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Kunio-Kun SP brings cutesy 8-bit street punks back to the 3DS

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Kunio — the stocky cartoon street punk who starred in such famous 8-bit titles as River City Ransom and Super Dodge Ball — is back once more on the Nintendo 3DS, thanks to Arc System Works.

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun SP is a brand-new title in the franchise, one that features a seriously extensive singleplayer story mode. According to a preview published in this week's Famitsu magazine, the campaign stars Kunio, leader of a street gang on the outskirts of Tokyo, as he tries to take down a new, brutal syndicate of high-school punks that have taken over the streets of most of eastern Japan.

New features include a city map you can freely travel around, side quests that you can take from citizens to earn extra money, and the ability to punch out NPCs — in addition to the game's "real" enemies — sort of make the game a retro-Grand Theft Auto, maybe. Attacking non-combatants will reportedly lead to unexpected story developments, not to mention the occasional police foot pursuit.

Kunio-Kun SP also lets up to four people duke it out with each other using a single game card. Two games are available: A battle-royale fighting mode, and a dodgeball game where you can build teams from a pool of 36 players and whip the snot out of each other out in the schoolyard.

The game's due out August 8 in Japan for 46,49 yen; pre-order and you'll get a soundtrack CD. The Famitsu preview also mentions that a live-action production of some sort is in the works, although it didn't mention any details.