Looking good, getting good reviews, and it's out now at 10% off!
I'm admittedly unfamiliar with the series, but I've been trying to rectify that the past few days by playing through the original trilogy on Sega Genesis Collection (Switch). It's fun! I've beaten SOR2 and have gotten pretty far in the original, and I'll have to take a stab at the first game again soon. After that I'll move onto 3 and 4 here.
The main reason I've been keeping my eye on this is because of LizardCube, who handled the visuals to one of my all-time favorite-looking games: Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap!
Any Streets of Rage fans on NW?
EDIT: Yo Zero, any chance we can update the video linking functionality? It doesn't seem to like me putting a YouTube URL between the [/video] stuff.
I can't wait. I bought it almost as soon as it showed up on the eShop, and will dive into it tonight with Karen.
Beat'em ups are one of a few genres that Karen really likes to play with me, so we've gone through the Final Fights on the Wii U VC, the Kunio Kun games and, of course, the Streets of Rages on various platforms. It seems like this one manages to introduce a lot of depth to the fighting, without resorting to adding "RPG elements" like so many newer games in the genre do. So that's exciting.
Do read up a bit on the combat in 3 before playing, Tbun, as it's not an easy game, and there are a few nuances that aren't immediately obvious just by picking up the controller.
Yeah, we were done with those fairly quickly. They're okay.
We prefer Streets of Rage and the SNES versions of Final Fight 2 and 3 because they've been consolized: they're balanced to be fun and fair. You can reasonably expect to get through them with the number of lives and continues you're given.
The Beat-em-up Bundle is just arcade ROMs, designed to keep you pumping quarters into the machine. You get unlimited quarters, making playing through them trivial. But given their unfairness, trying to challenge yourself to beat them with as few continues as possible isn't that fun either.
Some of them do have impressive sprite art and fun-looking moves, though. So I'd recommend getting the collection really cheap if that aspect of them interests you.
That's true and a common issue with arcade-to-console ROM porting. I don't mind the difficulty too much but I wish there was a way to have some sort of in-game setting that limits your credits (kind of like how Metal Slug Anthology did it). I know you can theoretically limit them yourself by simply stop playing, but it's not the saaaaame...!
Yeah, it's a gorgeous-looking game even from just videos and screens. Have you ever tried Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap? The gameplay is very much an 80s Master Drive game, but the art is just phenomenal. As an animator, you would love it! They even put in fun details like giving the characters a skidding animation to make up for the original's slightly slippery controls when changing direction.
I literally have little video clips on my phone that I recorded off my TV from when I borrowed that game from the library, lol. Drop dead GORGEOUS. A masterpiece of hand-drawn game sprites, on the level of appeal of Wario Land Shake It. I was kind of pissed the game was no fun, ha ha. I mean, it was okay, but... it wasn't *fun.*
I really want to get the new Shantae because it looks both fun and beautiful.
I have a friend who is mad about this series, and I'm very happy for people like him to have received a numbered sequel all of these years later that actually lives up to that honor... unlike something like Sonic The Hedgehog 4 (Do you know you're supposed to capitalize the The since it's a proper noun? I still feel weird about doing that every time even though Sega in the 90's told me to).
This is really nice to see happen, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous. This Digital Foundry video was fascinating to watch to see how the effects work and how authentic the AI and frames of combat are. This developer loved the franchise and cared.
They also did a followup video to ensure everybody that the Nintendo Switch version is indeed every bit as good, so that's probably the way to go here to get that sweet handheld option.
So Sega is having some pretty good success letting passionate small studios revive their older properties. I hope they keep it up. So much of their IP is a better fit for these kinds of revivals than it would be with a massive team and budget anyway.
I wanted to play as much of the original trilogy as possible, but SOR3 tonight left a bad taste in my mouth when I learned of its US version's changes. Saying it's "too hard" is a simplification--it arbitrarily gives the bosses way too much life and really hurts the game's pacing. It also removes the JPN Easy setting, and the US Easy setting (JPN's Normal) doesn't let you do the last couple stages. It's a shame too because the game's core combat is good and there's some fun variety in the locales.
But! I decided to get just a taste of SOR4 tonight and played the first stage with a buddy. It was awesome! Very satisfying-feeling combat that feels like a modernized tweak of SOR's brawling. I'm not quite sure how to feel Cherry being able to run while most of the others cannot (and I'm not sure what effect this will have long-term on the game's aggression-centered combo system), but I really enjoyed the bit I played tonight. Ready to try out more tomorrow!
Kinda cool to see this much love for Streets of Rage 'round these parts. I still remember the first time I saw it. I flat out couldn't believe it was on a home console. Streets of Rage was definitely one of the big selling points for me as a kid to pick up the Genesis. Being a SEGA property I'd always figured you guys wouldn't be very interested in the series.
It's hard to recall, but there was a brief period when Beat 'Em Ups absolutely ruled the arcades. I say it's hard because it's a genre that really hasn't held up all that well. Even great examples, like TMNT, The Simpsons, and Final Fight start to feel repetitive after a few minutes. Steph and I have the Beat 'Em Up Bundle and we sometimes throw a game on and button mash for 15 minutes before bed (also describes our sex life, heeeeeey #jaylenojokes). It's not that compelling. Like Gui said, those games were designed strictly to suck quarters. They're fundamentally repetitive and unfair.
I think we liked Beat 'Em Ups because they were the first arcade games that really felt like you were controlling a cartoon. They were gorgeous compared to the other games at the arcade, with giant sprites with multiple frames of animation. It seems like you could watch a guy like Haggar just stand there and breathe! Pac-Man this ain't.
