A long-running series in Japan, the Kunio-Kun (くにおくん) series has never gotten the love it really deserved. While most gamers know him in the west as the Star of such games as River City Ransom, Super Dodgeball Brawlers, and River City Soccer hooligans his series has a lack cohesiveness with releases outside of Japan. It was recently revived to some degree with the introduction of River City Girls, a spin-off following the one-off girlfriends of lead characters Kunio and Riki.
Mixing the staple beat-em-up combat with two incredibly engaging characters, the game should hit the mark for both new and old fans, And keep hitting it well after it is down. For fans of the game, not one but two games are planned for release in the near future. These titles are River City Girls 2 and River City Girls Zero.
River City Girls 2 is the official sequel to the first title, continuing on with the narrative of both Misako and Kyoko. According to the official press for the game:
Picking up shortly after the original, River City Girls 2 once again put you in control of Misako and Kyoko — as well as Kunio, Riki, and a few new characters — as they set out on an all-new beat-’em-up adventure across the mean streets of River City. New moves, new enemies, new recruits, new environments, and the return of an old foe await, along with the same over-the-top sense of humor and adrenaline-pumping combat of its predecessor. The game will also feature two-player co-op action both locally and online.
On the converse side of this, River City Girls Zero is not actually a new game. This title is a re-release of the 1994 game that first introduced the two female leads. This game was originally released under the name Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-Tachi no Banka, and it was never released in the US until now. They would not appear in the series again until the latest title.
The official press for this game states:
River City Girls Zero, meanwhile, lets you experience the first time that Misako and Kyoko teamed up with Kunio and Riki to take to the streets in hard-hitting, curb-stomping action. While the graphics, music, and gameplay all remain true to the classic 16-bit Super Famicom release, this version marks the first time the 1994 game will be localized for the West. A new opening cinematic, new manga cutscenes, and a new theme song by composer Megan McDuffee have been added as well. Set out solo or team up with a friend in a local co-op and discover how the story began!
There is no official release date for the titles yet. River City Girls 2 is currently slated for 2022.