Streets of Rage 2 (or Bare Knuckle 2, as it was known in Japan) was one of the first games I had ever played on the Sega Mega Drive. The first thing I noticed upon starting the game with my brother was that the characters on the select screen looked nothing like how they were portrayed on the box.
After actually starting the game properly, though, it was a blast.
The basic premise was this – your friend has been kidnapped so go kick ass. You were dropped into a variety of environments, ranging from the streets, to construction sites, to beaches and jungles. You could dispatch enemies using hand-to-hand combat or with weapons lying about on the floor – knives, lead pipes, katanas or even bombs enemies threw at you. You had to be quick though, or it would blow off in your hand.
It was ridiculously fun beating the crap out of the low-lives terrorising the city, especially on co-op mode. I’m not lying when I say that Streets of Rage 2 might have actually taught us the value of teamwork. Enemies could drop down on you from anywhere and you had to watch each other’s backs, especially if you had low continues.
The bosses were pretty nuts – ranging from obese baseball fans that liked to belly flop on top of you to guys on jetpacks whizzing just out of range and robots. Annoying little buggers they were as well, thanks to their small habit of self-destructing whenever they were about to die and their constant jumping around.
Streets of Rage 2 was not the first game we’d ever played. No, the first game we’d ever played fleetingly was Sonic the Hedgehog. But Streets of Rage 2 was the first game we had ever completed
. Giving that last punch to Mr X and watching him fall down in slow-mo was incredibly satisfying. So satisfying in fact, it gave us the determination and drive to complete the other games we’d got – Sonic, Rolling Thunder 2, Road Rash 2 etc. Most importantly, though, Streets of Rage 2 showed me that games could be fun and rewarding.
Oh, and yes, I’m new around here. Hi. read