Boy, the streets sure have been quiet the last 25 years. That’s roughly the length of time since Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Big McLargehuge roamed the streets taming, titulary speaking, the “rage”.
Streets of Rage 4, similar to retro franchise revivals like Mega Man 9 and Sonic Mania before it, wants to keep the party going as if no time had passed. Developed in tandem by Guard Crush Games, Lizardcube, and DotEmu, it’s a direct sequel to the third Streets of Rage game, a 1994 beat-'em-up sidescroller originally for the Sega Genesis. This new one plays roughly identically to any Streets of Rage game you’ve ever played, but with very subtle modern conventions baked in, which we’re happy to report turns out to be a satisfying balance.
The only obvious liberty taken with this sequel is its new art style. Unlike those Mega Man and Sonic call-back sequels, Streets of Rage 4 ditches the pixel look for a bold, hand-drawn, comic-book aesthetic. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but only the biggest Streets of Rage purists will likely have a problem with the decision to go with a fresh look. Reasonable people and newcomers will agree: the game looks slick and memorable. By using full animation, it allows for far more expression than had ever been possible in the era of the old Streets of Rage games, and if anything, gives the franchise some much-needed identity. The neon signs of the dive bars in the background flicker in fatigue, large bullies wince in pain as they go flying from your roundhouse kicks, and the food that gives you more health actually looks like appetizing, steamy food. It’s not a bad switch.
Gameplay-wise, a beat-’em-up is a beat-’em-up is a beat-’em-up. Having played a build of this game a year prior, however, one can tell the gameplay is tightening up. There’s thankfully just a little bit more nuance to your attacks than there was before, with hits and jumps landing a bit harder and chaining a little more fluidly. At PAX, we played as the new character Cherry Hunter, a quick but technical fighter who flips bad guys around with the best of them. Each character has a special attack that sacrifices their own health to use, and hers was a swinging electric guitar that feels great to bonk enemies with, El-Kabong-style.
It’s good to find there’s definitely some strategy to be found in your move kit. Herein lies the tiny elements that make a potential sequel to this series a lot more appetizing: you need to strategize when to use your specials, as opposed to button-mashing. Cherry’s short-hop back kick allows you to guard attacks from the back (which we accidentally kept doing maybe a little too much). You can pick up and utilize a wide range of strewn items and can actually hit them out of the air. And yes, team attack is permanently on, which means for best results, you really need to coordinate the inertia of your attacks when you’re playing with a friend.
And you should play with a friend, because it’s more fun that way. It’s very satisfying to knock out a bad guy that’s being grappled by player two with a jump kick that narrowly misses hitting your ally – especially when you had accidentally kicked them in the face the previous three times you tried it. Also, there’s the tried-and-true debate over who gets to take the health pack, followed by the inevitable argument when your stupid friend with the nearly full health bar takes the turkey all for themselves. Some things never change.
DotEmu tells us is hugely important to them that Streets of Rage 4 strikes a surgically precise balance between iteration and homage. Every individual developer was quick to tell us they’ve agonized over pleasing fans of the series, from recruiting veteran series composer Yuzo Koshiro to creating pixel-perfect updates of the original fighter duo. Right now, we don’t know a lot of important things – such as release date, the length of the game, roster size, online play, or pretty much anything other than the couple of levels we played from start to finish. Streets of Rage 4, as it’s being shown right now, still feels like an elaborate proof of concept.
What we can say right now is that, for better or worse, if putting a quarter into an arcade cabinet and punching people sounds like a good time to you, Streets of Rage 4 is no cheap imitation. It’s a highly laboured-over experience that wants to live up to the hype. We’re looking forward to telling you how it’s all come together when DotEmu announces more.
This looks EPIC. I'm a big fan of the SoR series. Very much looking forward to this one. I just hope this comes out on a physical release!!!!!!!!!!
If this doesn’t get a physical release they don’t know their own target market.
Me and my arcade stick are ready for this
Guaranteed some boutique publisher will release this physically. It's a game series core gamers love too much not to.
When is this being released?
Looking good! On my radar!! Nothing like some old school fun! I’m actually surprised Sega themselves aren’t publishing this!
Lizardcube is developing this and they did a great job with Wonder Boy The Dragons Trap so I am not surprised that this is turning out well.
From what I can tell the gameplay looks solid, but I still don't like the visuals.
