Side-scrolling beat-em-ups have played a major role in the rise of video games during the glory days of arcades, when countless coins were fed to the machines for the chance to play another round.
The Streets of Rage series, released on the Sega Mega Drive, Master System and Game Gear were a big hit among lovers of the genre, and three games were released at a fast pace. More than 26 years after the release of the third game in the series a brave developer licensed the IP and created Streets of Rage 4, a modern release that retains many of the nostalgic elements of the franchise.
Graphics have been upgraded to modern standards and are crisp, with solid animations and a retro vibe that celebrates the old the days without being excessive.
Fighting is an exciting and adrenaline-filled adventure that blends button mashing with a few strategic twists that manage to keep it fresh and exciting. Each playable character has an impressive array of combat moves at its disposal, which offer diversity without the feeling of being too complicated. Reactions to commands are swift and precise and even if the lots of enemies are present on the screen fighting them doesn’t feel like a chore.
Some of the attacks can be made by sacrificing a portion of your current health, but the option to win it back is available as long as you can perform a string of normal attacks after you use them. There is also the need to pay attention to the other player during co-ops as friendly fire is enabled and you can hit them without problems. Teamwork is a satisfying experience and the a variety of situational weapons will enhance the gameplay.
Many fans will enjoy the twelve stages of the game and a sleuth of other modes will provide extra entertainment.