Streets Of Rage
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  • Sega
  • Sega
  • Action - Fighting/Brawler (example - Street Fighter)
  • 1991
  • 2
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  • 2
  • $5.00
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8  |  Streets of Rage: The Most Fun You Can Have With a Broken Bottle
Scoots , 3/6/2003 10:05:45 AM
Sega’s Streets of Rage is cut from the same cloth as other side-scrolling beat-em-ups, such as Taito’s Renegade and Double Dragon. The perfunctory storyline involves a city overrun by a criminal syndicate, with only three dedicated cops (Adam, Axel, and Blaze) to stand in their way. No one actually read that one page “story” at the beginning of the instruction manual did they? I always skipped right to the control layout so I could learn how to execute a Reverse Flying Crotch-kick. Even worse were the arcade machines that would print out a little paragraph of background info somewhere on the cabinet; if it takes you more than half a glance to understand exactly what kind of game Streets of Rage is, then you obviously frittered away those all-important gaming years competing in quiz bowls and writing extra-credit essays on why having a childhood isn’t important to you.

Do not, however, fall into the trap of thinking this is one of those games where you simply walk along punching and kicking people. That’s a big part of it, yes, but there’s also headbutts. Elbow smashes. Knees to the groin. Brutal suplexes and hip-tosses. And that doesn’t even take into account the weapons….Ah, the weapons. Baseball bats, knives, pipes, and the introduction of what became a Sega trademark: stabbing people with a broken bottle. This is the game that spawned Sega’s longest running and most lucrative franchise: Bottle Stabber, Bottle Stabber 2, Super Bottle Stabber, Bottle Stabber CD, Bottle Stabber 2K1, Ms. Bottle Stabber….all the way up to their newest “smash” hit (pun intended), Stab Stab Revolution. The next time some playful scamp stabs you with a broken bottle, and you’re lying in a garbage-strewn alley waiting for the ambulance to arrive, smile and think back to when you were that age and, inspired by Streets of Rage, you timidly first tried breaking your own bottle and practiced stabbing your sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid collection. Those fancy snobs with their juice boxes and Capri Sun pouches thought they were sooo cool, but you had the last laugh…

If you enjoy the formula, Streets of Rage is a lot of fun. The controls are easy to master, with even the cooler moves, like the suplex, being a breeze to pull off. The graphics are quite good, what we would’ve called “arcade quality” in the early 90s. The enemies are numerous, though lacking much variation. Not counting the bosses, there’s only about a half-dozen different characters, which are then diversified by utilizing alternate color palettes. The music is an unobtrusive, utterly generic early 90s techno score—do yourself a favor and throw on a record (that’s like a big black cd for those of you under 20 years old) instead; the first Ramones or Circle Jerks albums would be a nice choice.

This is one of those games that I’ll put in when I want to waste 20 minutes, yet somehow I always seem to end up playing an hour or more. It’s simple and fun.The difficulty level should be just enough to keep you on your toes, but not cause you to want to fling the control pad across the room in a fit of frustration. I give Streets of Rage an 8 out of 10

Screenshots and further info here: Streets of Rage Online .

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