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Sean

River City Girls - Kunio-kun beat-'em-up with girls (Sept. 5, SW/PS4/ONE/PC)

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Another Western dev has gotten their hands on the Kunio-kun IP (after 2017's River City Ransom: Underground), this time by Shantae/Mighty Switch Force creators WayForward. You'll be playing as the girlfriends of Kunio and Riki, Misako and Ryoko, as they attempt to rescue their boyfriends from the nefarious organization known as "the cops." I haven't played much Kunio-kun aside from the first game on NES and Underground, but I was sold even before the trailer dropped today. Delinquent girls, great graphics, and a theme song by Actual IRL Shantae (or as her friends know her, Cristina Vee). Nice to see some competition to Streets of Rage 4!

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I love the way this looks, from the detailed pixelated look, to the comic/manga-like artwork... the main characters are cute badass girls (YES), the soundrack sounds neat, the gameplay feels like a classic beat'em up and the story seems silly in the best way possible.

I HAVE to buy this.

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This is veering a bit into sexualised fighting girls if i'm being honest and it kind of makes me cringe a bit. It's not really 'progressive' to have girls beat a bunch of guys up to save their boyfriends if they are frolicking around in the kind of school skirt attire which is so often sexualised in Japanese media. I find the trope especially disturbing since it's based on school girls.

The sprites look great though and the game looks fun!

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Nah, I think this is quite lighthearted. It's rated E 10+, so...

And perhaps I missed something, but I don't see any sexualization in the trailer so far, so they might not take that approach. Heck, I hope they don't go for that, or else you won't be the only one here to cringe!

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Sexualised........................man oh man i shake my head cause I thought ive read everything today rofl.  WF has always had a style to their games and characters. There is noting wrong with a girl wearing a skirt. There is noting wrong with girls beating up guys AND girls to save their bf *its a spoof off the old games in reverse* thankfully WF is one of those companies that sticks to their guns when making things.

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Shantae's character design on the whole is pretty naff (really, anything that Bozon touches has the samey "everyone's gotta be a boob stick" thing) but... this? Really? They're just delinquent schoolgirls with bats and knuckledusters. That's fucking rad! 

They're not even remotely sexualised, unless school attire is in of itself sexualised to you in which case... well uh, I have some questions to ask. Just because other games sexualise characters in this kind of attire doesn't make it some kind of terrible no-go, that's like if I said sweaters are banned because of the virgin killer sweater fad. They're not even a strict proper uniform in the case of Kyoko's DRIVE-ass bomber jacket! 

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This stuff doesn't exist in a vacuum, school girls in uniforms are notoriously sexualised in Japanese media. There's no reason to just assume this game won't go on with the trend. There are in fact hints to it in the trailer.

The girl waking up on the bed, streching and exposing her midriff in the cliche 'bed,' clothes. I can guarantee that would not be shown if the protagonist was male.

There's also the spinning kick attack, which is a bit suspicoous to me, since she's obviously flashing her skirt up in the air. Doesn't seem to throw a panty shot in the brief footage, but I wouldn't be surprised if it will do in the finished game or other attacks, because it is riffing on Streets of Rage.

I don't think it's a heinous crime ir anything, I'm just not a thirteen year old boy and so it makes me cringe.

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Funny thing is the studio making this is not even Japanese...

Also, seriously? A girl streching and exposing some skin hints at sexualization? I don't see that. Same with the spinning kick. Even as you said, they didn't show a panty shot, and they could have. If we took this even further, why would they "censor" their own trailer, if it's well known that "sexy things sell more"? Wouldn't they just show all the "erotic" content in the trailers just to seek for more attention? I mean, they could do that in case they show more footage of the game, but we'll have to wait for that.

BTW, we all have seen fighting games where male characters don't even wear clothes from the waist up, that could be considered even more sexualized than this...

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5 hours ago, Plasme said:

This stuff doesn't exist in a vacuum, school girls in uniforms are notoriously sexualised in Japanese media. There's no reason to just assume this game won't go on with the trend. There are in fact hints to it in the trailer.

The girl waking up on the bed, streching and exposing her midriff in the cliche 'bed,' clothes. I can guarantee that would not be shown if the protagonist was male.

There's also the spinning kick attack, which is a bit suspicoous to me, since she's obviously flashing her skirt up in the air. Doesn't seem to throw a panty shot in the brief footage, but I wouldn't be surprised if it will do in the finished game or other attacks, because it is riffing on Streets of Rage.

I don't think it's a heinous crime ir anything, I'm just not a thirteen year old boy and so it makes me cringe.

You're looking way too hard into this. I don't often play the "you're trying to be offended" card but... yeah, I think you're really trying to be offended  for some kind of weird moral-points here. The 'hints' you've raised are just "here's a thing they didn't do, but THEY COULD'VE!" It's not even riffing on Streets of Rage, it's a bloody Kunio-Kun game!  

