STREETS OF RAGE 4 Review by TechTronic Ninja
I’m a child of the 90’s, a time when side scrolling beat ‘em ups were all the rage (no pun intended) in the arcades and on home consoles. Among the most notable in this genre is Streets of Rage, developed and published by Sega. You and your team of ex-vigilantes hit the streets, on a mission to eradicate a vicious crime syndicate. This game deserved a much needed return, and 26 years later, we finally have it with “Street of Rage 4.”
Streets of Rage 4 is polished for modern consoles but stays true to the originals from the past. I was unsure what to expect when I first heard about this new release. After a couple hours of gameplay, I was pleasantly surprised with this addition in the franchise. This game brings back two classic characters from the original, Axel and Blaze. They are joined on their mission by two new additions, Floyd and Cherry Hunter. Aside from the standard punches, kicks, and throws, each team member is fitted with their own special powers. Axel can attack opponents with his fiery uppercut. Blaze burns enemies with her electricity field. Floyd uses his powerful arms for a long range grab attack. Cherry Hunter wields her electric guitar to deal damage. Make sure to use these powers wisely because utilization of special moves will reduce health.
The core mechanics in Streets of Rage 4 are excellent. The relentless swarms of enemies, the repetitive combat, the multitude of usable weapons scattered throughout the stage, and the non stop fighting bring back all of the elements of nostalgia that I was looking for. Pair those features with the awesome soundtrack and the “Retro” and “Retro CRT” modes, enabling original game visuals to fully put you back into the 90’s gaming experience. In addition to great gameplay, the hand drawn environments are beautiful as well as diverse. Stages are also equipped with pitfalls, which when used properly can devastate the enemy, but be careful as one false move might send you off a ledge, resulting in reduced health.
Although Streets of Rage 4 is a tad short in its single player campaign, there are many unlockables along the way that can be used when replaying the game or trying your hand at a harder difficulty level. When you’ve had enough of fighting the AI in single player mode, the “Battle mode” allows friends to face off against one another in a local 4 player battle or 2 player battle online, adding more replay value to an otherwise short game.
In conclusion, Streets of Rage 4 brings more than enough to the table to satisfy new gamers as well as hardcore gamers of the past. With it’s fast paced action, smooth gameplay, great soundtrack and availability across multiple platforms, this game has everything and doesn’t disappoint. Gamers that are fans of old school side scrolling beat ‘em ups will feel right at home with this revamped addition to the Streets of Rage franchise.
Streets of Rage 4 is available now for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.