So DotEmu released a teaser a couple of days back. I wasn’t massively impressed with the original reveal if I’m honest, but this latest trailer has helped crystalise my opinion that Streets of Rage 4 looks bad. Bad enough that it makes me feel sad that this art direction was ever approved in the first place.
I can’t think of a nicer way to put this, but it looks like Kongregate and Nickelodeon joined forces to make a Flash game. And that’s me putting it kindly. Here’s the new trailer.
Mercifully we live in a time when modern-day remakes, homages and spiritual sequels have enjoyed something of a renaissance. IntiCreates’ wonderful Bloodstained Curse of the Moon for example. Sonic Mania – possibly the finest in living memory. Even the likes of Storybird’s incredible Wonderboy and Monster World homage Aggelos, or Way Forward’s brilliant Contra 4.
For fans of legendary game series, there’s an embarrassment of riches of games that treat their source material with real sympathy and respect. Have taken great pains to makes sure that they acknowledge the style of the originals, while at once modernising and improving for a new generation of gamers.
To my mind, the current Streets of Rage 4 art style does neither – and as a result has the unpleasant, lingering whiff of an unofficial fan game.
Mercifully however, it’s not all bad. Even from the teaser trailer – the movement and energy from Axel and Blaze does immediately suggest that, mechanically at least – they have the feel of Streets of Rage nailed down. I particularly like the ability to bounce and damage foes between players – something I’m sure will be very satisfying in action.
I am also particularly heartened to hear from friends at last weeks GDC that it does also play quite nicely. Hopefully PAX East will garner more positive hands on impressions over the course of the weekend when it gets its first public play.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m hyped this exists. And yes, I will 100% buy it – but aesthetically, I had really hoped a Streets of Rage sequel would be more on point.
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