Classic take on much missed genre
The Streets of Rage series is a trilogy of classic scrolling beat 'em ups which has entered the history books for its intense action, stunning soundtracks and sharp visuals. Beats of Rage is a sort of tribute to this classic series and features the same kind of fighting fun, making it ideal for lovers of the genre. There's nothing new or original on display here, and indeed the game was originally based around Streets of Rage 2 but using characters from King of Fighters, but what it does, it does extremely well. There's some kind of excuse for a plot, with the player choosing from a set of characters, each with their own skills and moves, and then simply engaging in brutal combat across a series of scrolling levels against various hilariously named bad guys and facing off against the even tougher bosses. The action never lets up from the start and provides plenty of satisfyingly bone-crunching moments as you engage in the kind of fisticuffs action movie heroes can only dream about. The game takes through a range of well detailed and atmospheric environments, all of which are portrayed in gritty fashion and which really evoke a sense of a city going to hell at the hands of criminal gangs. The sprites are large and chunky and full of personality while the music is wonderfully reminiscent of those Sega classics and which brings back many fond memories. If you love scrolling fighters like Golden Axe or are a fan of SNK's own beat 'em ups, then this is a great play, providing as it does the kind of action that has sadly gone out of fashion in recent years and which is thoroughly deserving of a modern comeback.