If you’re a fan of the old Streets Of Rage games that were released on the Mega Drive/Genesis back in the early 90s and haven’t heard about this game, then you are in for a treat.
Streets Of Rage Remake is a homebrew game that was initially developed for PC by Bomberlink and his team not much more than 8 years ago. Today, version 5.0 has finally been released.
Version 5.0 is what all us followers of this game have been waiting for. All the glitches and annoyances of past versions have all been fix and reworked on and the game has become somewhat bigger since version 4; now featuring 12 playable characters, around 100 stages and pretty much all the SOR Enemies that have ever appeared in the series.
This is exactly what veteran Streets Of Rage fans need!
The game plays a lot like the originals. I would say ‘exactly’ as they have the game spot on but they have gone a step further and merged the different aspects of each of the original game into one, thus improving the overall gameplay beyond any single original Streets Of Rage game could ever give.
All the combo attacks from SoR2 are there, the running and rolling of SoR3 and even the Police assist attacks from SoR1. All the weapons are there too including a range of guns which are always fun to play with. The controls are still the same (with a few added extra buttons in there which I haven’t really found much use for yet) but it’s best to use a control pad instead of your keyboard for comfort.
The A.I for all the enemies have been rewritten too, making the game just that little bit more challenging. I used to blast through SoR2 on Hard, back in the day, but I just got my ass handed to me in this remake on Normal! I had to boost up the number of lives you start with and put the game on Easy just to be able to beat it. Very challenging indeed.
When you do manage to complete the game, you earn cash depending on how many items you pick up, the difficulty it was set at, the number of continues used and cheats used. The cash can then be used to unlock characters, extra modes, artwork and numerous cheats. I think I might have to save up and unlock ‘unlimited lives’ to be able to take on the Hard mode… or maybe even Mania if I can handle the numerous deaths.
Other modes, in case you’re wondering, include survival mode, battle mode and volleyball mode. Volleyball should be a lot of fun, so I’ll have to get my hands on that sometime too.
Bomberlink have kept the graphics as close to the original as possible. They’ve had to remake pretty much every sprite of every character, item and stage from scratch. A LOT of work has gone into this totally free project and you can tell just by playing the game for a few minutes. It’s not quite 16-bit MD/Genesis graphics, but rather slightly-upscaled, with a bit more colour so that things look a bit more up to date.
There are some pretty funny animations in there too when weapons are used. If you kill enemies with a sword, limbs fly off. Same goes for enemies killed by explosions. Good stuff.
It was a great idea going for this style of graphics as if it were any different, it would feel like a different game and probably wouldn’t have the amount of followers as it does.
Now with Bomberlink working with the coding of the game and sprites (along with a bunch of sprite contributors to help speed the game development up), various other contributors provided the soundtrack to the game. The contributors have taken the original tracks and remixed/reinvented them for this game. You can instantly recognize which game each track is from and if you played Streets Of Rage back in the day, all those memories of the original games come flooding back.
The sound effects have all been ripped from the original games and quite possibly edited slightly to update them in the same way the graphics have been. Again, for me at least, hearing these sounds brings back the memories of playing the original games.
This is now available on PC from Bomberlink’s website and is due to be ported to Linux, Wiz and even Wii (through the unofficial homebrew channel).
Sega have issued a ban on all download links to the game. Not everyone listens so I’m sure you can find a link through Google. It’s a great fan-game that should be available to everyone.
I’m hoping that SOMEONE ports it to the original Xbox… it would just feel right to play this on a console.