River City Ransom (NES) Mini-review

James / July 12th, 2012

I’ve been working hard on a new AVGN episode this week. I’ve been quickly reminded how time consuming and exhausting they are to produce. Will it live up to expectations? I have no idea, but I’m trying.

For now, here’s something to check out in the meantime. This was my cameo from Pat the NES Punk’s gaming marathon for charity last Halloween. It was a live stream. For anyone who missed it, now’s the chance to see it again, thanks to Pat.


  • xdeathknightx

    July 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    That was a cool little review.
    And dat 8 bit ass

  • WisdomRiver

    July 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    That was a fun review James Im glad your doing more nerd stuff…no pressure to make more though..take your time..Last thing we need is to rush something that needs alot of time…

  • jgreene02

    July 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm


  • hinsert

    July 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    The characters look the same as the ones from Nintendo World Cup. That is an awesome game, especially compared to this crap.

  • Valis77

    July 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    manass LOL!

  • culwin

    July 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm


  • Ben_from_G-town

    July 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Ah, so that’s River City Ransom. I’ve heard good things about it, but it seems even the best games have comedic material! Also, it’s kind of annoying that you have to sit through all those eating animations to level up, haha. Weird game.

    I’m looking forward to the new episode, although I’m kind of surprised you’re working on one. I thought you were going to be finishing work on the movie to get it out as soon as possible? Surely making more episodes will only delay the movie further. But, hopefully there’s a method to your madness…

  • July 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Way too much fun! ^_^

  • Keith the Genesis Geek

    July 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Pat’s NES MARATHON is fucking cool man! YEAH!

  • Kenny

    July 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    :))) Awesome little review James!

  • Doogrisa

    July 12, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Funny video. Thanks James.

  • Grizly

    July 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    James u really make me feel like a kid again man, the imagination we all had back then was priceless and i thank you for all the great nostalgic memories thank you for rehatching this energy within all of us!

  • jamesmccurdy

    July 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    shut up, just shut up, you had me at smash his face with a garbage can.

  • Leafsapphire

    July 13, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I can’t help but to point out that the style of this game (Involving the dropped coins being used to buy food to level up) is very similar to the Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World game by Ubisoft. I don’t know if this was common in these beat-em-up games, but even the layout of the menus are really close. Maybe River City Ransom was one of the retro games that inspired the designs of the Scott Pilgrim game?


  • Matt

    July 13, 2012 at 12:39 am


    Check out this review of Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World on retroware tv. In the review they talk about the relationship between River City Ransom and the Scott Pilgrim game. It’s pretty entertaining too!

  • Steven Jielburg

    July 13, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Whoah. New review? I thought you’d be working on your movie as much as possible. But I’m still happy to see it. Any new material to the site is good. 🙂

    I always wondered if you’d ever review River City Ransom. It seems to be a bit forgotten these days. Good review. I enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Studler

    July 13, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I can’t believe there are viewers here that didn’t know “River City Ransom”. Also can’t believe there’s someone who DOESN’T LIKE IT!! James and I agree that “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” for NES is the worst game we’ve ever played, but I gotta strongly disagree with him on this one.

  • Vizard

    July 13, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Speaking of similarities the show Code Monkeys bares a slight resemblance to River City Ransom, especially when someone gets hit / falls, the animation is almost identical.

  • eightytwo

    July 13, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Yeah, I seriously doubt that James ever felt ”Barf” playing River City Ransom, when taking into account all the other games he has reviewed. That is not to suggest River City Ransom -is- a bad game. The only legitimate complaint in this video, is against integral parts of any RPG. Collect coins in order to progess: Oh, hum-drum, what a striking complaint — typically the kind heard from a person who is not a fan of RPGs, not to suggest James is.

    Admittedly, as a kid, I was confused by all the places to eat in the game, and how it tied into the leveling system, that is not a fault of the game, necessarily; chess may be a game requiring a great intellect to play successfully, but just because you don’t have the patience for it, doesn’t mean it’s a game worthy of being reviewed in a negative light by someone who is dressed as Dracula.

    James fucking loves Dracula.

  • Azdrerios Entertainment

    July 13, 2012 at 4:01 am

    “I’ve been quickly reminded how time consuming and exhausting they are to produce.”

    James. In my humble opinion, the problem seems to be that you can’t keep the episodes simple. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against having Bugs Bunny and the others join the review every once in a while, but to tell the truth, my favorite AVGN episode is still “Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties.” And guess what? That one only has you sitting on a sofa and playing the game! All it needed was your priceless expressions, reactions and, of course, a crappy game.

    Either way, good luck with the future episodes.

  • Dirty Jared

    July 13, 2012 at 6:28 am

    One of the best games on the system. The squids agree.

  • Big A2

    July 13, 2012 at 6:50 am

    What the hell James? River City Ransom is awesome. Picking up weapons and throwing them at enemies, hitting enemies into each other, kicking boxes at them, using the other playing in co-op as a item… so much fun. The RPG elements may be strange for a beat-em up but it makes the game very unique and really makes it feel like your progressing and getting stronger the more you play it, plus the variety of items let you choose which strengths you want your character to have.

    The worst part about the game is the ridiculous 33-character passwords. You may have wondered what it would be like if RPGs used passwords instead of save slots. Well, this game provides your answer. It was a really cheap move to not manufacture the game with a save battery. If that had been the case this game would get a 9 out of 10 from me. As it stands it’s probably an 8 out of 10.

