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[PlayStation 5] River City Girls Review

[PlayStation 5] River City Girls Review
  • On February 2, 2022

2D beat ‘em up River City Girls from Arc System Works and WayForward has finally landed on PlayStation 5! Learn more about this gem in our River City Girls review!


2D beat ‘em up River City Girls from Arc System Works and WayForward has finally landed on PlayStation 5! After releasing on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, this brawler is now getting a new chance to shine on Sony’s current-gen console. River City Girls is a spin-off from the Kunio-kun series, which started with Techn?s Japan way back in the day. Nowadays, the franchise is under Arc System Works. As someone who enjoyed River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, and Crash ‘n the Boys back on the Nintendo Entertainment System days – and more recently on the Double Dragon and Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle on Nintendo Switch – I was definitely up for checking out River City Girls on PlayStation 5.

River City Girls Review - 1

After you select how many players will be taking on this quest – with local co-op available -, decide if you’re going to play the game in the Normal or Hard difficulty setting, and select if friendly fire will be on or off, you’ll be ready to dive into the first stage in the game… which sees our heroines in detention! The story will begin with a manga intro with full voice acting, where you’ll learn that Kyoko and Misako must quickly rush out of detention because their boyfriends Kunio and Riki have been kidnapped!


You’ll control Kyoko or Misako with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the X button and attacking with the Square button. You can also jump and attack if needed, which is very useful for when there are several enemies around you. The Square button can be pressed in quick succession for a combo attack. To block incoming attacks, just press the R1 button. If you time it just right, you can parry attacks, leaving your enemy wide open for a counterattack. You can also get close to an enemy to grab them and then either hit them hard or throw them into another enemy. The girls can also perform special attacks, such as a heavy flip kick, a back elbow attack when running, and more!

River City Girls Review - Store

As you defeat enemies, you will collect experience points and money. Experience points will allow each girl to level up, which will provide a boost to their respective stats. You’ll also gain the chance to learn new moves! Boosting each girl’s hit points, strength, agility, luck, and special points will allow you to take on the hordes of enemies that will try to stop you at all times, as well as be prepared for the more challenging and difficult boss fights you’ll have to take on. Each boss will have its own movement and attack pattern, so be sure to pay attention so that you can find the right time to attack them and chip away at their health bar.


As expected, money can be used for purchasing stop at stores, as was the case for the original River City Ransom game. There’s a variety of items you can purchase depending on what store you visit. Sure, you can purchase a classic Merv’s Burger, since this is still a River City game, but perhaps you’d also like to purchase a game or two for your collection? All items will grant you some bonus effect, and you’re going to need every boost you can, so that you can reach the end and save Riki and Kunio.

River City Girls Review - 3

The game features an interesting feature by which you can recruit enemies to your cause. The more enemies you recruit, the more powerful you’ll be! Do you have what it takes to try and catch ‘em all during your run? Sometimes, when only one enemy remains, it will beg for its life. When this happens, approach them to be able to grab them, and you’ll then be able to press the L1 button to recruit them. Once you have recruited someone, you can call them into action by pressing the L1 button.

If you want to 100% River City Girls and add a new Platinum trophy to your collection, then you’ll have to pay attention as you explore each area so that you can destroy the 25 Sabu statues in the game, as well as complete some specific side-quests here and there. Oh, and recruit a bunch of enemies. And defeat each boss. You should also parry at least 10 attacks. Oh, and you’re going to need to complete the game in co-op, complete the game with one of the secret characters you unlock after beating the game once, reach max level – which, btw, is level 30 – and more! The list includes 16 Bronze trophies, 6 Silver trophies, and 7 Gold trophies, so there’s plenty for you to do in this one!

River City Girls Review - 2

If you’re a beat ‘em up fan, then you’re going to dig what River City Girls has to offer. It has tight gameplay mechanics, with an evolving set of moves that will unlock as you progress through the game, gain experience points, and level up your characters. The voice cast does a great job at bringing each character to life, with the whole cast making each one feel unique. The manga story segments and the anime cutscenes are also something that needs to be mentioned since they look great on PS5. River City Girls is now available as a Cross-Buy title for a $29.99 asking price, so you’ll get both the PS4 and PS5 versions with your purchase. If you’ve previously bought the PlayStation 4 version of the game, you can now go and download the PlayStation 5 version at no extra cost!

This River City Girls review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by WayForward.

Review Overview

An outstanding beat 'em up in the long-running River City series