Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage Review (XBLA)
Posted by Jim Cook, Jun 01, 2012 16:37
The 80s and early to mid 90s were a special time in co-op gaming. Games like Final Fight, Double Dragon, and many more offered us a simple but effective formula for having fun with our friends. Easy to learn controls, good music, and about thirty minutes to an hour’s worth of enemies to beat up made a common ritual back then, and many publishers offered their own take on this idea. Now Sega has compiled three of their better brawlers in the Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage pack, offering Streets of Rage 1, 2, and 3 with a variety of options to tune them for your needs.
Like most games of this type, Streets of Rage lets you move up, down, left, and right through a series of scrolling stages and beat up a horde of enemies. Combos are fairly simple and amount to lining up your foe and mashing the attack button a few times, though grappling techniques and random weapons (baseball bats, steel pipes, etc.) add some variety. This process of beating up generic gang members repeats for several minutes, then you meet a stage boss that is notably tougher. This aspect of Streets of Rage is virtually identical to its peers, and serves as a decent core to build upon.
What makes these classics stand out is their attention to detail. It’s not enough to just let you and a friend plow through several stages together, you have a fair amount of choice in how you do it. While not quite as flexible as River City Ransom was, Streets of Rage still rewards creativity. The first part of this is offering multiple characters to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses; one might be strong but slow, another weak but fast, and others might be shades of compromise between these. Some clever practice with your friend can allow you to make improvised ’team-up attacks’ through the grappling system, and at least one game in the set offers unlockable characters (including a boxing kangaroo!).
Punching your way through gangs does admittedly get a bit repetitive even with those creative twists, so excellent music is used to keep you in the right mood. Yuzo Koshiro provided top-notch tunes with a fast beat and some ’electronic music’ aspects, perfect for keeping you pumped and eager to keep playing. This may have been composed in the early 90s, but it holds up fine today and one of the best things this compilation did is offer a jukebox mode for listening to the soundtrack.
Rating: 5.0, votes: 1