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In 1989, Capcom would revolutionize the fledgling beat-em-up genre with their first brawler of many, Final Fight. To be sure, there were more than plenty of beat-em-ups back then, like Double Dragon, but it was Final Fight that would set the rules and standards for all to follow. Final Fight's success in the arcades made the disappointment even more crushing when it hit the SNES with a whimper. Sega, quick to capitalize on their "Sega does what Nintendon't" advertising campaign, would come up with a game of their own, exclusive to their own systems. While the original game was a bit of a rocky start, it's the second game everybody remembers the most, with the third game serving as a satisfying, if not spectacular, finale. It'd be difficult to say for sure whether Final Fight or Streets of Rage had the better trilogy in the end, but for a console exclusive beat-em-up, not many come close to Sega's series. The series was directed by Noriyoshi Ohba, who also helmed Revenge of Shinobi.
Most of the series is fairly light on plot, given the nature of the genre. Everything revolves a mostly unnamed city being constantly harassed by a crime syndicate known as, simply enough, The Syndicate. The Syndicate is lead by Mr. X, a powerful crime lord who seemingly refuses to die no matter how many times people storm his penthouse and beat him to a pulp. The only two mainstays of the series are Axel Stone, a very Cody-esque 'average guy' and Blaze Fielding, fellow ex-police officer and martial artist, and obligatory 'fast but weak' type. Together, they'll join forces with preteens, pro wrestlers, marsupials, and electronic old men to punch a whole lot of identical looking people named 'Garcia' and 'Donovan'.
Adam is a boxer and the most powerful of the three characters in the first game. In fact, he's only playable in the original Streets of Rage, with him being kidnapped in the second game.
Essentially a knock off of Cody from Final Fight, with jeans and a t-shirt, along with a cool headband. He's one of the mainstays of the series, appearing in all three games.
Obstensibly a judo master, Blaze has a few fancy throws, but not much else. She's slightly faster than some of the other fighters, though. Along with Axel, she appears in all three games. She also rocks the streets with her red miniskirt ensemble.
Eddie "Skate" / Sammy Hunter
Adam's younger brother, Skate wears (appropriately enough) roller skates, making him the quickest of the lead characters. His design, complete with backwards baseball cap, most definitely dates this game as a relic from the 90s.
A large sized brawler who makes his only appears in the second game. As is typical of these types of characters, he's slow but can pack a wallop, especially with grappling moves.
One of the most unique characters in the Streets of Rage series, Dr. Zan has the face of an elderly Chinese man but the body of a cyborg. He replaces Max as the brawler character in the third game, and can also electrocute people.
The main bad guy of all three games, the mysterious Mr. X is a crime boss who routinely troubles the city.
Streets of Rage / Bare Knuckle: Ikari no Tekken (ベア・ナックル 怒りの鉄拳) - Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Master System, Game Gear, PlayStation 2, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii Virtual Console, iOS, 3DS eShop (1991)
Somewhere in an unnamed city, The Syndicate has taken over everything. The police, except for one particularly loyal guy with a rocket launcher, have all been bought out or are too afraid to do anything. Unable to do anything with their legal authority, three cops, Axel, Blaze, and Adam, give up their badges and hit the streets in an effort to take down Mr. X. It's a pretty serviceable plot, as beat-em-ups go, although it's missing some of the awesome ridiculousness the city's mayor personally going out to piledrive crime.
If you've played Final Fight, you should be able to come to grips with the control scheme fairly quickly. Tapping the punch button near enemies results in a basic combo, while moving in close to them grabs puts them into a grapple. Once you've grappled an enemy, you can pound them a couple of times before tossing them away. In something that hasn't previously appeared in Final Fight, however, you can vault over a grappled enemy by tapping the jump button. Once you've got an enemy held from behind, you're free to perform a more powerful throw, like Axel's suplex.
There's actually a lot more focus on grappling than Final Fight has to offer, especially since you're given ways to counter an enemy's grapple. If an enemy grabs you from behind, you can kick enemies in front of you or toss the enemy behind you away from you, and you can avoid damage from enemies throwing you by holding up and the Jump button before you hit the ground. You can even throw your partner around to make them initiate a flying kick, which, while not incredibly practical, is kind of cool. While all the characters share these same moves, it helps some badly needed variety to the moves list, while giving the game a little more of its own feel and style.
