Reets Streets of Rage 4 ”, review: beyond nostalgia, one of the best beat’em-ups ever

You can read some reviews of ‘Streets of Rage 4’ pointing out that this is a title for players of the original series. What is that a sequel worthy of its predecessors and which is not a simple nostalgic toy, but manages to update its proposal, modernize the graphics and mechanics of the classics. And all this without touching the essence of what must be good beat’em-up, ‘me against the neighborhood’ or whatever you want to call it kind of exploding your way through the lighter neighborhoods of an 80s / 90s city.

Reets Streets of Rage 4 ”, review: beyond nostalgia, one of the best beat’em-ups ever

It wouldn’t be dark if ‘Streets of Rage 4’ just accomplished this: the original saga is a serious contender for the title of best beat’em-up in history, especially its perfect second opus. There is no need to force the player to constantly browse the box that Capcom classics have for entertainment (something inherited by domestic ports from such impeccable games, such as « Final Fight »), which makes their mechanics and their difficulty very tight. Apart from that, the technical section (graphics, music, performance) of the three episodes of Mega Drive shines at stratospheric height. If “Streets of Rage 4” did not detract from this glorious precedent, it would already be a must-have for fans of the genre.

More “Streets of Rage 4” goes further, and that’s why it’s a shame to be seen as just a vehicle of nostalgia. Anything you want, but after all, a nostalgic artifact. And the truth is, of course, “Streets of Rage 4” is enjoyed almost with tears in your eyes if you’re a fan of the originals: there are tributes everywhere, pixelated extras, and in general the game runs like a box-set resonance of the genre, with scenes (the prison, the alley, the cargo ship, the port) which are already pure icons of the time.

Enter the alleys

Okay, « Streets of Rage 4 » goes further. But …how to transcend a genre that has three decades of life behind it And that it has reached a certain perfection with the mentioned sagas and with other milestones like “Double Dragon”, “Captain Commando” or the arcade of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”? Simply, understand what worked perfectly in these games and therefore, don’t touch it or modify it slightly, and take advantage of the new technical hours to go as far as possible.

Aside from Streets of Rage 4, here are other « me against the neighborhood » that take place in cooperative mode with four people

In the first aspect, we have the mechanics. There is nothing to affect the combat system of « Streets of Rage » (especially, once again, the second opus, which is the one that served as the clearest model for this sequel). Everything here works the same, with a single button to attack, a simple grip system that allows you to close keys in multiple ways, an additional button (replaceable by a movement of the stick to retaliate and not be surrounded) and a pair of « magic », a more powerful and a simpler one.

Reets Streets of Rage 4 ”, review: beyond nostalgia, one of the best beat’em-ups ever

In the latter, some of the energy is lost during its execution, but it can be recovered if a series of hits are chained without being hit by enemies. A low-speed reflex mini-game that rewards uninterrupted combos. This is one of the many little details that fine tune a combat system that hardly needed to be tweaked. Because it was just perfect, to which is added an additional accessibility to execute the handles, more elusive in the original games.

For the rest, the game system reproduces not only the movements themselves, but also their crystallization in mechanics: Collision detection, time to fight, with the perfect breaks between blow and blow, the stunned enemies which makes it possible to manage microstrategies, warnings in the animations of different types of rival offensives, the AI ​​which allows them to surround the player … everything has the precision, fluidity, almost mathematical precision of graphics designed with pixels, and as fighting game veterans know, that’s the best possible compliment in the genre.

The talent of Streets of Rage 4 managers in this regard is knowing what should be affected and what not. The success of Dotemu is therefore to have made a thorough analysis of the originals and to reproduce them with mathematical precision (reprogram everything, which is almost more work than to renovate it completely) these invisible details which give all the strength to the mechanical. For example, the trembling paralyzing enemies with each blow, of a perfect duration, this adds both strength and a visual cue that the blow landed correctly on the punk’s kidney in front of him.

What has improved in the streets

Where one notices an advantage of the new possibilities of the current material is in the graphic aspect. After a first trailer that raised an eyebrow so poorly integrated that the characters were With the funds, this aspect has been refined and the current result is a real treat. The style of the characters and the setting form an absolutely spectacular whole.

The reflections of the lights in the puddles on the ground, the effects of neon lights, stained glass, lanterns and many other sources of light on the characters, whose aspect changes as they move, the magnificent work with shadows, concentrated in a perspective more plastic than realistic … ‘Streets of Rage 4’ has the best graphic work of the year, at top of recent ‘drawn’ graphic milestones like ‘Rayman Legends’ or ‘Ori and the Will of Wisp’, and it’s almost a statement of intent for those of us who believe the realistic polygonal finish by default of the Most Triple A games are no longer an excuse to castrate creativity which is a real source of visual joy.

Reets Streets of Rage 4 ”, review: beyond nostalgia, one of the best beat’em-ups ever

‘SEGA Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage’ for XBLA: review

These improvements also expand the playable aspect, beyond the details that refine the combat mechanics: playing online between four cooperative players would have been unthinkable in the era of Mega Drive, and now it’s an essential addition, because the beat’em-ups They are the classic genre with the ultimate cooperative multiplayer. Its presence multiplies the lifespan of the game and its replayable potential.

Replayability is also guaranteed thanks to the many additional playable characters that are unlocked and new modes that appear at the end of a turn. The most interesting, without a doubt, is the Arcade mode, which recovers the demanding original experience without the possibility of continuing and with more difficult combat conditions, although you can still choose between the five difficulty modes. That and the ability to improve scores in isolated levels to keep unlocking extras and characters guarantees weeks of life.

Rage of Rage 4 »: l’avis de SamaGame

You don’t have to resort to the Nocilla sandwich and old, simple good times to claim « Streets of Rage 4 ». The merits are earned by itself and without difficulty: it’s a superb beat’em-up capable of measuring itself and surpassing its predecessors in many ways. Continuing with what’s needed, renovating enough so that it doesn’t feel like an overhaul, DotEmu’s painstaking work is beyond doubt.

An example of his great sophistication can be found in the stage design work or in the new soundtrack (although you can play with the old, legendary Yuzo Koshiro): without cloning the past, Go back to a time when cities and their sounds were considered a dangerous and mad colossus, but aesthetically irresistible. If offering a version that never existed in the past sounds nostalgic, then ‘Street of Rage 4’ is nostalgic. But if there has ever been anything that feels like a longing for the good, it’s clear that it pulsates beneath the shiny surface of this game.

Reets Streets of Rage 4 ”, review: beyond nostalgia, one of the best beat’em-ups ever

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