- Original release year: 1992
- Consoles: Arcade, Mega Drive/Genesis
When I was growing up, there was two Mega Drive (or Genesis for the North Americans) games that people talked about. There was Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage 2. Those were the games everyone wanted, including me. I borrowed and played through Streets of Rage 2 more times than I could at my young age, but regardless, my mum wouldn’t let me buy it until I was older. It was harsh, but oh well, I eventually got it, even though by that point I had already played it to death and completed it.
For many, Streets of Rage 2 was their first experience of the side-scrolling, 2D beat-em-up genre. I know it was my experience and every game I played in the genre afterwards, I compared and contrasted to Streets of Rage 2. Few, if any, came close to the perfection and high standard that Streets of Rage set.
So what is there to love in Streets of Rage 2? Well, firstly there are the characters. Axel, Max Thunder, Skate and Blaze. Each is character is unique and fun to play as, with a cool moveset, adding variety to the gameplay. They all look amazing too.
Then there’s the gameplay, with intuitive and easy to pick up and play controls. Unlike the first Streets of Rage game, that had a special button you just press, which starts a cutscene showing a car shooting missiles at your enemies, Streets of Rage 2 doesn’t have this option. Instead, you get a bunch of awesome special moves and combos to pull off, adding more depth and variety to the fighting mechanics. You can also pick up weapons to use against your enemies, like knives. The presentation and music is also fantastic in Streets of Rage 2, providing some of the Mega Drive’s absolutely best music.
Streets of Rage 2 is probably the best side-scrolling 2D fighting game of all time, so you owe it to yourself to play it if you haven’t already. Best way to play it? With a friend (or many friends) over your house, a Mega Drive, 2 controllers, lots of beer and play through the game co-op all night. It’s so much fun!