Besides the Attack and Jump buttons, one button will also unleash your 'special move'. These aren't character specific, and will instead call in a police car, driven by who the manual describes as "the one good guy on the force". This guy is apparently so loyal that he'll drive his police car (Imported from E-SWAT, which is a nice touch) onto the beach or onto a boat to help you out, and when called on, he'll fire off either napalm or rocket propelled grenades, depending on if he's called by Player 1 or 2. The special attack will kill most mooks instantly and do decent damage to bosses, but aside from the rare pickup, each player only gets one per life. Since the characters themselves don't get any moves meant to clear out surrounding enemies, you'll most likely want to save your special attacks for when you're about to die or when you're fighting a boss. The problem is, however, that you better be very sure you want to use it, because once you've used it up, you've lost a big part of your defense.
The whole problem with the game is how quickly it becomes stale. Generally, beat-em-ups as a genre can get pretty repetitive by their nature. And when you have three characters that play so identically to each other, that doesn't really help. Sure, there are plenty of weapons to pick up, like knives, steel pipes, and oddly enough, pepper shakers that make enemies sneeze. Smashing a beer bottle into a dominatrix's face is a joy to behold, time and time again. In fairness, the combat is actually pretty fun, for the first few stages. Most of the enemies go down quickly, meaning the pace stays fairly quick, and there are often times when the game will throw a whole horde of mooks at you. When you've got a situation where you can take out about four guys with one kick, that's when the game is at its most fun. Not so much when they've got you sandwiched and are beating you from all sides, and you just used your cop car two screens ago.
The problem is that the enemy AI is pretty infuriating, more often than not. Their most common tactic is to walk up and hit you, before quickly moving just out of the range of your attacks. A lot of enemies aren't even all that aggressive, and they'll either just stand in one spot or actually try to walk away from you. When a beat-em-up has enemies that actively run away from you, it can really kill the pacing. Due to this lack of aggressiveness, the only time the mooks are actually much of a threat is when they've got you surrounded. Most enemies tend to only get one attack, as well, and there's not much variety in enemy types. The highlight would have to be the random jugglers you randomly come across, which will toss things like axes and torches your way. They're not very difficult to fight, but the fact that Mr. X employs trained jugglers is pretty funny.
The bosses, however, are where the game gets really aggravating. While they aren't that much more aggressive than the regular enemies you'll face, they all get attacks that they can constantly spam against you, and their attacks tend to do a lot of damage. Out of all the bosses, however, the boss of Stage 5 is probably the one most likely to result in hair pulling. You're pit against two Blaze clones, both of which flip all over the screen, making it very difficult to hit them, suplexing you when you get close and pulling off jump kick after jump kick if you put too much distance between them. The cruelest fight of them all, however, comes at the final stage, where you're given a boss rush where you're no longer allowed to call in for backup. Have fun.
There are eight stages total, but tend to feel like the same stretch of screen with a different background until you encounter the boss, and so on for the next stage. Some of the levels have some interesting features, though. There's a factory stage, something this game has over the SNES version of Final Fight, where there's the occasional press that can come down upon you or the enemies, depending on how careful you are. Some levels also have the occasional pit you can toss your foes into, or end up falling into yourself, if you're not careful.And of course, there's an elevator, because it's a beat-em-up. It's the law. In this one, however, there's no walls, meaning you're free to chuck enemies to their hideous demise on the ground below. Just don't get thrown yourself.
The final stage has a pretty interesting twist at the end. As you'd expect, you'll find Mr. X waiting at the end. However, instead of attacking you right away, he'll ask you if you want to become his right hand man. So you might think if you say 'Yes', you'll get a cool bad ending. "Wrong!", says Sega. Instead, you'll be dropped through a trap door down to Stage 6. If you really want that bad ending, you'll need to bring another player in from Stage 7 or before, and then confront Mr. X. If you have one player say 'Yes', and the other 'No,' you'll battle it out with the other player. If the player who said 'Yes' beats both the other player and Mr. X, you get a pretty cool, if short, new ending where you become the new boss.
In terms of visuals, some of the backgrounds are rather nicely detailed, even if they can become pretty monotonous. A few stages are nothing but the same stretch of land, repeated on loop until you finally reach the boss of at the very end. Most of the actual character sprites however, are pretty small, much more so than the huge, detailed characters you'd see in Final Fight. The bosses, however, are a lot taller than the player characters, which helps them look a little more distinct. None of them are especially interesting in terms of design or tactics, except for Mr. X, who brings an assault rifle to a fist fight. The frame rate feels strangely choppy considering there doesn't seem to be any special effects that really push any CPU processing.