    Also, here’s a piece of internet history for you: http://www.seanbaby.com/nes/rcr.htm

  • July 13, 2012 at 8:11 am

    @Azdrerios Entertainment
    Even the simple ones with no Bugs Bunny are very time consuming. You’ll see that this upcoming episode is basic like most of them, although a bit long. What takes me the longest is writing the script and coming up with witty commentary.

  • Riknight36

    July 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I’ve always felt the same way about this game. Super overrated. Double Dragon, it’s not.

  • RichterBelmont

    July 13, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Azdrerios, it may appear that way, but that’s only because James makes it LOOK easy. James isn’t impromptu, he plays the games and writes thoughtful, insightful and hilarious comedy. That takes time and effort. Not to mention the editing, etc.

    I appreciate the time James takes to make quality videos that always display his signature nerd elements. It’s what separates him from amateur-style stuff out there.

  • Sencilia

    July 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

    It kinda reminds me of that Scott Pilgrim game.

  • Blackidna

    July 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    You gotta be shitting me, James: I’m going crazy about that game in these days! So much fun, so many things, SUCH A HUGE ASS PASSWORD!

  • commiecowboy

    July 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    New nerd. Time for Heroes of the Lance? Shaq-Fu?

  • Riki Oh

    July 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Awesome! Another version of Technos Samurai?! I’ll have to pick one up.
    Great cameo James. Looking forward to the next AGVN episode.

  • July 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    River City Ransom is my all-time favorite NES game. Have you bought the special skills like Dragon Feet and Stone Hands at the bookstore? And have you played 2-player? It’s a riot! For example, stand on a trash can or box while the other player kicks it into an enemy. Man, I love that game.

  • Steven

    July 13, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    James dont worry about liveing up to the hype around the older nerd episodes. Your fans myself included are fans because we appreciate your brand of cinematography. My advice just let the tension roll off your back and have fun with your art

  • Squall85

    July 14, 2012 at 1:49 am

    This game looks nice. I remember we had more games with these characters, there was a football game and a basketball game with 3 baskets above each other. These games stood out somewhat from the others, they seemed to be really good at the time and I think they were 🙂

  • LicaWolf

    July 14, 2012 at 1:50 am

    “I’m gonna stick a cornish hen up your ass!” xD lol

    This cameo was so much like a short AVGN episode, I didn’t even realize how much I missed the Nerd until I watched this!

    I know we got the nerd logs and the memories videos, and I like them, but James’ scripted humor is my favorite kind of video, and it was so nice to watch something new of the Nerd, even if short. My day is made. Great cameo.

  • July 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

    review is spot-on. the main problem with the game revolves entirely around collecting coins and leveling up just so you can proceed. it’s kind of like double dragon but with bullshit in it. it messes up the rhythm of beating up baddies and moving ahead ala final fight, the arcade double dragon 1 and 2, crime fighters, etc. i guess they did this to extend the playtime/value of the game but it just doesn’t work within the genre.

  • July 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I love these Renegade style games. I picked up Double Dragon 2 on the Virtual Console a couple weeks ago and haven’t been able to put it down.

  • Jason P

    July 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    The Thumbnail of this video : One bad ass mother fucker!!!


    July 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm


  • sflowers539

    July 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I love the game reviews, they are still my favorite part of Cinemassacre. Movie reviews and almost everything else is great too, but I was born the same time as James and played so many of the shitty games growing up first hand.

  • Digger318

    July 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I started making my GEEKGO episodes, (http://www.screwattack.com/shows/geekgo)
    which is a homage to all the funny reviewers on the internet.

    And im feeling it too, the issues with what to cut and what to put in the video is crazy. what to scream and what to say too.
    Cant wait for more nerd episodes and well done, i can feel the effort in all of them.

  • adamL

    July 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    “Will it live up to the expectations?”
    I didn’t expect to see any episodes in 2012. James must be extremely busy. To be honest I do expect each episode to get better, but that’s just an observation.
    I’m thrilled to see the Nerd back on Cinemassacre.com, though Mike’s reviews aren’t getting old either. It’s nice to have the duality of Mike’s favourite games versus the Nerd’s least favourites.

    Oh, and you know what’s bullshit? Manual transmission. As a man I am supposed to know how to micromanage a transmission. But in 2012? Come on.

  • July 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks for posting the review on River City Ransom James. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your first Nerd episode since the last Bible Games episode.

  • July 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Dibs on “Pixellated Man Ass” for a band name.

  • jsmooth2010

    July 16, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Amazing, so funny, as always!

  • Aaron1375

    July 16, 2012 at 2:17 am

    That was pretty funny, but I also enjoyed River City Ransom. Let me tell you, just save up enough to buy the Texas Cowboy boots and you do not need anything else. You kill everyone with a couple of kicks!

  • delikanli

    July 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Just have fun with it James. Looking forward to the next AVGN.

  • Claudio Paola

    July 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a great game inspired by R.C.R!

  • beavischrist

    July 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    River city ransom is pretty much exactly like daily life for an average japanese man.

  • cobaltnightsky

    July 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    according to wikipedia, a cornish hen:
    “In the United States, a Cornish game hen, also sometimes called a Cornish hen, poussin, Rock Cornish hen, or simply Rock Cornish, is a hybrid chicken sold whole”

  • Kaunis

    July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the update. Was fun to finally see something new from you! 🙂

  • July 19, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Love the new camera and I loved playing River City Ransom as a kid. It was fun co-op and really love Scott Pilgrim Vs The World on XBL/PSN, lots of throwback in that game.

  • iLikeTehGamez

    July 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    The AI in RCR is ridiculous. In the video you see the enemy pick up the player and throw him after he gets knocked down. It has sentience

  • mikemonmouth

    September 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

    hahaha james is the shit but i do love that game

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