Retrorevisited: Streets of Rage Trilogy (Genesis)

Retrorevisited is a stream series where I revisit a game or a game series I haven’t played in over 10 or 20+ years. I’ll go through to try see what I remember until a game over or I run out of continues. In some cases muscle memory may slowly return, in others probably not. This is a chance for me to revisit games of my youth that I still have or had at one point, playing them with and without nostalgia goggles, and do with mini-reviews of them too. If I decide to play any fully later and do a full review, parts of the mini-review would be incorporated into it. Depending on the playstyle or system, games reviewed will either be mini-reviews or one about all games in this session.  

The Streets of Rage games were Sega’s answer to brawlers on the SNES like the Final Fight series. Sporting great graphics and music and action, the games depict a team of ex-cops and friends fighting to save the city from the criminal organization run by Mr. X. Each character has their own move sets and stats in all 3 games. The three games of the Genesis trilogy were all released on the Genesis between 1991 and 1994, along with some Sega Master System and Game Gear ports, and included and various Sega collections. a 4th game was released for Windows and modern systems in 2020.

I never really played the SoR games until 2, and I still love it to this day. The music is some of my favorite of the 16-bit era, the graphics and gameplay are fabulous and it’s one of my go-to brawlers. I never fully played SoR or the hard SoR3, but plan to sit down with them in the future.

STREETS OF RAGE 1: Being the first and oldest game in this series, this one is pretty rough around the edges but really lays the groundwork for the later games. Pick one of 3 characters to start and punch, kick and jump your way through nameless goons to Mr. X. Most enemies take a few hits to knock out, some take more and will take more time to defeat. Bosses are an interesting mix, though there’s some that are going to be slow to defeat due to them not lowering their defense until a certain time. The stages all look great from the city streets with neon lights flashing, to a beach with passing rainstorms. This game also starts the tradition of fighting on an elevator through goons and former bosses to the final confrontations. The music in this game is a jam and worth listening to outside of the game. Play control and hit boxes can be iffy in this one moreso than later games. 4.0 OUT OF 5 STARS!

STREETS OF RAGE 2: My favorite and probably the best of the series! This one does everything right with an upgrade in the graphics, the music is incredible (Go Straight in stage 1 is my favorite!) and the play control and hit boxes are tighter! Special attacks were changed in this one from a police officer shooting a bazooka to each character having their own screen cleaning specials. The challenge is there fighting through Mr. X’s forces, and the goons all have names and life bars this time around. Enemies range from street punks, jetpack soldiers, kickboxers and even some robots. All the stages look beautiful from the city streets, beaches, factory to Mr X’s fortress! 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS!

STREETS OF RAGE 3: This one had a lot of potential to be bigger than the previous 2 with a more involved plot and multiple endings, but fell short in its execution. Some of the stages are too long and some bosses and mini-bosses are a major chore to fight. The bulldozer fight is particularly annoying and a waste of time. Find the mayor fast enough to make your way to the better and best ending! The graphics are quite colorful and detailed here, but the music took a major downgrade from the amazing soundtrack of sor2. The soundtrack here is quite experimental and some of it doesn’t fit the stages at times. 3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS!


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