River City Ransom – Review
Nintendo Entertainment System – NES
1989 – American Technos
As a kid growing up playing games in the late 80’s and early 90’s, games such as Super Mario Bros 3 would more commonly be found sitting inside a Nintendo Entertainment System. It was a slightly different story at my house. Coins were collected, enemies were defeated, and yes the heroine was saved….but not in the mushroom kingdom. It was on the streets of River City in a little game called River City Ransom!
The story was simple, as it usually was in games of it’s era. Gangs run rampant in River City and their leader, Slick, has taken control of the River City high school and made hostages of the students therein. Including your friend Ryan’s girlfriend Cyndi. As Alex and Ryan you are tasked with cleaning up the mean streets, defeating the gang bosses, and taking down Slick to save the students. In the end however the story is somewhat incidental as the game-play and depth of such really takes center stage.
The game takes you through city streets, back alleys, warehouses, and parks. Everything is colorful and lively with nice details found everywhere such as shopping districts bustling with various npc’s. Character graphics are in a sort of toon chibi style with exaggerated heads and expressions. The Facial expressions are sometimes a laugh riot with eyes bugging out and mouths agape when delivering a final blow for instance. Everything overall has a real polish and still holds up today.
The Soundtrack is something else that really shines. The music is fast paced and intricate with fast baselines that will seriously get your toes tapping while you’re punching faces. Just about every song is memorable in this one! In terms of sound effects there isn’t anything particularly noteworthy, but plenty serviceable.
River City Ransom is a notoriously short game with not too much in the challenge department. If you farm coins from the bosses Benny and Clyde early in the game you will effectively have enough money to nearly max out all stats within the hour and be able to steamroll through the rest of the game in no time. There are even passwords to save stats making it even easier to complete this one. The enjoyment of this game comes more from is pure game-play, two player co-op, and freedom to move about unfettered. So i do not believe it’s ease hurts the overall experience too terribly much.
GameTrog Review By
Eringobrad is a perler artist and game enthusiast. If you enjoy retro games and art inspired by them find him on instagram and facebook.