Also, I've recently noticed some of the sounds are a bit meh too, like the overuse of that hard thud sound effect every single time an enemy falls down (it was reserved mostly for enemies landing from throws in the original games), or the rather slappy and weak-sounding hit sound effects (not very satisfying imo).
And, for the record, my view on the visuals has **** all to do with being "unreasonable". There's some enemies in there that look almost like bland blobs of colour with those overly-thick outlines and very little actual detail in them whatsoever (the fat guys, the black guys with the sunglasses, the karate boss, etc); it's so far below par in that regard compared to the amazing original sprite work that it's not even funny. And that's me just pointing out one aspect of the visuals that don't stack up imo; I could point out others.
Seriously, actually pay attention to some of the things I'm mentioning and honestly tell me I'm wrong:
But I've shown enough great examples at this point of how the game could have looked that would have far better fit in with the original game's aesthetic yet totally brought this new game up to modern times visually, in a genuinely gorgeous way, that I'm just beating a dead horse.
I refer to this lovely piece of HD art of Axel one more time though (as just one very good example):
Show me a single in-game sprite from Streets of Rage 4 that looks that good . . . because that's how good and indeed correct (as in genuinely matching the original character designs and art style but now in glorious HD) the game could have looked.
If you don't get it yet then you never will.
Might be in a minority but personally I think the visuals are marvellous. Hope the game is up to the same standard.
@Wavey84 Yeah, I would have loved to have seem Capcom do this, using an artist that's as good as some of the guys doing the gorgeous pixel art for it's many, many stunning looking arcade games back in the day (seriously, sooo much amazing art in sooo many of its arcade games from the '90s). I think one of those artists could have made a truly beautiful looking HD version of Streets of Rage 4, and one that would have looked like a true HD sequel to the original games in the series in terms of aesthetics.
I'm all for it. I don't see anything wrong. The art style is definitely gorgeous, the gameplay looks tight from the videos I've seen ...nothing to complain about. Just hungry for the release.
@impurekind Yes they could of gone that art style, but they chose the one they went with. Thousands complained at Zelda the Windwaker. Preferred more realistic graphics. They got that with Twilight princess.
Rapidly approaching 20 years later, Twilight hasn't fared too well. In fact it looks very dated. Windwaker on the hand looks as though it should be running on the switch.
Game styles change. Sometimes changes are a good thing - like the above.
You also have to consider this is now being targeted at a new generation. Many people whom have the switch weren't born when the MD/Genesis was doing the rounds. At the moment over styled graphics are the thing.
Ultimately I quite welcome the change in style. As do many others.
While everyone can talk about the look and whether they like the new look or prefer the old the ONLY thing I care about is if it FEELS like a SoR game. Walk up to a bad guy (or gal), grab them, couple of quick knees, vault over their head and then suplex them into the concrete all set to the beat of a techno soundtrack.
@Paullawr You don't seem to get that the main problem is not the change in art style but that it just looks bad in many ways, and not a patch on the example I provided above.
So, my point is that it would have been far better to go with a proper HD version of the original art style and aesthetic, especially if they weren't going to better it going their own way--and they really have not.
Don't let the jump to HD and some extra animation frames (all of which would also be available with any new art style in 2019) fool you that this is a step forward and some kind of superior art; it's not even remotely close in terms of actual artistic talent and quality to the original sprite work (given the limitations inherent to SD).
The art style on this one is such a slam dunk, I can’t even get over it. Hook it right to my veins.
@Mqblank But that logic just does not make any sense to me at all.
So why not draw it with [literally] fluorescent blobs then (or whatever), if all that matters and all that makes it a Streets of Rage game is the feel?
Is this a Streets of Rage game:
No, the visuals and the whole look and style of the thing absolutely matter. And, if this new Streets of Rage 4 game weren't called Streets of Rage 4 (and a few of the more iconic character designs were removed) then I doubt very much anyone would even recognize it as such. They'd just see is as maybe a fan or indie homage to Streets of Rage that doesn't look the same, as in doesn't look quite right for a Streets of Rage game, but maybe plays similarly.
And that's the truth.
Oooh, arcade stick!
Reading your comment just now, I remembered I actually have one 😁
@impurekid - you are entitled to an opinion and I respect that. I'm not having a go btw
As it is, I stand by what I say and think it looks very good.
I agree there could of been a re-visit to the original style but SEGA didn't want to realize it. They had their opportunities. Decades of them! If anyone is to blame, its not the current license holder it's SEGA themselves.