If there's any reason to play this game over its superior sequels, it'd be Yuzo Koshiro's soundtrack. His musical styles like techno and club music, among other things, sound fantastic through the Genesis's sound hardware. The highlights would probably have to be the songs for the first and the final stage, although there's plenty of good songs in there to find. The sound effects, sadly, are rather weak, especially the one when your character takes damage, which could best described as somebody punching aluminum foil. There's a few voice clips, and while they're a little scratchy, they do help make the game a little more exciting. Interestingly enough, a few sound effects were taken from Revenge of Shinobi, and those are generally the game's best sound effects.
So, how does the original Streets of Rage compare with its rival brawler, Fight Fight? Truthfully, while it does offer everything the SNES version of Final Fight was missing, that's generally all it really has over it. In terms of actual gameplay, though, the lack of variety in any of the game's aspect really hurt it. It's hardly an awful beat-em-up, and there's some enjoyment to be had, but it's just too bland to enjoy for too long. It might have not been the best part of the series, but thankfully, Sega took note of the game's many issues, and they'd vastly improve on them, in time, leaving this more of a stepping stone to greatness.
The Game Gear version is best given as wide a distance as you can possibly give it. Not only does it have every issue the original Genesis version suffers from, it adds a few more. Adam is missing from the game entirely, although that's not much of a loss, considering how similar the remaining two characters are. The controls feel stiffer, and it often feels like your attacks take about a full second to actually come out. You lose all horizontal momentum when you jump, which makes air attacks mostly useless. And once you've grappled an opponent, they've removed the ability to knee an enemy for basically no reason. Given the AI's just as annoying as it was before, these new changes make this version really difficult to play. At least some of the music transfers pretty well to the Game Gear, even if nothing else really does. At least it's three stages shorter, so the suffering ends a little quicker.
The Master System version, released a year after the Game Gear release, is actually an entirely different version than what we got on the Game Gear. It's a very slight improvement, but not by very much. The controls are a lot less stiff than the GG version, jumping actually works, and you're free to knee to your heart's content. You can even play as Adam again, if you so choose. Unfortunately, this version still feels very off in its own way. The hitboxes on things tend to kind of strange, and there'll often be situations where you end up trying to throw an enemy, only to end up throwing nothing but air. On the plus side, there's a pretty amazing new boss in Stage 6, a midget in a top hat and cape who attacks you by firing missiles out of a bazooka attached to his back. It's a lot more awesome than the Genesis version, where you just fought two copies of the Stage 2 boss at once. Strangely, however, despite the fact that it's on a console that should support it much better than the Game Gear, the co-op is missing entirely. It's a small improvement over the Game Gear version, but not by very much.
The game was also released on both the MegaTech and MegaPlay arcade hardware. They're mostly similar to the Genesis version, with a few differences, depending on which hardware you're running on. The MegaTech version gives you a time limit that has to be extended by inserting more credits, while the MegaPlay version gives you credits for inserting money, like any other arcade game.
The original Streets of Rage was also featured on Sega Classics Arcade Collection 5-in-1 for the Sega CD, along with its sister Sega brawler, Golden Axe. This version is almost exactly the same as what you'd get on the Genesis.
The 3DS version, ported over by M2, is a perfect port of the original Genesis version with a few extra features. The 3D here is rather unique - many of the other Genesis ports simply assigned depth to the parallax scrolling backgrounds, but Streets of Rage rarely uses these. Instead, it defines depth to the playing field, making it look like a 3D stage. The effect looks outstanding, and it's definitely the best looking of the Genesis 3DS ports. There's also a mode called "Fists of Death", which makes it so all enemies go down after one hit. It's probably pretty amusing for a few levels, although you probably wouldn't use it more than once. Still, it's probably the best way to play the game on a portable system. short of emulating it.
The iOS version is an emulated port of Genesis version, although, as with most smartphone gaming, the touchscreen makes things a lot less precise. The two player mode has also been removed entirely. Which is understandable, given what you're playing it on, although having some kind of online play feature would have been nice, anyway.
The original game has appeared on a few collections, like the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection. Unfortunately, they're removed from the Western versions to keep the collection E rated. However, all three games are available on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the PS3 and 360. On the PC side of things, it's also been released for Steam. These are all mostly just the game running on an emulator, with some of these ports offering minor extras like filters. The best way to play this is part of the Sega Vintage Collection on the XBLA, which includes all three Streets of Rage games. These are more accurate emulations, come with some great extra features like leaderboards and online play, something you won't be able to get with Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. This version includes a variety of display options, both the English and Japanese versions of each game, and three new music tracks used for the menu screens.
