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Robert Fenner
E3 2017: Two New River City Titles for Nintendo 3DS in 2017
A double dose of BARF!!
06.22.17 - 5:05 PM

Kunio-kun aficionados are well catered to in 2017, as Natsume are bringing not one, but two River City titles to the West before the end of the year. The first of which, River City: Knights of Justice, will release to the eShop on the immediate horizon of June 20th, priced at $14.99.

knights of justice

Knights of Justice is a fantasy RPG pastiche in which Kunio and friends are transported to the fantastical Kingdom of Riverandia, a land lousy with despair and dragons. Donning the armor and cape of Sir Alexander, Kunio assembles a party of brave knights to bring peace back to this once-great kingdom, with the opportunity to take on a hundred different side quests along the way.

Sir Alexander can form a party of up to three characters at one time, and you can swap between them with the push of a button; the AI manages the two allies not currently being controlled. Riverandia is chock-full of towns, castles and dungeons, separated by an overworld with random encounters. That said, this is very much a River City game through and through: a battle against a huge 8-bit dragon sees Sir Alexander and pals chaotically running around to throw debris at the towering beast.

knights of justice

Those after a more traditional setting in their River City titles can look forward to River City: Rival Showdown sometime before the end of the year. Yet despite the return to the usual urban setting, Rival Showdown sounds like the most complex and ambitious River City title to date.

rival showdown

Colloquially described to me as "River City: Majora's Mask" by Natsume's community manager CeeCee, Rival Showdown sees Kunio and Riki try to solve the mystery of who jumped them while also navigating an inexplicable three-day time loop. Set over a large interconnected city, Rival Showdown features a real-time day/night cycle in which shops and establishments maintain opening/closing hours, and characters and enemies abide by different schedules. For example, an urban street populated by delinquents during the day will give way to yakuza enforcers when night falls.

Over the course of the mystery, players can track down 65 different story events which influence the game's ending. Those unable to solve the mystery before the three days are up will find themselves back at the beginning of the time loop, but with the retention of their levels, experience, and money.

As opposed to the smaller Knights of Justice, Rival Showdown will be a full priced digital/retail release. Two friends can enjoy the campaign together from start to finish courtesy of local multiplayer, while old school fans of the series will enjoy a plethora of plot beats, characters, nods, and Easter eggs from the franchise's entire 30 year history.

rival showdown


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