Spikeout: Battle Street

released on Mar 24, 2005
by Sega



Based on the 3D coin-on arcade title of the same name, SpikeOut: Battle Street offers a quick single-player mode that's about two to four hours long and each time it's beaten, a new character, with slightly different special attacks, opens up. There are around 10 levels, and 12 unlockable characters, and an online mode. You can connect with three other players for a four-player online bout on Xbox Live, and as a "sort-of" team, you then proceed to smack infinite nameless thugs into polygonal paste. The game works one way: Four humans against the computer AI. You've got a punch, kick, jump, and grapple move, and when pressed multiple times, each button ignites combos. By grappling an enemy from various angles and by pressing the Dpad in different directions when executing the throw renders various satisfying hurls.

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After liking the first game a lot and enjoying the sequels, I don't know what to expect aside from 4 fresh, new and younger faces and a story trying to build what little to no plot the arcade game had.
But as soon as I got through half of the first level and the second story segment, I made a realization: This is basically a port aside from the graphics and redesigns. A remake disguised as a new sequel. I knew animations were the same but I honestly didn't think entire levels would be as well.
I wanna say I was disappointed but given how rare the series is as a whole (from what I imagine overseas) makes me think of a couple of reasons why that is:
1. Someone wanted to port the game to make up for the canceled dreamcast port of the original game now that they have a more powerful console in their hands.
And 2. Take advantage of online. In the Xbox's case you don't need an additional network adapter like the PS2 Phat model since the game is by enlarge, a multiplayer game.
As for the game itself, it's Spikeout but with that classic mid 2000s beat em up aesthetic (which somehow makes the game uglier than its arcade counterpart.) I joke but at the very least, some locales didn't transition too terribly. I do admire they went through the effort to redesign every playable character and bosses, even bosses that are clones/recolors.
I like the new playable characters, erm... gameplay wise.
Spike Jr. is.... well... Spike Jr. with a couple of small differences.
Jackal is by far the worst one. Some slow moves, really bad throws. He's sort of a combination of Jr. and Tenshin but worse.
Min Hua is pretty much Akira from Virtua Fighter. Same animations and all. She's probably the most combo friendly character to play as making her my favorite. Because she's so short, some high attacks will barely graze her. Unintentional, maybe, but I'll take it.
Fiona is a special case because her moveset was lifted from Alberto, a character from Spiker's Battle. Same with Void (a story unlockable) whose moveset was taken from Gorn from Spiker's.
You can unlock pretty much every boss and miniboss in the game which is stuff I always like. Special requirement is to be on normal/hard mode, do a 4 hit combo on the boss before death all without getting hit (but you can get hit by their mooks though. And trust me, the 4 hit combo thing is more generous than it might seem if you're good at grab attacks.
Just like the original game, it's hard. But fun. You can map all sorts of inputs which makes performing some of these moves more comfortable to pull off on a controller. And it's probably me, I think hits have more of an impact than the arcade game.
Battle Street mode is pretty much the arcade mode. You can turn on the oh-so unforgiving timer, continues and even friendly fire if you want and transitions to online play. You can even switch difficulties. Stages also unlock after doing the story mode so you can replay the entirety of one stage. So this is a nice way to experience the original game in this new coat of paint.
Now for the big cons...
The way story mode was handled is kind of horrendous lol
Thing is, there are no continues or checkpoints to be seen anywhere. You can switch on easy mode... but only if you die twice and you can't switch Story mode difficulty willingly. It's not so bad in a few story segments if you're decent at the game. Its those couple of two or three that sour the whole decision to not have continues. Story segment 3, and especially 7 suck major balls cuz they're one of the longer stages which makes dying really tiresome.
Health kits restore very little health as you'd expect unless you're playing easy mode. By the way, enemy AI is pretty much the same, even damage. Only difference is that health items restore more health and bosses don't have invincibility frames after getting knocked down.
You know you're unforgiving when even God Hand has more generous checkpoints. But at least there's no timer by default.
The story just.... exists... but it is pretty funny though. The story starts with Spike missing... nothing much happens.... then at the beginning of the final level, Spike comes out of nowhere. Spike Jr. is pretty much an asshole to everyone, especially the female characters. Lots of raised questions dropped. Game acts like its wrapped everything up. It's the high cheese levels only to come out of this era of games.
Can I just say that the game doesn't teach you how to actually play the game unlike the arcade demos. No even a character movelist. I would know given my experience with the series.
I imagine that's why this game got review bombed in the first place. Reviewing an entry to a relatively unknown series whilst going in not knowing how the game even works PLUS whatever I said during my story mode rambling.
I still enjoyed my time with it. If you want Spikeout with more characters, online co-op (if you can get it to work) then you might get a kick out of it. For newcomers, I'd just look up how to play on the web (Gamefaqs or the jp wiki) and play the story on easy mode. That's all I can say if you want the best experience possible.