By: Uma Smith
The New Year’s celebration may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean the party and mayhem in the streets is over. Far from it. Conveniently enough, the good people that brought numerous Sega classics into 3D glory have included Streets of Rage in the mix for the Nintendo 3DS. So put on your punching gloves as it’s time to hit the streets!
Streets of Rage is a beat ’em up title that arguably helped put the Sega Genesis on the map. It’s one of those memorable brawlers, along with games like Double Dragon and Final Fight. There’s a lot of on-screen fighting as well as plenty of opportunities to pick up random items and bash in the heads of enemies with them.
While you do get the option to customize your controls, there really isn’t much to it in terms of moving about and landing your attacks. You have your typical punch/kick command as well as jump. When you manage to grapple onto an opponent, pressing the jump button will have your character leap over and throw simultaneously. During a two-player game, you can grab hold of each other and perform a special throw attack. Additionally, there is a special move for each available character that will perform a different effect and sequence. But the result is all the same: killing off all enemies on screen.
Streets of Rage 3D has three police officers that players can take control of. Each has their own set of strengths, weaknesses and a unique special attack. First, there is Adam, who is pretty powerful and performs quite well in terms of air attacks. However, his speed is really not up to… speed. Then you have Axel, who is relatively quick and powerful, but his jump isn’t very effective. Finally, you have Blaze to choose if you prefer speed and high jumps over power.
The real selling feature of Streets of Rage 3D lies, of course, in its presentation. There is a great amount of depth that allows players to be immersed into the environment. With its 3D visual quality, plentiful colors and immaculate detail, Streets of Rage never looked better. Additionally, you have the musical composition that gives a nice feel for the retro. With the mixture of hip hop and funk playing in the background, its easy to get taken away by its gameplay.
However, this particular Nintendo 3DS title didn’t just stop there. It also has extra features, which include the option to play the International version of the game only available in Japan as well as “Fists of Death” Mode. In the latter, the gameplay is changed up so that it only requires one single hit to defeat your enemies, including the boss! For players who want to progress really quickly throughout the game, this mode is well suited for them.
Considering that there are only eight levels offered, Streets of Rage can be short lived. Luckily, this is remedied by the availability of playing in co-op mode locally. But even so, the challenges can be quite limited even with the difficulty ramped up. However, since you can always save and load at any point of the game, this 3DS title is best when playing in spurts or casual sessions.
With a number of Sega Classics released with a 3D flavor, it can be hard to choose which one is worth the $5.99 at the Nintendo eShop. In the case of Streets of Rage 3D, it definitely deserves as much attention as it did when it was first released back in the Sega Genesis days. It’s a simple beat ’em up that may take just a couple days to complete, but its straightforward controls and addictive gameplay will make new players want to see what all the “rage” was all about.