The legacy of River City Random cannot be overstated. The 80s 8bit classic wasn’t the very first game of its kind (it’s actually the third in the series), but it helped to lay the groundwork for an entire genre, and many others in fact, for many years to come.
Which is why it’s rather perplexing that a proper sequel was never ever produced. There was a remake for the Game Boy Advance, but that’s about it (a sequel was in the plans, for the Wii, but was eventually scrapped). Thankfully, one appears to be finally in the cards, thanks to the modern miracle that is… you guessed it… Kickstarter.
The project is being spearheaded by Conatus Creative, a Western indie developer that managed to secure the rights to the Eastern license, which is quite the coup. It’s also worth noting that the studio is from Ottawa, and only recently did Kickstarter start accepting projects from the Great White North:
River City Ransom: Underground sticks closely to the source material, though it has been updated throughout, and in the most logical (plus tasteful) manner possible. Those seriously have to be some of the silkiest smooth moving pixels in recent memory. Though the updated combat system sounds equally enticing.
As art director and game designer Bannon Rudis states, it’s basically the sequel that should have happened, but never did, for the Super Nintendo. “Not the Super Nintendo… but a Nintendo that’s super!”
There are two other individuals involved who are worth pointing out: Rich Vreeland, who often goes by the name Disasterpeace, will be doing the soundtrack. You may already know his work from Fez, plus Runner2. Plus, there’s also Yoshihisa Kishimoto, creator of the original River City Ransom, who is on board as the creative consultant. So Underground’s connection to the NES game is legit.
The goal is $180,000, and as of this writing, $65,886 has been raised (both amounts are Canadian, by the way). So it has a ways to go, though there’s 22 days left, so things are looking good. Hopefully it’ll do well enough to reach the stretch goal of PS4 and PSVita versions.