Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare

There’s an awesome spot called Burger Zone near my house. Those folks know how to make a darn good bacon cheeseburger. The bread is never stale, and it’s lightly toasted. The burger patty is mildly charred, but it’s not dry. They also use the good bacon at Burger Zone — not that papery, plastic-like bacon you get at most fast food places — you know, nice, thick bacon that strikes a perfect, harmonious balance between meaty and crispy.

One day, though, I gave in to my curiosity when I noticed that they also had an avocado burger on the menu. So what I did was order my regular bacon cheeseburger, but added avocado to it. When I took that first bite, my brain exploded. Literally. Okay, fine, figuratively. I didn’t think that perfect bacon cheeseburger from Burger Zone could get any more perfect, but it did.

For me, Streets of Rage 4 is like a bacon cheeseburger from Burger Zone. It’s virtually perfect. I wouldn’t change anything about it.

But the Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare DLC is like avocado on an already incredible bacon cheeseburger. Or if you don’t like avocado or bacon cheeseburgers, it’s like something really freakin’ awesome on top of something else that’s really freakin’ awesome that you already do love.

Mr. X Nightmare adds a Survival mode and new characters to Streets of Rage 4. Survival mode adds practically limitless amounts of fun to the game outside of Story mode. Meanwhile the roster update means more brawlers to play around and have fun with.

Survival Mode Overview

Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare

Essentially an endless mode, Survival puts you in a simulation where you’ll battle wave after wave of enemies. The deeper into it you get, the tougher the baddies will be. You can choose from randomized simulations or preset simulations that reset weekly. I didn’t really have a preference between random and weekly sims, as they’re both a lot of fun.

Every time you complete a level, you can choose an upgrade for your character. Upgrades include simple additions like increased speed, extra jumps, and higher defense. There are also major upgrades that add elemental damage to your attacks. There are even some upgrades that are give-and-take — like receiving health for every hit you land while sacrificing healing items, or having all of your offense buffed but losing the ability to jump. These upgrades stack and make for some really interesting decision-making and gameplay choices the higher into Survival mode you get.

You can play as any of the game’s characters in these sims. Though it’s an endless mode, you’re rewarded for reaching higher levels. Rewards come in the form of alternate moves for characters that can be used across any of the game’s modes. Unlocked moves are exclusive to the character you play Survival in, though. If you unlock moves as Blaze, for example, she’ll have those moves available to her across all modes, but other characters like Axel or Cherry won’t — until you unlock them by playing as those characters in Survival, that is.

Aside from just being a lot of fun, Survival mode incentivizes play by rewarding you the longer you go. It’s pretty cool because it makes each character much more robust in terms of their arsenal. Keep in mind that these are alternate moves. So when you’re selecting your character, you’ll be able to choose from the standard and unlocked alternate attacks, but you can’t have both equipped simultaneously.

New Characters: From Bosses to Badass Protagonists

Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare

The three new characters you get with Mr. X Nightmare are Estel Aguirre, Max Thunder, and Shiva. My favorite of the three is Estel, who was introduced in Streets of Rage 4. After having been tricked into helping your opposition in the base game, Estel saw the light and has now joined forces with the heroes. She’s an excellent mix of power and speed, offering a little bit of both and dishing out some cool attacks. Of particular note is her Star Move, which calls in backup and fills the screen with deadly rockets a la OG Streets of Rage.

Now entering the ring, weighing in at 390 pounds of pure, solid muscle and rage, hailing from parts unknown… Max Thunder! Okay, I don’t know how accurate any of that is, but I do know that Max Thunder, who was a mind-controlled boss in the base game, is the powerhouse of Streets of Rage 4. He’s very much a tank character and makes up for his slow movement speed with sheer power. He’s probably better suited for co-op sessions due to his very slow walking speed, but he’s definitely got some value thanks to his crazy strong strikes and grapples.

Lastly, Shiva makes his playable debut courtesy of Mr. X Nightmare. Let’s acknowledge and appreciate his line in the character select screen: “I don’t need weapons. I am the weapon.” And he means it! If you try to grab a weapon with Shiva, he’ll just toss it forward. This will do damage to enemies, but otherwise, Shiva refuses to use weapons. Though he’s quick, his attacks don’t seem as strong as Estel, Max, or some of the standard characters, making him my least favorite of the DLC roster, even though he’s still pretty cool in his own right.

Surprise! Secret Character!

Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare

Whoa! We didn’t see this coming! Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare includes one more character: Roo, the boxing kangaroo from Streets of Rage 3 (and who also makes a cameo appearance in standard Streets of Rage 4). Roo is awesome, and even though he can’t pick up and use weapons, he’s a combo machine who can deal outrageous amounts of damage. His attacks are super fast and you’ll be able to juggle enemies and string wild combos together. In addition, Roo’s Star Move spawns an A.I.-controlled clown to assist you in fights.

How to Unlock Roo in Streets of Rage 4

If you want to play as Roo, you’ll have to unlock him first. Doing so is a simple throwback to the old school days when you’d punch in button combinations to unlock secrets. Remember: You’ll need to have the Mr. X Nightmare DLC downloaded to unlock Roo. All you have to do is go to the main menu and hold Up and the attack button (Y on Switch, Square on PlayStation, X on Xbox). While holding these down, you’ll then press the Start button (+ button on Switch, Options on PS4, and so on).

And just like that, you’ll be able to play as Roo! He’s a nice surprise and an excellent addition to Streets of Rage 4.


Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare

All in all, what you get with Mr. X Nightmare is more Streets of Rage 4, which is a good thing. The new characters are a lot of fun to play, and Survival mode is like avocado on a bacon cheeseburger, which is to say it’s deliciousness on top of deliciousness, and it makes a great game like Streets of Rage 4 even better.

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