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Review: Streets of Rage 4 is a punch of nostalgia for fans of beat ’em up

Longing for the genre will love the game, but Streets of Rage 4 offers little more than a feeling of nostalgia

Streets of Rage 4 drew a lot of attention when it was announced in August 2018, after all it would be the return of a famous franchise that would spend 26 years to receive a new title (considering the release date of the new game), with versions for all platforms of today: Playstation 4, Xbox one, Nintendo Switch and PRAÇA.

In this scenario, fans who can no longer hide their age were thrilled with an advertising video that promised high doses of nostalgia, in addition to a modernized look. Indeed, Streets of Rage 4 it hits the affective memory of long-time admirers and even entertains the younger audience, however it lacks the lack of gameplay innovation.

The Streets of Rage franchise

The Streets of Rage series was born in the 1990s (with three games released between 1991 and 1994) for the video games of Sega (Mega Drive, Game Gear and Master System) and faced franchise Final Fight, from Capcom, which was a hit on the Super Nintendo.

Streets of Rage stood out for its visuals, considered advanced at the time, an exciting soundtrack and fun gameplay. In the genre, the player controls a character that progresses laterally by punching bad guys. The story followed a group of policemen (controllable characters) who decided to do justice with their own hands and fight the crime syndicate in the fictional city of Wood Oak City.

In 2018, three producers DotEmu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games started the development of a fourth title for the franchise, which would be released 26 years after the third game.

Visual and track stand out

The result of Streets of Rage 4 a game that refers to practically everything from its predecessors, as a real tribute. Fortunately, the game also brings news, a mix that has a lot of potential to please old fans.

The visuals of Streets of Rage 4 they are not photorealistic or impress due to their complexity. The artistic style adopted for the game emphasizes that characters and scenarios were designed by hand, and results in pleasant screens to see.

Image that emphasizes artistic style.Visuals are hand drawn.

The lighting, which helps to compose the look, also stands out. During the phases, the player goes through several sources of light, and all of them react to the protagonist's actions dynamically, with reflections on the clothes and water puddles, for example.

The mixture of the simplicity of scenarios designed by hand with the dynamism of the light effects generates a unique beauty Streets of Rage 4. The artistic choice proved to be correct, since, in this regard, the look of previous titles has evolved well, while not raising the cost of production at the levels of major brands in the electronic gaming industry.

Another factor that goes back to the first three Streets of Rage is the soundtrack. In the fourth title, the songs have electronic touches and animate the action on the screen. The tracks created for Streets of Rage 4 they are very similar to the original tracks, but at the same time they were modernized to sound good in 2020.

In both visual and sound aspects, Streets of Rage has personalization elements for the most nostalgic players. It is possible to add filters so that the game runs as if it were running on a tube TV or on a Mega Drive. The same for the soundtrack, which can play as in the 16-bit era.

Technically perfect

The project of the developers of Streets of Rage 4 may not be the size of blockbusters, but that was not why the work had been carried out carelessly or carelessly. On all platforms for which the game was released (Playstation 4, Xbox one, Nintendo Switch and PCs with an operating system Windows), impeccable performance.

The constant resolution in 1080p (or 4K in the PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One X and compatible computers), and the performance, 60 frames per second, without gagging. Given the style of the game, which requires precise movements and quick thinking for combos, as framerate very welcome.

Game running in multiplayer.Even in multiplayer Streets of Rage 4 it keeps the frame rate stable.

Streets of Rage 4 can be played by up to four players (on the same console), and at any number there is no drop in performance. For Nintendo Switch players, it is also possible to share Joy-Cons for multiplayer gaming.

Playing with multiple players the high point of Streets of Rage 4. With its high level of difficulty, it is necessary for players to master the techniques of combos. In multiplayer, the number of enemies in the levels is not changed, and it is possible for each controllable character to take advantage of another character's combo to increase the damage done to enemies. fun when the screen is full of enemies and the numbers of combos keep increasing.

Super damage combo. cool when you get the hang of big combos.

However, there is a criticism: although it is possible to play the entire campaign with any supported number of players, the game does not allow the addition or removal of characters at any time, forcing the restart (and consequent reloading) of the phase.

In order to adapt to the new times, Streets of Rage 4 allows the campaign to be played online. Although it also runs without gagging (considering that there are no connection problems with any of the participants), only two people can play online simultaneously, which is a shame.

The barrier of nostalgia

The history of Streets of Rage 4 it is ten years after the events of Streets of Rage 3. Just like in the previous games, there is no deep plot or complex ramifications, just an excuse to go out and beat computer-controlled characters (so-called NPCs).

Old character reappears.Streets of Rage 4 contains many references to previous games in the series.

This fact is not a negative point, on the contrary. The proposed Streets of Rage 4 to be a simple and to the point game, and this he does very well. However, nostalgia, another element that the game clings to, ends up serving as a limiter to what could be a continuation of the franchise.

As the story unfolds, passing through appearances of characters (enemies or not) until the gameplay, Streets of Rage 4 refers to old games in the franchise. Although there is refinement in some points, such as the visuals and the good quality of the animations, the game does not go beyond and maintains the same gameplay structure as in the past.

Streets of Rage 4 it is a game with a high level of difficulty, and several passages will certainly have to be played multiple times to be successful. The problem is that the genre, by default, is repetitive, and the developers chose to keep the movement slow (slow) and punitive to the less skilled.

Even long-time fans, who have several reasons to appreciate this work, suffer from the short duration of the game, which can be completed in less than four hours of gambling, half of that if you are a skilled player.

Well, with a taste of want more

Streets of Rage 4 it would be a considerably more interesting game if, in addition to borrowing elements from the past, it had made its gameplay more dynamic, with faster movements, for example.

A new kind of scenario.The scenarios are diverse, but the gameplay remains the same from start to finish.

It is a good game, with excellent technical refinement, with the potential to please longing fans and cheer younger players. On the other hand, it was structured only for the first group, and still entertains for less than half a dozen hours unless the player does not mind playing the same levels several times to try to beat their scores.

The game can be found for PRAÇA in the store Steam, for Nintendo Switch at Nintendo eShop, for Playstation 4 at PlayStation Store, is for Xbox one at Microsoft Store.

PC version requirements

Minimum

  • Operational system: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 | AMD Phenom II X4 965
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 | OMG Radeon HD 6670
  • Storage: 8 GB of available space

Recommended

  • Operational system: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: Intel i5 +
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GTX 960 | OMG Radeon HD 5750 or better
  • Storage: 10 GB of available space
  • Visuals – 9/10
  • Soundtrack – 9.5 / 10
  • History – 7/10
  • Gameplay – 4.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Summary

Streets of Rage 4 is a fun game with great value for nostalgic players, but unfortunately it sins because of its short duration and the excessive attempts to appeal to nostalgia and its short duration. While it has a lot of quality, it misses the opportunity to take the genre beyond the standards established in the 1990s.

Pros

  • Beautiful visuals;
  • Exciting soundtrack;
  • Strong elements of nostalgia.

Cons

  • Slow, slow gameplay;
  • Excessive nostalgia.