If you license something to someone you are giving them the rights to vision it how they see fit. There is no requirement for it to look the same as it once was. Sometimes I agree that's a bummer. I recall MASS EFFECT going through a number of transitions and one art form totally sucked. Thankfully they stuck with their original style. Still these things happen.
Discussion below on the art choice.
I think the footnote needs a shout out. NEW GOLDEN AXE on SWITCH!!! YES PLEASE!!!!!
Right off to kick some dwarfs on the cab.
I'm really looking forward to this. I'd have much preferred a pixel art style, but it's cool they want to try something new. I'm not convinced they've done a very good job creatively to be honest... BUT that wont stop me enjoying the game (and it looks good still, just not as good as it could and perhaps should have been).
@impurekind you don't like the art. We get it. You posted walls of text about it before. I'm not sure what your goal is...to convince people who do like it that they should change their minds? That won't happen. To get people to agree with you? I'm sure plenty of folks do. The art is 'polarizing' sure, but I don't believe it is objectively bad. I personally think it's gorgeous. I actually am of the mind that if the capability was there in the 90s, the original games might have looked similar to this. But that's my opinion and it might be an isolated one.
Anyway, you got it right in your very first comment when you said you were beating a dead horse. Maybe you should just accept that the game isn't for you, choose not to buy it, and let others enjoy things.
@Paullawr Oh I agree, Sega is absolutely to blame. It's much like Sega was to blame for all the shopped-out Genesis clones it allowed to exist for so long, until eventually it did things properly and gave people a Genesis mini they actually wanted (nailing all the important aspects nearly perfectly). And I know many people will be just fine with this particular Streets of Rage 4 game, but to me this is in many ways the AtGames equivalent of a new Streets of Rage game (at least in terms of the visuals and some of the sound fx). It's not the true Streets of Rage 4 game I want or that I think we all deserve.
@Dualmask And I'll keep posting so long as articles like this keep touting it like it's actually a step up, when imo it's absolutely not, particularly when the writer tries to imply that people like me are just being "unreasonable" when they call out the rather meh art in this game.
I actually hope some developers and game artists out there hear my complaints and maybe think a little differently when they approach stuff like this in the future.
And this is entirely part of my point: No, it would not have looked like this if the capability were there in the '90s. Just like the guys who've made Streets of Rage 4, you clearly have no clue why the original art was and is so good, why the artists went with that particular look/style back in the day (it had literally nothing to do with the resolution limitations of the systems), or that plenty examples of promo art and the like from the '90s already exist in full HD to show exactly how it could/would have looked with these modern capabilities.
I think this is absolute not what an HD version of Streets of Rage would have looked like if the original artists had been allowed to make a new version of the game with the capabilities of today's system--and that is literally my [almost] entire frustration.
It's a game peeps. Right I think there are strong points to both sides of the argument and being a 40 something retro and modern gamer (just please not so many buttons on the controller ).
I like the visuals as it is. I like them as they were. My view its just evolution now its been picked up by a third party. Had it not - I think the best we all could of hoped for was BoR. That's not really an option.
Hopefully it plays well. That's the most important aspect now.
@impurekind you're completely entitled to that belief of course, but there's no way to know, you're no expert, and trying to paint your beliefs as fact that everyone should get on board with is why you get so much pushback.
You do you though.
But hey, if it makes you feel better, you're not required to buy it. You can just do what anyone else who finds themselves repulsed would do and move on. I'm sad about the way they're doing the new Battletoads game, especially with how they redesigned the Dark Queen. But I just decided it's not for me.
@Dualmask I'm more of an expert than you and likely most other people in here.
@impurekind Uh, an expert on what, exactly? Please do go on, this is finally getting interesting.
@impurekind got it. I realize now I shouldn't have bothered addressing you at all. I've been debating with a child, or someone with the mentality of one. Apparently you think you're the only one who knows anything about art, game development or animation here.
@Dualmask No, just more than you and probably most people in here.
And it's not "childish" when it's just and objective fact.
@impurekind Hey that comment is a tad unfair on subscribers to the site. True not everyone is a gaming professional or design guru - they still have a right to an opinion.
@nimnio I dunno, art: I mean I do have higher art, sixth year studies art, a GSVQ3 in art & design, a college course in advanced design studies, an honors degree in animation and electronic media, I worked for Rare as an artist animator, was lead animator at another game studio, was a production designer at another studio, was a level designer at Rockstar, have released 7 mobile games, got one game Greenlit on Steam, am creating a VR game, etc.
