PAX EAST 2020 | "Streets of Rage 4"
The more I see Streets of Rage 4, the more excited I get for its impending release. What could’ve been an easy cash grab is transforming into an epic love letter to one of SEGA’s most iconic series out there. At the DotEmu booth, I had the opportunity to experience the latest build of Streets of Rage 4, going hands-on with a couple of new characters.
After choosing the characters of Adam Hunter and his daughter Cherry, myself and one of the devs dived into what appeared to be the sixth level of the game. Unlike the other characters, Cherry has the ability to run, giving her a slight advantage on the dangerous pavement. With her trusty guitar, she can rip a deadly riff that takes out any pesky gang member that’s close by. However, she does take a tad bit of damage in the process, making it a challenge as to when to truly use the power.
The game has the true feel of a classic arcade beat-em-up, with the baddies creating havoc for you as you progress through. Taking on multiple enemies at once can lead to some accidental combo attacks, making you look good in the process. But like all arcade-styled games, it’s important to keep an eye both on your health and your stamina, the latter of which grows as you lay out villains at your feet. Grab yourself a star, and you can then unleash an impressive attack that can be quite useful when dealing with boss battles.
Lizardcube have brought forth an amazing ebb & flow to the Streets of Rage franchise, with the hand-drawn visuals looking gorgeous in action. Enemy AI is tough, but not too tough to deal with as a handful of them try to take you down. Even as I lost my last life during the boss battle, the feeling of experience a beloved return of a franchise just feels damn good both in my mind and my fingers. With a 2020 release date on PC and consoles lingering, Streets of Rage 4 will no doubt bring this dark horse arcade great back to the forefront on everyone’s minds!