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Kunio-kun’s Three Kingdoms! Celebrates Series’ 35th Anniversary

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Kunio-kun's Three Kingdoms

Kunio-kun is headed to ancient China. The latest game in the Kunio-kun franchise (better known in some places overseas as the River City series) takes hot-blooded action to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Titled Downtown Special: Kunio-Kun’s Three Kingdoms – All Are Assembled! (Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Sangokushi da yo – Zennin Shuugou!), the game is under development at Aplus Games (who created Kill la Kill: IF and Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time). Arc System Works, the current holder of the Kunio-kun license, is publishing. [Thanks, 4Gamer!]

The Kunio-kun’s Three Kingdoms announcement included a teaser trailer. It’s also linked on the official site.

The trailer itself had little to show of the game itself except its title, beyond some evocative glimpses of period-style banners and ancient Chinese spears to confirm the setting. Even its release window was vague. The announcement specified nothing more than “Coming Soon.” Even history isn’t necessarily an accurate guide as to what Kunio-kun’s Three Kingdoms might turn out to be. Over the decades, the franchise has spanned a wide range of game genres, blending street punk violence with everything from soccer to track and field to hockey and assorted minigames.

That being said, a hint may lie in the title. The new game carries the Downtown Special designation.  One other game in the series shares those elements: Downtown Special: Kunio-kun’s Historical Period Drama! (Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo – Zennin Shuugou!). That game was a side-scrolling brawler in the classic style, though styled to resemble an Edo-period samurai show.

Kunio-kun’s Three Kingdoms is in development. There’s no mention yet of platforms or release window. River City Girls and Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!, the latest games in the Kunio-kun franchise, are available for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Classic Kunio-kun games released in English for the first time as part of 2020’s Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle for PS4 and Switch.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino helped run Japanator as Managing Editor since 2012, before it and Siliconera teamed up. That said, it's been years since he watched enough anime to keep his otaku license valid. Maybe one day he'll see enough of a given season to pretend to know what's hot. Until then, it's Star Trek reruns, gacha games, and bylines at Destructoid and GameCritics.