Streets of Rage 4 Review: Most fun you'll have playing any video game right now

If you ever owned or played a Sega Genesis then you know there are certain games within the library of the console that are timeless. We know about Sonic, Altered Beast, and Golden Axe. Those are the more iconic games because they had the greatest impact and they’re the games that most Genesis players off the top of their heads will say are the most popular.

Streets of Rage 4 Review: Most fun you'll have playing any video game right now
Streets of Rage 4

Those games aside, the Streets of Rage series of games one could argue are just as iconic. This was a side scrolling fighting game that had great music, assortment of characters, great stage design, superb fighting, a solid story and tons of replay value. The SOR series played out so well that Sega made three of them with SOR 2 being the best of the three in my opinion.

Fast forward to 2020 and now we get not only a refresh of Streets of Rage but the fourth installment to the series. It has current gen graphics that not only looks incredible but plays that way too. In this time of unfortunate time of quarantine we’re either glued to our TVs watching Netflix or gaming. If you’re gaming right now, Streets of Rage 4 is the most fun you’ll have playing a video game hands down.

WHAT’S NEW ABOUT STREETS OF RAGE 4?

Streets of Rage 4 Review: Most fun you'll have playing any video game right now
Streets of Rage 4 Character Select

Everything about Street of Rage 4 is new. Lizardcube, the publisher of the game wanted this game to be familiar but very different. They redesigned the game to look modern and play smoothly. The new animation style character and stage design is stellar and gorgeous. When you play the game the characters stand out, colors pop, and you feel like you’re playing a $60 game even though SOR 4 is only $25.

Back are some familiar faces. Axel, Adam and Blaze along with two new playable characters Cherry and Half-man/Half-Machine Floyd. Those are the heroes. Who are the villains? What’s the reason everyone is back to kick some ass in SOR4? Bad ass kids in a nutshell. Mr.X’s evil spawn, the Y-twins.

Streets of Rage 4 Review: Most fun you'll have playing any video game right now
The Y-Twins

They have a plot to mind control everyone in town and of course it’s the job of the heroes to foil the plan. From the beginning of the game you’re taken right back to the early 90’s and the Sega Genesis. There isn’t much different and new in terms of the overall premise of the game and how it plays but there is so much to do. There are 12 levels to fight through each with bosses, mini bosses and hidden levels. Play through the game successfully enough and you’ll be able to unlock the original SOR 16-bit characters to re-play the game with. This game has a ton of replay value.

Level and character design in this game just to reiterate is gorgeous. The more you play this game the more you’re enamored by how well it’s done. As you play through the levels of the game the difficulty does increase and the baddies and bosses do get more and more annoying. So you’ll have to really focus on your combos, chaining attacks and using your weapons to get through this game. That extra life you get from points accumulation is key. I learned this later on.

There is multiplayer in that you can play with a friend online but unfortunately you cannot play with 3 friends in online co-op which kinda sucks, but you can play 4-player multi locally old school style by going to your friends house to play so it ain’t all bad.

THE MOST FUN YOU’LL HAVE PLAYING A VIDEO GAME UP TO NOW

Streets of Rage 4 Review: Most fun you'll have playing any video game right now

Streets of Rage 4 is a winner and a bonafide hit. No, it’s not the graphically impressive game that the new FFVII is but a good game doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles that most modern games have to be a great game. Fun still matters. This game is a shit load of fun. I played this game online with my friends and we had such an incredible time playing through this game, unlocking levels, and getting new characters.

It’s been awhile since I had a multiplayer experience like that especially being in quarantine. At just $25 you could buy this game for all the platforms you may have and still just barely cover what a standard game costs today. I have this game for my PC, Switch and PS4. Simply put, this is a MUST have game for a lot of reasons. You play this game and you’ll understand why. You don’t even have to have played or been a fan of the original 16-bit Genesis games. You just have to want to have fun gaming. That’s all this game requires and that’s what you want from a good game.