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When I played Streets of Rage 4 at the PAX fan convention last year, I had a major question. I dug the faithful action, but what about the soundtrack? Streets of Rage fans like the series for its beat-’em-up arcade action on the Sega Genesis throughout the 1990s, but people still love its synth-techno soundtrack. And now, publisher Dotemu has confirmed that it’s bringing back the talent that made the original games so memorable.
Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima are returning to contribute new tracks to Streets of Rage 4. In a video announcement, Dotemu featured both men talking about their approach. They explained their concerns and how they feel about fan expectations.
“Originally, we made what we wanted to make,” said Kawashima. “However, I realized that making what I want to make now wouldn’t give the same result, which is why I felt a bit troubled at the start.”
Koshiro noted a similar crisis about what Streets of Rage 4 should sound like.
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“Streets of Rage music is heavily inspired by club music from the late ’80s to early ’90s,” said Koshiro. “Working on the project today, I wondered on the approach to take. Whether it should be modern — like using EDM for example.”
Koshiro said that he wants to create things that he couldn’t in the 1990s. But don’t expect a major departure. Koshiro has heard your expectations.
“Looking at fan’s opinions on the internet,” Koshiro said. “I saw that many of them are expecting a sound close to the original. I thought that using the same original tools could be a good approach as well.”
Dotemu isn’t just bringing back the original composers, though. The publisher has assembled a dream team of Japanese game-music composers. Joining Koshiro and Kawashima is Yoko Shimomura, Hideki Naganuma, and Keiji Yamagishi.
Shimomura worked on Street Fighter II and the Kingdom Hearts series. Naganuma did the music for Sega’s Jet Set Radio. And Yamagishi worked on Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Bowl for the NES.
By bringing together such a powerhouse squad of composers, Dotemu should free up Koshiro and Kawashima to work on recapturing their old sound. Meanwhile, Shimomura, Naganuma, and Yamagishi can work their own magic to bring some new musical texture to the world of Streets of Rage.
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