Streets of Rage 4

Today, the news we had all hoped and prayed for was confirmed: Streets of Rage 4 is coming to Nintendo Switch, along with a new playable character.

A collaboration between Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games, DotEmu and Sega, this side-scrolling brawler aims to resurrect one of the most beloved Mega Drive / Genesis franchises in spectacular style – and naturally, legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro is on-board, along with his collaborator on the second and third Streets of Rage titles, Motohiro Kawashima.

We were lucky enough to visit Koshiro-san in his Toyko studio recently, and one of the questions we asked was exactly how he became involved with Streets of Rage 4. He reveals that the project was in fact well underway by the time he was approached and asked to be involved:

I wasn’t involved from the start. I found they had already started the project when I got an email from DotEmu. In that email, some screenshots were attached. There was the title screen logo and some characters and background graphics, they had already started the project at that time. Actually, after they revealed the project, I saw a lot of messages from fans on Twitter say they wanted me to join the project.

The DotEmu staff then personally met with Koshiro to demonstrate the game to him, and he says his initial reaction was overwhelmingly positive:

I met the DotEmu staff for the first time at Diggin’ in the Carts Live, which was held in Paris on September 2018. They came to my hotel and showed me a very early demo of Streets of Rage 4 on a laptop PC. I played the game right away, it was so amazing! The graphics are great! The most interesting thing is the feeling of the actions; it is very close to Streets of Rage 2, which is the most popular title of the series. It was more than perfect, as it also has additional actions as well.

Even so, this demo wasn't enough to convince him to sign on the dotted line there and then; it would be a subsequent demo that did that job:

I hadn’t decided to join the project at the time. I met them again at BitSummit in Kyoto in June 2019. There was a first meeting where all the Japanese composers who would join the project got together. They brought the latest version of Streets of Rage 4 to BitSummit. I played the game again at the DotEmu booth and it looked way better than the previous version that I played in Paris, and thought it was great. I admired the game, so after that I decided to join the project.

We'll be running the full interview with Koshiro-san later this week.