For the breed of gamers Streets of Rage 4 is looking to appeal to, this series exists in the realm of muscle memory. Endless hours spent moonwalking through violent alleys and thoroughfares have baked it into their nerves. The developers at DotEmu know full well that they're serving a generation of fans who grew up playing these games on the SEGA Mega Drive, and they play to their base. This is a traditional sidescrolling biff-'em-up through and through, requiring you to punch, kick, grab, volley, knee dig and flying kick your way through scores of enemies with the end goal of taking back the streets.
It's 10 years after the crew made Wood Oak City safe from the mysterious criminal mastermind, Mr X, but from the ashes of his old empire his children, the Y Twins, have emerged as a new threat. Blaze Fielding isn't about to take this lying down, however, and she brings in Axel Stone, Adam Hunter, Adam's daughter Cherry Hunter and Floyd Iraia, a man with a huge bionic arm.The action is amped up with a series of special moves and a handful of screen-shattering uber moves, such as Floyd's gigantic laser blast which eats up half the screen. While the adrenaline levels have been multiplied, however, the core action will still fire up those hard-earned fast-twitch responses that have been lurking in Streets of Rage vets' fingers for several decades. The art style might have been modernised into a slick, bold, comic book style, but this is still very much Streets of Rage at heart.