I’m sure anyone reading this knows that Streets of Rage is a side scrolling beat ’em up from the early 1990’s that featured some impressive combat and graphics for its time. You choose between a number of characters to play as while you walk the streets beating the crap out of every gangbanger in sight. The collection has all three titles in the series, and, to be honest, I had only played the second game until now.
The first game is rather simplistic. You can attack, jump and grab enemies as well as use a special attack that damages all enemies on screen. This attack features a small cut scene that has a police car firing a rocket launcher at your screen somehow killing all your enemies while never touching you. I don’t try to explain it, it was the 90’s. The controls are somewhat clunky in this first game.
Streets of Rage 2 is, in my personal opinion, the best out of all three games. Now, each character has special attacks suited just for them and moves that do more damage but also drain your health as well. The graphics are a big step up from the first game, and the diversity of each character is highly felt. The game just feels more technical and more precise than the first game.
Streets of Rage 3 is of course a bigger step up from the second game, but just doesn’t have that fun factor that the previous game had. The graphics are looking really nice in this game, and the amount of moves and special abilities are almost doubled. I have to say, this is the most difficult game of the series not just because of the enemies but also due to the high complexity of the game itself. You could say that SoR3 was a better game in all aspects, but SoR2 was just the right amount of difficulty and technicality to have a ton of fun.
All three games can be played co-op both locally and online. This really is the only way to play these games, not because you can’t win in single player, but because the games are just a lot more fun with some friends. I had no problems with the online play with no lag at all. Everything ran as smoothly as I could have hoped for.
The only big problem I had with the games was the fact that because the difficulty does get overbearing at times, I really wish there were an option for unlimited continues. Sometimes I would just like to see the end of the games. Who cares if I sort of cheated?
The Sega Vintage Collection aspects of the package allow you to customize the controls to how you like as well as offer up special challenges for each game that can apply to the leaderboards. There was a lot of time and care that was put into this collection. You can even listen to your favorite tracks from the games.
All in all, if you’re a fan of Streets of Rage, there’s no denying that this collection is a must buy. The price of ten dollars is a good deal for three beat ’em up games with online play. Not to mention three really fun beat ’em up games. If you’ve never played the games in this series, you should still give this collection a shot not only to have some violent fun, but to see what it was like during the heyday of Sega.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.