GRAND UPPA’!!!! Back in 1992, on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, a game developed by SEGA hit the market, and took the world by storm. A side-scrolling 2D beat ’em up, offering 4 different characters to choose from, 8 stages, with multiple levels within each, and a huge amount of replayability. Streets of Rage 2. Or Bare Knuckle 2, if you’re Japanese.
Following on from the successful original title that released in 1991, Streets of Rage 2 added to it immensely. The music, which was great to begin with, received a brand new soundtrack that just outshone the original’s, and to this day is still amazing to listen to. Streets of Rage 2 also took away the special move of calling in a police care to deal damage to all enemies on screen, and replacing it with individual special moves for each of the characters, which were all unique. Each character also had their own unique special attack, separate from their traditional special moves, pulled off by double tapping in a direction and pressing the attack button. Axel would do his ‘Grand Upper’, and Blaze would leap forward with an energy attack. Max would perform a ground slide, and Skate, upon double-tapping, could zip across the screen a lot faster than everyone else, and do a diving header when the attack button was pressed. In Streets of Rage 3, all characters could double-tap to run.
Mr X and his band of thugs and gangsters kidnapped Adam, one of the characters from the original title, and it was up to returning characters Axel and Blaze, friends of Adam, to find and save him. They were joined by two new characters, one being Adam’s younger brother, Skate, who fought while wearing rollerblades, and Max, a professional wrestler, friend of Axel.
The game also added new weapons, while removing some, like the pepper shaker. Instead, you could now throw the knives and any other weapon you picked up, and that included pipes and kitana swords. The sounds were also improved, and the clank of a pipe will never be forgotten, ever!
The roster of enemies was also expanded on, adding more thugs and memorable bosses that you would fight along the way. The game also introduced kickboxers and robots. Why not? Bikers would zip past you, trying to knock you down, and you could jump kick them off, and fight them and to hand.
Each of the levels were well designed, and it wasn’t just a left to right affair either. Some levels had you travel in an isometric direction, down-right, giving you a more varied experience, and let you enter buildings to advance to the next part of the stage. Again, the music was phenomenal, and extremely memorable. The boss music was retained but added to, and the opening music, both melodic and downbeat, is a beautiful piece of music.
Watch the gameplay walkthrough below, which starts just after 2 minutes
Streets of Rage 2 is considered one of the best games of all time, and it has since appeared on many platforms throughout the generations. It will be appearing again this year on the 3DS, and probably on the next generation again in some form. We doubt there are any gamers out there who haven’t yet played Streets of Rage 2, and if for some reason, as you read this, you haven’t played it, add it to your to-do list and play it right now!
The awesome music of Streets of Rage 2