Streets of Rage 4 is an arcade beat em up game and off course the fourth game in the Streets of Rage series. Many have been waiting for this game. Many. X35 Earthwalker is one of them but off course the greatest and coolest of them. Things are different this time around in Streets of Rage, in multiple ways and for the better. Many have talked or reviews this game (they did alright) but remember… a game hasn’t been reviewed until X35 Earthwalker has reviewed it. Let’s take a look.
Streets of Rage stories have never been complicated. They are always straight forward and simple. In Streets of Rage 4. There’s crime in the city, an evil syndicate is behind it all and the vigilante heroes go in to stop it… beating the crap out of everyone and everything that gets in their way. Simple. This time though Mr X is not the one behind it. He’s dead. It’s his children… the Y twins! Mr and Ms Y. So this time Axel, blaze, Cherry? and Floyd? with rage in their hearts take on the streets of rage. Yep, we got new characters. Cherry hunter (if you couldn’t tell by the name) is the daughter of Adam Hunter. Floyd Iraia is the apprentice and assistant of Dr Gilbert Zan. So no Adam again?…
The rules are the same in Streets of Rage 4. Keep moving to the right and beat up all the bad guys. Reach the end of the level and face a boss. Get enough points and you earn an extra life. Each of the characters have their own stats which can be viewed in the extras menu but you must unlock it first. They each have special attacks with a few like Blaze having an additional. There’s the defensive and offensive special attack. The defensive is like a ‘get off me’ move which during you’re also invincible. Offensive is normally longer range, travels a little and does straight up damage. Each character also has an ultimate attack. These require stars to activate which don’t come easy. For example, Floyd’s ultimate is him firing huge laser like he’s Cyborg from Injustice. Cherry is the fastest of all the fighters and the only one who can sprint. Floyd is the biggest and strongest but slower than slow itself. Axel is a balanced fighter with a powerful offensive special move. Blaze is also balanced, bit weaker than axel but got an additional special attack.
Streets of Rage 4 isn’t a hard game but a fair challenge, unlike Streets of Rage 3. The difficulties are: Easy. normal, hard, hardest and Mania. Mania is as the descriptions says… unfair but it’s only for the masters of Streets of Rage 4. Familliar enemies like Galsia, donavon, yellow signal are all here and ready to fight. Matter of fact, enemies from different Streets of Rage games are all here. They come back as mini bosses, actual end of level boss or just strong enemies. Big Ben, the fat guy in red introduced in Streets of Rage 2, is back and he charges you spiting fire (somehow) just like the good ol days. Barbon who was a boss in streets of Rage 2 is back and also a boss. He still kicks hard. Garnet, the women who jump and kick you from Streets of Rage 3 are here too. The Muay Thai fighters are back too and they are worse in our opinion. There are new enemies too like Honey who we hate the most. Stupid enemies indeed. When there’s multiple of them, expect a rough time. Police officers including one with a futuristic shield called Murphy (robocop anyone?). Goro who really slows down how you play and is dangerous when more than one is present. There’s more.
The old techniques are there in Streets of Rage 4, like landing on your feet when launched or thrown. You can break grabs as well and even juggle enemies with multiple simple hits to lead up with a strong finisher. Let’s dive in a bit more concerning some enemies. Yes enemies have variations of them just like the older Streets of Rage games. Galsia is normally blue and the weakest but then you will come across a green, red and white version who have more health and more aggressive. Donavan has a green and red pants versions of them. We believe the green one is called altet, something like that. Anyways, the red ones can throw weapons at you and even catch weapons throw at them. The last version of them is called ‘z’ and they at times can have armour. Big Ben has variations. There’s Gourmand and Anry. Gourmand will always try to belly flop drop on you while Anry will roll for an attack like Sonic the hedgehog but only vertically. Watch out for these guys. These guys and others aren’t much of a problem really but it becomes a huge problem when you play in hardest difficulty. The character designs are excellent. Amazing. Majority of these characters were designed right. Their design says quite a lot about them. Our favourite enemy design is Diva, hands down. Her design from her clothes, to heels, to hair style all have character. Her movement animations is also excellent. Combine it all together and she’s tough, a boss, dangerous, sexy and got attitude. You need to beat her up first before she complies.
Our second favourite enemy design is Mr Y. This guy has evil crime lord written all over him, from the trendy stylish coat, to his hair and fighting style. He doesn’t back down, regardless and knows he’s powerful. He was meant to be a bad guy. What’s that? He wanted to be a chef, well too bad, crime is his life. He looks good for sure. Our favourite hero design probably has to be Blaze. We feel like this is the best look for her possible. She’s got her jacket back which is a good thing. They went for a beautiful, sexy design but also she would kick your butt in many ways if you even try it on her once. Now some have a problem with her design but we think those people just need to grow up. Yes her skirt is real short but for what she does it’s actually practical. Look at her fighting style over the Streets of Rage games. She kicks… a lot. She does flips and jumping kicks. Jumping was her best stat in the very first game. How are you going to jump kick effective in a long skirt, you can’t unless it has a slit going all the way up to your hip. She can kick high if she needs to and flip. Her shirt makes it possible. It rides up when she does which is very realistic. We get it, some of you dads out there thinking, “young lady, go back upstairs and change. You ain’t fighting crime dressed like that!” We understand but her outfit is good, realistic and practical. This is coming from a martial artists with over 12 years experience. We don’t like Axel’s design. He looks kind of chubby now, like his six pack formed on top of the fat. He was a martial artist so why would he let himself go. Being a wanderer and searching for direction or whatever he’s doing doesn’t mean you stop caring. Wish he was in shape like Adam. Adam looks great but we can think of better designs for him.
