REVIEW: ‘Streets of Rage 4’ is a Raging Good Time (Xbox One)

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Streets of Rage 4 returns with its first entry to the core series in 25 years. This 90’s classic beat em is published by Sega and Dotemu and developed by Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. I will admit growing up, I vaguely remember playing Streets of Rage however I did play similar beat ’em ups at the arcade such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-Men. As soon as I started playing I got a nostalgia kick that beat ’em ups bring. The mashing of the buttons, the music, sound effects, and trying to pull off the sickest combos without getting hurt.

Streets of Rage 4 is jam-packed with fun. On the main menu, you have quite a few options to get straight into the action. There’s Story, Stage Select, Arcade, Boss Rush, and Battle. Before you can access some of these menus, however, you must either complete a certain stage or complete the story. There are a total of 12 stages and depending on how skilled and fast you are, you could finish the story in an hour and a half or less.

In Stage Select, you can revisit your favorite stages to try and get better scores and time. Arcade is the ultimate challenge where you have to play through the entire story with one life. In Boss Rush, it’s a race against the clock to see how fast you can decimate the many bosses of the game. Last but not least, Battle you go head to head with another player where the last one standing wins.

Streets of Rage 4 is a beautifully crafted game from, from the visuals to the soundtrack. The main menu theme song is enough to make you melt. The main menu theme begins like one of those old cop dramas with the music crying out to you before the show begins. As you progress through the game the soundtrack flows and mixes well with the action, getting you furthermore excited. Most times I loved what I was hearing that I either stood still or paused the game to take it all in. The album is by Olivier Deriviere and he’s worked on the soundtracks for games such as A Plague Tale: Innocence and Vampyr.

The side-scrolling, fighting gameplay is simple but if you can learn and adapt to your favorite character, you can finesse some amazing and flashy combos. And if you’re new to the series or the beat ’em up genre putting the game on easy is forgiving yet will still give you quite a challenge.

An added bonus to the unfamiliar is a few accessibility options to make the game more playable. When you reach game over at any time you can ask for an assist, where you are allowed to give yourself additional lives or stars to perform your star move. Your star move is a flashy ability that dishes out a moderate amount of damage. Think of a fighting game where you pull of a flashy ultimate or a fatality if you will. You can use the assist as many times as you need at the cost of your high score at the end of the level.

If you’re sitting at home and you have three other partners, you can participate in couch co-op mode. Unfortunately, when it comes to online you can only play with one other partner. Living solo, I was not able to test couch co-op but I was able to get some online fun in. I can only speculate that online allows only two-player co-op due to the gameplay being hectic with fighting. For me, I found myself hitting my partner when dishing out justice.

Now, I have played Streets of Rage 4 on Xbox and Nintendo Switch. On Xbox I played with a friend and some randoms and the connection was a bit spotty. There was minor lag, however, it was tolerable. But connecting with a friend on Nintendo Switch, my experience was as flawless as if I were playing story mode. You select the mode you want to participate in and then invite friends. You are also given the option to toggle on and off friendly hits, which is an amazing feature if you want to fight with reckless abandon.

Streets of Rage 4 is an amazingly good time for long time fans and new ones alike. You’re immediately pulled into a beautiful and colorful world, with a soundtrack that’s extremely addicting. Whether you’re playing alone or with friends, you’re in for a damn good time!

Streets of Rage 4 is available for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4

Streets of Rage 4
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Streets of Rage 4 is an amazingly good time for long time fans and new ones alike. You’re immediately pulled into a beautiful and colorful world, with a soundtrack that’s extremely addicting. Whether you’re playing alone or with friends, you’re in for a damn good time!