Week of Rage: Streets of Rage.net’s Matthew Drury Speaks

There’s no way I could host another Streets of Rage tribute week without again hearing from Matthew Drury, founder of Streets of Rage.net and creator of the biggest Streets of Rage 4 online petition around. The guy is the heart of the fan community and his efforts, along with several other key players, are keeping the fond memory of the classic series alive today.

So without any more rambling from me, I give you Matthew Drury as he explains why SEGA should revisit the Streets of Rage.

“I’ve got love for you if you were born in the 80s.”

For me, the words of the Calvin Harris song couldn’t ring truer. Because if, like me, you were born in the 80s, it means you were still a kid during the peak of the 16-bit videogaming era – and Sega’s Golden Age.

Of course, the term ‘Golden Age’ is always bestowed retroactively, when the period in question has ended and is compared with what followed. For Sega, it is the literal truth – for they have long since departed the console hardware market and now exist primarily as a publisher of third party software titles on what were once rival systems.Ā 

Actual footage of the great 90’s console war. All onlookers were killed by awesomeness. Only this picture remains…

Who doesn’t remember the days of schoolyard arguments over who was better – Sonic the Hedgehog from Mobius, or Mario the Plumber from Brooklyn? Those were the greatest days in the annals of videogaming history, long before both characters would compete together at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Growing up, I have to say that it has been an absolute delight to see many of my favourite childhood heroes and franchises given updates, sequels and rehashes for the twenty-first century. In the movies, we have seen a new trilogy of Star Wars prequels, a fourth Rambo movie, another Indiana Jones sequel, Transformers, and pretty soon, a big screen version of the A-Team. It’s fashionable at the moment to resurrect these classics. In the videogaming world, Doom 3 was a more than welcome resurrection of a classic 90s franchise. And of course we have had sequels to Shinobi, Golden Axe, Final Fight, Nights into Dreams… lacklustre sequels, granted, but sequels nonetheless. Hell, now we’re even getting Sonic the Hedgehog 4 – a direct sequel to 90s fave Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

But year after year after year of patient waiting for a sequel to my all-time favourite game franchise has, sadly, proved fruitless. Where, exactly, is my Streets of Rage 4?

Please Sega, can we have Streets of Rage 4 next?

Streets of Rage was one of Sega’s flagship titles back in the 90s – with its first sequel, Streets of Rage 2 being hailed as one of the greatest games of the 16-bit era, quite possibly the greatest side-scrolling beat-’em-up of all time. So why hasn’t Sega decided to revive the franchise along with all its other popular IPs?

Granted, Sega of Japan has developed a mobile phone version of the game, but this is more of a half-hearted remake than a true sequel, and it hasn’t even seen a Western release at all. It’s as if Sega has neglected, if not completely ignored this once very popular franchise, and the legion of fans waiting in the wings, yearning for another sequel, waiting for Sega to exploit this potentially very lucrative gap in the market.

Streets of Rage Remake, one of the many stunning fan games available today

I’ve been a part of the online Streets of Rage fan community now for over ten years, and I’ve watched it grow from its humble beginnings on a small Sega Genesis newsgroup in 1999 to the large and thriving worldwide community that exists today in 2010. In the absence of an official SOR sequel, many fans have opted to create their own, unofficial fangames based on the series to satiate this burning desire to hit those streets again, with staggering results over the years. People want a new game in the series so badly, it’s sometimes hard to fathom.

It wasn’t just the action in these games that was great, either. It was the story too. The idea of a hidden Syndicate taking over the government and police force? Awesome! I have personally written a popular series of no less than eight novels based on the Streets of Rage Saga, with a ninth in the works (a prequel!). I would be more than happy to work with Sega on developing the story for SOR4, if they needed any help šŸ˜‰

In the meantime, I created the SOR4 Petition to Sega Enterprises, Ltd. to show them just how much passion still exists out there for this series, and how much us fans want to see the saga continued. For how much longer can they continue to sit and ignore our request? Only time will tell.

If you’re a SOR fan, and you haven’t signed the petition yet, then I urge you to do so. Sega will be seeing this petition soon,Ā  and the more signatures we can get on there, the more it will impress them. SOR fans, the time is now to unite and let our voices be heard. We will be ignored no longer! Axel, Blaze and Adam must once again walk the Streets of Rage!

Show Sega how you feel, sign Matthew’s petition by clicking this link! Thank you šŸ™‚

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