Review – Streets of Kamurocho

Genius. Absolute genius. I have no idea who decided to greenlight Streets of Kamurocho back at Sega’s headquarters, but man, am I glad they did. The idea of mixing both Streets of Rage and Yakuza in one little free Steam title, as part of Sega’s 60th anniversary celebration, was downright amazing. It reminded me of the crazy ideas Sega would come up with back in the early to mid 90’s, back when they used to rule the gaming world as the cool kid you’d love to hang out with. By no means is this a flawless title, and I’m going to talk about it in detail over the next paragraphs, but I love that this exists. I certainly do.

Streets of Kamurocho


Streets of Kamurocho is basically the look, feel, and gameplay from Streets of Rage 2, with a Yakuza Kiwami coat of paint. It’s the same level design from that classic beat ’em up, but with all assets reworked in order to make them look like part of Yakuza‘s Kamurocho. You’ll see notable buildings such as the Poppo market, the StarDust host club, and the Serena bar, for instance. The same songs you know and love from Kiwami are featured in Yuzo Koshiro-esque form, which is a nice touch.

The gameplay is basically the same as the one from Streets of Rage 2. You have a jump button, an attack button, and a special attack button that drains a bit of your health whenever you use it. Picking up weapons is as simple as it was 30 years ago: just press the attack button while on top of a knife or character-specific melee weapon. Kiryu can use a traffic cone while Majima can use a baseball bat. You can grab foes by simply walking towards them, and you can replenish your health by drinking bottles of Tauriner (no roast chicken this time around, sorry).

Streets of Kamurocho

Beating enemies with a traffic cone? Yep, that’s certainly Yakuza.

The main difference here, besides the obvious fact that you’re playing as Kiryu instead of Axl, is that, well, there’s only one level available. Instead of a full-fledged remake, Streets of Kamurocho acts more like an endurance mode of sorts. Pick a character and keep fighting throughout an endless loop of the first level of Streets of Rage 2, with increasingly harder enemies, until you lose all of your lives. Yes, it’s a disappointment, but then again, this is a free game. I certainly wasn’t expecting a full remake of Streets of Rage 2 with upscaled graphics and completely reworked pixel art. Eccentric Ape had to work on three other games besides this one and have them ready on the same day, after all.

Streets of Kamurocho

Yo, hey there new guy. I still don’t know if I like you or not, though.

The only true issue with Streets of Kamurocho, weirdly enough, is its performance. This is far from being a demanding game when it comes to its PC specs, but the damn thing was running at around 20 frames per second when I booted it up on fullscreen mode, no matter the resolution I decided to play it in. Simply put, it’s unplayable at that framerate. I then decided to switch the game to windowed mode and lo and behold, it started running at a buttery smooth 60fps. I don’t know if that was a programming issue, but I’m just glad that there was still a way to enjoy this little appetizer of a game somehow. 

Streets of Kamurocho

This is fanservice done absolutely right.

You have to understand that Streets of Kamurocho isn’t a full game, but simply a nice little gift from Sega for us to enjoy. I still liked what little was available in here, though. I really hope that they’ll eventually decide to make an entire game with this exact premise, as Yakuza and old school beat ’em ups go together like peanut butter and jelly. I will never say no to more Yakuza in my life, especially when it’s free and pixelated.


Graphics: 6.5

It’s the same visual style from Streets of Rage 2, but with a Yakuza Kiwami coat of paint. It’s adorable, but it runs poorly on fullscreen, for some reason. For best results, play this game on windowed mode.

Gameplay: 7.5

The same control scheme from the classic Streets of Rage 2. You have a jump button, an attack button, and a special attack button that drains a bit of your life. The hit detection isn’t as iffy, thankfully enough.

Sound: 9.0

It’s the Yakuza Kiwami soundtrack, but meant to sound like a Yuzo Koshiro game from the 90’s. Need I say more?

Fun Factor: 6.5

Even though it’s comprised of just one level being looped until you lose all of your lives, it’s a great proof of concept, as well as a good way of spending an hour or so beating thugs with a traffic cone.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Streets of Kamurocho is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.