Finished Streets of Rage 4. It’s four stars out of five for me but if you aren’t as attached to the original three games as I am, then give it another half star.
It feels like French fan fiction sometimes but the beatings are on point and have the hard hitting feel of the second game specifically. Lots of callbacks to the originals that resonate. Original designs not as strong IMO.
The music is legendary at times though, thanks largely to the brilliance of Yuzo Koshiro and Motohito Kawashima, the OG composers. If the people making this hadn’t gotten them on board it would not have quite the impact it does.
I realize the likelihood of Sega ever making one of these in Japan ever again is near zero, but there is something about the way games are designed there that avoids some of the small things that jarred me at times.
That said, the developers exceeded my expectations at times and that soundtrack specifically ramping during certain stages (especially right before the elevator in the Y Corporation) is incredible and raises the action often. The difficulty is kinda all over the place on Normal, but most boss fights were fair enough. Shiva was tough because the stage wears you down so much. That probably took me the longest to beat. My favorite is probably the brawl with The Commissioner in his office. That was inspired!