Is it really the ultimate love letter to Final Fight and Streets of Rage? When one: Streets of Rage 4 already exists, and two: The TakeOver already cover the love letter. I'm excited for Final Vendetta, but this title already feels like click-bait. This is not a knock against the game, but me criticizing the article itself.
The best RPG-Brawler hybrid game will always be Guardian Heroes. The multiple paths and storylines, enemy variety, the plane shifting mechanic, the combat system (revamped even better on Remix mode on the XBLA version), 6 player versus mode (12 players on XBLA!), and just gorgeous pixel art and graphics. The visuals still hold up well. The music? Awesome vintage 90s music you would expect from Treasure on a Sega console!
What's unique about GH is that once you complete the game, you return to base stats. So no playthrough will be exactly the same a few times through. In the case of leveling up and building your stats by skill points. Once you understand how the level up system works, you can exploit by dumping your stats in to LUCK. By having higher LUCK, you are less likely to take major damage or the damage is cut in half. Also, the higher it is, the more likely you can cause critical damage to foes. LUCK basically replaces DEF; though it technically exists in the STR attribute. You still want high LUCK for the best. One character requires high LUCK for her magic to be at maximum efficiency.
The game even has a karma meter based on whether you killed civilians, killed enemies that surrender/runaway, or juggling corpses. GH was way ahead of its time in so many areas. This game needs to be on more than just XBLA and Sega Saturn. Guardian Heroes should be on all platforms for everyone to experience at least once. Anyone that has an XBOX ONE or SERIES X/S need to download this game immediately.