The power of nostalgia can be an irresistible draw, and with the recent release of Streets of Rage 4, the good old side-scrolling beat ’em up definitely brings back memories of a more innocent time of pure gameplay above everything else. Of course, this modern sequel is not without its modern comforts, adding more moves and defensive abilities for our vigilante heroes to even the odds against the Crime Syndicate.
In addition to the five main fighters, DotEmu, Guard Crush Games, and Lizardcube has also included a huge dose of nostalgia with the inclusion of pixelated fighters from the series’ past. Together with the inclusion of an Arcade Mode that challenges you to finish the entire game in one seating with no continues, it is an ideal way to experience the thrill of how things were before.
Therefore, we took up the mighty challenge of trying to best Streets of Rage 4 with Shiva from the third game in the franchise. With all his martial prowess and an unfortunate inability to pick up weapons, we took to the streets and dispensed justice on Hard difficulty just to spice things up a little.
The journey was certainly a hard-fought one, even if Shiva’s combos were devastating to the many enemies that blocked our path to justice. As is the case with such games, the true enemy is your discipline, and knowing when is the best time to strike. It helps to learn about your foes’ patterns as well.
Thankfully, the defensive moves in Streets of Rage 4 can usually get you out of trouble during its iframes, as long as you have the health to use them. After close to an hour and fifteen minutes, we tasted victory without seeing a dreaded “Game Over” screen, and the enjoyment was immense. Not just because Streets of Rage 4 is an amazing, modern representation of a long-dormant genre, but also because it reminds us so much of the good old days.
Jake is a full-time trophy hunter and achievement gatherer on consoles, and part-time Steam Sale victim. He has a thing for Batman and awesome statues, and running out of space for both. Send help.