I was an SNES kid, and am fully aware there were a great deal of amazing Genesis games I completely missed the boat on. There were a bevy of competent brawlers out on either system, but the Genesis exclusive Streets of Rage series was out of reach. There was always something mesmerizing about the purity of beat-em-ups, akin to an old Atari title. There was no meta, no excess set of rules to apply. You have the gift of fist. Your job, as a supremely muscled demigod of justice, was to dispense fist liberally to each and every miscreant until whatever crime syndicate that had earned your ire was mashed into dust.
The Streets of Rage Remake is an 8 year long love letter to the series from Bombergames.net, and absolutely feels like every last box was checked on the mother of all fan games. Polished, redone sprites with multiple video options? A completely remixed soundtrack? The ability to play as any character in any of the three Genesis campaigns? It's all here, and then some, and then some!
Player vs player battle modes, a boss rush, a volleyball minigame, and a custom level editor await a player skilled enough to unlock them. There is even an option for an AI controlled partner, and no less than five different AI schemes to choose from, including the hilarious 'materialistic' setting. If you ever wanted to reminisce playing with your siblings, choose this one, as it sends the AI scrambling after each and every pickup as it appears on screen. Even if you are a purist and don't want your Streets of Rage 2 peanut butter touching the Streets of Rage 3 jelly, you can isolate the gameplay style to an individual game.
After choosing your character and your route, it's time to make your fist shaped mark across the glowering faces of the criminal underworld. You will visit bars, construction sites, dazzling neon cityscapes, and even a high tech base or two before the end. In addition to your peerless mastery of pounding the attack button, you have dashes, rolls, grapples unique to each character, and the quintessential special move. Typical to the genre, excessive use of these screen clearing power attacks drains your health.On the default settings of Remix, however, a blue gauge will swiftly fill by your health bar. Press the special attack button as it flashes and you get a 100% free special. This can add a splash of strategy, as particularly heinous bosses can be tackled with a 'stick and move' game plan.
Streets of Rage made it's mark with bright, beautiful visuals and exceptional soundtrack. The combat can be as simple or as deep as you want it, but it all feels fast, crisp, and responsive. Dashing around, crashing into enemies, and rolling away as they topple and scatter to plan your next attack feels great. Nothing says 16 bit gaming like jump kicking a creep off a motorcycle and eating exploding oil drum chicken in celebration. It's wild, it's goofy, and it's 100% free.
If you loved Streets of Rage, you have to get this. If you loved old brawlers of the past, you need to get this. If you just want something fast paced, highly moddable, and over the top, you can't go wrong.
http://bombergames.net/ - Read up on the history of the Streets of Rage Remake and it's 8 years in production. Realize these programmers didn't take a single byte of code, instead choosing to reverse engineer the game with logic, feel, and style alone. I can not give bombergames enough props for this.
http://www.sorrcommunity.com/t27-downloads-streets-of-rage-remake-v5-1-ports-and-soundtrack - Jumpkick through this line of oil drums and you're on your way to saving the city!