Let Nostalgia Commence: Streets of Rage 4 (Review)

Streets of Rage 4 is a side-scrolling beat ’em up and continues the Streets of Rage storyline from the previous games – particularly the one from the Japanese version of SoR3 (titled Bare Knuckle 3). It was released in April 2020 on XBox One, PS4, Switch and PC.

This game picks up 10 years after the ending of SoR3 and follows original characters Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding and Adam Hunter. Joining these characters are Adam’s daughter Cherry and a cybernetically enhanced bloke named Floyd Iraia.

The story follows these characters as they fight against their old enemy, Mr X‘s children – the Y twins (yes, I know original names but hey, what are you gonna do?)

The main game is split up into multiple different levels which consist of battling through waves of enemies until you reach a mini boss at the end – if you’ve played the previous games, this won’t be anything new to you.

This was another game that as soon as it was announced I knew I had to play it, but it was yet another that fell by the wayside in favour of others. But, this month it became available on PSNow so I had to finally play it.

Personally I loved the original Streets of Rage games. I was never especially brilliant at them, but that didn’t stop me from dying repeatedly and always going back for more.

The combat in this sequel is very similar to the previous games. It consists (for me anyway) of button bashing to punch, kick and throw the onslaught of enemies. One addition to this game though is that you have several special moves. Although these moves use a portion of your health, you do have the chance to recover what you lose by successfully landing combos. I was happy to see the weapons are still there. There are a range to choose from, some dropped by enemies and some just in certain sections of the level. These include but aren’t limited to; knives, metal pipes, baseball bats, bottles and a golden chicken…yes, a golden chicken can be used as weapon. Along with these are several power-up pick-ups including apples, money bags and I’m happy to say the roasted chicken is back too.

The look of SoR4 is different to the other three games in that it’s all hand drawn rather than pixelated. This change doesn’t detract from you knowing that you’re playing a Streets of Rage game and this new style works really well with this kind of game. The music, as always, is top notch and definitely reminds of the original games, it’s not your usual repetitive noise that you sometimes get in side-scrolling games of this ilk. There’s even a way to play the original games’ music instead which is kind of awesome.

The main story mode is fairly short. I’ve only been playing it a day and have finished it. But, you have the replayability of going through it with the other characters or co-op with a friend or online player. And, of course, if you’re looking for trophies and need the extra incentive, there are ample up for grabs obtainable through your multiple playthroughs..

Simply put, I love this game. Not just for the nostalgia factor, but because games like this are a rarity these days. I only wish I could play it on a proper arcade cabinet like in the good ol’ days – I miss arcades…Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. This game is brilliant, the art style, the music, the mechanics, there’s nothing not to love about this title and you should definitely play it, especially if you’re a fan of the originals. This game makes me want to find the originals and replay those too.

Streets of Rage 4 is a solid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in my book and one I will definitely be going back to. And if it disappeared from PSNow tomorrow, I would buy a copy. I intend on putting a lot of time into this game as I did the older games.

I will leave you with these words. Go and play it now!