Streets of Rage 2 / Bare Knuckle II: Shitō he no Chinkonka (ベア・ナックルII 死闘への鎮魂歌) - Genesis, Sega Master System, Game Gear, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii Virtual Console, iOS (1992)
After a middling first effort, Sega would make some massive improvements with their sequel, making a game that could easily stand up to, and in some ways, even surpass Capcom's brawler. Especially when you put it up against Final Fight 2, which was more of a rehash of the original game, with the missing features of the original game included. This is the game almost everybody thinks of when they think of the Streets of Rage series, and there are many good reasons for that. Not to mention that it's quite possibly one of the finest beat-em-ups you'll find on Sega's console.
One year after the events of the first game, Mr. X has, as the introductory cutscene phrases it, "come back to life". It could be that they meant this metaphorically, like a new guy took his place, or maybe they actually mean that he ended up just magically being resurrected, like Castlevania's Dracula. Who knows. In either case, Mr. X sends out a new wave of minions onto the city. He's also captured Adam in an attempt to lead Axel and Blaze into a trap. This time, however, is that they're joined by Max Thunder, Axel's pro wrestler friend, and Skate, Adam's kid brother. Yes, the good guys have no qualms about sending a young child out to fight The Syndicate with little more than his bare hands and a pair of roller skates. In all fairness, however, he can kick as much ass as the grown ups, and the idea of a preteen taking a katana to a small country's worth of gangsters is a little hilarious.
The characters have been made a lot more diverse in terms of moves and abilities, so you're no longer choosing between which character you want by the color of their shirt. Blaze is the most balanced of the four, with an equal mix of power and speed. Axel leans just a little more towards power than agility, but he's well rounded enough that he makes a great starter. Skate, on the other hand, doesn't have quite the damage output as the rest of the characters. As a tradeoff, he's incredibly fast, and he's the only character in the game capable of performing a dash by double tapping right or left. This lets him get from one end of the screen to another very quickly, which can be very helpful. Max, on the other hand, is a lot more sluggish, but he has a few moves that can almost take out an entire health bar if he can manage to pull them off. He gets a few more throws than the rest of the characters to make up for his lack of a vault move, including a backbreaker that's very tough to pull off, but delivers instant, massive damage if you do.
Each character's move set has also been greatly expanded, giving you a lot more options. All the moves you could perform in the first game, like vaults, back attacks, throws, and team attacks are mostly performed the same way. The only move that hasn't returned is the cop car, as the guy who was driving it apparently got reassigned. In its place are two special moves that are specific to each character. The first special move is the standard crowd-clearing attack that costs a little health to use, in the tradition of Final Fight. The other move differs between characters, but it's generally a much more powerful attack that hits things ahead of the character, causing a lot of damage. There's also a third special, performed by double tapping left or right and then hitting the attack button. This one generally has your character pull off a powerful attack while moving forward at different distances, and you're free to use this move as much as you want without loss of health.
Some of the weapons from the original game return, although, sadly, the beer bottle is not one of them. You'll end up finding things like pipes and knives, but there's also the occasional katana as well. Something interesting is that some characters handle different weapons differently, giving them a bit more strategic value. Blaze gets a two-hit combo with knives, compared to the single stab most characters get, while Max can hit people behind and in front of him while wielding a pipe.
The few really good ideas from the original Streets of Rage are put to much better use here, and it generally leads to a much smoother, faster game that's much more fun to play. What's especially nice is that with the extra options all the characters have in their move set, there's a lot more things you can do with them. It's even possible to perform combos, given some time and practice. You might want to start off with your Down+B move while you're airborne, a weak attack that doesn't knock enemies down. While they're still stunned from the first hit, you can follow that up with a few hits of your basic combo, and then finish it with your forward special to do some major damage. While something like that isn't especially hard to pull off, the fact that you can do it at all is a testament on just how much the controls and general feel of the game have improved since the original Sreets of Rage.
