Streets of Rage (Mega Drive Review)

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They told him not to light it but he did anyway

They told him not to light it but he did anyway

Axel, Adam and Blaze are out to clean the streets, the Streets of Rage!  That, in a nutshell, is the premise of this side scrolling beat-em-up that is unique in that it isn’t a port of a Sega arcade game.  It was made for home entertainment and definitely benefits from it although we’d love to see it in arcades.  The graphics are good and make decent use of the Mega Drive’s colour palette but it’s the gameplay that really makes Streets of Rage stand out.  This might not seem so at first given that all you have is punch, a jump button and a police button (that nukes all enemies on screen).

Smash goes another malfunctioning phone booth!

Smash goes another malfunctioning phone booth!

One can opt to mash the punch button if you wish but the real joy comes with stringing long combos finishing with a kick and the option to grab your enemy by walking next to them and hurling them through the air. You can even use the jump button during a hold then press the punch button to slam your enemy into the ground.  This can also be done to your mate if you’re playing the co-op mode with which you can pursue accurately or mix with thrashing aforementioned friend to within an inch of his/her life for a bit of a giggle.  Both solo and two player modes are excellent with the number of enemies and end bosses appropriate to how many are playing.

Adam believed in Girl Power a little too much for Blaze’s liking

Adam believed in Girl Power a little too much for Blaze’s liking

The sound is excellent, the punches, kicks and squeals of beaten foes make you feel you’re there on the mean streets.  The music matches each stage and is in awesome stereo sound and means the headphone port on your Mega Drive isn’t a complete waste of time.  So, the stages, the whopping 7 stages.  SOR is as easy or as difficult as you want to make it, with a couple of continues thrown in.  I’d recommend starting the game on Hardest and working down from there.  The reason I say this is that the Normal setting is almost as simple as the Easy setting which is pathetic.  You could make it more difficult by choosing Blaze as she needs an extra punch or two to defeat foes than Adam and Axel.

But that really is the only criticism I have of a fine game that will provide at least a few hours of complete bliss.

streets-of-rage-review

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