Breaker wrote:Every time I peruse the Genesi+s reviews, I'm a little bit surprised that there isn't a single A+ game in the bunch. VGC has reviewed 395 Genesis games, which is over half of the Genesis North American catalog... isn't there a single game that hits that pinnacle? I count 19 A's. I'd think one of them was just that little bit ahead of the rest. Sonic 2? NBA Live 95? Outrun? Rolling Thunder 2? NHL 94? Castle of Illusion?
Oh well, something to keep me coming back!
Streets of Rage 2 is as good as console beat em ups get. It deserves an A+.
Honestly, I'm a bit shocked over Streets of Rage 2 being so hyped and having its cult status that it has when I think the other two deserve just as much credit, at least Bare Knuckle 3 in the case of Streets of Rage 3. Heck, I think Streets of Rage 4 is a better game too.
After touching 3 and the fan remake "SoRR", it made me realise how slow the gameplay of 2 was, and its level design is definitely the flattest out of all the Streets of Rage games, even Streets of Rage 1. You can imagine my frustration in 4 playing as Blaze when I double tapped right or down, and she wouldn't run or dodge roll down.
I got used to it after a while and its absence is more felt in 2 than in 4, cause 4's gameplay has some God-tier juggle physics, enemy AI & diversity, and moveset synergy that I haven't found in 2.
Even in terms of moveset, Streets of Rage 2 does better than 1 in most basic aspects, but it's also the only Streets of Rage game in the original trilogy that doesn't have team attacks, like vaulting over your friend doesn't launch you into a very strong jump attack. That's also a point against 4, you can't even grab each other in that one, so sad I was!
But I think the level design is my biggest gripe with it. In Streets of Rage 2, there are no pits, no hazards (aside from the extremely tame conveyor belts in the second to last level), no scene that changes up the gameplay style, there's not even a single elevator scene that acts really as an elevator scene with out of bounds areas (it's the only SoR game that doesn't have that!).
It's a bland "go straight" with a few admittedly interesting enemies, and attractive and diversified graphics & sounds that help hiding the lack of substance within the levels themselves, and that kills it for me. When you can go ahead and say "Super Double Dragon has more varied level design", you know your level design is barebones. That's why I wouldn't be able to even give it an A, let alone an A+.
I'm pretty sure if Streets of Rage 3 didn't have such a huge shift in soundtrack and the western versions hadn't been hit so hard with difficulty imbalance and story censorship, it would've been just as well received or even better received than 2 no doubt.