Ever since it was slated for release on the VC, River City Ransom has been one of the most hotly anticipated games coming out. If you've never played it before, the question of "why?" might come up.

And that's understandable. With fairly generic graphics even by NES standards, and a by-the-book "save the girl" plot, River City Ransom wouldn't seem to offer anything new at first glance.

But once you start playing the game, you'll notice that it is surprisingly deep. Instead of forcing you to go in a set path, the area here is fairly open to explore. It's not a true "sandbox" game per se, but there is a lot more freedom than in most NES games, especially brawlers.

As you go around the city, you'll pick up money from your defeated opponents, which can be spent at various stores to improve your character. Learning which items to buy can be a trying (but still sometimes hilarious) experience, and adds a lot of depth to the game.

If you're a fan of beat-em-ups, it doesn't get much better than River City Ransom on the NES, and it still holds up well even versus games from more powerful systems.

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