Published on August 4th, 2015 | by octaneblue0
Review: 3D Streets of Rage 2
Platforms(s): 3DS eShop
Release Date(s): July 23, 2015
For the past few years, developer M2 has converted several classic Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games into “3D Classics” for the 3DS eShop. Games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, and Space Harrier have received a 3D Classics version. These ports for the 3DS include support for stereoscopic 3D, as well as new modes and features. The latest title to receive a 3D Classics conversion is Streets of Rage 2, also known as Bare Knuckle II. Easily one of the best beat-’em-up games of all-time, if you’re a fan of the game or have yet to try it out, 3D Streets of Rage 2 is highly recommended. Read on for the full review of 3D Streets of Rage 2!
The game begins with an intro that explains the events of the first game. Axel, Blaze, and Adam, the three protagonists of Streets of Rage, defeated the evil Mr. X and his crime syndicate. However, Mr. X is back for his revenge, and has kidnapped Adam. Axel and Blaze, along with newcomers Max and Skate (Adam’s younger brother, also known as Sammy) band together to defeat Mr. X and his criminal empire and rescue Adam.
The first Streets of Rage is a very entertaining game. However, the sequel is nearly better in every way. The character sprites are larger and more detailed, the action is much more fluid, more moves are available, and the list goes on. But like the first game, Streets of Rage 2 is a beat-’em-up game. You’ll start in one area and beat up all of the on-screen baddies, allowing you to move onto the next area. And along the way, you’ll have to deal with some mini-bosses and, eventually, the main boss of the level. Like with its predecessor, this game features a huge variety of enemy types, each one with their own attack patterns and such. It’s pretty astounding to see how many bad guys that Mr. X has actually recruited!
As previously noted, there are four playable characters, and each one is completely different from one another. Max is extremely powerful but very slow, while Skate is pretty much the opposite. Axel and Blaze are mostly balanced. Each character has their own unique move set, and it’s worth trying out all four characters at some point. All of the heroes have their own special moves as well. Unlike the first game, which featured a special attack of fellow police officers raining down gunfire on enemies, Streets of Rage 2 features actual special attacks. These will drain your health a bit, but pack a punch. They’re useful in a pinch.
The controls are very simple and work very well on the 3DS, even with its obviously different control layout. On the 3DS, the Y button acts as your special attack, the B button is used for standard attacks, and the A button jumps. You can use either the Circle Pad or the Control Pad for movement. Since the 3DS has extra buttons, the X button can be used to pause the game, while the R button acts as a quick shortcut for a character’s back attack. And if you’d like you can change the button layouts in the Settings menu on the main screen.
The game’s main visuals are unaltered from the original version; however, the stereoscopic 3D feature of the game is completely awesome. This is a game that you can play on the 3DS with the 3D cranked all the way up and not have any problems with it. The 3D feature of the game looks great, with parts of the background popping out as you’re playing, creating a layer of depth. While this doesn’t enhance the game much, it’s just a really welcome feature. During gameplay, the bottom screen doesn’t have much other than the game’s box art. Tapping the bottom screen brings up the pause menu, where you can reset the game, change your controls, and create or load a save state.
Special mention absolutely has to be made for Streets of Rage 2‘s flat-out amazing soundtrack. Primarily composed by Yuzo Koshiro, with some contributions by Motohiro Kawashima, the soundtrack of the game primarily comprises of techno and electronic music. The background music for each stage is just perfect, and the entire soundtrack is very catchy overall. And there’s no need to worry: the game’s soundtrack isn’t toned down or anything like that on the 3DS; the sound output on the handheld’s speakers is perfect. So crank up that game volume all the way up!
There are eight “Rounds” (stages) in Streets of Rage 2. A playthrough of the game takes close to an hour in single-player. However, if you want, you can go through the game as each of the different characters for a different experience. Like with M2’s other Sega 3D Classics, there are some extras for players to go through as well. You can toggle to the Japanese version of the game, which is mostly the same but has some very slight differences, primarily with some minor censorship. There’s also a new “Casual Mode,” which causes enemies to be knocked out once they hit the ground. After you clear the game once, you’ll unlock the “Fists of Death Mode,” which was originally featured in 3D Streets of Rage. In this mode, all enemies are knocked out by a single hit. This is a ridiculously silly mode, but it’s worth trying out just for the sheer absurdity. There’s also a brand-new mode called “Rage Replay.” In this mode, you’ll pick the order of all four of the game’s playable characters. When one is defeated, you’ll switch to the next one. This is a really interesting way to play, and it’s worth trying out for those that have played the standard mode over and over again. Multiplayer is supported via local wireless play. This is an incredibly fun co-op game, so if you and a friend have the game (two copies of the game is required for multiplayer), definitely give it a spin! It’s also worth noting that M2 has added a brand-new credits sequence that is accessible at any time from the main menu. There’s plenty of inside jokes and silliness here, and it’s absolutely worth watching.
Even after over two decades after its original release, Streets of Rage 2 is still a ton of fun to just pick up and play. M2 has done a great job with adding some enhancements and extras to the game. This is a highly recommended title to add to your 3DS digital game library!
The only flaw with this release – and it’s not even a problem with the port itself – is the fact that Streets of Rage 2 is already available on multiple digital platforms, and is available in several Sega compilations as well. On XBLA and PSN, it’s part of the Streets of Rage Collection which contains all 3 games in the series featuring online co-op. While 3D Streets of Rage 2 is amazing, which version to get primarily boils down to which platforms you own, play the most, and if you want extra features and such.
+ Incredibly fun gameplay
+ Amazing soundtrack
+ Nice new extras and enhancements
– Other versions are available with features like online play