‘Streets of Rage 4′ packs nostalgic punch
After 25 years away, unofficial fan projects aside, the “Streets of Rage” franchise has returned.
Axel, Adam and Blaze, the vigilante heroes from 1991’s Sega Genesis release “Streets of Rage”, are back in action.
This time they’re joined by Adam’s daughter, Cherry, cyborg heavyweight Floyd and a cache of other characters from previous games in the series — including younger, more pixelated versions of the fist-fighting, high-kicking trio themselves.
The original “Streets of Rage” games were known for satisfying, inventive combat, spectacular special moves, entertaining level designs and pulsating soundtracks.
That’s why the team at DotEmu in Paris, France, has been working to capture the spirit and feel of “Streets of Rage” 1 to 3, even seeking to improve upon the classic games’ formula.
The publisher has been working together with fellow French indies Guard Crush Games (of modernized homage “Streets of Fury”) and Lizardcube (fantastic retro remake “Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap”) to develop a new franchise entry worthy of the name, with veteran soundtrack composers also on board.
Visually, “Streets of Rage 4” departs somewhat from its predecessors, with a cell-shaded style preferred to the jagged, grainy aesthetic of yesteryear.
As well as a refreshed character roster, players can now reclaim stamina lost to special moves by landing a string of successive blows.
Battle Mode has returned and online multiplayer is baked in, with four-player local co-op also available via the same machine.
Does “Streets of Rage 4” still have that old magic? With its embargo lifting just now, it’s turned out well, winning an 85% average and Mighty rating from OpenCritic’s aggregation system, and an initial 82 (PS4) and 84 (PC) from Metacritic.
“Streets of Rage 4” drops today for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. RGA