Some of the best games have notable gimmicks. These can range from references to basic elements like difficulty or art style. A lot of games are also held back by these ideas too. Where they sound great on paper, but they don’t pan out in practice. For Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxe that is permadeath. With the promise of difficulty, from a genre that includes things like Battletoads, is Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxe a classic like Streets of Rage or is it a a mediocre game that relies on a gimmick?
There isn’t much story in Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxe. A group of friends are at a convention, people turn into zombies and with the help of a fairy, gain the power to fight them off. From there the story is all about progressing, defeating bosses and obtaining $6,666 and if you play on elite difficulty, two or more dares. Doing this will unlock an additional couple of stages that fill in a little more story, though don’t expect much.
Most of the content in Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxe stems from how you play the game. There are four players to start, with an additional two you can unlock, with each character having their own play style. None of them are as deep as, say, Dragon’s Crown, but enough where certain tactics work better with one character over another. Similar things can be said about progression.
Players have, not counting the true end route, 10 levels to play through, which change depending on which order you decide to do them in. The first level will always be one stage, followed by the next one having two stages, then three and finally four. This means you’ll need to beat the game four times to see every stage and some routes have different bosses and challenges you need to overcome. It sounds more complicated than it is, much like permadeath is more novelty than reality.
Personally speaking, I was able to get every trophy, besides the one for permanently dying 10 times, without permanently dying once. This isn’t to say I never died, as I think I did three or four times, mostly due to trying to unlock Monster Hunter, it was just far less common than you might think. In fact, that trophy is tied with another for second rarest, putting it at a mere 2.8 percent.
Since improvement isn’t a big factor, replayability depends on how important leaderboards are to you. Every kill awards cash, with special move kills awarding additional cash and food (life), that can be used to buy improvements, lives, unlocking the final stages or points for the leaderboard. Most improvements are small, such as 15 more life or faster recharge rate, with a limit of one per stage. From there, lives only coming into play if you die, making the big ones the final stage and the leaderboard.
Where Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxeleaderboard falls apart is difficulty. Unless there is a limit to adds bosses can spawn, something that might exist, but I never witnessed, anyone could theoretically farm bosses and inflate their score. This makes the leaderboard less skill based, meaning you don’t need to special kill every enemy, maintain insane hit/kill combos and do absurd feats, as much as avoid bosses and special kill adds until you get bored. This might appeal to some, though it’s unlikely to keep most players interested for any extended period of time.
Streets of Red – Devil’s Dare Deluxeisn’t a bad game, it just very forgettable, outside of having a fairly easy platinum. It takes about four hours to see everything it has to offer, with there being little to no replayability outside of survival mode. Combine this with a fairly pointless gimmick and you have an interesting experience being little more than an average beat’em up filled with references and jokes. Sure, this might appeal to some, but the lackluster leaderboard, lack of online play and minimal difficulty make this a hard sell.