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Old 02-09-2003, 06:22 PM   #68
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Streets of Rage 2 - Sega Genesis - Rating 7
Most of the truly great beat 'em ups came out in the arcades in the 90's. There were only a few on home consoles that were decent in comparison: River City Ransom, Final Fight (SNES and Sega CD), and the like were among the more fun console fighters. Streets of Rage was released on the Genesis in 1991. The characters were small, the control wasn't too good, and there were certainly other better games like it so I didn't really care for it. And then there was Streets of Rage 2.
Every single thing about SoR was improved for the sequel: larger, arcade-like characters with lots more detail and animation, a killer dance/techno soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro (who also did parts 1 and 3), great gameplay with more moves, better stages (streets) to do battle with, more characters to choose from (Axel, Blaze, Max and Skate), more weapons, and even a better opening and ending cinema. When I first saw it, I was very impressed by it. The Genesis was being pushed farther than ever before, featuring a graphic quality that made previous Genesis fighters look kinda dull by comparison.
There's only one goal in the game ~ beat the living hell out of everybody you see. Innovative for sure but the game shines in this aspect. Each character has around twenty or so moves including attacks and combos, back attacks, jump attacks, throws, special attacks and super combos. There are 8 stages (most multi-part) each with bosses and sub-bosses. For example, the first stage begins on the streets (quite fitting) and you move down into an alley. From there it's into a bar, and, once through, out in the back where it's now raining and a boss awaits. Unfortunately, some stages are kinda stupid, like the baseball stadium - why are there enemies lying in wait to beat you up at a baseball stadium?! Because the pitcher's mound is actually an elevator down into a secret fighting arena. Oh... that makes perfect sense. Some of the enemies, like the guys that hop around with the mohawks, appear often in the game and when you come across enemies previously fought the only difference is in their life bar and color of clothing. There's about 20-24 different enemies (not including color swaps) and then there's the bosses: a martial artists street thug, a big bald boxer (I know this because he's wearing boxing gloves ), hopping robots that shoot lasers at you , GUYS FLYING AROUND WITH ROCKET PACKS, :yikes: ....I have just one question ~ WHO DESIGNED THIS GAME?? I mean the guys over at Sega designed these characters, looked at them, and said "OK". While they're at it, why not add huge dinosaurs carrying rocket launchers and buildings which transform into huge super mechs? The stages can get a little repetitious (punch this to get a health item, beat those 3 enemies up, proceed...) and they tried to add 'strategy' by adding such things as moving platforms, but most of the strategy remains rooted in the combat which will only be of real significance if you adjust the difficulty to a harder setting.
The music is the best thing about this game. Yuzo really outdid himself (and 99% of the others on Genesis) with this soundtrack. Featuring groove-based dance beats, techno, and even a little lounge/jazz thrown in for good measure. Definetly one of the Genesis' high points as far as music is concerned. The music really motivates you to play it. Sound effects are all appropriate and well done, and there are even a couple of voice samples here and there.
There a stage select in this game ~ go here for all the cheats, screens, and info you could possibly need on SoR series ~ Thanks to great game fans like this for making such great sites.
Personally, I feel that SoR2 has a special charm all its own. It was an important game for Genesis and was very popular, and supposedly there's a sequel to SoR3 in the works for one of the new systems. Well, let's see if they can match this...

Last edited by Icarus4578; 04-24-2004 at 02:49 AM.
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