Almost 20 years later, Streets of Rage 2 is still the best beat em up ever released.
Genesis gamers often place Streets of Rage 2 in the top five Genesis games ever, and there's a good reason for that. This fantastic game cannot be beaten by anything before or after it that's even in the same genre. It deserves every amount of praise it has gotten over the years.
Basically, you are traveling across eight side scrolling lands to defeat a person named Mr. X. You can choose from four fighters; Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Eddie Skate Hunter. I recommend using Axel, because he's the most balanced fighter in the game. You have to defeat all the enemies of a section before time runs out so you can move on to the next part. Then you get more time. There is a boss at the end of each level, so be prepared and make sure to heal yourself. Sometimes the screen scrolls diagonally as well.
Streets of Rage 2's gameplay is a force to be reckoned with. You have two moves; your regular move and your special move, but the fighting is extremely satisfying and fun because of the the variety of enemies, interaction with the scenery, and the crisp sound effects. You can use weapons like a knife or a pipeline, and it's often hilarious just to pick these up. You can pick an enemy up by simply standing next to them, and you can often break telephone booths, treasure chests and tables to find weapons and health.
The areas you fight in are amazing! You get the standard city level, which looks awesome. Later on you get to fight at areas like a bar, a bridge, a theme park, a beach, and my personal favorite, a baseball stadium! Sega really stepped up on the creativity when making these levels.
Graphically, Streets of Rage 2 looks fantastic. Each area is cleanly detailed and smoothly animated, and it's one of the best looking 16 bit games ever. The house music is also outstanding, complemented by crisp sound effects.
In 1992, this game was hailed as the best beat em up ever released. Almost 20 years later, Streets of Rage 2 is still the best beat em up ever released. With highly addictive gameplay and fantastic simultaneous multiplayer, Streets of Rage 2 has stood the test of time. I love this game so much, and if you don't have this game but have a Genesis, you are missing out.
Gameplay: 10/10: Excellent combat, terrific level design, and simple addicting fighting fun
Graphics: 10/10: Beautifully detailed and extremely smooth, it's hard to find a more polished Genesis game
Sound: 9/10: Great house music and sound effects
Replay Value: 10/10: The co-op mode and sheer fun factor will keep making you come back to this masterpiece.