In many ways, Mr. X Nightmare is the best kind of DLC. Streets of Rage 4 is already a very fun beat-'em-up, but this add-on pack just makes it even better with its various additions to the experience. If you're a fan of the game, this is a no-brainer — especially as it's at such a low price point. We've had a look first-hand at what the DLC brings to the table, and accompanied by a major update to the base game, SoR4 is in better shape than ever.
Perhaps the most obvious place to start is the trio of new playable characters. Essentially, three of the game's main bosses have been added to the roster of fighters: Estel Aguirre, Max Thunder, and Shiva. The latter two are returning characters, but Estel was introduced in this entry, and quickly became a fan favourite. In practice, she feels great to play — her standard combo ends with a big rolling kick that feels really powerful. Her offensive and defensive specials are good for clearing space around you, and her air special sees her drop a grenade at an enemy's feet. Overall, she's a neat character with some good combo potential.
Speaking of combo potential, no one is better than this new incarnation of Shiva. This character is a technical player's dream, with lots of air attacks to take advantage of that the other brawlers don't have. Meanwhile, Max is slow and powerful as you'd expect, but we found him to be the least interesting of the new fighters.
No matter who you choose to play as, the completely revamped Training mode gives you ample opportunity to grow accustomed to their moves. Free Training is excellent — you can pick and choose your situation, dropping in whichever enemies you like, setting their difficulty and health, spawning items, and lots more. It's a perfect way to explore the intricacies of each character. Lessons take you through the game's fundamentals and advanced techniques step-by-step, and even get into the nitty gritty of each of the modern fighters.
The real draw of Mr. X Nightmare, as far as we're concerned, is Survival mode. This new way to play is seriously good. Framed as a simulation, you pick your brawler and engage in randomly generated battles against increasingly tough waves of enemies and bosses until you run out of health. What makes this mode even better, though, is that a duo of random power-ups will spawn between levels, and you'll have to choose one to move forward. These can be things like increasing base damage, adding poison damage to throws, nullifying food but making attacks regenerate health, and so on. These can get pretty crazy — the developers have gotten imaginative with these, and it makes each run a lot of fun. As well as the Random Sim mode, you also have a Weekly version too, so you can compete in the leaderboards against everyone else. It's a brilliant addition.
There's also a swath of new weapons, new character colours to select, more great music to enjoy, tons of rebalancing — it's a great expansion all round. Again, anyone who's spent any significant amount of time with Streets of Rage 4 should definitely consider checking out Mr. X Nightmare.
Have you been enjoying this DLC for Streets of Rage 4? Who's your favourite new character? Discuss in the comments section below.