Sega was riding high during the 16-Bit days when they were able to finally break into the mainstream with the Sega Genesis console. There truly were some classics released for this defunct console. Sonic the Hedgehog debuted here, Alex Kidd stepped up his game from the Master System days, Vectorman kicked butt through two games and we saw innovation not seen since. Games like Comix Zone, Vectorman, Gunstar Heroes and Contra Hard Corps reminded us gaming was good. One series that debuted on the Sega Genesis, and ended there, was the Streets of Rage series which reaped fans three games total.
Streets of Rage is a side scrolling fighter often referred to as a brawler. Many feel this was Sega’s answer to Final Fight by Capcom but SoR was more. Not content with just being a scrolling fighter, Streets of Rage added more than Capcom or the rest of the competition could ever think of. More characters to play, more enemies on screen and special power ups that just made sense (police backup in the first game for instance).
Streets of Rage was a side scrolling brawler pitting you, as one of three characters, against many enemies at once. This led to many situations where you were out numbered, out gunned and obviously going to take more than your fair share of hits. The formula may seem tired but give Streets of Rage or one of the other better brawlers a chance before passing judgement.
Streets of Rage is a beloved series for many fans. It changed brawlers for the better and forced other companies to up their game or go elsewhere. Sadly we never got a proper follow up for Streets of Rage, or an HD update/remake either. While HD remakes are all the rage for Playstation 2 and Xbox games they are not that popular for older titles that would require more than simply updating a few textures and running in a higher resolution.
Fans have kept Streets of Rage 2 alive and well with mods featuring new characters to play as. We have seen Batman, Superman, Mega Man, Scott Pilgrim and even Final Fight characters come into Streets of Rage 2 and do battle. Oh and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have entered the streets. For more hacks check out our list of the 7 best Streets of Rage 2 hacks.
There were plans to bring Streets of Rage to the Sega Saturn but those fell through and what was to be became Fighting Force. Fighting Force was somewhat below par for the genre and had many problems so it may be best that Sega passed on it.
Sega left this great series in 16-Bit and fans have yet to forgive them for that. Myself among them. Miss the Streets of Rage series and want to fix that? Ebay can help.