Back in action
Now is the kind of game they don't really make any more and it's a crying shame that the genre hasn't been brought into the 21st Century. This is another of Sega's classic franchises that began with the original Streets of Rage and took its inspiration from the likes of Final Fight and Renegade. The franchise is one of those side-scrolling brawlers and while this sequel doesn't mix things up too much from the original template, this is arguably the finest such game from the period. This one picks up the story a while after the first game and finds our heroes (minus one significant character) once more on the trail of the evil syndicate boss, Mr. X, and which is going to require them to head through the dodgiest parts of town, beating the living daylights out of his henchmen. Like before, this is a side-scrolling fighting game but which does offer some significant changes. Most notably, the visuals have received a major overhaul and are now chunkier and more detailed, while there are also new characters which offer very different move sets and handling as well as a few other bits and bobs. As far as this genre goes, this really is about as good as it gets. It looks gorgeous, with so much detail to enjoy in the characters and environments, and is ably supported by some corking tunes and satisfyingly crunchy sound effects. The new characters add some nice variety into proceedings while the moves are also very enjoyable to use. There's a good sense of challenge too and if you've got a friend to play with, you're in for one of the best two-up brawlers around. A must play!