The enemies have also been majorly overhauled so they're much more of a challenge. While the issue the previous game had where enemies would slowly circle around you, taking their time before they actually moved in to attack is still here, it's thankfully much less common this time around. There's a lot more enemy types to deal with this time around as well, bolstering the ranks of the constant swarm of Galsias and Signals the original game gave you. Not that there won't be plenty of those, either, and some of them even have new tactics. Some Galsias will dash around the screen with a knife, which you can knock out of their hands by knocking them down. The new enemy types, however, are a lot more interesting, and they tend to have a lot more moves, meaning better tactics will be needed to take them out. Sadly, the jugglers are gone, but in their place are a bunch of fire-breathing fat guys with a really annoying laugh. It evens out.
Probably one of the most interesting additions are the bikers. These guys tend to ride from one end of the screen to the other on their bikes, occasionally tossing grenades at your feet. Usually, one well timed jump kick will be enough to dismount them and kill them, but occasionally you'll have to fight a few that get up off of the ground and just keep going. Most of the tougher enemies have quite a few moves on them, like the way the ninjas can teleport out of the way of your attacks. It's a big improvement that help makes the game more challenging, as well as making it so it's a lot more engaging than the previous game. There's also quite a few minibosses who tend to have more health than most of the common mooks you'll fight, like Jack, a mohawked punk who seems to have an endless supply of knives on his person. A nice touch is that enemies are now given names along with a health bar, much like Final Fight, and some of them get silly monikers like 'U-3', 'Buffet', and 'Beano'.
The bosses aren't quite as unfair as some of the fights you'd get in the original game, although there are a couple that can be sticking points. Jet, the boss of Stage 2, for example, is constantly floating, meaning that he can be difficult to hit if you don't use the right moves on him. Jet has no such problems, however, and he can easily grab you and inflict major damage if you get too close to him, doing a lot of damage. Abadede, the Ultimate Warrior lookalike from the original game, makes a return appearance of kicking the crap out of you, too. Probably the most annoying part about him is that he can break out of your combo whenever he likes with an attack that can really add up damage if he hits you enough with it.
Overall, though, the difficulty's pretty mild compared to your average beat-em-up. And for most people, that won't be a problem at all. The difficulty curve is just about perfect, with the early stages being easy enough you'll gain a few extra lives to fall back on, with the later, more difficult stages will start making you go through them. While the bosses can sometimes get frustrating, the normal difficulty is balanced pretty well and there's still a couple of tougher difficulties for anybody wanting more of a challenge. There's a lot of room for skill and improvement, if you can learn how the game and the enemy patterns work, which is always the sign of a really great beat-em-up.
The game's divided into eight stages, much like the original game. This time around, however, they've been made a lot more visually appealing to look at. Playing through the first stage alone shows just how much more effort's been put into the level design. You start off the first stage in front of a few shops, much like how the original game begun. Eventually, however, you end up on a darkened street, fighting off a Jack that sneaks out of an alley. From there, you head into a bar, complete with tables and chairs to smash. The final segment of the stage takes place at the back alley of the bar, with the rain picking up as you encounter the boss. In the original SOR, that would probably consist of about two or three entire stages.
Quite a few of the other stages are pretty interesting in terms of design, as well, meaning that you've got something cool to look at while you're beating people up. Stage 3 takes place in an amusement park. There's even an arcade, where you can smash open Bare Knuckle arcade machines for the hidden goodies inside. Bags of money kind of make sense, sure, but then you notice that one of them have a pile of gold bars inside. Even weirder, one of them has an apple inside it. The final segment of this stage puts you inside an alien-themed attraction that looks straight out of the final stages of Contra, complete with a giant alien head as a miniboss. Having all these setpieces to go through makes the game a magnitude more memorable, since every stage is no longer best described with a single word. The only step backwards is that none of the stages have any hazards like the original game, which takes out some of the strategy and variety that the original game offered.
At the end of the final stage, a penthouse on Mr. X's secret island, Mr. X doesn't even bother speaking to you after you beat up the last wave of his goons. Instead, he sends out Shiva, a long-haired badass of a martial artist with some nasty moves. Once Shiva goes down, Mr. X uses about the same tactics of running around and spraying his assault rifle all over everything that moves. His range makes him more difficult, but persevere and you'll rescue Adam from his clutches, No multiple endings this time around, although on the bright side, that means the game won't troll you back to Stage 6.
Once you're done with the main game, there's also a "Duel" mode, where two players can fight each other. This mode is a little more like a traditional fighting game, as it's only you and the other player to worry about, and the first player to win two rounds is the victor. Each of the arenas you can select from will also have a few weapons laying around that you can use. The problem is, though, a game like this just wasn't made for one-on-one fighting, and it's pretty much just a distraction. Especially since any match will basically end if Max can get somebody into a grapple, given how insane his damage output is. Still, it's fun for a few matches.
