Our review of the “Mr. X Nightmare” DLC for Streets of Rage 4, developed by Dotemu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. Available now for PS5/PS4 (reviewed), Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH
Streets of Rage 4 was one of my favourite games last year. As I wrote in my review:
Streets of Rage 4 is a pure nostalgia trip, hitting all the right buttons for jaded old gamers like me. Like its 16-bit predecessors, Streets’s plot is gloriously irrelevant, a mere vehicle for its two central mechanics: walking from left to right, and beating up bad dudes and dudettes. Ideally, those things should be done with a friend, either via four player local co-op, or two player online co-op.
A year on, I still find myself dropping in for the occasional Streets session, if only to hear those sweet, sweet tunes. It’s a game that holds up well compared to the 90s originals, and holds up surprisingly well a year on in a gaming ecosystem where 2.5D sidescrollers tend not to get much post-launch report.
Happily, however, Streets is just now getting a not-insignificant DLC update: for $10.99, you can enjoy all the bells and whistles that the “Mr. X Nightmare” package has to offer, including:
- New player-characters, including returning favourites Max Thunder and Shiva, along with newcomer Estel Aguirre.
- A tough-as-bones Survival Mode, sending players through an endless gauntlet of challenging arenas.
- Various new moves and weapons.
On top of which, even if you don’t spring for the DLC, all players are getting a free update which includes palette swap options, a new difficulty setting, and a training mode, along with some fairly standard rebalancing tweaks. On the whole, it’s a good time to be a Rager.
The free update to Streets of Rage 4 is a smart move: it gets players back into the game, whetting their appetite enough that they might go for the newly-released paid DLC. The calculation on whether to buy the DLC comes down to this: do you like Streets of Rage, and do you wish you had more of it? While it’s too bad that it doesn’t include, say, a new side-story or extra story levels, the addition of new characters – all of whom are different, and fun to experiment with – is probably enough. The Survival Mode is also a great way to test your own and your friends’ mettle: each round throws a succession of increasingly difficult (and randomly generated) enemies at you, but you also unlock stat boosts and other perks every time you survive a round. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a Survival Mode, only with a kickin’ soundtrack.
That’s really what you’re getting with the DLC package. It’s not a sequel, it’s not much more than a character pack with some extra modes thrown in. But hey, that’s all right by me. Sometimes all you want to do is go straight and kick some butt.
Final score: 8/10 pool cues.
Visit the official page for Streets of Rage 4 here.