A funny thing happened to Sega when they released their Genesis console. For a very long period in gaming history, they were approaching, or were on, the top of the gaming world. They were the talk of the town across the globe. Nintendo still had a stranglehold on videogames but the success of the Sega Genesis was something Nintendo did not expect. This was accomplished mainly by the fact that Sega were all over the place and for a little while there, if it was a hit it got a sequel. Today in 1991 we saw the release of a seminal title, Streets of Rage, which was not only successful but also gave Genesis gamers two sequels that actually improved on the original game (take note Capcom with your crap Final Fight 2 and 3 on Super Nintendo).
Streets of Rage, for the few that do not know what it is, was a side scrolling brawler. A brawler being a fighting game where you take on more than one enemy at a time and usually have weapons available. The fighting is not as deep as one on one fighting games – you won’t be performing 5+ hit combos here or having to remember 6+ button combinations to do any of the cooler moves. No, games like Streets of Rage are all about simply unleashing as much punishment on the enemy as you possible can before they overwhelm you. Smart fighting will allow you to survive much longer than simply barreling through the opponents.
The backstory to Streets of Rage has three young, physically fit, characters leaving the police force and the entanglements it offered to battle a crime syndicate taking over the city. Each character has a unique set of moves available to them that will help them win the day and save the city- if you play well.
The unique thing to me about Streets of Rage is the “police backup” you have available when you call for them (a limited number of times so use them wisely). It is like an early version of a striker character in Capcom team based fighting games that became popular a decade later.
There is a reason Streets of Rage is remembered fondly by nearly everyone that has played it. The game rocks. Don’t take my word for it though, hit Ebay and grab a copy today.