A fresh-faced dev called Combit Studios recently announced plans to do a proper River City Ransom sequel for Western audiences. If you happen to live in Japan, that news probably wasn't anything special, considering you get a new entry in the franchise seemingly every damn year. And wouldn't you know it, here comes one as we speak!
Named for its lead character, the Kunio-kun series spans titles familiar to us such as Renegade, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, and Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge, in addition to a mountain of others that were never localized. Just on the 3DS, there is Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio-kun Special, a remake of Renegade, and Legend of Riki, which stars Kunio's rival Riki. Both were developed by Arc System Works (Guilty Gear, BlazBlue) and featured classic 8-bit sprites laid atop 3D environments.
Arc System Works is back for Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio-kun SP: Fighting Concerto, a new 3DS installment with an original story by Kunio-kun creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto. The game takes a page from the "open world" playbook -- you can roam the city freely, take on money-making side quests, and even punch out NPCs, which could get you in hot water with the po-po. There are even battle royale and dodgeball four-player modes, both which can be played using a single game card! How often does that happen anymore?
Kunio-kun SP arrives in Japan on August 8. It'll arrive elsewhere... probably never.