And I clearly just have better artistic taste than a lot of people in here.
Now, how about you, or anyone else in here?
If we want to get all truly objective and factual about it. . . .
@Paullawr Never said they didn't.
@impurekind Just about 38 years of playing the #hit thats put in front of me!
@impurekind I'm dying to know what you base your science on. The mere fact that you honestly believe your opinion is a fact tells everyone everything they need to know about you.
I thought I was in for some intelligent debate at first. I'm sorely disappointed. Do you have anything other than that one drawing of Axel to support your opinion? Or just what you think would be true or what you believe is right based on... your art degree I guess?
@Paullawr Is that English? I'm not sure what the sentence means?
@Dualmask Tell you what, you show anything whatsoever to prove anything I've said wrong. . . .
And then I'll see if I can be bothered posting the same examples I've now posted multiple times again.
@impurekind Oh, sorry, you seem to have misunderstood. I meant what is your expertise that your opinion would matter more than most here? (Hint: there is no expertise that matters here.)
It was the last time I checked. In other words - my view is based on what I've played over the years.
@impurekind all that and you still fail to get that art is subjective and just because you don't like something doesn't mean it's bad or objectively wrong. All that accomplishment and still a limited thinker.
@nimnio Other than people saying this art style is better than the original clearly not having the slightest clue what they are talking about . . .
Did anyone say this art style was better than the original? I said I liked it. As did most others.
@impurekind I'm pretty sure you're the only person here arguing about what art style is "better". Everyone else is just talking about what they like and what they'll buy. Seriously, all that experience and you haven't managed to develop an ounce of humility? You should be ashamed.
@Olliemar28 think its time we locked this one down. Its going a bit beyond the topic!
The entire Universe is technically subjective, since only you perceive it exactly as you perceive it--no one else can see, touch, hear, smell or interpret it with your eyes, hands, ears, nose or brain--but that does not mean it cannot be measured, or that we cannot speak about it objectively, or that we can't make informed judgments about it.
Same is true of art: There is such a thing as good art, and bad art, and many degrees in between, and rational and educated people know it's perfectly reasonable to make informed judgments on such things.
@impurekind you continue to miss the point. There is no right or wrong here. There is only whether you like it or not. You didn't create Streets of Rage so you don't get to decide what's right for it. The devs do. We as consumers decide to agree or disagree.
But since you've retreated to ad hominem attacks and pretentious insults, I'll end it here. Clearly, you're the one who will never get it.
@Dualmask I don't get to decide since I'm not in charge of making the game; I do get to say since I am able to analyse and critically judge the art and the game. And the art in this game is not a worthy follow on from the original as far as I'm concerned, and it's not better realised art than in the original in terms of the pure artistic talent and skill put into it. It falls short of what could have been and what I believe the series deserves and what we all deserve.
I am not entirely agreeing with the tone of this conversation its gone from agreeing/disagreeing to now belittling.
@Paullawr That's often what happens when people start to argue against well expressed and well supported points with statements like "only the biggest Streets of Rage purists will likely have a problem with the decision to go with a fresh look. Reasonable people . . ."--as in, you're unreasonable if you have a problem with art in this game--and throw around crap like "You're not an expert" and "Well, all art is subjective" and "Blah, blah, blah", especially when they're saying it to me.
So when I wrote the line about the new style not easily inviting controversy, I had absolutely no idea that was...extremely controversial lol.
As the writer of the piece and someone who enjoys but isnt a hardcore Streets of Rage fan, I often catch myself thinking something to the effect of, "Which one was Streets of Rage again...? Oh yeah, that one." To that end, I found the style a needed improvement. However, I dont doubt hardcore fans of the series might think differently, as would I if something I adored got brought back and seriously altered.
I'd just emphasize that, above all, the devs really do worship this franchise. It doesnt mean their rendition will be inherently great, but it's not like they didn't put a lot of thought into their decision making.
@Pandaman I like SoR but jeez this has gone a bit too far. Its a 90's side scrolling beat em up. I won't lose sleep if it doesn't fulfill expectations. Controversial arguments aside I don't agree with talking down. That's not on. There is quite a bit of that going on above.
@Pandaman Then don't call people "unreasonable" when it's you who clearly lacks the ability to differntiate between what we're seeing in this game and everything that could have been so right about the visuals in all the ways that make sense in relation to the original games and where the sequels could and imo should have went visually.
