Streets of Rage 4 is awesome

Streets of Rage 4 is the epic retro sequel that many games aspire to be but rarely are.

Going in, I had a lot of concerns about a Streets of Rage sequel. As a kid, Streets of Rage was one of my favorites on the Genesis, and the source of many hours of co-op beat ‘em up fun with my friends. I wondered how a remake more than two decades later possibly live up to my expectations.

Well Streets of Rage 4 not only met my expectations but blew the roof off ‘em.

First of all the graphics are better than I could’ve ever expected. Everything looks like you’re fighting through a high res comic book and the animations are smooth and very detailed. Frankly some of the best work I’ve ever seen.

The controls are tight and just as good as, if not slightly better than, the older games in the series.

The music and sound fx are excellent as well. The Streets of Rage series always excelled in the sound department, and SOR4 does not disappoint. Frankly it’s much better than the third entry in the series in this regard.

For more info on the fan controversy surrounding the third game, check out this video from Sega Loud X on YouTube.

Finally, the couch co-op greatness that made the original games so good is back in full fury; just make sure not to hit and kill your partner.

Not that the story really matters in these games, but… Streets of Rage 4 takes place ten years after the events of the third game, in which the criminal mastermind Mr. X was finally defeated.

Initially thought to be in peace, Wood Oak City falls under the control of a new crime syndicate led by Mr. X’s children, the Y Twins, who are planning on brainwashing the city by using hypnotic music. Learning about this corruption, Blaze Fielding calls in some old favors to take the twins down.

Joining old friend Axel Stone, along with Cherry Hunter, Adam Hunter‘s daughter, and Floyd Iraia, a cybernetically enhanced apprentice of Dr. Zan. Other characters make appearances as well once you unlock them (scroll to the end for some mild spoilers).

If you are a fan of the older games, or even other classic games in this genre, you have to play Streets of Rage 4.

Streets of Rage 4 is currently available on Xbox Game Pass, but you can also purchase it for Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and Windows PCs.

!!Mild spoilers ahead!!





Ok you’ve been warned.

Now it’s time to talk a little about the awesome classic unlock-ables in SOR4.

Of course there are the expected unlock-ables, like the ability to play as Adam Hunter, who isn’t playable at first, but who does make an appearance in the SOR4 story mode.

Then there are much crazier and unexpected unlock-ables, like the ability to play as the classic versions of old characters. This may not sound crazy in its own right, but it’s the WAY they did it that’s so cool and unexpected.

SOR1 Axel in SOR4

For example, you can unlock the original three Streets of Rage characters, and they look, sound and control almost exactly like they did in the original, despite the gameplay of SOR4 being very different. This means that, while Axel has special moves and super attacks in SOR4, his classic SOR1 version does not. Instead the classic version punches MUCH faster, and in place of the SOR4 special attack, he can call in the same SWAT team bazooka launch seen in the original. It’s not very practical, but it’s super cool.

There are twelve unlock-able classic characters in all:

The classic characters can be seen to the right and left of the main SOR4 characters on the character select screen

Also, while not an unlock-able per se, you have the ability from the beginning to choose to listen to the retro soundtrack from either SOR 1 or 2. It’s kind of buried in the settings, so it’s easy to miss.

Finally, there are hidden classic boss fights and levels hidden throughout SOR4. For example, in stage 2, the police precinct, you can pick up a discarded taser, shortly after busting out of your jail cell, to access one of the offices and then get transported to a classic SOR2 fight.

Use the taser to access the office
Classic SOR2 fight!

If you want to learn more about the hidden SOR2 boss fights check out this article from Eurogamer:

Streets of Rage 4 retro level locations

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