Streets of Rage 4, yes you heard it correctly, it’s finally here after a wait of just over 26 years since the third installment for SEGA Megadrive.
To put it into perspective, the last time a Streets of Rage game graced our presence, the DOOP DOOP song was number one in the singles chart, The Pelican Brief with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington was number 1 in the movie box office.
If you didn’t know what the DOOP DOOP song was and you searched it on YouTube (or clicked my awful link), I am sorry! It’s bad.
Anyway, onto the review…Streets of Rage 4 was released by Dotemu on 30th April 2020.
Dotemu are a Paris based company who recently remastered Wonderboy: The Dragons Trap, another SEGA game. They certainly have a history of taking forgotten classics and bringing them into the 21st century for all of us gamers.
Firstly, Streets of Rage 4 is the most vast game in the series yet, with 12 stages of bone breaking beat ’em up action.
When you start Streets of Rage 4, there are four characters to choose from, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding being the two familiar characters, they are joined by Cherry Hunter (Adam Hunter’s daughter) and Floyd Iraia who is personally my favourite character due to his strength and reach. He can also throw opponents a lot further than other characters, this proves to be useful throughout the game.
But Floyd is slow, and there will be times he will struggle against fast boss characters.
Cherry is a fast paced character who will improve your hit points score more than any other character, but her short reach will mean you struggle against certain enemies.
As you play Streets of Rage 4, more characters will unlock, starting with the modern version of Adam Hunter.
All of the other unlockable characters are brilliantly recreated pixelated versions of the characters from the first 3 Streets of Rage games, they look pretty great even against the beautiful crisp new backgrounds.
The classic characters are as follows:
Streets of Rage 1:
Streets of Rage 2:
Streets of Rage 3:
Playability wise, Dotemu have done their extensive research on the feel of a Streets of Rage game, and it shows in the final game. The game has a fantastic mix of traditional gameplay with some welcome additions, including the ability to throw your opponents against walls with a satisfying crack.
Another welcome addition, when you throw your opponents against the edge of the screen, they bounce back into the arena, rather than disappearing from view with the dull wait for them to reappear like on the original games.
I also love the fact you can throw a weapon against an enemy and catch it as it rebounds off them.
There are many returning enemies from the original games, including the annoying fire breathing Big Ben, and various versions of him, some ran do roll attacks too.
I don’t want to give too much away, but the bosses in Streets of Rage 4 are brilliantly designed, each with various surprising skills to keep you on your toes.
The game is challenging, on easy mode it’s fairly comfortable, but Normal upwards the game has a real challenge in store, something that was lacking in Streets of Rage 2 but was fixed in the 3rd installment.
Did anyone spot Roo? Seems like he is employed as a bartender these days!
PIXEL GAMES REVIEW: Streets of Rage 4 is a celebration of the first 3 games, but is not afraid to introduce some new flair into the game. I have heard various reviewers wanting more in 2020, but let’s not forget, this is a beat ’em up. And Streets of Rage 4 truly brings the genre into the 21st century, whilst keeping the beautiful simplicity of a traditional beat ’em up. Dotemu, Lizard Cube and Guard Crush Games have achieved all that we wanted in this sequel plus a lot more. It has me thinking, when are they going to pick up long forgotten classics from Capcom and turn them into 21st century brawlers just like this one. BUY IT NOW!!
Pixel score: 94% 🕹️
Available for: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One