It's actually people like you who have no reasonable argument about what's so right about these visuals other than you personally like them (or can at the very least make do with them). Me, I've expressed and demonstrated plenty examples of where the issues with the current visuals lie and where and how they could be improved to both look better and fit in with the original game's aesthetics more (even when jumping to HD).
@impurekind It's funny how no one here is agreeing with your "well expressed and well supported points." It's almost as if you aren't as convincing as you think you are, which makes me wonder why you're arguing at all. If you're practising arguing, great, but let me tell you... you're going the wrong way.
@Paullawr some people get triggered when simple irrefutable truths are presented to them. Then the attacks come. That's when I figured it was time to shrug my shoulders and leave the arrogant little "expert" to their own devices.
Bottom line is the game looks great. Hopefully it'll sell well.
@impurekind Do you have a portfolio somewhere that we can look at your art?
@nimnio That does not invalidate the point; it just backs up what I was saying earlier about most of you not really having a clue about that which you speak beyond simply having a personal opinion about stuff, which everyone on the planet has. And that's not me attacking or insulting you guys but literally just stating an objective and demonstrable fact
@NintendoJunkie Why, so you can pick out whatever you don't like and use that in what you believe to be some kind of "objective" way to invalidate my points above?
That's not how it works.
I'm not saying I'm better or even as good as an artist as the people I'm talking about, certainly not the amazingly talented guys and girls who did some of that stunning pixel art back in the day, just that I'm not simply coming from the point of view of "I can type on a keyboard, and I like video games, so surely my opinion on what is good and bad art is just as valid as yours, and it's all subjective anyway."
But, here's the link if it makes you feel better:
Notice how down the side is has links for my Games/Apps, Anims, Art and eBooks.
And you. . . .
@Dualmask It's quite unexpected from a developer to be honest with you. I would think they were keen to get viewpoints from the demographic (current). Then taylor their much loved creations to that target audience.
I don't quite get the talking down to people on an international website is going do many favours for your business.
Up until that point - it was fair game. Belittling others based on qualifications and past experience isn't OK in my book.
Not everyone has the same prospects - doesn't mean they should be snubbed out on a view they might have.
@Paullawr I don't really care about all that stuff when expressing my views. What I do for my work and what I say personally are not the same thing. I don't hold myself and my views and expressions accountable to some people who may or may not buy my games, and I never will. I speak in here as I speak normally.
And, to be clear, I wasn't the one who initially challenged someone's valid worthiness to be critical of the art in this game; I'm simply challenging the people suggesting what I am saying is somehow invalid because I'm "not an expert" or whatever. So I basically responded with "Well, show me how you are in any way more of an 'expert'", which I think is fair enough.
And I certainly didn't write an article that basically states anyone who criticizes the art in this game is just being and "unreasonable" "purist".
That's fine. I've said all I need to say on the matter.
@impurekind I mostly just curious because you made an earlier statement: " I dunno, art: I mean I do have higher art, sixth year studies art, a GSVQ3 in art & design, a college course in advanced design studies, an honors degree in animation and electronic media, I worked for Rare as an artist animator, was lead animator at another game studio, was a production designer at another studio, was a level designer at Rockstar, have released 7 mobile games, got one game Greenlit on Steam, am creating a VR game, etc.
And I clearly just have better artistic taste than a lot of people in here."
You made a lot of qualifications about being an professional artist. Mostly curious. Not diggin' on you or anything. I'm staying out of this discussion.
Here is my link for what it's worth or not worth: https://www.instagram.com/adamford_art/?hl=en
There's even a little sketch of Axel somewhere in there...
@nimnio And, for the record, if we're really going to get stuck on the details as some way to refute any points that are made, a few people have agreed with me.
You can scroll through the comments and find them yourself if you're willing to face actual truth and reality.
@NintendoJunkie And you are a very talented artist.
Lucky I said "most" and also listed more than just literal art skills into the idea of being able to meaningfully judge and criticize art and differentiate between good, bad and all the degrees in between.
Maybe they could/should have gotten you in to draw the HD art for game--so long as you actually understand the difference between just doing random art that kinda doesn't really fit with the original at all and art that actually does while still looking all lovely and HD and modern in its own right, of course.
