Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story
Top Critic Average
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story is an interesting entry in a genre that is experiencing a revival of sorts on the Switch thanks to the ever-increasing number of re-releases and brand new experiences.
Sadly lacking all the options seen in previous entries, Stay Cool Kobayashi-san! may entertain longtime Kunio-kun fans but others will find it bare bones and forgettable.
Candidly, the story itself is nonsensical in a way that is tough to follow and really kind of non-consequential.
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story is a mundane beat 'em up that's held aloft by a couple clever ideas. The combat is fun at first, but the doldrums set in long before completing the first of potentially many play-throughs. Some fights, particularly the finale, definitely could've used a few tweaks. Still, figuring out the fastest route to the end is really cool. It gives the adventure a tinge of replay-value. However, unless you "have" to play every game in the River City Ransom canon, then this won't catch your interest.
While some will no doubt find enjoyment in beating up goons in Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!, most will find it overly repetitive and a tad too obscure. With its basic combat, small pool of enemies and often unfair bosses, there’s little here to pull Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san! out of mediocrity.
Old-school beat 'em up fans will surely have some fun with Stay Cool, Kobayashi-San! but its repetitive and random nature definitely makes it an ultimately tedious and frustrating experience.
Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san! A River City Ransom Story is a fun, if not frustrating at times, spin-off of the Kunio-kun games. However, as a game designed to be played through several times, often completing vague objectives to get certain endings or rankings, it quickly lost its charm for me. If you’re confident the gameplay loop won’t get old, the $13.99 asking price will probably seem like a good deal. Otherwise, I’d look elsewhere to get your fix of high schoolers beating up other high schoolers and/or time travelers.
While Stay Cool Kobayashi San! isn't the most in-depth brawler out there, it does provide a good dose of fun for fans of the series and fans of the style alike. Been needing a good beat 'em up? This could definitely scratch that itch!
A cheap-feeling experience that quickly lets any interest slip away.