Streets of Rage for the Sega Genesis
Next to platform games, side-scrolling beat-’em-ups were one of the most popular genres of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Streets of Rage, Sega’s answer to Capcom’s Final Fight, was one of the biggest. It was initially developed for the Sega Genesis, Sega Master System (PAL only) and Game Gear.
In Streets of Rage, you play the role of one of three police officers in a city controlled by Mr. X’s crime syndicate. You must progress from level to level by clearing the streets of his thugs. Eventually you will face Mr. X himself. There are only three buttons for this game; one to jump, one to attack and one to perform a ranged attack from a vehicle. Combined with other movements, various attacks are possible and each playable character has slightly different attacks. There are also various weapons to pick up along the way.
While Streets of Rage started life on the Genesis and Sega Master System, it eventually found its way to a variety of other platforms. The first re-releases were on the Genesis itself as part of both the Sega Classics Arcade Collection for Sega CD and the Sega Genesis 6-PAK. Later, it was included in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In 2012 it also became available on Xbox Live Arcade. The latest releases include a few different Steam release for the PC along with a Nintendo 3DS release.
For those that enjoy this genre, this is definitely one of the top choices along with games like Double Dragon and Final Fight. Streets of Rage was popular enough to spawn two sequels on the Genesis which were also quite popular. Oddly though, after 1994 the series went into hibernation and there were no more official releases. That’s about to change, however, with Streets of Rage 4 due out in 2020 for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The good news is that it sounds like the play mechanics will be largely the same. It will still be a side-scrolling beat-’em-up albeit with updated graphics and some new features. At least they aren’t turning it into a 3rd person 3D action adventure game that seems to be the fate of most older franchises.