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I just gave examples of stuff they've done, read the post again. And it's clearly evoking games like Streets of Rage, people have even made those comparisons here.

I'm also not offended, I'm cringing. People who criticise this stuff aren't trying to score 'moral points', especially in an industry which is so obviously sexualised as the video game market.

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8 minutes ago, Plasme said:

I just gave examples of stuff they've done, read the post again. And it's clearly evoking games like Streets of Rage, people have even made those comparisons here.

I'm also not offended, I'm cringing. People who criticise this stuff aren't trying to score 'moral points', especially in an industry which is so obviously sexualised as the video game market.

No, the examples you posted were "look at someone getting out of bed", which is dumb. She's not naked, it's not a shower scene, they just... show a tiny bit of skin. Big whoop. Everything else was "there could be a panty shot here!", when there isn't. You're literally making up scenarios to be upset at to justify being upset.  

Kunio-Kun is a beat-em-up series that came before SoR. It's like saying Mario's riffing on Sonic. Streets of Rage 2's pantyshots weren't even in the international versions, and this isn't a Japanese made game! 

You're looking for sexualisation where there really isn't any here. At most the girls are just conventionally pretty, and even then that's not wholly in-line with the game's premise given you're playing as delinquents. This isn't Shantae, where every girl is a stick with boobs and no variation, or has that gaudy as hell "magic outfit". It's just a game starring schoolgirls. It's like if I say Taiga Aisaka in my avatar/signature is sexualised on the basis of her wearing a school uniform. Senran Kagura, this ain't. 

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I've seen the trailer like ten times by now, and I still don't see the sexualization. And each time I watch it, I want to play the game even more. Hell, one of the reasons I liked it so much is that it doesn't treat the main female characters as objects or fanservice material. They don't even look sexy to me, they look cute!

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Rofl!!

Anyway 😂. I asked some staff at Wayforward if they would be releasing any of the demo for those not at anime expo in my pr mail. Noting heard back yet

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Maybe they'll just release the full game in September and that's it. I mean, if the game is like a classic arcade beat'em up, it might be short, so WayForward wouldn't want people to see much?

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I do hope there's a bit of meat on its bones - it's $30, which seems kiiiiiinda steep for a game of this sort usually. Or that could just be my brain forgetting that's about £20-25 which sounds a touch fairer. 

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OOF, welp, then I might be mistaken and the game is bigger than I expected! I mean, for 30$ it should have quite content... It seems it will be quality content, sure, but hope it's ambitious and gives us many hours of gameplay.

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I found something about a mechanic in the game for reviving your partner, which you do by beating the stuffing BACK INTO them. Just walk over to kick and punch them until they get back up.

The more I hear of this game, the more ridiculous and fun it sounds, and I so want to get this game.

Oh, and have I not mentioned how great this game looks yet? Because it’s really really great! And I love the design of the main girls, what with the different delinquent styles and influences they borrow.

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On 7/8/2019 at 10:30 AM, Plasme said:

I just gave examples of stuff they've done, read the post again. And it's clearly evoking games like Streets of Rage, people have even made those comparisons here.

I'm also not offended, I'm cringing. People who criticise this stuff aren't trying to score 'moral points', especially in an industry which is so obviously sexualised as the video game market.

Any scenes where Kyoko's bare skin is being shown are probably there to show off the bullet holes leftover from the game's immediate precursor, "Nekketsu Kouha Kunio: Tachi No Banka," which culminates with a very tragic and hard to watch scene in which Kyoko and Misako gunned down in cold blood, leaving Kunio and Rikki to take revenge and then grieve over their apparently dead bodies. It's no more gratuitous than having Naked Snake draw attention to his missing eye in that respect.

And anyone who's drawing comparisons to Streets of Rage is probably badly mistaken about the game's pedigree, as Adam Tierney himself stated in one of his Destructoid interviews that the game was intended as a direct sequel to Tachi No Banka, and discusses some of the challenges associated with making a sequel to a game that few western players have been exposed to. I, myself, probably wouldn't even be aware of it were I not constantly looking for new fan-translated SNES games to sink my teeth into.

So if you are cringing? The problem isn't with River City Girls.

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I am gonna get this game. the first time I saw an add for it I thought for sure this was some sort of Power Puff girl Animu spin off again, but I love the game sprites, the character designs and that theme song of the teaser

 

also I really love how their boyfriends aren't some weak-looking generic looking guys, (which is what games often tend to do to make the love interest of the cool female character more easy for some gamers to  insert themselves as those characters) but there pretty cool looking type of characters too, male characters people normally wouldn't see as types that get kidnapped , looking  forward to this game!

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