Because, seriously, the person(s) who's created the art for the current game just doesn't have very good taste or a genuinely strong and timeless art style imo (at least as demonstrated in this game). That almost featureless (lacking details) character art with those big thick and uneven brush-stroke-like lines around everything . . . it's just fugly as far as I'm concerned, and not true to Streets of Rage at all.
The game could and imo should have looked sooo much better--and I'm gonna rage about it for a long time and really hammer the point home.
@Paullawr and waving around qualifications doesn't make anyone an expert on all art forms or art directions. To do so is immature. I've dabbled in art myself. Would never call myself an expert but I've made money freelancing here and there. It's completely irrelevant to the conversation about this game and its art direction, so I only mention it here to illustrate how little it matters.
I'd even argue that the ones who actually are working hard to make the art for this game are more expert than anyone commenting here, and they seem to know what they're doing.
@NintendoJunkie Very good Adam. Love your style. However according to some posts I am not qualified to judge art or criticize it.
Why? Well I'm fairly #hit at art. I do a very nice stick man according to my kids. Hey its all subjective right. If they do criticize it, then I can always make it a better stick man.
@impurekind Why would I do that? I thought we already established that their opinions don't matter because they're not qualified. It's just their worthless personal opinion, right? I mean, any idiot can have an opinion, but man, to be an expert... that'd really be something.
@Dualmask I'm a software analyst, not the greatest job on the planet I know - but hey it pays bills.
@nimnio If you use your brain and do the tiniest bit of searching through the comments and critical thinking you'll find I'm the one responding to the people making the claim that my take on the art is invalid because I'm not an "expert". So I didn't bring it up first; I only hammered the point home in response to the other person(s) that tried to make it first. If they're going to claim that unless I'm somehow an expert my assertion that the art is meh and wrong can't possibly be valid, then I'm absolutely going to call out their relative expertise to even sniff making such an assertion. Because if it's all just opinions, but one is coming from someone with some actual learning and training and practice and experience (as well as providing examples to back up their points), and the other is just a plonker mouthing off, then I know who I'd be more inclined to take seriously in any way.
@impurekind Thanks sir!
Personally, I'm not too bothered by the style. I am mostly bugged that Axel is pretty fat... But also SOR was never really about the art for me, as much as the feel. If it was all about art, Capcom beat Sega at every turn in the 90's, however SOR2 was a revelation for me because, it was the first time someone beat Capcom at gameplay. I agree with your point, if they had CRMK or Kino do the art for 4, I think the internet would implode. But as it stands, if SOR4 plays well, I'll be happy.
@Paullawr if you're doing what you love, it's the greatest job there is.
@NintendoJunkie That too: His "fatness" just looks a bit off. It's sooo many things imo.
For me the art is absolutely integral to the experience (and I mean art look/style, not graphics tech), especially when it's a game with a rather iconic look to it.
And for me they've now just ruined that a bit with this game, so it's just not a true new Streets of Rage game for me--and I really wanted a new true Streets of Rage game.
@Paullawr Haha! Stick figures are a critical piece to most worthwhile artistic endeavors
It's all in the eye of the beholder imo. I think if there is someone willing to put down money for it, then all the better for the artist and the beholder.
@Paullawr hey, one of the most popular webcomics of all time is all stick figures. I wouldn't sell it short, lol.
@Dualmask Oh i'm not at all. There is some really fun animations on youtube of stick figure animations. They are kind of mindblowing actually.
Love it. That's it. Going to have to code a stick man animation now.
@NintendoJunkie Like this:
@impurekind LOL! yup!
I dont really like the art... It reminds me of cheap pc flash games...
That said... All I really care about is the gameplay feel. Can you "lock" an enemy by just making the basic punch repitedly with the right timing?? Thats something that made the SoR series trully unique.
@NintendoJunkie That's an amazing collection you have there. I used to be a keen artist back in my teens, I had a very vivid imagination back then and would sketch all sorts of bizarre stuff, making it up as I went along. Not sticking at it, is one of my life regrets.
@OorWullie Thanks! No better time than now to get back into it.
It’s Sonic 4 all over again except the dev team has more respect for the original gameplay.
@Paullawr Ben Fiquet (of lizardcube) is a brilliant artist. There’s no mistaking he’s a French cartoonist and it seems some folks are aggressive in stating it’s not their style. But it’s a great look with a body of personality and completely consistent throughout. So important
@NinChocolate Yup! Ben is incredible!
props to the mst3k reference
@impurekind I wonder what your thoughts are about the new look of the Battletoads game??? Plus, I sincerely appreciate your passion for the aesthetics and art of the classic SoR games. I wish more developers had that vision.
