streets of River City in the process. This sequel carries the story on as well as expanding on almost every aspect of the original. Worth duking it out with the Yakuza a second time? Lets take a look..
With the Yakuza’s daughter defeated and peace somewhat restored, the boss decides its time to take matter into his own hands and breaks out of jail to rain retribution onto Misako and Kyoko. Finding themselves expelled from school on trumped-up charges, the girls now must stop lounging around and take back River City from the yakuza.
The story follows hot on the heels of the previous game, starting up pretty much moments after the events of River City Girls. Presented via voiced & animated comic panels, things quickly take a turn or the worst as the girls are expelled from school due to everyone favourite criminal gang. You won’t have to take up the fight alone as there’s 4 player coop to be had on this one, local or online, as the roster bumps up to 6 with a couple of newcomers in Marian and Provie alongside our protagonists from the first game.
Once you get past the new catchy opening song, things become a little similar on the presentation front. Not much of pixel art chap myself but the game does have some surprisingly good aspects to its visuals with great artwork to back up the presentation. There’s plenty of little details in each area and things always seem lively with a lot of animation going on. You’ll find plenty of NPC’s and just general folk within an area that help the world seem lived in. It was like this in the original game too at times, but it now seems as if things have gone a step further as with other aspects of RCG2.
There aren’t many downsides to the presentation, so long as you have access to the performance hotfix otherwise stutters can put a dampener on the smooth gameplay – even on a system like mine (R7 3800X/32GB/RTX 2080ti) Outside of that there’s only really the loading that, even on an SSD, would take a little longer than expected when travelling between each area.
Having played the original its pretty easy to slot into the sequel as on a basic level the gameplay isn’t too dissimilar from the first. You’ll be going from fight to fight levelling up and collecting cash from fallen foes to use on fresh items and abilities purchasable from several shops dotted around town. Taking to the streets alone can be tough if you get surrounded even with new abilities, so luckily you can pick up some weapons to even the odds or call on previous foes for aid that surrendered to you – you can have 2 standing by until needed. May come in handy during boss fights too
You’ll notice one change off the bat in the way everything seems structured. Before it was simple stages, but now you will have to fight your way through multiple areas to get to an objective, giving the game a pseudo open world feel. As you progress new areas will unlock, alongside some secret areas to find, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for shortcuts as the world gets bigger
If you’ve played the original before, then on a basic gameplay level things may feel familiar with River City Girls 2. Thankfully everything else around it has been cranked up. Not only are there some new abilities etc to expand on the original duo, but there’s also a batch of new characters to play as, alongside a hefty expansion to the city itself leaving many areas to explore and secrets to find. This is a must have for genre fans really, even if you haven’t sampled the original, and gets better if you have the friends to team up with.
You could say RCG2 is almost the perfect sequel given it expands on almost everything of the original while keeping a similar look & feel.