Streets of Rage games seems to be all the rage (pun very intended) in recent months. Not only we’ve got the first trailer for the Streets of Rage 4, but there’s also a mobile version of arguably the best game in the series, Streets of Rage 2. We’re not sure if the game like that needs a review because most of the Sega’s popular titles are so widely played even almost 30 years after release, that everyone at least heard for them. Streets of Rage 2 is one of the best games on the Genesis, and arguably the best side-scrolling beat-em-up ever made. Outside of the Sonic the Hedgehog games and perhaps Aladdin, there aren’t many games that personify the Genesis era better.
But the point of this article isn’t the game itself, but its fate with emulation. And it wasn’t very pretty, to say least. Streets of Rage 2 and emulators weren’t quite the best friends, particularly when those emulators were made by Sega itself. To say the company has had a spotty history with emulation of its most famous console would be understating the case. Every time they get it right, there are two or three massive failures, the most recent in the form of SEGA Forever, SEGA’s attempt to bring its classics back to mobile gamers.
At the launch, SEGA Forever was almost a laughing stock in the community, but SEGA didn’t let that deter them, and they went back to work, delivering better and better versions of the emulator. It still needs some finishing touches, but it’s miles ahead of the disaster it was at the launch. Apart from that, the game looks and plays well, offering many of the options that have become standard in the SEGA Forever line-up such as MFi controller support, save states, control remapping, online multiplayer, and visual filters.
Like they did with the SEGA Forever release of the first Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2 allows you to watch ads in exchange for a couple of cheats. You can add some additional lives to your characters, or swap them in mid-session. Especially praiseful is the SEGA’s decision to add an extra button to the layout so you can automatically perform a rear attack, which was tricky in the past iteration of the emulator. The game is free to play with ad support, and a single IAP will remove the mandatory non-SEGA ads while enabling certain features. Those who owned the previous version should be able to unlock the ad-removing IAP by restoring purchases.
Streets of Rage 2 mobile is overall solid and way better than we expected to see, taking into the account general bad luck this game has had with emulators. It’s not a perfect game, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good or worthy of download and try out. Its visuals, audio, and gameplay put it at the head of the pack when it comes to mobile beat-em-ups, and even if a few hiccups here and there stop it from being exactly the way you might remember it. If you fancy mobile beat-em-ups, this is the game you should have installed on your device.