One of the greatest beat ’em ups in video game history was released in 1991 on the Sega Genesis. Developed and published by Sega, Streets of Rage was a combination of engulfing atmospheres, a soundtrack of absolute perfection, and an addicting difficulty that made gamers try again and again. Streets of Rage was reason enough to get a Sega Genesis. We’re calming the streets in this Streets of Rage review!
Streets of Rage Plot:
For this Streets of Rage review we turn to the manual to get the plot:
“What was once a happy, peaceful, productive city, full of life and activity, has fallen into the hands of a secret criminal syndicate. The leader of the syndicate has somehow managed to keep his identity a secret. The organization soon absorbed the city government (anyone can be had if the price is right). They even have the metropolitan police force in their back pocket. Looting, random violence, and destruction are rampant. No one is safe walking the streets, day or night…
As the chaos continued at full strength, three young police officers tried to establish a special attack unit. They were repeatedly refused by their superiors, most of whom had either been bought by the organization or were too afraid to make a stand. One day, when they could no longer stand by and watch their city being demolished, they quit the force!
Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, and Blaze Fielding decided to forego their careers in legal law enforcement and put their lives on the line. They are without weapons, but each possesses great hand-to-hand combat abilities. Take them into the heart of the city and battle the most dangerous wave of bad dudes and chicks ever assembled. Make the city a place where people no longer have to walk the Streets of Rage!
Streets of Rage Gameplay:
For my Streets of Rage review, I played with Axel Stone. Each fighter has different stats for the three main categories of power, jumping, and speed. Adam and Axel are both great with power but lack in either jumping or speed. Blaze, the girl, has little power but can jump well and has great speed. You’ll be able to play Streets of Rage with a friend and cooperatively defeat the thugs together but I opted to complete my Streets of Rage review by myself.
In most of my reviews, I don’t mention the soundtrack to games unless they are exceptional. The very first notes when I started my Streets of Rage review completely had me hooked. I was so impressed by the soundtrack I had to look up who was the composer of this master track. The genius behind the Streets of Rage soundtrack is Yuzo Koshiro who is still a legend in the video game composing industry.
When we get to the meat of the game, it’s a beat ’em up. Scroll to the right, beat up the bad guys, repeat until the level ends. Nothing wrong with that. Streets of Rage separates itself from a ton of other beat ’em ups with its addicting and fair nature. I swear if I just got one more crack at that boss, I’d beat him. If I had one more power-up, I would have beat that stage. It’s a fair game that will have you thinking you’ll be able to defeat the level if you have just one more chance.
During my Streets of Rage review, I found myself in danger quite a few times. Being surrounded by punks who were getting the better of me, I’d call for backup using a special power up. This power up was awesome and always gave me a laugh. Speaking into a walkie-talkie, you call for backup as a police car is seen pulling up. The window rolls down and a bazooka is unleashed as they bomb the hell out of your opponents. It’s awesome and is a big help in clearing out any tough enemies.
Streets of Rage has so much personality. It’s the small details that really do it for me. The bright neon lights flashing as you walk by them, the posters on the walls blowing in the wind, or the guy swinging at your head with a lead pipe like he’s in a baseball game. All these and more made my Streets of Rage review so enjoyable.
Most boss fights were fun and somewhat fair, but there was one pair of twin sisters who were so frustrating to deal with. They don’t deal massive damage but their elusiveness is near impossible. I failed multiple times fighting them not because they damaged me but because the time limit kept expiring. This was the most frustrating part of my Streets of Rage review but after looking up how to defeat them, and with some practice, I was able to put the twins down for good. I suppose another gripe I had was repeating bosses like the Wolverine guy. When you reach the final boss, he will give you an offer to join him. If you select “yes” it will transport you back to level six and you’ll have to work your way back to him. That’s a fun little tidbit but I’d hate to be the gamer who wanted to join the gang only to be transported back.
Completing my Streets of Rage review is a long time coming. I’ve heard of this series throughout my entire adulthood but never experienced it. I was blown away at how incredible it was with the combination of music and addicting action. I cruised through Streets of Rage but I can only hope the sequels are just as good.
Streets of Rage Review Score:
Streets of Rage is an incredible combination of a perfect soundtrack and addicting fighting mechanics. Calling for back up was one of my favorite elements but the entire game is phenomenal. Any video gamer would love to get their hands on this classic.
Streets of Rage scores a 9.8 out of 10.
What would you write in your Streets of Rage review? What’s the best soundtrack in video game history? Which character did you choose? What’s your favorite Streets of Rage game in the series? Did you play it with friends? What are your thoughts and memories of Streets of Rage? I’d love to read them.