Played some Streets of Rage 4 on XB for PC Game Pass yesterday and today.
And finished it!
Took about 5 hours to go through Story Mode and its 12 Stages/Levels, on my first run. I was playing on Normal, so...those finishing earlier must be great at this game, speed-runners, and/or maybe playing on Easy Mode. The game does have its difficulty spikes here and there - but, I still managed my way through it, somehow and some way.
The game's awesome. This game has no performance issues or hiccups on anything I tossed it at. I tried my Acer gaming laptop (i7 4720HQ; 16 GB RAM; 4GB GTX 960m; W10 x64) and also my SC15 laptop (i7 7700HQ; 16 GB RAM; 6GB GTX 1060; W10 x64) - and it run perfect. Runs smooth as can be and plays great, feeling like another old-school Streets of Rage game. If that's what you wanted - i.e. another Streets of Rage game - you're going to feel right at home here. Butter smooth controls. It just feels great, on my Xbox for Windows PC Gamepad (USB-based).
While SoR4 doesn't entirely look like the old-style of SoR games with their graphics in style here, as that was in a much different style - well, this game with its new look really looks great, with a lot of its graphics looking like a mixture between cel-shaded, comic book look, and a hand-drawn painting. No matter what, it still just looks fantastic here, in its new art style.
Plenty of nods and nostalgia to other classic SoR games are here - characters, enemies, levels, and whatnot. Music sounds like it could've also been plucked right out of that era, also - with some synth-pop, House music, and other things that were popular in the 80's and 90's; especially in these kind of brawlers. And it all has that electronic and MIDI-feel & video-game type of sound to it, from that era...and also some from this current era. And it all sounds great.
Taking something from MK games & Tekken games, in combat (which is most of this game, BTW), you can also juggle opponents in the air with more hits and attacks. Hit enemies in a row fast and/or without taking hits, you can pull off combos. And yes. combos are counted on-screen for number of hits, too. You get graded and scored per each level, so if you're looking to beat your friends' online score and/or Grade...or just trying to do better, you can go ahead and do so. You also have a Lifetime Score you accumulate for your play-through, so there's that too.
Once you finish Story mode once, you can unlock Stage Select (for whatever difficulty you finished). This way, if there's a certain stage you want to re-do and take on, go at it. Have at it! Also, there seems to be unlock-ables here - i.e. unlock-able characters, that you can play as in the game - as I've unlocked one character while playing mid-game somewhere and another after finishing Story Mode for my first go around here.
The Story itself here is not anything special, as you'd expect from a SoR game. I don't think most came here for that anyways. Don't expect depth, character analysis, or any of that. Though, it'll still cool enough, nostalgia-like enough, and 80's/90's enough with its cheese, over-the-top ridiculous-ness, and style that it will still make you smile. But since there are a bunch of more levels - often shorter per Stage, by the way - compared to the old games, this means you have more variety for its locations and more cut-scenes between stages to make this game feel even bigger & have more meat to it than the old classics.
Also, there's a Versus Mode, where your fighters can go at it. Unfortunately, you can't do this solo. You'll have to do it with another player, either locally or online. Feels like a missed opportunity, to not have a solo mode where you can battle AI here. Haven't checked this out yet.
Simply put: Streets of Rage 4 is a great old-school style brawler/beat 'em up with some twists of its own and its shouldn't be missed by anyone.