Kunio-tachi No Banka (something like "Requiem for Kunio's Gang" in English) is yet another excellent beat 'em up starring Kunio and Riki, famous video game duo most popular in the west as protagonists in River City Ransom. Kunio-tachi No Banka is actually not a sequel to RCR, but to the first game in the whole series called Nekketsu Kouha - Kunio-kun (released in the USA as Renegade). The game therefore doesn't have the RPG elements of RCR, but it is still an immensely enjoyable beat 'em up that has a great storyline and plenty of action that only Technos can pull off. |
The story in this one is that our heroes Kunio and Riki are arrested and thrown into the juvenile detention center for a crime they didn't commit. Your job is to help them clear their name, but first you need to get out of the depressing jail by engaging in some fisticuffs. Similar to other Kunio games (known as Shin Nekketsu series - name of Kunio's high school - in Japan), you can switch between the two heroes at any time. After playing for a while, you are even joined by the duo's girlfiends, increasing your repertoire of heroes to four. All the characters have similar attacks, but their special attacks are different.
As can be expected from a Kunio game, the level design and layout is great. The game evolves similar to Renegade: you will be fighting bikers on the docks, girls in a casino district, and Yakuza in the enemy's HQ. In between the action, there are two motorcycle scenes played from a first-person perspective where you must dodge enemy bikers. These are a lot of fun and add a good variety to the game. Both graphics and animations are superb, although I find sound effects a little disappointing.
Overall, Kunio-tachi No Banka is a great beat 'em up that lives up to Technos' reputation. It even has a shocking, serious finale that nicely wraps up the intense storyline. Released only in Japan, the English translation patch is now available thanks to fan group AGTP. The download includes both the game and the translation patch (*.IPS) file, which the ZSNES emulator should have no problem applying automatically for you. Even if you are not a fan of Kunio fan, this game is a must-have.
Reviewed by: Underdogs