I haven't played it, but, contrary to the title of the article, the more I see of the game, the more I dislike it. The art style doesn't fit the property, in my opinion. I'm not saying that I expect or demand it look exactly like the old games, but the visual style fails to capture the spirit of Streets of Rage for me. The heavy black outlines on the characters and backgrounds gives the game a very flat look. I also don't like some elements of the character designs. I don't like the new character at all. And having seen some of the game-play footage, there are things I see in the game design that I don't think I will like. Even the music I've heard so far is a bit odd, though I don't know if that's a place holder. And I'm a guy that likes the music in Streets of Rage 3.
Also, as a huge beat-em-up game fan, I've played enough of them to know that despite the same basic premise, the game play can vary quite a bit.
@Wavey84 Streets of rage 2 may very well be the game I have played through more times than any other. And yet everytime I get to that part of the game where its raining I always have to stop and admire the beauty, and I think to myself, how did they get the Genesis to look this good.
I really hope this has 4 players, local and online.
I still think its gorgeous, and am really looking forward to it. I hope we somehow get Fight N Rage on Switch tho. It's my current favorite beat em up. Sadly ninty wouldnt grant access to a dev kit. Heres a link to it on pc, currently on sale too: https://store.steampowered.com/app/674520/FightN_Rage/
@impurekind That you don't like it is fine, I don't love it either, but trying to suggest your opinion is "objective fact" is ridiculous. It's a subjective assessment. Stop being such a man baby.
To all of those complaining about the graphics:
Screw all y'all. This looks FINE
@impurekind I'm not saying that the visuals do not matter, I still want some semblance of recognisability but it has to play correctly to be a SoR game. To me, it looks great as it is but no one will convince you of that fact because that is your opinion. Your opinion is truth to you but not for everyone.
Let us all just wait for the game to be released now as no amount of complaining will ever change the art style.
Unless it is a Sonic the Hedgehog movie
Still, I prefer the pixelated visuals. Ninja Warrios, River City Girls is where it is at for me! These high-res animated games DO look like flash games!
Recently played some Streets of Rage 2, after never having paid the series much attention.
It's absolutely ridiculous and so much fun, and the fourth games looks to continue the trend in style.
Super stocked . It shure looks very promissing and I like the art direction.
Owned SoR1 and played a ton with my brother finishing it on all difficulty levels several times. Borrowed SoR2 and 3 which were a huge step up.
Just which they include Shiva like SoR3 where he was a secret playable character.
@Wavey84 I have a pretty good eye for art myself, and my position is that the art is great. I'm not alone in this belief, nor do I try to paint my opinion as a fact. Not liking it is fine, believing it is wrong for the game is fine... differing tastes. Trying to make others believe they are somehow incompetent about art because they disagree with your opinions is not. If you have to talk down to folks (especially when you don't know what they know) to attempt to make your point, that weakens your argument.
Many people, even the reviewer, seem to forget or simply don't know that Streets of Rage is one of the best beat'em up series... but never was in an arcade. It was always a console thing.
Anyway, I'm growing confident on the physical release of the game, as someone said they wouldn't know its audience otherwise. Really looking forward to get it.
@Mqblank "Unless it is a Sonic the Hedgehog movie"
Maybe you do understand why I complain.
Now, I know this game's art absolutely won't be changed, but maybe future remakes and sequel games to classics will make better decisions about stuff like this if enough people kick up a fuss.
And, yes, of course it has to play correctly too. I hope no one would disagree with that. But I'd say that how a game looks (the visuals and art style as opposed to the graphics technology) is also a hugely essential part of the experience too, especially when said game is either a remake or modern sequel to a beloved classic game/series that has an already recognizable, beloved and sometime even iconic look and style.
@Valdney It just looks wrong imo. To me this is another great example of modern developers simply not getting how to properly bring a classic into modern times while both retaining all the things people loved about the original and bringing the visuals and the likes up to modern standards.
@BMOC I'm not claiming that the bits that are my opinion are objective fact (hence why I almost always put imo when I'm just expressing my opinion); I'm claiming the bits that are objective fact are objective fact.
The art does not look like the original, and the artist has very much failed to capture the look/style and visual feel of the original. That's an objective fact.
