Route 1 is known as the 'SOR1' route, since it is essentially a level-by-level remake of SOR1. I love the classic 'Up-skirt' shot the artist has given Blaze Fielding in the picture to the left. It just wouldn't be a SOR game without that touch of perversion. To my knowledge, there's no way to leave route 1 outside of just switching to the SOR2 route halfway through.

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, the Syndicate Headquarters at the top of the skyscraper, stunningly redesigned, complete with moving tables and the rising sun outside the window. And of course, you'll have to face Mr. X at the end of it all.

 

 

Route 2 is known as the 'SOR2' route. Like before, it is essentially a level-by-level remake of SOR2. There are a few options for alternative routes, too.

 

 

 

 

 

    The downtown area from SOR2 has been faithfully recreated here, repaved in green. There's a fire in Barbon's bar if you go upstairs, leading to an interesting alternative route - the rest of the stage will be different, and you'll end it with a fight with Jet on the rooftop. After this, you'll go to a different stage 2 (let's call that stage "Rooftops / Subway"), and the stage 3 you go to will be a park that leads into a tunnel. The tunnel segment is actually the same as the latter part of route 3's third stage, so after you complete that, you'll get the choice between route 3 or 4.

    The classic bridge-under-construction, filled with angry bikers trying to kill you. You'll take the truck ride, only this time you'll have to fight the driver at the other side!

    The old amusement park has been given a great colourful makeover here, and it's more fun to play through than ever before. At the beginning of the level, you can go into the park instead of going straight. This takes you to the same third stage that you would have gotten to if you had taken the alternate path in stage 1.

    After you beat Vehelits, you can enter the cave that opens up and fight through an SOR1 Souther instead of the SOR2 version. If you finish the level this way, you'll be sent to stage 4 on the SOR1 route (the bridge).

    Things are heating up as you make your way toward the baseball stadium and the secret underground wrestling arena located beneath the diamond. Classic.

     

    The ship from SOR2, once again made more interesting here.

     You've reached the shore of Mr. X's island base! I love the fact that you can see the ship in the water as you emerge onto the beach. Near the end of the level, if you go up into the jungle, you'll end the stage with a fight against Onihime and Yasha. If you do this, you'll go through a different stage 7 that takes you through an underground laboratory, and after that, the beginning of stage 8 will be different - you'll start in a laboratory and will fight Dr. Dahm, but after you beat him, you'll be on the elevator that takes you to the final fight with Shiva and Mr. X for the SOR2 route.

    The robot factory/cargo elevator. Lots more interesting things here, including some SOR3 robots going along the conveyor in the background. Tense stuff.

The classic Syndicate Stronghold level, followed by the elevator ride up to Mr. X's penthouse level.

 

 

Route 3 is a 'Remake' route, combining remade SOR3 stages and brand new ones.

 

 

 

 

 

    A dilapidated street filled with old abandoned buildings with boarded-up windows. The Jason Voorhees-looking character from the Western SOR1 boxart makes an appearance here (see picture). You can go into the club late in the stage. This is the same club you go through in the first level of route 4, and so this puts you on that route instead. I think this is the only split on this route aside from the default choice, though.

    A remake of the Dojo level from SOR3. Everything feels very Oriental in style, even down to the wooden panelling on the floor (it's a welcome change from the hideous pink floor in the original).

    Once again you're fighting your way through a subway tunnel. Remake of SOR3's 'Tunnelway'.

    You've reached a construction site where the workers are all Syndicate thugs (who knew?).

     

    Helicopter/Jungle level, complete with an amazing jetski section. Very original, and a great touch of vehicular combat.

     Jungle, leading into a beautiful reconstruction of the lost motorbike stages from SOR3. Here, the stage has been completed, extended, and made fun to play. Anyone who played the motorbike scene on the SOR3 ROM will know how incomplete it felt there.

    The classic City Hall/White House level from SOR3, followed by a venture into the Forest.

Another Syndicate Headquarters. Just how many of these does Mr. X have?!

 

 

Route 4 is different from the others, since it doesn't have a full set of eight levels. It's also split up into two chunks - after the first couple of levels, you'll be sent off to a different route, but you can go to the second part of this route afterwards. After Round 5, you'll find yourself back on the SOR2 route.

 

 

 

 

 

    Set in a downtown area (where every shop has a neon sign), this is your standard city streets level.

    The first part of the stage is a motorcycle section, but after you complete that part, you'll find that the second half of the stage is basically the same as the second half of stage 2 from route 2. This level does put you on route 2 (the amusement park), but you can make it back to route 3 from there. To get back on, you'll have to make it back to the route 3 / 4 choice.

    The dockyard from SOR3, remastered. Looking much better than before.

     The first part is a beautiful jet-ski section with a red sunset, and the second is very similar to the second part of the ship stage from the SOR2 route. So if you take the fourth route at any point, you'll end up on the SOR2 route anyway.

     

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