Streets of Rage 2 Game Review

Platform: SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis

Publisher: SEGA | Developer: SEGA | Released: 1992

Also available on: Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System

Streets of Rage 2 Review

Streets of Rage 2 – The beat 'em Up to end all other beat 'em ups?

Streets of Rage 2, was first released at the end of 1992 in North America, and swiftly followed by Japan/Europe in January of 1993. The japanese version was called Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem of the Deadly Battle.

The game was developed by several companies including Sega, Ancient, Shout! Designworks, MNM Software and H.I.C. The sequel to an already well loved game, but the sequel is of course regarded as one of the greatest walking beat’em ups of all time, with a huge graphical and audio upgrade on it’s predecessor.

Back at this time, SNES fans were seriously gloating over the incredible Street Fighter II which wasn’t yet out for Megadrive, Streets of Rage 2 made SNES fans envious, karma!

The sequel also came with a 2 player duel mode as well as co-op mode, so you can pit yourself against your friends.

The Characters

In the original there were 3 characters, Axel Stone, Blazer Fielding and Adam Hunter, for this sequel, the first two return, whilst Adam has been kidknapped (more on that in a bit). There are two new characters in Streets of Rage 2, they are Eddie “Skate” Hunter and Max “Thunder” Hatchett.

Streets of Rage 2 Characters
Choose your fighter!

The Plot in Streets of Rage 2

One year has passed since the events of Streets of Rage. To celebrate the defeat of the mysterious Mr. X and his criminal organization, The Syndicate, the trio of Adam Hunter, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding had met at their favorite nightspot in the city, reminiscing about both their vigilante crusade and triumphant victory from within the previous year.

Axel and Blaze had moved out of the city after the adventure, with Axel working as a part-time bodyguard and Blaze teaching dance classes. Adam has since rejoined the police force and lives in a small house with his younger brother, Eddie “Skate” Hunter.

Unexpected Emergency

The next afternoon, Blaze had received an unexpected yet emergency phone call from Skate, who had informed her that upon arriving at home from school, Skate was shocked to find his house in ruin and his older brother missing. Attached to the front door was a picture of Adam chained to a wall at the feet of Mr. X. The criminals began to retake the streets once more, as beatings and looting took place regularly and in broad daylight; chaos reigned in the city, far worse than before. Realizing that Mr. X and

The Syndicate have returned for revenge against them and the city, Blaze wastes no time in informing Axel about the unexpected situation, with Axel himself personally vowing to help Blaze out in defeating Mr. X and rescuing Adam.

From within the preparation of their upcoming second battle against Mr. X and The Syndicate, Blaze and Axel are soon joined by Skate, who wishes to help out in rescuing and saving his older brother Adam and Axel’s friend, a professional wrestler named Max Thunder who also seeks to help aid Axel and Blaze out as well in rescuing and saving their kidnapped friend.

The quartet soon embarks on a rescue mission, which will take them from the city all the way to Mr. X’s hideout on a desolate island, where they will eventually face Mr. X and his bodyguard Shiva. Unlike the other two games in the series, Streets of Rage 2 has only one ending, where Mr. X is defeated and Adam is rescued, after which the heroes leave in a helicopter.

The Soundtrack

A special section is reserved here for the Streets of Rage 2 soundtrack as this was the most kick-ass soundtrack of any Sega Megadrive game. It was composed by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro, along with three contributions from Motohiro Kawashima. It was composed using an already dated NEC PC-8801 alongside Koshiro’s own audio programming language.

According to Koshiro: “For Bare Knuckle I used the PC88 and an original programming language I developed myself. The original was called MML, Music Macro Language. It’s based on NEC’s BASIC program, but I modified it heavily. It was more a BASIC-style language at first, but I modified it to be something more like Assembly. I called it Music Love’. I used it for all the Bare Knuckle Games.”

The soundtrack was influenced by electronic dance music, specifically house, techno, hardcore techno, and breakbeat. The soundtrack for Streets of Rage 2 is considered “revolutionary” and ahead of its time, for its “blend of swaggering house synths,” “dirty” electro-funk and “trancey electronic textures that would feel as comfortable in a nightclub as a video game.”

Yuzo Koshiro

You can also read my story on the development of the soundtrack for the new Streets of Rage 4 here!

Streets of Rage 2 Title
Streets of Rage 2 Characters
Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 2

Pixel Games Review

One of my most memorable names from my childhood, Streets of Rage 2 combines fast paced beat’em up action with a pumping soundtrack from the great Yuzo Koshiro. It’s my most played Sega Megadrive game for sure, this is a must play for all gamers young and old and a fantastic way to introduce younger gamers into a genre that had lost it popularity for many years until recently. Simply, a work of art!

Pixel Score: 98%


GAMEPRO – February 1993

“Stacked against the Final Fights and Super Double Dragons of the world, Streets of Rage 2 more than fends for itself. Sixteen megabits of great, improved graphics, massive sprites, top-notch audio, and multitudes of moves make it the 165-bit [sic] side-scrolling street fighter to beat. Would-be Genesis heavyweight champs, this game’s right up your alley!” Slasher Quan

5 out of 5

SEGA Force

Sega Force – Issue 16

“It’s finally here! The first 16 Meg cartridge to grace the MD! So pick up your joypad, phone up your friends and get ragin’ ‘cos SOR II is the best thing to happen to MD owners since the rise of a certain blue hedgehog. It’s the hottest release of ’93 and set to become classic. As actions speak louder than words, all that’s left to say is Streets Of Rage II is totally fantastic!” -Paul



Mean Machines – Issue 3

“Streets of Rage II is a truly arcade quality beat ’em up from Sega! And when I mean arcade quality, I mean a game that actually beats the spots off any Neo Geo beat ’em up! Streets of Rage II is simply the best beat ’em up you can get for a console (it’s a bit unfair to compare it with Super NES Street Fighter II because they’re different games). My only gripe is that it is too easy in EASY mode — leave it in NORMAL mode and you’re in for a highly challenging, mega-quality game! Buy it NOW!” -Rich


Streets of Rage 2 Megadrive/Genesis: Cheats and Tips

Want to cheat your way through Streets of Rage 2? Sure but where is the fun in that right?

  • Level and Lives Select: Go to the main menu. Hold down (A) + (B) on controller 2 while selecting Options. You can now select how many lives you start with (up to 9), choose your starting stage, and play at the Very Easy and Mania difficulty levels. 
  • Same Character in 2 Player (EU Version): Go to the main menu. Hold down (A) + (B) on controller 2 while selecting Options. You can now select how many lives you start with (up to 9), choose your starting stage, and play at the Very Easy and Mania difficulty levels. 
  • No Damage From Falling: After being thrown by an enemy, it is possible to prevent taking damage from the fall by holding UP and the JUMP button while falling until you land. Your character should land on his/her feet and not take any damage at all. This is very helpful when fighting enemies like Signals and Ninjas.

Above cheats thanks to Gamespot

Watch Streets of Rage 2 in action!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
NBA Jam Game Comparison

NBA Jam Game Comparison

NBA Jam is the third basketball game developed and published by Midway, after TV Basketball (1974) and Arch Rivals (1989). This was the first game in the NBA Jam series of games…

Read More »
Chuck Rock Game Comparison

Chuck Rock Game Comparison

Chuck Rock is a side-scrolling platformer, designed by Robert Churchill and first released in 1991 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST by the brilliant Core Design. The game features our belly bouncing and rock chucking hero called Chuck Rock…

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.