SOR1: C // SOR2: A+ // SOR3: C+
[videogamecritic rated: SOR1 A- // SOR2 A // SOR3 B]
Okay, let's be honest about the Streets of Rage-serie for a change. First of all, I think the serie is a bit overrated and thats particularly due to the fantastic second part of the serie. The first Streets of Rage actually isn't a huge step forward from games like Double Dragon and - in Sega's particularly case - Golden Axe. Yeah, SOR1 looks better and plays better than Golden Axe but hasn't got quite the same atmosphere. In this first part the 'special move' you can perfom actually resembles Golden Axe's 'magic' a lot: you just press a button and, magically, from up above, the police is their to help you. As Dave said, the audio for this game is still pretty tight for a Genesis-title. Then, we have SOR2. This is the only game capable of wearing the fame the serie has been given afterwards. Even to today's standard the graphics are beautiful, with huge characters and the sound is even better than in SOR1. The soundtracks are the best I ever heard on the Genesis! The game really isn't very difficult to finish on easy-setting, but on harder difficulty it's so cool how many guys are trying to kick your ass (especially on the lift-sequences), with almost (okay, just a little) slowdown on screen! The stages are well-thought out and are all fun to play. A must-have for every Genesis-owner. That leaves us with SOR3, the final part. And who wasn't disappointed when they first played it? First of all, the audio of this game stinks. The music on the first stages is some of the most awful house you'll ever here. They are some improvements: three new characters (besides Zan, 2 secret; a kangaroo named Roo and the boss Shiva) to play with, and it is possible to run and to perform special moves with weapons. The whole game is a lot faster than SOR2, and some stages are original like a disco or a stage in which a guy on a bulldozer tries to crush you! There's also a well-thought out, panicly stage in which you've to hurry to save some guy. (Other stages are almost exact copies of the first two games: the obligatory lift, the wood, the major's house etc.) But overall, the graphics are a step backwards from SOR2: they look boring and grey, actually. As said, besides the awful music, the sound isn't worked out very well sometimes: if you kick a guy sometimes you don't even hear your kicking! What kind of crap is that! The game has two different endings and on 'easy' mode it is not possible to finish the game for whole, so stick on to normal. All that stuff can't same SOR3 from being just a mediocre game. A lot of stages are just too long and you seem to be kicking and punching forever, without any real interest of how the stage will finish. Also, why had the stage, which was in SOR1 (but wisely left out of SOR2), in which you're attacked by hotellorries to be returned? I've never seen a hostile hotellorry for pete's sake. SOR3 isn't a bad game, but nowhere the classic we all expected after SOR2. If you play SOR2 AFTER you've played SOR3, you'll probably say: this game is so slow! But the speed of SOR3 is actually the only REAL improvement over SOR2. So, if you're a fan of the serie and still looking for SOR3 and are ready to pay a lot of cash for it on ebay, don't blame me if you're disappointed!
Having said that, I have played ALL the SOR games including the master system and handheld ones, and still feel that nothing tops the original. Yes, SOR2 and 3 have better graphics, but the music and gameplay of the first make up for it! I still remember this as one of the first games in which I TAPED the music so I could listen to it! (Dum-dum-dummm dummm dummmmmm, da da da da DAH!..)
Jammin'! I can't even remember the tracks to SOR2! SOR1 is a classic (which is why they re-released it so much!)
Nope, I disagree with the re-review and premise that only part 2 was good.
Sure, Streets of Rage looks far more dated than SOR2 or SOR3. So what! It is an earlier title, looked great when it came out, and still is quite good. The music in part one is just as good as part two, IMHO. Part three's music is mediocre, however.
I really like the unique differences between SOR, SOR2, and SOR3; it makes it worth playing each.
SOR1 has a smart-bomb special. You get one special; when you use it, your ally cop shoots a bomb or gun and knocks down everything on screen. You can pick up extra specials at times. The gameplay is a bit simpler in SOR. The music is awesome stuff. SOR has 3 characters. The characters and scenes, though similar, aren't identical to SOR2.
SOR2 has a button on-demand special, but it consumes health if it connects -- use it lots, but use it wisely. SOR2's tunes are fantastic. The graphics are bigger, more colorful and better animated, due to a bigger cart ROM size of course. And there are 4 characters, all play very differently. The enemies are great in this game!
SOR3 is me-too from SOR2 with much different/worse tunes, but that doesn't mean it sucks. SOR3 allows you to roll up / down the screen and double-tap to run, in fact all the gameplay is a bit faster than before with unique scenes and enemies.
ALL OF 'EM -- GREAT STUFF. SOR2 > SOR1 > SOR3.
Secondly, I was thinking about SOR3. The stages I especially hate are that two stages in which some sort of little train tries to crush you and ninja's are there non-stop. Those stages seem to go on forever. Secondly that bosscharacter, which is actually two jumping women in purple and with green hair - they're a p*n in the *ss. (also, aren't they almost exact copies of a Final Fight character?)
SOR3 feels like recycled SOR2 with crappy levels.
All the levels in SOR3 that have hazards and objectives(rescue the police chief, avoid landmines, run from the bulldozer, etc), actually have the reverse effect of what was intended. The game really DRAGS during those segments, rather then spice it up and add variety.
All the bosses are cheap and all you can do is jumpkicks and use specials, which also gets very boring. In SO2, you could approach bosses in the same way as regular foes, for the sake of arguement. It's alot more entertaining to grab a boss and pound on him, instead of "okay, I'll avoid the boss untill my special bar is full, then hit him with it, then avoid him again, wait for it to build up, hit him again with it......ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz"
The voice samples are much worst then SOR3.
Dr Zan(I like to call him Dr Scat) is a poor subsitute for Max
The use of "x" button for secret special moves is completely useless and under-baked. I could write a big paragraph about this, but anyone whom has touched SOR3 knows how painfully obvious that is.
The only postive-thing I see in SOR3 is the idea that characters can do special custom attacks with weapons.