They were also power fantasies. Something like Final Fight or Streets of Rage took a downright cynical view of the inner city. They were like something out of Death Wish. You felt so powerful going around and beating up thugs with your bare hands. Honestly, games like Streets of Rage gave me the wrong idea about what the adult world would be like. I have yet to have to fight a flip-kicking ninja girl on my way to get a bagel downtown. Streets of Rage? Downtown Austin is more like Streets of Minor Passing Irritation.
Considering the success of Sonic Mania and now the buzz around Streets of Rage 4, it does really make me feel like some of the old SEGA properties should just be handed to smaller, more enthusiastic development teams. SEGA has always been terrible at taking care of their IP - I mean, how did the Saturn go without a Sonic game for Christ sake? - but this could be a way out. It'd be awesome to see some enthusiastic fans get ahold of Golden Axe, Fantasy Zone, Altered Beast or even Alex Kidd.
Beat 'Em Ups are generally a tough sell for me, but the video @Hinph posted nicely outlines the things I like about the ones that I've enjoyed, and SoR4 looks like it could qualify there (even if I wasn't crazy about the bit of SoR2 I played). I'll definitely consider picking up SoR4 at some point, probably during a sale.
I never played these games until the collection on Switch. They're okay, my friend and I played through them and had some fun, but nothing we'll come back to. I can see how these were popular for the day, though. It's nice to see Sega willing to allow revivals for some of their series; how about Shining Force next?!
@TriforceBun It's a shame that Streets of Rage 3 has such messed up difficulty balance, as if not for that I'd say it'd easily be the best game in the series. Well, of the originals I guess. When we played it, we used a level select code so that we could see all of the stages in the game. Fortunately the Sega Genesis Collection also includes the Japanese version, though that means not being able to read any text.
@kriswright In my case, the only reason I ever wanted to try a beat 'em up was because they were one of the few types of co-op games available back in those days. That also may have something to do with their previous popularity as well.
It does! I'd just found out about this yesterday and subsequently played through the whole game's Japanese version. It's pretty bonkers at the end thematically but it's a lot of fun. Crazy how much worse the US version is...!
I've beaten 5 stages in SOR4 (in both 2/3 player and 1 player) and I'm greatly enjoying it. Still learning the ins and outs of the combat system. I got one B but the rest of my stages have been Cs and Ds. The combos are pretty satisfying to land and heartbreaking to be hit out of. Looking forward to more!
Karen and I have beaten the game in Story mode on Easy and Normal. Tried Arcade mode on Easy last night, but died on the last level. Infuriating!
I think I should probably be using the special move button more. This game doesn't have a block, so the stationary special is basically all you get for defense. Because there is a risk of not regaining the health it makes you lose, I never use it, which means getting stabbed by a running Galsia again and again.
Anyone want to know how to visit little special retro stages? The method is a bit esoteric, so I was glad I looked it up, otherwise I could have played this game forever and not known they exist. All you have to do is take a tazer to the arcade machine in levels that have both of those.
I'm having lots of fun with SoR4, to the point where I might say it's my current favorite Switch 2020 game. It's just plain enjoyable to play, even if I feel that it's sometimes a little bit too punishing when enemy sucker punches ruin your 70-hit combo. And the bosses are a little stop-and-go for my tastes. But it's addictive trying for high ranks, the playable characters all have their own appeal, the music is on-point and dynamic with the action, and the visuals are 10/10.
Any early favorite characters at this point? While Axel feels slow, he's so satisfying to combo with. And I love his character design! I feel like I'm busting heads with Jean Valjean or maybe Rocky Balboa from some of the later movies. And I can relate more to a guy in his 30s these days anyway.
Man, do I looove this game...but! I have to say, the thing keeping it from being up there with my all-time favorite bmup (that would be Viewtiful Joe) is that I think the combo system just a hair too punishing. At least, the way the enemies are designed.
See, racking up hits is super fun and satisfying, and I always enjoy timed score/combo mechanics as in VJ and RE4's Mercenaries mode. But what SoR4 does that those don't is shatter your combo when an enemy deals damage to you. Naturally, this makes the risk/reward mechanic more pronounced and the decision to keep a combo going or let it resolve can be fun. But at the same time, when lowly thugs can pip you with an untelegraphed jab at any point, eliminating your entire 70+ hit combo and the chunky bonus it rode in on...well, if you're like me, it leads to restarting stages over and over again.
I just wish that taking damage would merely reduce the combo bonus, or maybe even not mess with it at all, a la RE4 and VJ. Naturally, the rank benchmarks would change to compensate, but it's so penalizing the way it is that it's hard to just kick back and enjoy the game for what it is when I'm all anxious about benchmarks and stuff. Of course, nothing's keeping you from just enjoying it like a regular bmup but the scoring/ranking system is what gives the game its juicy replayability.
Great game otherwise, though. Probably my GOTY so far and I even picked up the digital soundtrack on Amazon.
Some friends have started playing this game online via Steam's Remote Play Together feature. Even though Switch is definitely my "main" system at this point, I may have to go PC for this one to get some quarantine co-op going.
@nate38 I might see if a friend of mine wants to check this out on XBox One. I'm pretty terrible at it. I DID finally beat the first level though. I'm surprised at how difficult the default difficulty is. But yeah, online play is just easier on other platforms, and this game is surprisingly available on XBox Game Pass.
Bump! Lizardcube and Dotemu have released a patch for SOR4 that makes a bunch of little tweaks for a more enjoyable gameplay experience. My boy Axel got some nice buffs all-around and many of the enemies have been adjusted to not be as frustrating. The game's still plenty challenging (especially the final stage, which is even harder now) but it feels more fair. Try it out!