River City Girls left me with a great impression when I reviewed it for the blog several months ago via Game Pass. It packed a stellar pseudo-16-bit presentation, a cast of memorable bosses, and more incentive to revisit it than most contemporary brawlers. As Wayforward continues to branch out from Shantae and licensed games, a sequel was undoubtedly on its way. As it turns out, we’re getting two follow-ups to this popular spinoff. The River City/Kunio-Kun spinoff: River City Girls 2 and River City Girls Zero.
River City Girls 2, as the title suggests, is a direct follow-up and takes place shortly after the original events. Going off what’s been provided so far, it’s clear that the vibrant visual style of the first game is still intact. According to Wayforward’s official page for this duo of sequels, River City Girls 2 will feature “New moves, new enemies, recruits, new environments, and the return of an old foe” on top of local and online co-op. It’s also been confirmed that a few familiar faces from both the River City and Double Dragon franchises will be here. Including former damsel in distress Marian from the latter franchise. (From the looks of it, she won’t be needing the Lee brothers to save her from the Shadow gang this time around!)
River City Girls Zero, on the other hand, is a localization of Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka initially released for the Super Famicom in 1994. It will now come with a few new additions for its first Western release. Serving as a prequel to River City Girls and feature “A new opening cinematic, new manga cutscenes, and new theme song by River City Girls composer Megan McDuffee.”
While River City Girls 2 won’t be out until 2022, Zero is currently set for a late 2021 release. And, of course, Limited Run Games will be releasing physical copies of both games soon, as confirmed by Wayforward.
In the meantime, the original game is still available on Xbox Game Pass. It just so happens to be discounted for another week via the Microsoft Store if you still haven’t played it!