Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare review: Everything you love about old school games

DotEmu /

Title: Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare
Developer: Seaven Studio, Lizardcube
Publisher: Dotemu
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (reviewed on)
Release date: Jul 15, 2021

After a lot of woes involving Nintendo slowing down Dotemu’s attempts to get Mr. X Nightmare for Streets of Rage 4 live, the latest DLC is finally up. The free update has already been live, allowing some minor gameplay fixes, adding a few new weapons to the story mode (like a golf club in the commissioner’s office) and the ability to change the colors on your characters, which is awesome when two or more players want to play as the same person.

That was free, but the thing people were chomping at the bit for was Mr. X Nightmare, the $8 DLC that adds new modes and new characters.

The new mode is the Survival mode and it is an absolute blast. Survival mode adds constantly changing small stages in which you fight waves of enemies and see how far you can progress on one life. Naturally, things get more difficult the longer you survive.

You’ll fight newer enemies from Streets of Rage 4 as well as older, pixelated foes from the previous games. After each round you’ll be given a choice between two power-ups which will allow you to get stronger and gain things like fire attacks or toxic specials. The best part of this mode is as you do it, the character you’re playing as levels up and unlocks new moves, allowing for some gameplay customization. For example, I changed Cherry Hunter’s dash attack with an awesome knee slide that covers a wider area. It’s not as strong but it helps me get around the fight faster.

Then there are the new characters. Unfortunately, they’re characters that already appeared in the game (which is a shame because the concept art shows some REALLY cool characters like a martial artist and a superhero I absolutely wanted to play as) but they’re awesome characters so it still works.

Estel Aguirre

Estel was introduced in Streets of Rage 4 as sort of a tragic character. A dedicated cop that, somehow, was unable to understand how corrupt every single officer was but her until it was far too late. Now she has her chance to change things.

Her playstyle is an excellent one for people looking for a middle-of-the-road fighter that balances speed and strength. She can unleash a flurry of attacks or do devastating drop kicks or aerial attacks in which she literally throws a grenade.

Max Thunder

If you’ve played Streets of Rage 4 already, you’ll recognize Max as one of the most obnoxious boss battles in the game. Originally a playable character in Streets of Rage 2, Max has been experimented on by the Y-Twins into a brainwashed monster that can not feel pain. That last part about feeling pain means that even when you’re hitting him, he can still attack you and almost nothing knocks him back.

That brainwashing is gone now and Max is feeling pain again but dishes it out too. Max is ridiculously powerful and has a variety of fun ways to destroy enemies and somehow attacks rapidly enough where you might luck yourself into some really powerful combos like this one here.


All Streets of Rage fans know Shiva. The Sasuke of the Streets of Rage universe. He’s the enigmatic martial artist that, despite having his primary interests listed in official lore as running a peaceful dojo and meditation, is constantly being pulled into metropolis-based crime syndicates.

I, personally, blame the people he hung out with. If you read his story in Streets of Rage 4 it actually says he was living that dojo life until his students all left to join the crime family…so he did too? Get it together, Shiva.

As for gameplay, Shiva is the most difficult to use of the new batch. That doesn’t mean he’s bad though. His moves are very different from what you might be used to. His dash attack is vertical. His special move makes him do a dash attack. He won’t pick up a weapon but he WILL kick them up in the air and then forward at enemies. He requires a lot more precision and thought than the other too. But when you get it? Boom Kanani does he hit hard.

Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare gives me everything I loved about old school games and have been missing for a long time — unlockables, secrets, and just so many reasons to get me playing over and over again and having a blast. While it’s disappointing that there is no additional story content, you’ll still have a blast with it.. Lizardcube. . Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare. 9