DescriptionThe evil Slick has kidnapped Ryan's girlfriend and taken over the high school. The player is cast as either Ryan or Alex (second player) and has to fight his way through River City's merciless gangs before confronting Slick and freeing his girl.
River City Ransom is a side-scrolling beat-em-up similar to Double Dragon. The player, or players, travel through the locations of River City, encountering various gangs along the way. Gang members can be defeated with punches and kicks, or beaten up with objects scattered around. Upon their defeat, gang members drop money which Alex and Ryan can spend in malls to buy items that restore health and improve their combat abilities. The main characters have RPG-like numerical stats that can be improved this way, and can also buy books to learn combat manoeuvres. To finish the game, the player(s) have to find and defeat all the bosses.
The Game Boy Advance port of the game adds a number of features, including the ability to recruit certain characters (including defeated bosses) to fight alongside you. It also has different gangs and several new weapons.
- "ダウンタウン熱血物語" -- Japanese spelling
- "Street Gangs" -- European title
- "River City Ransom EX" -- Gameboy Advance title
- "Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari" -- Japanese title
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EnemiesDespite what a first-time player might think, the enemies aren't randomly generated -- each of the gangs has nine pre-defined members, each with his own specific name, appearance, and even different stats.
- When you are on the 3rd floor of the school and you fight the "Dragon Twins", the background music is the same music from the NES game Double Dragon.
- The gang duo Benny & Clyde is an obvious take on the famous criminal duo "Bonny & Clyde" from the 1930s
Version differencesIn the original Japanese version (Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari) the characters wore schoolboy jackets and belonged to high schools instead of gangs. This was changed in the American version because the jackets could be mistaken for bathrobes and beating up evil gang members seemed like a more worthy cause. This, however, does not apply to the Game Boy Advance port, where the character still wear the "bathrobes" in the American version.
- 2004 – Best Use of Barf of the Year (GBA)