The 90’s are back baby!
sorry what I meant to say is.
It’s the return of Street’s of Rage the fourth in the long running series of side-scrolling beat em up brawlers and it is wonderful. A real passion project from developers DOTEMU and Sega is a real labour of love. A masterpiece of the highest order a real bone-crunching, table smashing, world saving tour de force with a soundtrack to match
Its safe to say that I love the game and let me try and break down some of the reasons why:
- The first and probably most important thing for me is that it takes me way back to 1992 yes, all the way back then. A time when you sat huddled around your CRT television and you pickled your side and stuck with it. You were team Sega or team Nintendo and that was it. A time when I was nothing but a mere slip of a gamer. A gamer that wanted nothing more than to beat up a few goons, save the world and ”accidently” hit whomever was playing as the second character a few too many times with a poorly aimed punch or special move. I had a great time doing it and I’m still not sorry.
- It’s great to play. There have been many games that I have tried to pull of the way it felt to play a Streets of Rage game and many have failed. Streets of Rage 4 succeeds and then some. The fighting feels right. With a weight and a force behind the attacks that feels instant and gratifying. You can have fun just button-mashing your way through levels or take your time and really get to know the combo’s. For fans of the series and genre. It hit’s every nail on the head
- It’s very, very pretty. Very pretty. Everything in the game is hand drawn and it looks it. Rage 4 is simply one of the best looking brawlers on any system. The character models look great standing still but in motion is where they really shine. Be it Axel doing his signature ”Grand Upper” move the devastating upper cut of destruction or new character Floyd and his robotic arms of Chaos, each character models sings. It’s a game so beautiful to look at the game play could be taken right of the pages of a comic book or be turned into a cartoon. It’s a pleasing delight. A feast for the eyeballs.
- It sticks to what it does best. Fans of Streets of Rage have come back to the series for one reason and one reason only. To fight BAD GUYS. This is what made the Streets of Rage series so fun to start with and it’s good to see the series has not strayed from that path. There is absolutely no fluff in the game. No way to make your character incrementally stronger, no character buffs, no changes of clothes and absolutely no micro transactions. It’s a game that sticks to what it does best and is all the better for it.
- The Soundtrack. Just as in the original trilogy I found myself bopping away to the sounds of this game. I am even listening to the soundtrack as I type this page out! It’s great. I don’t think there is anything on there to quite beat Yuzo Koshiro’s legendary ( in my opinion) Go Straight but it’s very good. It had my head bopping and feet tapping.
- Its got multiplayer. Yes 4 player co-op is here. Yes more than one player in a Rage game is hectic. It’s chaotic as each player battles over dropped items, players rushing forward to pick up health items. Who knew food left outside was good for you! Of course you don’t want to be the player that’s always rushing forward trying to engage the next wave of enemies before your team mates have finished of the current lot but, believe me when I say that there is always some who seeks the madness of chaos the never ending charge into battle. The joyful smile on their mad face as their team mates shout at them again to stop it.
- Of course if your multiplayer mates our a bunch of sadistic crazy people we know have a one on one brawler Street Fighter style for you to settle your differences. Its new to me I don’t remember it being in the original games but, here it is. Ready for you to fight with your friends
- The secrets. Secret’s always give a game a bit more replay ability and Streets of Rage is no different in wanting it’s players to return for another run to save the city, so there are secrets dotted through out the game. Most of these secrets tend to be in the form of retro 16 BIT Levels! That really take you back to the era and they even come with a 16 bit CRT level filter. Great fun to play and great fun to find.
There we have it 8 reasons why I think, if you are a fan of the genre and Streets of Rage in particular Streets of Rage 4 is an absolute must-play a masterpiece of a title. I am not sure if it dethrones my personal king of the genre, the near perfect Streets of Rage 2 but that could, just be the rose-coloured spectacles talking.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did