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Nelson Schneider's Video Game Reviews (477)

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Streets of Kamurocho   PC (Steam) 

Can You Tell Me How to Get…    2.5/5 stars

Sega had their 60th Anniversary back in 2020! Guess what they did! They released a handful of gimmicky, silly freebie games that knock-off and/or combine their own IPs. One of those titles, “Streets of Kamurocho” (“SoK”) is a mashup of the classic Sega Beat ‘em Up series, ‘Streets of Rage,’ with their more modern ‘Yakuza’ IP. Is the result anything to write home about? Nope!

Presentation
“SoK” looks very much like an old-school Sega arcade classic from the early ‘90s. The spritework is excellent, featuring big, detailed characters and environments with big, chunky pixels everywhere. The UI is filled with nostalgia as well.

Audio is fine, though I can’t say the soundtrack really spoke to me. Mainly, I thought it was hilarious that the ‘Yakuza’ dude I picked to play as shouts, “CHRISTOPHER!” when he uses his special attack.

Technically, “SoK” is fine. It’s a polished experience with native Xinput support and all that… however, it is INCREDIBLY short… and Sega decided to delist it from Steam at some point after their anniversary window. So if you didn’t claim “SoK” when you had the chance, tough titties, you can’t play it. Clearly Sega would like such people to purchase the $25 “Streets of Rage 4” instead.

Story
I have no idea. Apparently the Kamurocho neighborhood is experiencing an uptick in gang violence… so some Yakuza dudes decide to go in and clean house? Sure. Let’s go with that.

Sadly, the game doesn’t really get a chance to tell much of a story trough ludonarrative mechanics, as there is only one level. Yes, you read that right! ‘Streets’ of Kamurocho is a complete misnomer, as there is ONLY ONE STREET, and players can keep repeating it until they run out of 1-up in pursuit of a high score. There is an extra unlockable player character (with an afro!) for clearing the Street at least once, but that’s really all there is to it.

Gameplay
Have you ever played a Beat ‘em Up from the ‘90s? Either in the arcade or on your SNES or Genesis? If so, you’ve played this game. Up to two players can cooperatively walk through the game’s ONE LEVEL, beating up thugs before being prompted by an arrow to proceed to the next area, where they will fight MORE thugs. Breakable items (like garbage cans and tables) contain healing beer (NO) or point-rich money, while some enemies can drop usable weapons, like knives, samurai swords, and… traffic cones.

There are a handful of bosses cluttering the path who have different-colored health bars and who can perform more damaging special attacks. However, the player(s)’ arsenal of moves is extremely limited and not terribly exciting. Beat ‘em Ups have progressed since the ‘90s, and “SoK” just doesn’t have enough depth to it to stand out as either a modern game or a retro throwback.

Overall
Not a game, but a promotional gimmick to, perhaps, persuade Sega fans to drop some cash on the newest ‘Streets of Rage’ sequel. While it’s cute and charming that Sega decided to make mashup tech demo games for their 60th Anniversary AND give them away for free, as with most things, we can expect to get what we pay for. “Streets of Kamurocho” is a short, shallow experience that does nothing to stand out as either a modern Beat ‘em Up or a retro throwback.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 0.5/5
Gameplay: 2.5/5
Overall (not an average): 2.5/5

 

 


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