The friends of Ringo Ishikawa Image
Metascore
62

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ringo Ishikawa is a gang leader but also a senior in High School, with day-to-day challenges and routines to follow. You have freedom in how you pass each day, and as time progresses a natural story plays out that is inspired by yakuza-delinquent aesthetics. This is a story about gangs, Ringo Ishikawa is a gang leader but also a senior in High School, with day-to-day challenges and routines to follow. You have freedom in how you pass each day, and as time progresses a natural story plays out that is inspired by yakuza-delinquent aesthetics. This is a story about gangs, friendships and, most of all, about growing up.

    You can pick fights with other gangs and master the game’s mechanics, utilising punches, kicks and grapples while levelling up Ringo and his gang members. You can go shopping, hang out at a burger restaurant or café, head to the bar, or even get a job to earn money for food, activities, a TV and other goodies that unlock minigames. On top of that you have classes and homework to consider, as you can strive for top grades or play truant. Above all of this, the story of Ringo Ishikawa plays out for you to experience.

    With stylish retro-inspired visuals and a varied soundtrack to perfectly fit the mood, The friends of Ringo Ishikawa gives an awesome blend of narrative, action, varied challenges and a Japanese vibe.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. 90
    The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa is one of the best examples of subversion within the brawler genre since the mighty Lollipop Chainsaw.
  2. Apr 29, 2019
    75
    The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa might look like an old-fashioned belt-scroller, but it is actually an open-world game full of life and… well, philosophy! There’s plenty of dialogue, and the way the story is told through everyday life events at school and in your neighborhood feels like real life. The game’s systems aren’t well explained, which will catch many gamers off-guard at first, but its climax has a lasting impact that is worth experiencing.
  3. 70
    It’s a unique and interesting experiment wrapped up in a cool, pixelated graphical style and an atmospheric soundtrack that suits the game perfectly. Rather than playing it and trying to accomplish what a game might typically expect from you, I recommend finding your own way to enjoy this one. Discovering the routines, following them, and learning about the different actions you can take throughout the town are the best ways to become acquainted with The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa.
  4. Apr 22, 2019
    60
    Screenshots really don’t do The friends of Ringo Ishikawa justice. What looks like a traditional side-scrolling brawler is actually something far more intricate. It’s more of a teenage simulator than anything, and with some really well-written dialogue (filled with the kind of malaise and sense of directionless rebellion we all experienced in our formative years) there’s a really interesting story to be found. Its everyday activities will remind you more of Bully or Shenmue than Street Gangs/River City Ransom, just don’t expect to have your hand held as you head out into the world to discover them.
  5. Apr 18, 2019
    50
    While the concept of an open world beat ‘em up set in high-school sounds interesting, the way it was executed is far from perfect. Furthermore, the entire world feels meaningless, as there is no way to easily tell what time your classes begin, and where they are. It is also difficult to know where each building is in the world because The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa lacks a map/compass feature. If you are looking for a unique beat ‘em up, and are willing to manage it’s user experience issues, then this is a perfect game for you.
  6. Apr 20, 2019
    50
    The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa is quite weak in its pure playful proposal but has a real personality that could well embark you, if you are sensitive to this typical Japanese atmosphere carried by hip hop melodies and retro graphics successful in this small city, free to live the existence often in slow motion of a rascal high school and his friends. In this, again, the fact of being able to play in a nomadic way with the Switch is a plus.
  7. Jul 10, 2019
    50
    The combat, too, can get a little confusing when a bunch of characters are on-screen. You'll end up hitting the wrong foe, which then allows your intended target to get some free hits on you. The abundance of techniques doesn't add much, either, as the basic punch and kick combos do fine against everyone. I know this isn't meant to be specifically a beat-'em-up, but the gameplay feels a little basic.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jun 23, 2019
    10
    Some of the best character dialogue you could ask for. The music is spot on for the mods of every moment, and the open world exploration getsSome of the best character dialogue you could ask for. The music is spot on for the mods of every moment, and the open world exploration gets you familiar with the town without putting a bunch of markers on a littered map. Keep talking to the same people, nobody says the same thing two days in a row. A masterpiece in feeling, and exploration. The combat is standard brawler, but talk to the right people, and combos and positioning moves keep it from being a button masher. 10/10 must buy. Expand
  2. May 11, 2019
    10
    If you like a coming of age story, a immersive gaming experience and beat em ups set around japan, school, and the yakuza you love this
  3. Apr 21, 2019
    10
    this is a really compelling but meditative experience where you play as a Japanese high school student just living his life. it's a bit of athis is a really compelling but meditative experience where you play as a Japanese high school student just living his life. it's a bit of a combination between Shenmue and Persona, with the free exploration of Shenmue and the high school schedule of Persona. unlike those two games however, this game can be as focused or as aimless as you choose. wanna be a good student and go to class every day? you can do that! wanna beat up some jerks who looked at you funny? you can! wanna stand on a rooftop, smoking and watching clouds go by? it's all here! if you spent your senior year of high school skipping class and trying to figure out what your life afterwards was going to look like, this game is probably going to resonate with you. it also has some really stellar music and pixel art, and an atmosphere you can sink into like it was your favorite chair. all around, a really lovely little game. Expand
  4. Jun 16, 2019
    10
    Best soundtrack in a game for the last 20 years. If for nothing else get it for the music.
  5. Jul 20, 2019
    9
    You are Ringo. You lead a gang. You go to high school. You need money for food and cigarettes. The rest is up to you.
  6. Apr 12, 2019
    7
    If you were bummed that Shenmue wasn't a 2D side scroller, and you thought River City Ransom WAY better than Double Dragon (I did), thenIf you were bummed that Shenmue wasn't a 2D side scroller, and you thought River City Ransom WAY better than Double Dragon (I did), then Friends of Ringo Ishikawa may be right up your alley.

    The story is interesting but tired. The "coming of age" stories are getting a little thick these days, although this one has its own flare and manages to translate pretty well in the atmosphere and characters presented.

    Speaking of translation - if it's not intentional then the English translator for this game should be fired. Misspellings, misused words, broken sentence structure, it's a mess. I don't typically get annoyed by this much in text (voice work is a different story), but if its one of your ticks, stay away.

    The combat is responsive, and easy to learn - it simply doesn't evolve with the same freedom of choice that RCR did. Instead it feels much like Double Dragon in this way. You'll learn the basics, you'll learn new ways of stringing together the basics, and then you'll be done learning combat.

    The game is short however, so it never has a chance to annoy you too much with repetitive mechanics. In fact, keeping things fresh and non-repetitive is one thing TFORI does tremendously well. By peppering in JRPG mechanics at different intervals, and a plethora of mini-games - the game as a whole does a good job of breaking you away from the monotony before it becomes overbearing.

    All in all, a worthwhile experience. One I would have liked to see released at a sub $10 price point, so maybe wait for a light sale before investing. 7/10
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  7. Jun 15, 2019
    2
    Decent graphics but the gameplay gets really old really fast. It's just too casual. Also, when a character has a cigarette, the smoke blowsDecent graphics but the gameplay gets really old really fast. It's just too casual. Also, when a character has a cigarette, the smoke blows in the wrong direction. It's maddening. Expand