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Title: Streets of Rage 2 (3rd Review)
Rom Player: Genecyst
Reviewer: Chiznuck

Synopsis: Beat ‘em ups are like pop stars. Bland, uninventive, and without any real value whatsoever, but they come at you in such great numbers that if they were to turn against the world, none could stand against them. I'm either alluding to side scrolling beat em ups being a dime a dozen, or my medication has kicked in and I've been blasted out of reality again.

In either case, Streets of Rage 2 puts the tried and true brawler engine to good use one more time, with hundreds upon thousands of similarly dressed thugs, food contained inside mailboxes, and a whole lot of jab-jab-hook-uppercut combos.

Judging by the intro sequence, a morbidly obese disembodied head and a pair of equally massive hands decided to leer over some random metropolis, and one of the characters from the first Streets of Rage was kidnapped. How anyone could just kidnap someone who beat the shit out of an entire city a mere game ago is beyond me, but hey, we're talking about a really FUCKING huge pair of hands here. Naturally, the people get irate, and decide there's no better way to protest against their sneering horror than to dress exactly like one another and pummel the shit out of anyone and everyone...Unless you have a blue health bar, then you're a boss, and you can do whatever the hell you want. It's like a citywide pass or something.

Gameplay: Let's not beat around the bush; YOU GO FROM RIGHT TO LEFT, HITTING THE ATTACK BUTTON UNTIL YOU EITHER DIE OR BEAT THE LEVEL. Then you switch scenery and repeat the whole damn process over again. To try and fool some of us into believing there's anything new here, they give you the option of choosing from the four most predictable brawler hero types there are.

Mr. Average: In this case, Axel. Average power, average speed, average everything. Somehow this makes him the best character and the leader of the group... Why the hell is that? From brawlers to the goddamn Ninja Turtles, if you were the middle man, you were the leader. In real life, if you don't stick out, you're a fucking grunt!

Miss Oh I Can't Do Shit For Damage Which Makes Me Worthless In This Game But I Can Do Pretty Flips: `Nuff said. What the hell does agility have to do in a brawler, eh? The only speed you need is MOVING UP AND DOWN. As long as you dance vertically across the screen, NO ONE CAN EVER, EVER HIT YOU.

The Big Guy: This one is always a character so huge, so fucking massive, that anyone in real life would probably have second thoughts about taking him on with an uzi, much less go toe to toe with him. But no, the thousands of bald Moby look-alikes display almost no fear as they move in and do the exact same punch that Max dodges the exact same way and clubs them across the screen with the exact same bitch slap. Sheez.

The Stupid Fucking Kid Character No One Will EVER Pick: In this case, a little runt on roller blades, trying to play off that ridiculously moronic "Cool" image set way back in the early 90's. Yo yo, get a life. Honestly, if an army of street thugs gets their ass handed to him by this guy, I'd quit the whole villainy business and move on to something like training cats, or just fucking die of shame, whichever is easier.
Graphics: Decent. The artists should be commended for rendering hundreds of foes that look exactly like the type of people I wouldn't want to run into in a dark alley, namely Moby, Billy Idol, and Raul Julia. The worst thing is you'll run into all 3 in the first level...
Music: There is a beat behind the almost continuous *Kttch* *Punnk* *Booom* *Boow*, but it doesn't really stand out much at all during gameplay. Did I mention Raul Julia is in this game? I'm docking 4 points for that in this category too, just because you can't go lower than one in a category.
Origionality: ...Well, kids, it just isn't there. Other than one tiny spark (down to towards punch...does something...in a BRAWLER?) you're doing the exact same thing you've always done. Executed a bit better than most, but in a genre this stagnant, that's like saying their health is gauged in numbers instead of bars.

Best Cheats: Nothing Entered

Game Play: 4
Graphics: 2
Music/Sound: 2
Originality: 1
Overall Rating: 4


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