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Streets of Rage 2 – Genesis

Streets of Rage 2 – Genesis


Platform: Genesis

Developer: SEGA (AM7)

Publisher: SEGA

Release Date (NA): December 20, 1992

Genre: Beat ‘Em Up

Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10

Reviewed by: InfiniteKnife

Who doesn’t like to pop in a brawler and indiscriminately take down legions of recolored enemies once in a while? A bigger question may be “why did I choose to review the 2nd game in a series before the 1st?” but don’t question my methods!

We’ve all played at least one of these beat ‘em up games and the formula over the years has gone largely unchanged. You get to choose one of a handful of characters with different move sets to go from level to level, mashing the attack button until all the bad guys are dead and you move to the next area. The enemies are often varied, but as I mentioned before, eventually become a bunch of recolored duplicates with different names. The bosses are usually really difficult and are almost always ridiculously cheap (most notable examples in this game being a fat and surprisingly nimble boxer and a Blanka/Slash Man hybrid), making you die a lot and (in the arcade days) send you running back to mom for more quarters. All this is tied together with some story about some crime boss kidnapping the main character’s best friend/sister/father/hamster/etc.

Streets of Rage 2 is not much different from the above formula and if you’ve played a beat ‘em up before, this will be pretty easy to pick up on. The plot picks up 1 year after Axel, Adam, and Blaze defeated the nefarious Mr. X and brought peace to “The City”. Out of nowhere, Mr. X is back and “startedmakintroubleinmyneighborhood” by kidnapping Adam and holding him hostage while his recolored thugs cause havoc all over town. Axel and Blaze put their day jobs on hold and (with the help of Max, a wrestler, and Skate, Adam’s younger brother), get ready to bring some Rage…… the Streets……….Streets of Rage……..2!

I always found the stats kind of arbitrary

The gameplay in this one is pretty simple in that you have 3 buttons that each perform an action, Jump, Attack, and Special. This is pretty standard, but there are a few things added into combat to help offset some of the cheap factor we often face in this genre. Apart from your usual attack combo, jump kicks, and throws, each player has a few unique special moves that act as a bit of an equalizer. The special move executed when pressing the “Special” button is powerful, but it comes at a cost, as a bit of health is drained for each use. What is cool about Streets of Rage 2 is that each character also has a sort of secondary move that is executed by double tapping a direction on the D-pad followed by “Attack”. This move is pretty strong and doesn’t drain health. If you achieve the right timing and positioning next to enemies, it lands multiple hits and deals a pretty hefty amount of damage. When I played, I used Axel and his specials were a spinning fire punch (life drain) and a multi-hit forward dash uppercut. Honestly, in my playthrough of this game, I barely used the life-draining special move at all, but the other one got me out of many a scrape and again, really helped against some of the cheaper enemies’ moves.


A pirate ship level? Why not?!

There are also items and weapons that can be picked up by breaking objects in the levels (how a cooked chicken ends up inside a parking barrier, we’ll never know) or picking them up after knocking down an enemy holding one. Items include food (partial or full heal) and items that give points (money bags, gold bars, and straight 1-ups). The weapons add a little bit of a variety into combat and can help against groups of enemies if used correctly. They include a knife, kunai (a type of ninja knife), a metal pipe, and a katana (which deals a ridiculous amount of damage) and are found pretty regularly in the levels. When you (or a bad guy) are knocked down when holding a weapon, it is dropped and can be picked up again, but be careful, because if it’s dropped too many times, it disappears. Sometimes, it’s a good strategy to let it sit on the ground if there is a particularly tough (or cheap) enemy on screen to allow you to pick it up afterwards, though you don’t carry weapons over to different stages or areas within them. One gripe I would say that I had about the gameplay is that Axel moves really slow. Like, I get they aren’t supposed to be track stars but for trying to find his friend and being all jacked on the adrenaline of having to fight all these dudes, he sure takes his sweet ass time getting around.

I hadn’t played any of the Streets of Rage games all the way through before this one and it was pretty much what I expected. I beat up a bunch of bad guys and had some fun doing it. If you have a Genesis and this game is in your collection, break it out and give it a run. It’s a great way to relieve stress after a long day at work and you want to pummel several recolored versions of your boss over and over but can’t in real life because of “the law”. P’sh!


Written by InfiniteKnife


My personal favorite games are those in the Survival Horror and Sports (baseball) genres, but I can find at least a game or 2 in just about any category that I love to play.

I grew up on Nintendo consoles (NES and SNES) and have been an Xbox guy since the first one was released in the early 2000s. It’s hard to stay away from the classics as the 16-bit era is probably still my favorite overall.


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  1. nerdberry
    nerdberry says:

    Awesome review! Wow Jarrad you wrote this one a while ago! Great humor but very informative. Good stuff! Oh, and one Helluva game too!

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