Review by Moochthemonkey

"I wish I could fight this good...."

From the classic game, Streets of Rage, comes Streets of Rage 2. You can control, four characters, (2 new) as you fight off the evil thugs roaming around in what was once a peaceful city. As the classic characters Axel and Blaze, and the new ones Skate and Max, you can fight with over 50 blazing attacks as you race across 8 sizzling stages, in your quest to save Max from the evil syndicate, Mr. X. This time it must be stopped, so you can return your city back to normal for good. So get in there, and take out as many punks as you can in your way.

This game will keep you playing and playing. With there being four difficulty modes to choose from, (and two unlockables) this game will be both enjoyable for both novices and experts. This game is slightly easier than the other one, for there are many more moves to choose from, not to mention the new katana and the bombs. (Sadly, the glass bottle is no longer there.) You also will no longer have help from the police when you mash the A button, but you will have to relay on your vigorous techniques, but you will have to pay the price of loosing a little bit of your health.

With the mentioning of that, you will have to be more dependent on your fists and boots. (Or in Skate’s case, rollerblades) Whether you are jabbing with knives, swinging pipes, slashing katanas, throwing ninja stars, or even tossing the grenades at your foes, you will need to be more reliant in your combos. I remember in Streets of Rage 1 when I could go through the first three levels with just using a bat to finish of most of my enemies. So why not pack a punch instead?

Streets of Rage 2 is also much faster paced, and Skate can help us out with that. He can also rollerblade, with that making him pick up a few deft speeds to zoom right by the punks in this game. Then there is Max, the strongest of them all. With his wide array of punches and slams, he can reduce the gangsters to a pulp. Then you can use Axel and Blaze, for they have new moves too. It is always good to use the classic characters to deliver some blows.

Then there is the new duel mode. You can now go head to head with a friend, using any of the four characters. It is not good as, let’s say Street Fighter, but it’s a great addition to this game. It’s also a great way to practice your techniques and sharpen your skills for the harder difficulty modes you will be fighting in later on. So if you have got nothing else to do, why not grab a friend, a bag of chips, a couple of sodas, and sit down and play duel mode for a little bit?

I have to say this: The music and sound is amazing. Simple as that. I am usually not a person that thinks sound/music is not really that important in a game, but I truly think that the soundtrack in this game is incredible and something to take note of. I cannot help to keep picking up a chicken, hacking a sword, or banging heads together, the sound effects in this game are perfect. The music plays well with the levels too; it’s fast paced and goes along with your fighting, whether it is a boss battle or not. So go ahead, get up and dance, I won’t laugh at you.

I also have to mention the well-designed levels. You will start out in Downtown. Unlike the last game, stages here are composed of more than one part, for instance, Downtown has three. You will start out on the streets, then you go into the bar, and then you will meet Barbon in the back for your first boss battle. You will also venture through an amusement park, where you will find both an arcade and a freaky cave. I have to mention you also will battle at a baseball park, and in a jungle/beach, among others.

You cannot forget the punks amid the stages. They all vary in skill, health, and speed. Each level you will fight new enemies, as long as ones you saw in the earlier levels. Many former bosses will come back to get revenge. The basic punks are Galsia and Donovan, which can be an easy brawl. Then there are the harder ones, like the signals and the bikers. You will also encounter traditional bosses, like the wrestler, and the whip girl.

I could not really complain about this game. There weren’t really any evident flaws in this game, sure, it would have been better if there were more characters, or if the duel mode was improved a bit, but I really can’t complain or ask for more. With an amazing soundtrack, astonishing gameplay, and a wide range of attacks to beat thugs with, this is definitely a must buy for the Genesis that has more than you can ask for, and it unquestionably deserves a 10/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/22/03

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