Retronauts Episode 326: Streets of Rage
Our promise to you: no knuckles were covered during this recording
The beat-em-up is a genre that has had its share of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, feasts and famines. For a time it was the single coolest kind of video game that you could see in an arcade or on your home console, but it quickly became yesterday's news. And then it came back, and then 3D happened, and then it somehow came back again and...gosh, I don't know where it sits right now. I like it, still, but not as much as I did back in the 1990s.
Speaking of that decade, this episode is all about Streets of Rage, a beat-em-up series that had its own private combos and...KOs (look, I'm out of metaphors here). There was a trio of Sega Genesis games which were well-received (in the case of 2, extremely well-received), but then the brand just vanished for decades. But now it's back with Streets of Rage 4 which is also discussed in this episode (spoilers: positively).
Joining Jeremy this week are Retronauts contributor Stuart Gipp and first-time guest John Linneman of Digital Foundry and they came prepared to tell all of us exactly why this series is so strong and so beloved even all these years later to the point that Streets of Rage 4 exists at all (as opposed to Double Dragon IV which absolutely does not exist).
Description: Jeremy Parish, Stuart Gipp, and Digital Foundry's John Linneman master the art of counting to four as they deliver a video game history beatdown in the form of a comprehensive retrospective on Sega's Streets of Rage franchise.
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Artwork for this episode by Leeann Hamilton and editing thanks go to Greg Leahy.