April has been an amazing month for 90s era video games. It started with players returning to Midgar earlier this month in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and now they will return to Wood Oak City in Streets of Rage 4.
Fans of the series from the Sege genesis haven’t seen any Streets of Rage for 25 years, but will be able to return to the familiar streets with characters old and new, alongside my favorite Axle. The game boasts a 16 character roster (12 being classic characters you have to unlock).
Streets of Rage is a side-scrolling arcade-style fighting game with Comic book graphics, a simple control system, and 12 diverse environments to fight within. The creators didn’t shy away from its 90s roots and kept the same sound effects for picking up health, cash, and weapons that they had in the past. The enemies do feel familiar, but have they all have different variations and different moves.
The major differences I’ve seen from this one, compared to the past games, is the addition of power moves that use your health bar for damage, but give you the ability to restore that used health with hits on enemies – Beware if you use these power moves and are unable to restore your health before being hit by an enemy, that health is all gone so it adds a risk-reward type scenario to the game. Mastering the balance between the two can unleash some devastating combos, so I recommend putting the time in. They also introduced a button combo move if you hold both X and Y it unleashes a devastating unblockable attack specific to each character you can use.
Streets of Rage 4 has some variety to how you can play as well. Having 4-player local co-op for your family quarantine game nights, and 2-player online co-op, for you to kick ass with a long-distance partner. The game has 5 difficulty levels to choose from and 4 modes of play (Campaign, Arcade, Boss Rush, and Battle Mode).
The game has many throwbacks to its predecessors and is a wonderfully retro and nostalgic experience, that gets even better if you zap an arcade cabinet with a taser. Seriously, just do it you’ll thank me later. Now what are you waiting for? Get out there and start bashing the heads of anyone that moves, and if you need a sidekick… Hit me up!