Streets of Rage 4 almost had a guest character from Sega's Shinobi series

In a recent interview with Guard Crush Games, the Streets of Rage 4 developers revealed how they attempted to get permission to use Shinobi's Joe Musashi from Sega.

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Streets of Rage 4 bleeds references and easter eggs like no tomorrow through its deliciously designed backgrounds, characters, and music. DotEmu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games did a great job all around, but it seems they wanted one of their references to be just a bit more blatant. In a recent interview, Guard Crush Games revealed how they attempted to get their hands on Shinobi’s Joe Musashi as a playable character from Sega.

Guard Crush Games recently had a live interview with French Twitch channel Gwak on May 10, 2020, during which Guard Crush revealed their pursuit to get some further iconic Sega characters into their game. As reported by Dualshockers, it’s apparently quite a bit more difficult than one might have expected. Sega is a massive company and, according to the folks at Guard Crush Games, the Streets of Rage 4 development teams only worked with a small section of the gaming giant. Although they pursued use of Joe Musashi from Shinobi, the licensing, different departments, and various permissions necessary to use a character like Joe Musashi made including him as a bonus playable character impossible.

The last time we saw Sega's Shinobi series was in 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS. It's a shame we couldn't see it return in Streets of Rage 4 in 2020.
The last time we saw Sega's Shinobi series was in 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS. It's a shame we couldn't see it return in Streets of Rage 4 in 2020.

It’s a shame the Streets of Rage 4 team ran into so much red tape when trying to get more Sega icons into their playable roster because Joe Musashi would have been a great addition. Heck, quite a few characters of the Sega pantheon would have been good. That said, the game certainly isn’t lacking for its own goods. We loved it here in our Shacknews review and had nothing but good things to say about it.

There’s definitely things that are already in the game we’d like to see developed in further content (playable Roo, Shiva, SOR4 Max, and Estel anyone?), but time will tell what DotEmu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games does with any future content for Streets of Rage 4 once the dust has settled. One thing is for sure. They have an incredible game on their hands and Sega should be kicking themselves over not letting them do more with it.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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