Many of the characters lack visual detail--they are actually less detailed than the SD pixel art of the originals (demonstrably so)--and have those big, fat, uneven brush stroke lines around them. That's an objective fact.
The punch sound effects are very "slappy" and "weak" sounding (there's actually times you can't even hear them over the music), especially compared to the original. And sometime certain obvious impact and breaking sounds seem to be missing entirely, which is just not good. That is an objective fact.
The falling on the ground sound is louder than anything else and it happening every single time is in conflict with the rest of the sound effects and just overwhelms everything else, and imo it starts to grate after a while. That is an objective fact (apart from the obvious "imo" bit).
I might buy this at a heavy discount, and definitely need to wait for reviews. If they had a less lazy art style it may have been an immediate purchase. The poor art style and unskilled, technically flawed graphics gives me too much concern over what else might be wrong with it. Gameplay is more important but, if they can't draw properly, how are the punches going to connect? Love streets of rage 2. I hope this isn't as bad as it looks.
@impurekind Would you be up for a mode where, like the new Dragon Quest game, you can switch between old style and new style. Would be too difficult to implement now but as you say, to keep in mind for future games?
I predominantly played as Skate during my time with the game, so I get you. He's a very silly and fun character to play, and his mobility is just on a different level from the other characters!
Not convinced but I’m a die hard retro purist, Pixel art is king
I am both a professional illustrator and near life-long SEGA fan who got Streets of Rage 2 for Christmas many, many years ago and I have decided that the art direction in this game is great. The end.
(That's sarcasm, but really it's clear the devs put a lot of effort into this and I think they've done a good job. The sound design could use some work, but visually it's pretty strong)
@impurekind Fair enough. But I wouldn't say they have failed to capture the original, that implies they were trying to achieve something that they have not been able to. I think the visuals capture the mood of the original, but it's obviously a different art style.
If I were to see this game running, but with different characters, it would still remind me most strongly of SOR.
The only issue I have with it visually is that you don't always get the impression that the punches/kicks are actually making solid contact with enemies.
@BMOC i get the feeling they are placeholder sound effects. What would be great would be if they incorporated some hd rumble to add impact to the hits. That would be great. But yeah it’s shaping up!
@WiltonRoots it's not so much the sound effects I'm referring to, though I agree that will help, it's a visual thing. I think it stems from the fact that as you get higher resolution 2d graphics in a game like this, it becomes more visually apparent that what you're really looking at are flat cardboard cutouts moving around with the illusion of depth. I think that's masked with lower resolution graphics, where as here, it just doesn't look to me (some of the time) as if things are really connecting.
@BMOC Well I can add the punchs/kicks not looking like they are quite connecting to my list of things that aren't winning me over with the game.
@Mqblank Yeah, I wouldn't complain if that were included, with the matching old sound effects and stuff too.
But to me that almost feels like admitting defeat and saying the only way to give you the original in modern times is to give you the original again, when I don't believe that is actually true at all.
And, the whole reason I'm kicking up such a fuss is because it means that's exactly what I have to do: Wait for the next Streets of Rage game to [possibly] truly get it right (as I see it)--and God knows how long away that might be.
There are better beat em ups than SOR anyway, I dunno why you're so bothered.
@impurekind okay, big shot. Name some of your games that your art is displayed on and let's see how good your art style is compared to this game.
@Mykillvee That's not how it works: Having an issue with the art style in their game doesn't become an irrelevant point to raise just because I personally don't have any examples I drew myself that I can put up that are better and more suited to how I think a new game in this series should and could have looked. And this is precisely why I've posted multiple examples of actual art from previous games/posters/etc in the series and whatever else to backup my assertion.
@impurekind it's exactly how it works. If you worked on other games, the results of your artwork would be IN THE GAMES. Tell me what games you worked on where your art is clearly displayed as game graphics. Otherwise, your point is useless. You said you've worked on all kinds of games. Where's the proof of that? I'm just calling you out on your claims that you know more about game art than everybody else here. I want to know what your idea of a good art style is compared to the "fugly" graphics in this game.
@Mykillvee I've already provided examples of my idea of a good art style compared to the "fugly" graphics in this game, in this very article. It does not have to be my art for this to be any better an example than it is. Your logic is so far beyond flawed that it's not even funny or worth any more of an answer than this.
@impurekind you have proven my point. You refuse to give me the names of the games you worked on. If you think you can do a better job, why not give me actual examples of YOUR work?
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