2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

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2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 29th, 2020, 9:16 am

Check out my long-awaiting Streets of Rage 4 review.

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby Retro STrife » August 29th, 2020, 2:38 pm

Nice. I was looking forward to this one. Good to see 2D genres that seemed long-dead are finally getting some solid games again.

I bought a copy from Limited Run too, but got the PS4 version. I have it sitting near my system as a reminder to play it soon, but haven't gotten to it yet. I'll be curious to see the portrayal of police that you mention in the game. A bunch of games have pitted gamers against the police and it's never seemed controversial, other than Grand Theft Auto. But maybe timing is everything.

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby matmico399 » August 29th, 2020, 4:43 pm

Critic fantastic review!

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » August 29th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Considering the violence some cops have been connected with, I've got no objections to this game throwing a few in with other gang members.

Besides, weren't our heroes cops too?

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby VicViper » August 30th, 2020, 4:10 am

Straight up the best of the series for me. I wish you could run & dodge roll freely with any character like in Streets of Rage 3, but that's my biggest nitpick against it. Oh, and that you can't really do team attacks like in SOR 1 & 3. Aside from that...

The juggling system is absolutely fantastic, you can pull off combos you could only dream of doing in the previous games. Juggling enemies with Blaze never felt so good, and it makes up for the team attack loss since you can juggle enemies even further between two or more players.

The level design has great diversity with pits and environmental hazards that shake up the gameplay, and to me it only shows how damn bare Streets of Rage 2's level design is with its lone half-of-a-level conveyor belt scene (the rest of the game is just a single straight line with some diagonals). I really wish SOR 2 had pits, hazards, or an actual elevator sequence to spice up the gameplay for repeated playthroughs, alas... Well, at least 1, 3, and 4 have all of that.

Bosses are also very good in general and I totally dig the idea of them having desperation moves/a 2nd phase. Enemy variety is just huge as well, and I also dig the references and the fact they didn't rename "Galsia" into obviously "Garcia", just to keep the charming translation weirdness of the Genesis games.

Now for the soundtrack, most of the tracks are good, they just don't quite catch the ear. Some exceptions do apply though. Huge rant below on OST in general.

It pains me to see people praising blindly Yuzo Koshiro for this soundtrack as he really didn't do much, only 5 tracks. I remember some little controversy at the time of the trailers when people thought Koshiro wouldn't participate and dogging on the game just for that reason alone. As if no other person could do his job or would deserve recognition.

Malicious tongues would probably say "Just 5? This is why the soundtrack is so forgettable lololol", but I feel that even in Streets of Rage 3 most of the better tracks were made by Motohiro Kawashima, while Koshiro had some good tracks but a bunch of the rest weren't just okay or middling, they were absolutely abysmal.
I can't for the life of me explain what the heck happened for "Tunnelway", and "Crazy Train" has technically a good base (it was remixed way better for the SORR fan remake IMO), but the way the sound program works in SOR 3 doesn't do it justice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTj7-KA ... s&index=13 (Tunnelway)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ7MzwA ... s&index=16 (Crazy Train)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k4p1LWmCgA (Crazy Train SORR, I think the added outro is what pushes it as a better track after relistening)

Meanwhile, Motohiro in 3 has stuff like "Fuze", "Moon", "Boss", both "Poets" tracks (though "Poets II" is good, "Poets I" has my clear preference)... I could go on frankly, for how much Koshiro is brought up for the series, Kawashima is wildly underrated, even though ironically he did the exact same number of tracks for Streets of Rage 4.
And I think outside of clear repeats from Koshiro (like the Good Ending theme), the latter never really reaches Kawashima's quality in 3.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIEsJEv ... Ds&index=1 (Fuze)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNCatre ... s&index=15 (Moon)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p_kyY7 ... s&index=17 (Poets I)

And in Streets of Rage 4, Koshiro really only did the main theme, character select theme, the first track of Stage 1, and both Mr & Ms Y themes. Admittedly, the character select & stage 1 slap.
However, to me none of that beats Stage 9's entire track done by Olivier Deriviere (who did half of the soundtrack), especially the part when you're in the elevator. Koshiro in my opinion has either been on a slump or surpassed since.

https://youtu.be/zcdYLTI--DU?t=262 (timestamped to the "boarding the elevator" sequence)

I think it's still better than Streets of Rage 3's OST on average by virtue of not having abrasive & annoying tracks to drag it down, but there might be less gems than in Streets of Rage 3.
Like the Tomb Raider talk when comparing the original to the sequels; 4's OST is more consistent, 3's OST has better (or rather "more") highs but worse lows.

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby Tron » August 30th, 2020, 10:39 pm

Hmmmmmm:.... Hummmmmmmm. (Yawn). Just mail in’ it now aren’t ye.

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Re: 2020/8/29: Nintendo Switch: Streets of Rage 4

Postby Matchstick » June 18th, 2021, 12:52 am

It's funny. I mentioned off-hand in an earlier post today that I had recently purchased this game, then realized that I never got around to reading the review on this site - or any other site, for that matter! Seems like it's gone over pretty well. Glad The Critic seemed to like it, too, as I remember the SOR series being one of his favorites.

Retro STrife wrote:I'll be curious to see the portrayal of police that you mention in the game. A bunch of games have pitted gamers against the police and it's never seemed controversial...

ThePixelatedGenocide wrote:Considering the violence some cops have been connected with...

That part of the review stood out to me a bit, too. I didn't really pay the cops in the game much mind while I was playing. I'm guessing using them as enemies was just in keeping with some sort of tired, worn-out "corrupt cops who need to be taught a lesson" cliché. Given the age of the series and the fact that the game was a callback to the previous titles that inspired it, I feel like the police representation in the game has little - if anything - to do with the real-world drama of 2020.

But hey, why not follow up SOR4 with a game that lets you play as a police officer takin' it to the bad guys?? John McClane has your back in Die Hard Arcade (and Die Hard Trilogy) or you could jump to the Dreamcast follow-up Dynamite Cop. Or double-down on 90s Sega arcade fare and blow off some steam with the Virtua Cop series, or play as Virtua Cop's Janet in Fighters Megamix and beat up everybody from Virtua Fighter along the way! And there's always any game from the RoboCop series, or play with the man himself in Mortal Kombat 11, or Stryker from one of the older MK games. Or my main man Lei Wulong from the Tekken series - bonus points if you're using his Jackie Chan outfit, complete with handcuffs.

Heck, there was even that Judge Dredd game from the PS2 era where you were rewarded for arresting enemies instead of killing them. Come to think of it, even the 16-bit one had that, too...

All right, rant's over. But I think there's been plenty of empowering police representation in video games over the years that we can let a sporadic heel turn like SOR4 slide. I've had a blast playing that game, though I may look at it a bit differently the next time my wife and I "Blaze" through it again. Ooooooof, Dad joke...

Thanks for the food for thought, Critic! Now, if you have your Saturn still hooked up somewhere, you know what to do...


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