I want to kick things off with a truly remarkable Streets of Rage tribute game developed by the intelligent folk over at indie developer Senile Team. You can read a full interview with the team in the blog post following this one.
Beats of Rage is interesting for many reasons. It’s not only a superb re-imagining of SEGA’s classic series, but it also sparked a brand new fan community that has been developing its own games using OpenBoR, an open source tool created by fans off the back of Beats of Rage.
The official OpenBoR developer community can be found at Lavalit.com and it really is chock-full of side scrolling beat-em-ups and other titles developed using the engine.
I will be looking at a few of these games throughout the Week of Rage: Stage 2, games such as NightSlashers X, Mortal Kombat Unlimited and more.
But first, the game that triggered it all, Beats of Rage.
Using character sprites ripped from SNK titles, the overall animation quality in Beats of Rage is absolutely superb. There’s a real weight behind each of the playable characters and enemies thanks to how big they appear on screen. There is even the odd cameo from classic SNK sprites such as Joe Hisaishi from King of Fighters.
Each of the three characters, Max, Kula and Mandy, fit into classic scrolling beat-em-up stereotypes. Max is the Adam of the group, slow moving but heavy hitting, Gem is agile and packs some pretty nimble and odd attack patterns while Mandy is a great all-rounder.
Each stage features painfully detailed and, at times, animated backgrounds which are alive with colour. The above image from the second stage emulates the bridge level from Streets of Rage 2, complete with pesky bikers.
Gameplay-wise, this feels very close to SEGAs titles. Aside from your standard punch combos, players can grab enemies by walking into them and unleash health-sapping special moves which are perfect for crowd control.
Check out this brilliant gameplay video from DCiZone. NOTE: This is the Dreamcast version.
If you are a fan of Streets of Rage, you should definitely give this a try. It works well on keys or a gamepad and supports 2-players. The main issue is knowing how to get the game running in the first place.
Here’s a handy ‘how-to guide to get you started.
First, you will need to register on the Lavalit site. Don’t worry they never spam you or anything like that.
Second, download the OpenBoR program from this link.
Third, download the Beats of Rage game file and place it in the OpenBoR rom folder and away you go 🙂