Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Back in the day Streets of Rage was no joke and it’s fans weren’t either. The original title saw an extensive cult following and Sega’s answer was a sequel to knock the first one out of the park. Decades later and we have the re-release of Streets of Rage 2 on the Nintendo 3DS and it’s still just as sweet. The high energy of the title on a beautifully pixellated handheld make this one to pick up. Let’s look into the details of what made this title great, and what improvements for this version, make it that much better.
This side scrolling beat em up title features eight stages taking the player throughout the inner city and some old school gang related fights to the finish. It’s all for the good cause of rescuing your captured buddy, but in all reality the settings and visuals make you forget why you’re doing it in the first place. Through a plethora of flooding street lights and neon backdrops, the fight for king of the streets is yours as an onslaught of “bad guys” shows no fear and bombards you. The addictive nature of the title has not gotten old, and the feeling I had when I first played the game still rings true today.
The player can choose from several characters to fight with. Axel and Blaze return from the original but this title also features new fighters Skate and Max. Max is more of a beastly character that moves slow and steady, Skate is quick but his damage is quite weak, while the returning characters are pretty much well-rounded overall. Also new to this version are the players special attacks. While earlier versions of the title presented almost identical special moves, this one becomes more interesting with special moves unique to each character.
While the control setup features a series of grabs and reversal moves, if timed correctly, the layout of the control scheme couldn’t be any more simple. Three buttons make up all the functions of Streets of Rage 2 for the 3DS and it works incredibly well. While people who tend to button smash would have a blast with the title, veteran players will find that there is some depth to it, and absolute pro status can be achieved by paying attention to the control schemes.
Some humor enters the game in the form of energy replenishment. Pick up and apple from the ground…or…you guessed it, a whole chicken from the garbage bin. I mean, what else would you do? Other weapons can be found lying about the streets, just as in life, which can used against the enemy presenting another layer of interest to the title.
New modes have been added for those of us that have played the title before. Relay mode allows the player to cycle through all four characters during their adventures through the stages. Fist of death and casual modes slightly take away the appeal for me by allowing the player to knock out the enemy with a specially timed hit just once. This also means bosses, while I’m sure the developers didn’t mean for anyone to take these modes seriously, I didn’t find much to like at all.
The famous soundtrack, updated visuals on the 3DS system, added modes, characters, and various special moves make this title not only one to own but one to play through several times. It’s fun, addictive, and brings back memories of old. This is the best Streets of Rage 2 rehash yet and I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing through it.
Streets of Rage 2 3D Gets
4.5 Out of 5
+For veteran players and newcomers alike
+New characters with individual special moves
+Beautiful layout on the 3DS screen
+Addictive and as fun as the first time I picked it up
-Casual and fist of death mode are unappealing