Title: Streets of Rage 2
Platform: Sega Genesis
Release Date: December 20, 1992 (North America)
Developer: Sega (AM7)
North American Box Art
A year has passed since the events of Streets of Rage. To celebrate the defeat of the mysterious "Mr. X" and his syndicate the previous year, Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, and Blaze Fielding met at their favorite nightspot in the city and spent their time reminiscing about their vigilante crusade against "Mr. X" and his organization. Axel and Blaze had moved out of the city after the adventure from last year. Axel has begun working as a part-time bodyguard and Blaze teaches dance classes. Adam has since rejoined the police force and lives in a small house with his younger brother.
The next morning, Axel received a phone call from Eddie 'Skate' Hunter, Adam's younger brother. Skate had arrived at home from school and was shocked to find his house in ruin and his older brother missing. Attached to the front door was a picture of Adam chained to a wall at the feet of Mr. X. The criminals began to retake the streets once more. Beatings and lootings took place regularly and in broad daylight. Chaos reigned in the city, far worse than before.
Realizing that "Mr.X" and his syndicate has returned for revenge against him, Skate and Axel waste no time in telling Blaze about the unexpected situation and Blaze herself is determined to help Axel out in defeating "Mr. X" and rescuing Adam. Accompanied by Adam's young brother Skate and Axel's "friend," a professional wrestler named Max Thunder, Axel and Blaze set forth on a rescue mission, which will take them from the city all the way to "Mr. X"'s hideout on a desolate island. - As per Wikipedia.org
So plot...whats to say about it? This isn't an RPG as I stated with my prior review of World of Illusion. Don't expect anything to intense...but overall it is a little deeper than your average beat 'em up from this time period. Sega actually gave the characters back stories and works them into the overall plot fairly well. Nothing original, but it gives you a reason to beat the crap out of the bad guys! I've played plenty of games in my time, and even some newer ones, where I have to stop and say to myself, "Why am I doing this again?" Streets of Rage 2 is not one of these games. Enjoy it for what it's worth, technically if this game didn't have a story and was just beating people senseless for no reason...it would still be mad fun!
Overall Plot Score: 8 out of 10
What is there to say about the gameplay that the game doesn't say for itself? It's awesome, beat 'em up action at it's finest my friends. Even with only simple punches, kicks, and the must have special attacks, it's fun and part of the charm of the game. Simple isn't always good, but, it fits SoR2 very nicely. I think complex combo's would of detracted from the fast paced punching and kicking. The gameplay is fast paced and has friendly fire, so be careful. It's easy to knock out whoever your playing with if not careful. The ability to pick up dropped weapons the enemies drop is great to and adds an extra oomph to combat. Another thing SoR2 does well is scale difficulty depending on how many players there are and on your choice of difficulty. Easy, medium, hard are your options. When playing on higher difficulties, enemies have more HP and are tougher to bring down as they can break your button smashing and knock you out or toss you across the screen. When playing with friends you will have more enemies on screen. You won't buy this game for the story, but you will keep coming back for the gameplay!
Overall Gameplay Score: 10 out of 10
The graphics are pretty standard 16-bit fanfare. Nothing groundbreaking for it's time, but still pretty good. A lot of games from this era have very hard to read text and and details can be badly pixelated. You can read enemy names and see the details on their faces and clothing pretty well. A lot of the enemies are pretty well done and are fun to beat up. There isn't any hang up or lag time like in some of the Genesis games that are fast paced or have a lot of stuff going on screen at once.
Overall Graphics Score: 8 out of 10
Okay, so Streets of Rage has in my opinion, one of the best sound tracks of all time. Not just 2, but through the entire series. The music is pretty fitting, I remember bobbing my head often as a kid playing this game...nothing has changed. It sports a 80's style techno, hip hop style soundtrack. One of the only games I liked with a better soundtrack is Jet Set Radio on Dreamcast. Another feature that will keep you coming back. Beating the tar out of baddies while jamming to sweet tunes...it doesn't get much better.
Overall Music Score: 10 out of 10
9 out of 10
Overall the entire Streets of Rage series is a must play for any Genesis owner and Sega fan. Streets of Rage 2 is my favorite in the series. If you want a fast paced brawler that you can put down in an hour or so, then this game will entertain you the entire time
Okay, so now that we have the review out of the way. Just a quick note that I'm working on modding one of my many Genesis units. I plan on overclocking the unit and should be able to boost its speed by 20-30% which will take care of the lag felt in some games like Sonic when you get nailed and loose all your coins.
Also I will be attempting to mod it with an S-Video hookup which should give much more clarity to the graphics on screen. I will have an update on when I'm starting this project of mine hopefully soon. Until then, take care!