> Streets of Rage
is a side scrolling beat 'em up that was meant to compete with Capcom's
(originally in arcades and was later converted to the Mega/Sega
CD). Like in Final Fight, players can unleash
deadly martial arts attacks and combo attacks on armies of human and inhuman
combatants, and can choose from a number of different characters with unique
abilities. The third Streets of Rage game, (a.k.a. Bare
Knuckle III in Japan) was the last on the Genesis
and formed a trilogy that defines the console even to this day (much like
Sonic). As with other games in this genre, players can move
up and down colorful 2D backgrounds that create the illusion of 3D via
> The third and final game was one of my favorite Genesis
games due to improved graphics and the fact that Shiva is a secret playable
character (if you hold B down after defeating him). He was the second to
last boss in Streets of
Rage 2 who was dressed in a black karate outfit and had some
awesome rising and mid-air-sweeping flaming kick attacks. The game also
introduces a cyborg main character. It's strange because if this setting
has advanced technology then why is everything reduced to a fist fight?
No matter. Sega had to take the series forward into new realms
somehow. You could summon a police car with a rocket launcher in the first
game so maybe this isn't too much of a stretch....
> Blaze is even more beautiful than before. One might wonder how that's
possible. She has a curvier body and looks less like a rigid statue. She's
still wearing a mini-skirt to distract both friend and foe. Axel returns
as well. He looks rougher and more muscular. In other words he looks more
battle hardened. Graphically, the models have improved but the art has
changed slightly. I think there's a bit more detail in SoR 3
than in SoR 2. The main characters look less rigid and less
statuesque. The game even makes a boxing kangaroo playable if you defeat
its owner without killing it. The art has taken a strange turn here...
I have to admit. Still, the game generally remains true to its roots. There's
an awesome trio of armored samurais that remind me of the last boss in
the Genesis version of Shadow
> Once again familiar enemies return, only slightly larger. Animations
are fluid like the game itself. SoR 2 is definitely sharper
which gives it an edge here, but that's a small price to pay for tons of
relatively large enemies on screen at the same time. Overall the character
animations are better than Streets of Rage 2, but some of
the character designs might be questionable. The graphics only really lose
points because the Genesis was starting to show its age towards
the end of its life (unlike the Saturn
which came much more to life towards the end). Like before, there are tons
of clones as well, but as you might be aware that's par for the course
for games such as this.
> This is the same as before. There are combo attacks and single decisive
attacks and AOE attacks which are all very easy to implement. You simply
hit attacks one after the other or hit different D-Pad directions in conjunction
with different attacks etc. You can also jump attack and/or grab enemies
whom you can either combo attack to death or throw (and through others).
Like before, you can pick up different weapons such as poles that hit harder
than normal attacks to sweep enemies away faster. Overall the game shines
here like before.
> The sequel has made some improvements in this area. Now you can roll
up and down the screen or run left or right with a quick double tap in
the chosen direction which makes the gameplay even more fluid. The game
definitely feels more interactive than its predecessor.
> The music is well-paced and fitting. It's not as good as the previous
game though in my musical opinion. A lot of the music sounds like pure
techno (which has fast repeating wavering beats with electronic instruments).
SoR2's music sounded more melodic. The end of stage music
from the previous games is still there to maintain tradition in glorious
epic fashion, on top of the same sound effects from before. Graphics-and-sound-wise
there's a good sense of continuity as opposed to seeming like a completely
> Sega changed the voice-overs for special attacks into rougher
and different versions of their former selves. The best example is Axel's
"Grand Upper" Dragon Punch-style attack was changed into "Bare Knuckle",
which sounds really rough and muffled. All I have to say is: no comment.
Otherwise the sound effects are like before. You hear punch and kick sounds
as well as other attack sounds. You know when you've hit someone or something.
It's rather satisfying.
> I'd say this is more of the same tried and true gameplay with some graphical
and artistic alterations that players may or may not like. What the hell
is a boxing kangaroo doing in this game? That seems lighthearted and gimmicky.
Streets of Rage 2 gave us metal Blanka. It seems 2 is where
the series peaked. 3 lost its soul a bit. The action can be intense however.
There are more robotic enemies this time, and timers where players need
to defeat enemies on time. You won't make it very far if you aren't fast
enough. I know many people love this kind of gameplay. The game has bad
endings if you don't make it to your destination in time, which is quite
innovative for this genre. This gives the game more replay value because
characters start to come to life.
> Streets of Rage 3 lives in the shadow of Streets
of Rage 2. The second game was perfect. We all know it. This is
one of those strange situations where the sequel isn't as good as the previous
game but is still great. At least Sega took this sequel seriously
unlike the travesty that was Golden Axe III.
Geoffrey Duke ~
9.2 | Graphics: 9.3 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Fun: 9.3