Next let’s talk about the music. Streets of Rage games have always been known for their music. The boss music in Streets of Rage 1 is the best. You can bop and jam to it while facing the bosses. Streets of Rage 2 had two levels that we really enjoyed the music off. Also Streets of Rage 2 also has the best character select screen music, hands down. Streets of Rage 3 was the least of all the games in our opinion. Streets of Rage 4 has real nice menu music for chilling. You can get the Streets of Rage 2 character select screen music in the settings. In Streets of Rage 4 the best stage music of them all hands down is part 1 of level 2 the Precinct. Easy. If you say no, we will give you a location, meet us there and we will fight you. We aren’t responsible for all wounds you WILL get. Back to topic. Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and part 2 of level 9 had good to very good music. The others music was alright or not impressive to us sadly. Music in Streets of Rage 4 has build up music as in the music starts with a simple or unimpressive beta but as you go through the level the music builds up and extra beats are added and then it becomes something real good. We like that style. Level three hasn’t got good music at the start but then becomes something you can jam too but if you switch retro music for that level, it’s the boat music level from Streets of Rage 2 which was excellent. Sadly the retro music is better than the modern. We wish the developers did more concerning the music. The variety is definitely there even giving a more oriental music for the china town level.
Let’s now go over what we didn’t like. We don’t like that you had to beat level 4 before you can play as Adam. Adam was missing from both Streets of Rage 2 and 3 in terms of being playable. Then now in Streets of Rage 4 we got to play a bit to get him. Speaking of characters we don’t like that you can’t play as modern Shiva. If you look at the title screen you see Estel, Diva and Shiva on the front screen like they are a part of the cast. They have good looking character designs with their own moves but not unlockable. Maybe they plan to bring them in as DLC but if they at the front then either they are significant or playable. Simple. You might say they are there because they are bosses. Good point but Barbon, Nora, commissioner, DJ K Washi etc aren’t on the front. So yeah it’s not consistent. What we don’t like is hw the biker girls like Honey and the Muay Thai fighters have almost instant reflex hitting moves that can even joggle making certain sections practically unfair. The biker girls slide attack still hits you diagonally and forces you to save yourself by using special moves which drain your health and leave you in a bad state. What’s also disappointing is that besides the first thing levels like 1,2,3,4 the rest of the music isn’t great and the retro audio options aren’t good either. We was expecting the greatest Streets of Rage music of all time. Didn’t happen. The striking window or time for enemies to hit you remains the same regardless of difficulty.
The trick to handling Barbon isn’t clear like the other bosses. When he does his repeated roundhouse 360 kicks you are suppose to jump but it doesn’t look like that’s possible so you don’t try that. Especially someone like mFloyd who can’t jump high at all (sucker has 10cm vertical leap) the kick visually goes through his body but doesn’t hit. Also having the biker girls come out to join Barbon because you smash the bikes isn’t good either as you want the items but when you smash the bikes they come out. If you aren’t careful you will end up fighting Barbon and 6 biker girls at the same time. Adam had practically no relevance in the story besides his reveal which again is just bad. For some reasons Streets of Rage 4 on Xbox One has a shorter combo window than others. We watched some people including CoryxKenshin play Streets of Rage 4 (video below, watch when he hits the car) and we noticed that when they finished fighting someone their combo number in the top left hand corner stays for much longer, flashes and then shrinks showing it’s going to reset soon. That doesn’t happen on our Xbox One version. It resets so fast. Also when you hit the car in stage 1 that counts as hits and raises your combo counter. It doesn’t do that for us. Also if you hit cones, bins, water machines, whatever destructible which normally hide food or whatever under it, it also counts as a hit and even eating the food prevents the combo from ending. This allows you too easily get crazy combos. Very unfair. Where’s the section that allows us to play music from the game? They should have had that.
Let’s finish with more good stuff. What’s cool is that the levels and dialogue make it clear that the Y twins respected their dad. Family love. We like how each characters special attacks are so different from each other. Floyd being technology and pure force, Axel having fire as usual, Cherry having abilities linked to her guitar and music, Blaze having what looks like energy and off course Adam looking like green flames with dragon shapes at least for the offensive special move. The effects look excellent. We like the additional information and stuff you unlock in the extras menu. Those are actually interesting stuff. The ultimates look fantastic and make you want to use them a lot but sadly you get punished for using them by getting a lower score as you get 500 points for each star you hold on to at the end of the level.The fact that you can play as one of the characters from the previous Streets of Rage games is a big brain move. You can literally go through the whole game a streets of rage 1 Axel. That’s big. Players off course loved that they did this. The story is simple and easy to go with including cinematic scenes. It makes sense and you just roll with it. We also truly enjoyed that there are hidden levels where you face old bosses from past Streets of Rage games like Jack and even Mr X. It’s like a blast from the past. See clip below for an example alone with X35 Earthwalker getting an out of this world combo.
Overall Streets of Rage 4 is an excellent game. It’s awesome. We are having so much fun playing it. We have beaten the game multiple times. Gotten the perfect and out of this world combo achievements. We still have quite a bit more stuff to do. Even mania difficulty can’t stop us. If you are a fan of Streets of Rage or new to the series you will most likely enjoy this game. We haven’t tried the multiplayer but it’s clear. Either play online and go through levels with others or battle against over players online in battle mode to see who has more rage in their heart. The developers have done an excellent job but there is room for more. We suggest you get Streets of Rage 4 besides it’s not even expensive like £21. Off course we don’t go over everything but the main stuff. Now Streets of Rage 4 may have great designs, music and animations but those would have been much better if they done… the ‘Earth Walk!’
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