8We just cleared another co-op title! This time it is a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis title, and a pretty well known title too. It’s Streets of Rage II! We have never really delved into the co-op library of the Mega Drive like we have with the SNES but we always knew that Streets of Rage II was considered a solid title. So check out what we thought of it! Whether it holds up and can compete with the many co-op beat’em ups on the SNES and if it is the co-op experience for the Mega Drive that you are looking for.This will just be the first Mega Drive co-op game that we will review in a quest to sort out what games are the best co-op experiences on the Mega Drive.
This game is available on so many systems that it is much more likely than not that you can snatch yourself a copy and have a good time. The game we played is still the original European Mega Drive cartridge.
Streets of Rage is to be honest a pretty basic beat’em up game. It has the basic elements you know from similar games but it executes these elements better than most. You have four characters, each with their individual stats and move set so you have some variation. These characters are: the ridiculously bulk Max, the 90’s guy Axel, the beautiful and not so clothed Blaze, and the little roller blade kid Skate and their goal is to save Skate’s brother from the evil crime leader Mr. X who is a complete shitbag. So are his underlings so you are going to have a bit of extra fun socking it to them and show who’s boss.
You can punch, kick, grapple, throw, combo, use 2 special attacks (AoE and 1 target combo) and a dash attack (double tap forward +hit). The only character who can really dash by double tapping is Skate. The other just walk relatively slow. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing but the control of your character can be a bit stiff when you are trying to line up with them so they are in your hit box or range. Other than that the game controls flow pretty smoothly, so that in combination with a variety of fun enemies, pretty tight controls and a fun variety of playable character make up for some pretty tight gameplay. Also, you can pick up weapons like pipes, knives and sword to make the fight particularly fun and nasty.
The gameplay is not flawless by any means though. Bad guys often go outside of the screen and just decide to hang out there making you have to wait for him in order to kill him to advance. That was probably what I found the most annoying thing about this game. That, and when you get to the later stages of the game they start to re-use enemies and bosses so they kinda stop being fun after a while. Some of them can be pretty cheesy with patterns that annoy you because you cannot really stop them.
We played the game on the default setting (normal with 2 continues) and it was fairly challenging for us. It took us three runs to clear it, in the first two runs we were still kinda getting the hang of the game but it was good fun the whole time. We still have not taken a crack at the game in hard mode but that should prove very challenging and fun. So the difficulty is just right really, and everyone can play it. Casuals and hardcores alike, but if you cannot get through it in normal you can add continues or play in easy mode. One fun addition to this game is that there is a versus mode. It is not very deep but you can pick a character and a stage from the story mode and duke it out. Okay fun that should last more than a few minutes.
For a Sega Mega game I think Streets of Rage II looks outstanding. The Swayze/Kurt Russell-ish theme of the game is a nice classic touch and the 90’s piano tunes can be pretty sweet too, but they still could have used more work to be honest. Here is the OST playlist, the tune for the first stage is pretty neat.
Longplay ***contains spoilers****
Streets of Rage II is definitively an improvement over the first game in our opinion, but we have not played the 3rd one yet. Definitively pick of a copy of Streets of Rage II on some of the system it is offered on:
Lasting appeal 8,5
Is it fun? 9
Overall 9 an awesome game
Edit: Music score went from 7 to 8 after I was convinced to listen to the OST more deeply. I did, and while I saw the OST has a lot of sweet tunes, many of the melodies just don’t reach me. 8 is also not a bad score. 8 is a very good score, not great, awesome or perfect…but a good score, I like the OST. Just don’t love it.
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