The gameplay teaser that followed half a year later showed a 2D game that seemed to play like the originals, but the art style still did not seem to be "right". Why is art such a massive departure? Would the game feel so direct and satisfying? These were the questions that I silently asked myself (as opposed to many fans in social media).
Then came the musicians. Last month, game publisher Dotemu announced that Motohiro Kawashima and Yuzo Koshiro, whose contributions to the original soundtracks are legendary, were on board along with Hedeki Naganuma (1
So, with some discomfort, I came to my 30-minute demo at Gamescom. To be honest, I expected great music to be an insurmountable tribute to a long-dead series of games. I was wrong. Streets of Rage 4 plays and looks like a dream.
The game is being developed by three studios: Lizardcube, the Wonder Boy 2017 with The Dragon's Trap [RaisingtoLife makes the artwork; Guard Crush Games, responsible for the incredibly good XBLA beat – "em-up Streets of Fury lends its engine and takes over the programming. Publisher Dotemu helps with game design and, of course, with publishing.
It only took a few seconds for me to play Streets of Rage 4 to understand how much love flowed into this game. The characters are hand drawn but precise and reflect the feel of the original pixel art. Everything is richly animated. It still feels like a Saturday morning cartoon, but with a 12x higher frame rate. This is a style that publisher Dotemu seems to like: The Wonder Boy remake that Lizardcube worked on is understandably comparable, and Windjammers 2 similarly replaces decades-old pixel art with sharp hand-drawn lines.
Streets of Rage 4 fills your screen with multi ple enemies to step aside, to punch and toss, following the formula of the originals and leading new enemies as solo threats n before they are added to the pool of characters you will face in big fights. This gives you a bit of leeway to learn each opponent's patterns and quirks, and provides a steadily increasing level of difficulty during the game.
The controls are familiar to veterans and easy to learn for newbies. You could play this game with a Genesis controller: There is an attack button, a jump button, a special attack button and that's it. Specials are, as in 2 and 3 more movements in Street Fighter than in the original patrol car. Instead of arbitrarily restricting how many times you can perform a special attack, the movements take away a portion of your health that can be replenished with regular attacks until you get hit. There is also a jump special that can be subtracted by pressing jump and special at the same time. Data-credit = "DotEmu" id = "local-2-4130138-1566549877521" data-media-id = "103e38ba-f819-4cc4-8c0b- 718d48a35771" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded -images / 2019-08 / 312ffe40-c582-11e9-979b-b24326b0414b "data-title =" Streets of Rage 4 "src =" https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019- 08 / 312ffe40-c582-11e9-979b-b24326b0414b "/>
Streets of Rage 4 feels tight, the controls respond, attacks, and the same patterns and techniques I used decades ago , have sufficient weight, the special system is well balanced and encourages you to risk your health in the hope that you can dodge hits There are also some environmental hazards such as electricity, acid and fire, which give variety and strategy to the fighting There should be he does not throw out the rules, just minor changes and additions, as you would expect from a sequel.
There are currently three playable characters, though this number could increase before the final start of the game. Axel and Blaze, the mainstays of the series, will be accompanied by a new character named Cherry. She is the daughter of Adam Hunter, who was the last playable character of the original game and had cameos in later plays. Cherry plays a bit like skate from the second game (which shows he's her uncle) and is faster but weaker than the lumbering Axel. She also has a guitar on her back and one of her specialties uses them like Pete Townshend on an unsuspecting enemy. I'm already a fan.
Ironically, what I expected to love Streets of Rage 4 was not included. I could barely see the music as the Dotemu booth at Gamescom was much louder than the tiny speakers attached to the TV. Luckily, IGN uploaded a gameplay from the level I played, and although there is still a lot of work to do with character voices and sounds, I like the way it goes. There's also a new Motohiro Kawashima track on Dotemu's Bandcamp that sounds as wild as anything he created for the old games:
So Streets of Rage 4 convinced me in spite of all adversities in record time. Although the developers have not yet announced when the game will be released, we know that it will be available on all expected platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC. I assume that in the coming weeks and months, Dotemu will continue to leak information about characters, enemies, music and the like before announcing the release date and prices.