If you ever thought that Streets of Rage needed a survival mode, Mr. X Nightmare has you covered.
Type: Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Developer: Dotemu, Lizardcube,
Guard Crush Games
Release date: 15 July, 2021
Streets of Rage 4 was one of the big success stories of pushing a classic side-scrolling beat ’em up into the modern era of gaming. It managed to keep the soul of the original trilogy while innovating enough to make it a fresh experience that wasn’t just a clone of those that had come before. The trip down Nostalgia Lane was a welcome one and it was the sequel that Streets of Rage deserved.
Mr. X Nightmare takes both the modern innovation and respect for those that came before and runs with them. A new gameplay mode and a trio of new characters spices the formula up even further while adding significant replay value.
Survival? in My Streets of Rage?!
Mr. X Nightmare introduces a survival mode that’s likely to push your skills to the limit. Each round is more difficult than the last with enemies and environmental dangers keeping you on your toes at every turn. Progression is rewarded by a choice of one of up to three choices to improve your character for the duration of your run. It’s about like a side-scrolling Binding of Isaac beat ’em up in this regard and I was pleasantly surprised by the selection. In one run you might have steadily buffed your special attack to deal more damage while consuming less of your health and in the next, you’re both dealing and suffering double damage.
The survival “simulation” often brings you back in time to duke it out with enemies of the classic Streets of Rage titles in their natural environment. Yes, you’ll be traveling back to the Sega Genesis era and roughing up enemies that are extinct by the time of 4 in their retro glory. It’s a nice callback when these rounds happen and it kicks you in the nostalgia in just the right way.
A Focus on Characters
Three unique characters are added to your roster in Mr. X Nightmare: Max, Shiva, and Estelle. Max is an iconic character from the classics and brings with him all that you’d expect of a professional wrestling powerhouse. Alternatively, Shiva is a fast-hitting combo machine of a ninja that immediately throws every weapon that he touches (for better or worse). My favorite playstyle of the three, Estelle, falls more into the middle of the road. Strong combo chains are great, but there’s a certain satisfaction that you get when she calls on her police buddies to pop out of their squad car with a rocket launcher readied.
Speaking of characters, the survival mode rewards your success by granting you progression down a linear line of alternative moves. Each character has their own variety that can be used to swap out their default techniques for new ones. This can lead to exciting new playstyles for the characters that you thought you had already mastered. I had a good time tailoring my characters and it’s a good topic of conversation for fans as the variety of styles available are balanced enough that each player could have a completely different lineup based on their preferences.
Streets of Rage 4 was already an excellent side-scrolling beat ’em up and Mr. X Nightmare only makes it better. The new survival mode adds nearly endless replay value and the new characters and alternative moves enhance an already varied roster. If you enjoyed the base game, or for fighting games at all for that matter, you won’t be disappointed by this excellent DLC.