At a time when flashy graphics, complex moves, and intricate storylines are popular, it's good to remember that simple things can still be lots of fun. Take River City: Tokyo Rumble, for example. A throwback to the old-school arcade beat-'em-up games of the mid to late '80s, this is basic button-mashing martial arts at its finest. Jump, kick, punch, maybe pick up the occasional weapon. Wash, rinse, and repeat. Sometimes you'll even get a little backup from one of Kunio's AI-controlled buddies, to whom you can dish out support commands. Overall, it just doesn't get much easier (or repetitive) than this. Still, despite the repetition, you just can't seem to put the game down.
As much fun as the main story mode is, that's not all that River City: Tokyo Rumble has to offer. The game also includes two mini-games that are just as addictive as the story mode. The first, Rumble, is a free-for-all area battle royal for up to four players. The other mode is dodgeball, which is, well, dodgeball, also supporting up to four players. While both games are limited to ad-hoc play, with no online support, the upside is that they support Download Play, allowing players to join in the fun even if they don't own a copy of the game. Both mini-games are essentially just distractions from the main game, but they're both put together well enough to enjoy when you have friends around and they add a little extra bulk to the package. There's no denying that River City: Tokyo Rumble is catering to a specific crowd. Where one person might see a great piece of nostalgic homage to arcade action of days past, another is just as likely to dismiss it as part of a franchise that refuses to get with the times. Either way, River City: Tokyo Rumble, with its corny dialogue and retro style, is a wacky and entertaining sort of fun that can best be compared to watching a cheesy kung fu B movie.