Review: XBLIG: Streets of Fury

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This review originally appeared on XBLARatings.com.
In the early 90’s, digatized fighters was this amazing thing that nobody quite believed was possible. Then Mortal Kombat came out. It looked like you were controlling real people, on your TV. With that leap forward in video games, everyone thought the technology would last forever and it was the unrivaled future of video games. But as 3D models got better, photo-realistic sprites went by the way side.

Streets of Fury brings them back with a vengance. The developers knew exactly what they intended to do and they went for it. And gamers like myself who still reminisce about the days of photo-realistic sprites immediately have to get our hands on this game.

Take that, and the fact that the Beat’em Up / Brawler genre is one of my all time favorites, and also more of a “thing of the past” this game had me firing on all cylinders. After playing the demo for less than the entirety of the first level, I promptly turned around and purchased the full game.

The game has the classic bralwer like interface, individual characters with individual healthbars, the same sprites used over and over again with different palette-swaps. It was a receipe for a win in my book.

Some of the animations are extremely smooth, clearly video-captured. But unfortunately, some of the combat feels clunky and unimproved. I wanted it to feel like Batman Returns on the SNES, not play exactly the same. And the unfortunately small pool of ‘actors’ used in the game makes it a bit TOO repetative. Palette-swapped colors, darkened (ala Noob-Saibot) and enlarged sprites did not add enough variety to the game.

But where the characters lack, the levels swoop in to the rescue. After each level is a quick bonus round, where the simple goal is to rack up as many kills as possible in a very short amount of time. Literally dozens of baddies flood the screen at once, and the game never skips a beat. Some of the levels are completely abstract as well, taking place in the clouds, with no ground beneath you – but it is still just as fun to whoop up on ten or twenty thugs at once.

The game had all of the things that I was nostalgic for in video games, so despite the lack of variety (and some of the typographical errors that this English-Degree having nerd noticed) I have to rate this game very high. It brought back brawlers and digitized actors in a mashup I just can’t get enough of. Here’s looking forward to what these guys will do in the future!

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