Overview

Streets of Rage 2, a critically acclaimed fighter, is the latest Genesis game to receive an iOS port. As Max, Blaze, Skate or Axel, it’s your job to bring justice back to the streets and defeat the mysterious Mr X.

Features

SoR2 features the original game’s classic gameplay, 10 levels, 4 characters, a nice array of attacks for each character, and varied enemies. Like Sega’s other ports, there are no extra features, except bluetooth multiplayer.

The Good

If you’ve never played Streets of Rage 2, you’re in for a treat. As one of four characters, you’re thrust into an intense fighting experience with dozens of enemies and much more varied fighting than the average retro fighter. Besides basic punches and kicks, you can also grab and throw enemies a few different ways, use a special move that is unique to each character to devastate groups of enemies, and use a wide variety of weapons to smash your way though the army of thugs you’ll face on each stage.

The game also features a good selection of enemies, unlike the generic horde of grunts many retro fighters are known for. Sure there are generic guys that just punch you, but there are also punks who throw and slide, Kung Fu warriors that shoot fire from their hands, knife wielding pshycos, angry boxers, massive wrestlers, big fat guys that breathe fire, and more. The game never feels like you’re just wading though a vast sea of boring enemies. Instead, you’re fighting for your life on the streets.

Streets of Rage 2 should last you a while, as it features ten long stages, and after beating the game on hard, you unlock a new, MUCH harder difficulty level called Mania. Each character also plays differently, and this also adds replay value.

The Bad

While the base game is as good as fighting games get on the Genesis and absolutely worth playing, Sega’s porting job is typically bad. While the game plays as fast as the original, the sound is rather poorly done. The music feels distorted and muddy, while some sound effects, such as the beeping “go” signal and knife stabs are oddly pitched.  Sounds for other effects like punching and kicking are fine, however.

The controls could also use a bit of work. While by no means unplayable, the controls sometimes feel a bit loose and sometimes you’ll do the wrong move because of the iffy d-pad.

The Verdict

While Sega’s porting job is typically poor, SoR2 is a must play game if you have even a passing interest in fighting games or if youjust love retro games. Its price is a bit steep for a port, but it will provide many hours of fun gameplay.