There's a big surprise for fans of beat 'em up games! WayForward has announced River City Girls 2, and that's not all — a western release of River City Girls Zero is also on the way.
River City Girls 2 is a continuation of all the beat 'em up fun of River City Girls which was discovered back in early 2019 before being publicly revealed later that year. These games are a spin-off of the long-running Kunio-kun franchise of games that tell the tale of a second-year high school student in Japan — the equivalent of an 11th-grader in the West — who protects Nekketsu High School from rival schools and gangs. Also, he's really good at dodgeball for some reason.
Unfortunately, Kunio is not invincible — in River City Girls, Kunio and Riki have been captured and it's up to their girlfriends Kyoko and Misako to save them. These hard-hitting lovebirds will return in River City Girls 2 along with "a few new playable characters" according to today's announcement from WayForward, along with the ability to play two-player co-op online. Unfortunately, that's all we know about the game for now — but that's not the only game in this franchise coming in the future!
Also Arriving: A Western Release of River City Girls Zero
In addition to River City Girls 2, WayForward has revealed that River City Girls Zero will be getting a Western release for the first time. As you may be able to tell from the above box art, this will be an enhanced port of the 1994 Kunio-kun game Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka.
In River City Girls Zero, you will start your adventure playing as Kunio and Riki. They won't be alone for long, however; you'll eventually unlock access to their girlfriends Misako and Kyoko, thus explaining the River City Girls branding. WayForward's Adam Tierney revealed to Destructoid that Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka flew under his radar at first, but he "instantly fell in love" with the characters and ultimately pitched the first River City Girls game to Arc System Works.
Limited Run Games will have a River City Girls Zero physical release for the Nintendo Switch; we don't have a release date just yet, but it's billed as "Coming Soon." The same company is also launching a physical edition of Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle, also coming soon.
When is the River City Girls 2 Release Date?
The River City Girls 2 release date has not been announced, sadly. All we know for the moment is that it has a 2022 release window.
For now, there's still plenty of fun to be had in River City! You can buy the first River City Girls game for PC and consoles via its official website starting at $29.99 or your regional equivalent.
If you want to check out more of TechRaptor's E3 2021 and related summer event coverage, click here.
What do you think of the reveal of River City Girls 2? What's your favorite game in the long-running Kunio-kun franchise? Let us know in the comments below!