The graphics have undergone a major improvement, especially with just how much bigger and more detailed the character sprites are. Most of the character sprites are now as big as the bosses were in the original SOR, and some of this game's bosses are even bigger. The extra level of polish is easy to see in the levels, as well, and there are a lot of fancy graphical effects if you look closely. If you look under the bridge on the last segment of Stage 2, you'll actually see the city in the background reflected in the water, complete with a ripple effect. There are a lot of these little touches all over the game, and it's that little extra effort that really goes a long way.
Much like the previous game, the music is a very big part of what makes it memorable. Yuzo Koshiro's new soundtrack is in a similar style to the first game, but the new tracks sound great. Some of the highlights would have to be the jazzy tune that plays in the bar on Stage 1, while Stage 8's track begins with the tune from the intro, before slowly transitioning to the tune from SOR1's final stage. The sound effects have also been redone so that they sound a lot meatier, instead of the odd sound effects you'd get for punching mooks that made one think of aluminum foil. There's a lot more digitized speech, mostly used when characters pull off their special moves.
If they gave out awards to games for "Most Improved Sequel", Streets of Rage 2 would be the first in line. Aside from a few minor issues, this sequel turns what was once just a mediocre Final Fight wannabe to something that was leagues beyond.
The Master System version has that same very off feeling that the port of the first game had, only even more so here. The biggest problem is that the game just moves far, far too quickly, meaning enemies will rocket around the screen, surround you, and stunlock you for all your health before you can react. Enemies are also much more aggressive from the first stage, meaning they'll bumrush you pretty much as soon as they appear on screen. It's a shame, too, because if it weren't for these issues, it'd be a much better port than the original Streets of Rage.
The controls are a lot more responsive, and your own moves generally feel a lot 'tighter'. The way they handled special moves is pretty strange, though, although it's forgivable given the lack of buttons. For your first special, you have to hit forward and both buttons at the same time, and for your other move, you have to hit back, forward, and then the two buttons. It's pretty hard to pull off, especially given how little time you have to react. There's also still no co-op mode, for whatever reason, and Max has been removed entirely. On the plus side, there's a lot of stuff that's exclusive to this version alone, which gives you some motivation to play through the thing. Some of the stages are entirely new, like one where you fight through a warehouse before ending up on top of a moving train.
The Game Gear version moves at a much more reasonable speed, which makes it a lot easier to actually play. It's actually pretty fun to play, so much so that it's probably the best beat-em-up you'll find on the Game Gear. Not that there's much competition for the title, but still. The controls still take a bit of time to get used to, especially since the way you pull off special moves is actually reversed for this port. On the plus side, though, your stationary special move is free to use as much as you want. The only real downsides are the flicker that tends to happen when you get more than two characters on screen at once, and the lack of Max that this version also suffers from. There's a few exclusive scenes here, as well. These are mostly expansions of the alien attraction in Stage 3, complete with a Predator-like creature as a new boss. This version's also much shorter, with two less stages, clocking in a little less than a half hour, if you're quick.
The game was also released on both the MegaTech and MegaPlay arcade hardware. They're mostly similar to the Genesis version, with a few differences, depending on which hardware you're running on. The MegaTech version gives you a time limit that has to be extended by inserting more credits, while the MegaPlay version gives you credits for inserting money, like any other arcade game. It's also a little more difficult in a few ways, like all the extra live pickups being replaced with score items.
Like the first game, Streets of Rage 2 appears on the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection, and was also released on the iOS with bad touchscreen controls. It's also on the Sega Smash Pack Vol. 1 for the Dreamcast, which is an emulated version, with some truly terrible music that sounds like some of the FM channels were replaced with scratchy PSG.
The iOS version plays more or less exactly like the Genesis version, although, as with most smartphone gaming, the touchscreen makes things a lot less precise. The two player mode has also been removed entirely. Which is understandable, given what you're playing it on, although having some kind of online play feature would have been nice, anyway.
There was originally a release on the XBLA, converted by Backbone, which was just an emulated version with online multiplayer. This has been replaced with a much better version of as part of the Sega Vintage Collection.
Blaze's Jump Kick
Game Gear Exclusive Levels
Sega Master System Exclusive Levels
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