Last year’s Streets of Rage 4 reminded me of just how much fun I used to have with beat ‘em ups back in the day. Even though it proved to have the same flaws as games of old, like the overall repetitiveness of level to level gameplay, it was a beautiful revival of Sega’s revered series. Developers Lizard Cube and Guard Crush Games absolutely nailed the feel of earlier Streets of Rage and managed to update it to modern standards by hailing some of the best, most detailed and absolutely stunning 2D character and world art ever seen in a game.
Now, they’re pulling us back into the fight with Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare, a paid set of DLC that adds a host of new options to the game. Starting with new characters to fight as, bringing wrestler Max Thunder, martial arts expert Shiva and law enforcement one-woman-army Estel Aguirre, previously bosses from the main game (and members of Streets of Rage 2 and 3’s cast, which is the case for Max and Shiva) into the fold.
Along with the new members, there’s also additions to the original team’s catalog of moves thanks to the inclusion of moves that can be earned permanently by making your way through the similarly brand new Survival mode, an onslaught of back to back fights with your character becoming increasingly stronger as well as the enemy. It’s definitely a fun addition and the more reason to keep coming back for more brawls across Wood Oak City’s turbulent streets.
There’s also an improved training system to put your moves to the test before diving into the fray for good, and a bonus difficulty option called New Mania+ if you thought the game wasn’t brutal enough already. It already kicked my butt pretty badly, so I’ll be steering clear of it unless I can recruit some help to play through it online. Are you up for it? These new additions in particular are coming as part of a free update, even if you don’t pick up Mr. X Nightmare.
Out of the inclusions brought by the DLC, regardless of being part of the paid content or not, I’m partial to the new characters brought in to play as. Aguirre is perhaps my favorite, but I had a great time with all three, perhaps even more than the base cast, which was already fantastic. Her moveset is brutal and has a lot of reach, so I’m able to string together long combos without breaking a sweat. Awesome!
Streets of Rage 4 was already the pinnacle of beat ‘em ups in the modern age, and Mr. X Nightmare only fans its flames even more with the new additions it brings. If you have yet to give the game a go for whatever reason, now’s the perfect time to do so.