Streets of Rage 4: Guard Crush on Possible DLCs, Development Stories and More
Guard Crush, developers of Streets of Rage 4, shared fun stories behind the revival of Sega's legendary series in a video interview.
French Twitch team Gwak held on May 10 a video interview with Olivier Deriviere, Cyrille Lagarigue and Jordi Asensio, developers of Streets of Rage 4. Cyrille Lagarigue and Jordi Asensio are the founders of Guard Crush. Olivier Deriviere is one of the many talented composers of Streets of Rage 4, who handled nearly all the stage BGMs. Gwak is a pretty cool Twitch group made of talented individuals, though it’s not like the majority of those who’ll click on this article can understand french. Anyway, through the interview, we learned many fun details and development stories on the game. Most notably how Asensio wished to put iconic Sega character, Shinobi‘s Joe Musashi, as a playable character in Streets of Rage 4, but was turned down by Sega Japan. We’ve translated and summarized the whole interview below.
Streets of Rage 4 Development stories from Guard Crush
Streets of Rage 4 was first pitched by Guard Crush to Sega Japan. Guard Crush, Lizardcube and Dotemu already had a link open with Sega Japan thanks to the remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Sega Japan approved the project and pretty much gave the french developers free rein, only giving regular feedback.
Sega is a huge company, and the French developers were only in touch with a small division at Sega Japan, which they regularly sent new builds to, with new features. They always got positive feedback. That division is made of people who also played Streets of Rage in their childhood, so it was very easy to talk with them about SoR 4‘s development. Adding ramen as a recovery item was a suggestion of Sega Japan.
Sega of America learned of Streets of Rage 4‘s existence at the same time as everyone else with the reveal trailer.
After the reveal, the majority of the vocal Streets of Rage community: in Europe, in South America, etc, was very supportive. The french devs mostly got positive messages during development. There were nearly zero “noooooo don’t ruin my childhood!!” type of reactions, often seen with sequels like these.
The developers mentioned they’re happy with how the game turned out. It’s only been out for a few days though, so they don’t really realize yet tons of people around the world are praising the game. One thing the developers feared is people not understanding the game, and claiming it’s just a nostalgia fueled shallow game where you walk to the right and hit people. IGN’s review got cited as an example of people not getting the game. The Streets of Rage 4 team did a lot of choices that can be considered unconventional or anti-modern by some, like how they didn’t add things like EXP, levels and skill trees. Game systems from the RPG genre that pretty much every mainstream game borrows nowadays. In the end, judging from feedback, a vast majority of players do understand the game, and the devs are happy a lot of people dig the combo-based gameplay.
Another thing the devs were wary of is whether fans’ enthusiasm on the net would actually translate into sales, but it seems like it went well. Streets of Rage 4 publisher Dotemu is the sole entity deciding to share sales numbers or not. For now, they didn’t share any, so the devs didn’t explicitly talk about sales numbers either.
Streets of Rage 4 gameplay philosophy by Guard Crush
Guard Crush has some Streets of Rage 4 DLCs ideas in mind. However, no DLCs are officially in development, and they don’t know yet if they’ll actually make DLCs or not.
Guard Crush tried to make Streets of Rage 4 as accessible as possible, that’s why the game has many difficulty levels. The game was developed on hard, and the other difficulties were added later. Overall, they wanted the game to focus on scoring, that’s why the stages are short, and there are few waves of enemies.
Bare Knuckle 4‘s main base is Bare Knuckle 2. One reason why 2 is so memorable is because where and when you choose to move is important. It’s the same in 4. Where you choose to position yourself, where you decide to gather the enemies, learning where the enemies will spawn, is important. All of this was thought up with scoring in mind. That’s also why the game doesn’t include a running system like Streets of Rage 3. It would make placement less important. The developers wish for Streets of Rage 4 players to think ahead, not to react by reflex. It’s not a reflex based game like most 3D beat em all nowadays. That’s why there’s no dodge button either.
Another reason why there’s no running function like Streets or Rage 3 is how it can make your fingers tired pretty fast to dash all the time. If all characters could dash, there’s no point in not dashing, so you just keep doing it.
The Guard Crush developers also gave some good words of wisdom when it comes to game development. They stressed how developers who work on triple A games are just as passionate as indie developers like them. However, triple A devs simply can’t express that passion as much, as they’re only a small part of a huge machine. They also stressed out many players nowadays forget developers are human beings and players too. Developers do realize it when the game they released is bad. There are always reasons why a game turned out badly, and these can be either valid reasons or bad reasons.
In Streets of Rage 2, using your special move uses some HP, which leaves the player frustrated. Using the special move feels as if you’re playing badly. Guard Crush improved this system by making the HP loss temporary, and getting it back if you manage to net a combo.
Streets of Rage 4 includes many references to other games, anime, etc. These just came in naturally, and the developers didn’t really think about it when making the game. A lot of the references and Easter eggs in the stages were added by Background Artist Julian Nquyen You, who was greatly praised during the interview.
Streets of Rage 4 players already managed to find every gameplay subtlety in the game, including things Guard Crush didn’t know themselves.
On Streets of Rage 4 ‘s music
The developers managed to get so many different composers, most notably Japanese composers, thanks to Brave Wave Productions. It was decided from the start that Olivier Deriviere would handle the stage BGMs. Meanwhile, each one of the other composers would do a boss BGM. Each composer got some visuals of the boss they were composing for.
The title screen BGM, character select screen BGM and the first part of the first stage’s NGM are handled by Yuzo Koshizo. The final boss BGM is him as well. Olivier Deriviere explained this is to show the link between the past works and to show Yuzo Koshiro’s importance in the series. The game starts and ends with Yuzo Koshiro music.
Jet Set Radio composer Hideki Naganuma did not participate in Streets or Rage 4′s OST as planned. He ended up not having enough time in his schedule.
DotEmu only got the rights for the Streets of Rage 1’s Game Gear version OST, not the Megadrive version. That’s why only the Game Gear OST is in SoR 4.
Most of the BGM names are references to anime, games, etc. Ti un fou, which means “dude you’re crazy” in French, is named this way because this is what the others at Guard Crush replied when Deriviere finished and sent them the track.
Streets of Rage 4 is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. If you’re planning to grab the game, you might want to check out DotEmu’s statement on physical editions. Be sure to check out our review. I personally didn’t have the time to try out the game yet, but I can’t imagine myself disliking it, seeing I’ve been regularly playing Streets of Rage games since as far as I remember.