Liam: It’s almost impossible to put into words how much Streets of Rage owns. I think it was the first game on our list (Lets count how many times I say this before the end!) because not only is it high on both our ‘favourite games’ list but it also has a kick ass 2p coop mode.
It’s possible I suppose that someone reading this will have not played Sega’s masterpiece and for those people I will write a quick summary of the game. Three badass cops quit the force to take on the head of an evil crime syndicate. It’s a side scrolling beat em up in a similar style to the last game in the marathon, Golden Axe. You pick up weapons such as glass bottles, knives and (my favourite) a massive iron pipe and batter your way through various levels of brightly coloured punks. You also have a set amount of ‘special moves’ per level which involves calling in an airstrike to wipe any bad guys from the screen. A brief description which does the game no justice, honestly if you have not played SoR you should stop reading this and go and play it now. It’s available on nearly every platform so there is no excuse.
It’s the first game I remember playing that had alternative endings as well where if playing with two players you could have a bad ending by killing your partner, then the boss and taking over the crime syndicate. One other thing worth mentioning is the soundtracks for all the SoR games are widely regarded as chiptune classics and, by some, as the best video game music ever made. I can’t really argue with that.
Much like Golden Axe the enjoyment of this game will be determined by who will be left to play as Axel after we both rush to take control of Adam who is the best character by a country mile (Obv . not including MAX THUNDER from SoR2). The biggest problem being if you miss out on playing as Adam you have the choice between Axel (who has a rubbish jump kick which is not even a kick, just a stupid mid air knee slide like a 10 year old at a school disco) or Blaze (who has to hit everything twice as much to kill it).
Joel: So here we are, quite possibly my favourite game in the whole challenge.
Not remarkably dissimilar to Golden Axe, this is another side-scrolling fighter, my favourite genre for older games. Hand-to-hand, or occasionally, melee style combat. Big boss at the end of each stage. After a few levels, you start seeing mid-level bosses you’ve previously defeated. Although obviously not set in medieval countryside nor occupied by dragons and pygmies, the similarities run pretty deep, The only real difference is that this is one of the first games I played with an “alternate ending.” Before the final boss fight, he asks you to become his “right hand man”- in single player, if you choose yes, he sends you back to stage 6 but in co-op, if you each choose a different answer, he makes you fight to the death and then you get the alternate ending – I haven’t seen that for years and I’m looking forward to seeing it again 😉 I’m really looking forward to this one.
Streets of Rage has this awesome dystopian feel about it which really sets it apart from other games of its era. If they made it today, it would have an 18 certificate. Who would have thought that fight, walk, fight, walk could be so much fun? Ooh – I’ve just remembered the 7th stage, where you go up in this massive open elevator thing which allows you to throw your opponents over the railing… Good times 😀
About who’s going to “win…” I’m sure Liam will think it’s him and I think it’s me. The only way to decide is going to have to be the final fight to the death.