Streets of Rage (Master System Review)

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Streets of Rage, on the Master System???  What the hell!  As far as conversions go, I don’t think anyone could have seen this coming.  Have a few beers, hmm, then maybe a few more, squint your eyes a bit and you might as well be looking at the Mega Drive version.  All three characters are there, in fact, the introduction all the way to the character select screen is almost identical to its 16-bit brother.

 

The Master System has yearned for a good beat-em up and this is it. The sprites are well defined and animated, the game runs at the same speed as the Mega Drive with almost as good collision detection – punches and kicks find a quite satisfying sweet spot.  I literally couldn’t put this game down. Previous MS games have threatened to bridge that gap to the 16-bit, but this almost achieves it.

 

The bosses are just as menacing and are all ported in. This version even has an extra boss on a certain level.  It’s all too good to be true…quite.  After the initial wonderment, certain aspects of SOR expose the flaws of the 8-bit.  The sound is passable at best, as none of the tracks have come across well. Sound effects have been done better on the MS and the game suffers from an awful bleeping sound every time the “GO” sign flashes or when your character picks something up.

 

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You feel the sound was rushed whereas everything else is so perfect.  Another sacrifice is the excellent two player mode but the game is more than enough solo.  Difficulty?  The original suffered from being too easy and the MS version is definitely tougher to beat. The police backup is included too but having to reach over to your power base to pause the game to do it can be annoying, especially when you’re swamped by Galcias all armed with bloomin knives.

 

All in all, a fantastic achievement for Sega and the best of this genre you’ll see on the 8-bit.

 

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