Familiar with Hot Blooded Tough Guy Kunio-kun? Most of us older timers are, but many might not even be aware of it. His wide array of games include Super Dodgeball, Nintendo World Cup, Crash and the Boys, and his popular beat ’em up classic, River City Ransom. No doubt you’ve seen these cartoonish characters some where in your past and just didn’t realize it was an entire series.
Bad NES Localization has kept Kunio’s true name a secret all these years, but he’s made it to American shores more times than you might realize. All of his classic arcade, NES, and SNES games were developed by the now defunct Technos Japan and have been handed over to the remnants of employees who formed Million shortly after their dispersal.
Million has done a decent job keeping Kunio-kun and friends from totally dying out, and now they have gone the extra mile to make sure he gets a well deserved second chance at a come back. Their website reports they’ve just tapped none other than Arc System Works to create their next upcoming brawler.
Arc System Works has been all over the place these past few years, licensing themselves out to create just about any franchise into a fighting series. Their most recent game, Persona 4 Arena, was a critical success in line with their original series Blaz Blue and Guilty Gear. Their flashy modern anime style doesn’t seem like a mix for the goofy 80’s sprites fans have seen for the last 25 years, but I wouldn’t put it past them to make a recognizable compromise.
If you’ve never played a Kunio-kun game, I recommend getting a quick rundown on the series so you know what to expect. The Retronauts’ Lunch Break Kuno-kun video for a decent look into what the sports games are about, and Kurt Katala’s HG101 also has a great recap of the series as well.
The series revolves around a young Japanese punk named Kunio and the citywide brawls he gets into in his derelict high school in downtown Tokyo. Oftentimes, the boys take to the sporting arenas to take their violence out over unfriendly games of soccer, hockey, basketball, and urban relay races.