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Streets of Rage 4 is out now...but do you remember the cancelled Dreamcast version?

Streets of Rage 4 has finally hit the...er...streets, and it absolutely rocks. The 2D scrolling beat 'em up genre has played host to some fairly decent pretenders to the throne in recent years (Wulverblade is probably the best of the bunch), but nothing has really ever come close to knocking Sega's iconic franchise off the top spot. Until now that is. And it is quite ironic that the latest instalment of Streets of Rage is not only that game, but arguably the best in the series yet.
Sublime visuals, nostalgic nods to the original games, superlative controls and addictive as hell gameplay. The music isn't bad either, with lots of toe tapping techno tunes and deep bass lines accompanying the ass-kicking action. But did you know the original Streets of Rage 4 was intended to launch on the Dreamcast? A tech demo is all that remains of Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 (see the video below), and our friends over at SEGABits showed off some interesting concept artwork a few years ago (also pictured below).


Streets of Rage 4 for Dreamcast never saw the light of day beyond this tech demo though, and some may say that's a good thing. 3D polygonal beat 'em ups did come to the Dreamcast in the form of Zombie Revenge, Soul Fighter and Cannon Spike et al, but they didn't really set the world alight. We'll never know if Dreamcast Streets of Rage 4 could have bucked that trend, but from these images and video it looks like Sega were toying with the idea of implementing features such as co-op combo moves for multiplayer, and even a first person mode.
This tech demo has never been leaked online, and we don't even know if there's actually a playable build; but it's still interesting to see what Sega had in mind for the then-dormant franchise on the 128-bit system after it totally skipped the Saturn. The fact that Fighting Force almost became a Streets of Rage game makes us breath a deep sigh of relief, too. Urgh. As it stands, the actual real Streets of Rage 4 is out now on all platforms and is truly a great continuation of the series from Dotemu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games. I would suggest you snap it up asap and indulge your inner vigilante post haste!
Have you picked up Streets of Rage 4? What are your thoughts on this latest instalment of the franchise that rocked a million Megadrives back in the day? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

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