Review: Streets of Rage 2 (MD)

The city has once again returned to its former nightmarish state, with the city streets, roads and parks swarming with criminals.

For many of our readers this game will need no introduction. If you haven't yet played Streets of Rage 2 then you are in for a treat. Simply put this is probably the best scrolling beat-em-up available on any console. Yes it is that good!

Sega didn't do just a lazy update of the original - this sequel got the full treatment. So what's new? First two new characters in the shape of cumbersome muscleman Max Thunder and Adam's little bro Eddie AKA 'Skate' (No Adam though). The inclusion of these new characters really helps to balance the gameplay out. Each character plays quite differently so it adds more variety to the game than the prequel.

The special weapon featuring a police car firing missles at the bad guys is thankfully gone, which is good news as it disrupted the gameplay with an annoying five second cut-scene. To replace this new special moves have been included which can help get the player out of a tricky situation.

Double tapping the D-pad in the direction you a produces a special move such as Axel's uppercut, with a press of the special weapon button you can produce two powerful energy sapping moves depending if you press forwards or not.

The fighting mechanics are improved greatly with more scope for combos and tag team shenanigans. The baddies are tougher than ever with crazed motorcyclists, sword wielding ninjas and Blanka style beasts for you to dispatch into next week.

The music is as awesome as ever with the genius of Yuzo Koshiro writing the score. There's a techno vibe which works so well with this type of game. The sound effects are great too.

You will have no complaints in the visuals department either, the animation is lovely and smooth, no slowdown even with 10 enemies or more are on the screen at once, the character sprites and big, bold and colourful and the backgrounds are some of the more detailed you will see on the Megadrive.

Conclusion

If you like beat-em-ups then you will love this. For a game which was released in 1992 this game feels as if it has not aged at all. It is really the definitive two player scrolling beat-em-up and deserves to be in every gamer’s collection.