Publisher Dotemu (Wonder Boy, Windjammers 1/2) and developers Lizardcube (Wonder Boy) and Guard Crush Games today revealed Streets of Rage 4, an all-new continuation of SEGA’s iconic arcade brawler series known for its radical fights, jammin’ ’90s beats and dashing sparring gloves and bandanas.
Streets of Rage, known as Bare Knuckle (Bea Nakkuru) in Japan, is a trilogy of beat ’em up games developed and published by SEGA in the 1990s.
Famously known for its non stop action and electronic dance influenced music – scored by Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima – the series has gained the status of cult classic throughout the years. It is considered one of the best beat ’em up series of all time. After many years, Axel and Blaze are finally picking up the fight where they left.
Featuring hand-drawn visuals from the team behind 2017’s gorgeous Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap remake, Streets of Rage 4 builds upon the classic trilogy’s gameplay with new mechanics, a fresh story and a gauntlet of dangerous stages with a serious crime problem. Streets of Rage 4 recalls classic gameplay but it stands as an entirely original arcade-style romp thanks to the expertise of Guard Crush Games and Dotemu.
Whether players gang up with a friend or clean up the city solo, Streets of Rage 4 is a skull-bashing, chicken-chomping delight all set to a thumping soundtrack sure to get your blood pumping.
A sequel, but also a celebration of the series so far, Streets of Rage 4 doesn’t disappoint. That’s amazing considering the many years of anticipation and excitement leading up to it. Fans couldn’t have asked for more in a new entry in the beloved series. And even better, Streets of Rage 4 proves that there’s still life in it. It’s a tour de force of sumptuous art, mesmerising music, and trance-inducing action. Take nostalgia out of the equation, and Streets of Rage 4 is the best entry in the series yet.
Streets of Rage 4 is an enchanting retro surprise, bursting onto the scene and overcoming many of the justified grievances fans might have with reviving such an esteemed property. The combat is fierce, the music is banging and its sense of style is simply marvelous.
Streets of Rage 4 is a solid tribute to the genre it arguably helped shape, but this feels like more of the same with a fresh coat of paint rather than an all-out reinvention. What’s on offer here is reminiscent and nostalgic, and still a great time, but it ultimately lacks the oomph to elevate it beyond the games that came before it.