Okay, this is one of those “it could be true” type stories as this is surfacing quite a few years after the demise of the Sega Dreamcast. It is pretty easy for this to be faked, almost as easy as making your own Stadium Events Nintendo Entertainment Cartridge (not like anyone would do that and sell it, right?). Anyhow, these pieces are not fake, read on to find out how I know that. Guaranteed.
Yuzo Koshiro himself, the man behind many of Sega’s finer moments in the limelight, has released these sketch pieces. He even conveniently dated them for us so we know when they were “working” on an official update to the Streets of Rage series (we are ignoring Fighting Force here as did Sega back in the 32-Bit era). Judging by the footage that was leaked a few years ago of a purported version of Streets of Rage for the DC, I can safely say I am glad it never materialized. Now, these concept art pieces, they are pretty damn interesting- had Sega stuck with hand drawn graphics and let Yuzo run wild with a real sound chip then we might be in business.
Apparently this version of Streets of Rage was going to use all new characters, with only one really ringing a bell as a link to the original cast. Interestingly, and pointed out by the team at Segabits, one character was to be a “Shinobi”. This brings up an interesting point- how the hell did Sega miss the boat in making Streets of Rage their answer to the incoming onslaught of SNK and their “King of Fighters” series? That would have been freaking awesome- have new characters, from other Sega games, make appearances in Streets of Rage. It would have written so many checks, hell, might have saved Sega and the Dreamcast or the Saturn for that matter.
Imagine dropping ninja stars or using the swipe of the blade as Shinobi on the baddies of SoR? Or how the E-SWAT officer? There are a few more characters that could have been great additions but Sega missed the boat, they would have probably messed it up anyhow (look at Fighter’s Megamix and the train wreck of a character playlist there).