If the classic Sega beat-'em-up Streets of Rage brought a nostalgic tear to your eye, its sequel is sure to do the same.
Streets of Rage 2 has finally made its way to iPhone and iPod touch, complete with great old skool music and enjoyable button-bashing action.
We already puts hours into helping Axel, Blaze, and co. keep the streets safe in the arcades all those years ago, and we have no problem with doing it all over again, thanks to this solid touchscreen port that captures the original action very well indeed.
X marks the plot
It's surprising how well Streets of Rage 2 compares to modern-day fighters. The action - a series of punch-and-kick-brawls involving ineffectual but numerous goons - fun and fast-paced, barely giving you a moment to breathe before it's time to move on.
The story goes that the mysterious Mr. X has kidnapped Adam, and our heroes are having none of it. Taking to the streets, you're asked to punch and kick your way through hordes of criminals and thugs to reach Mr. X's stronghold.
Rather than simply fill level after level with generic enemies, Sega has packed each stage with multiple bosses to defeat, each of whom comes back for revenge time and time again.
The controls are solid. A virtual D-pad and A, B, and C buttons sit at the bottom of the screen, and your character responds well to quick presses. The 'punch' button is occasionally unresponsive, but in general it all works well.
Since the buttons are rather large, however, they take up a good portion of the screen, which means occasionally having to lift your fingers up to see the action underneath.
Each character has his own special ability, which you can use to get out of tight situations at the expense of a little health. Finding that balance between using it only when necessary is the key to beating the game with the fewest possible continues.
You can also use the 'punch' and 'jump' buttons in combination with different directions to deal out pain in a whole host of ways. Experimenting with the methods of taking down your opponents adds some depth to what is generally speaking a fairly shallow arcade brawler.
No rage quitting here
This is a title that most will remember as a co-op experience, and the iPhone version comes equipped with Bluetooth multiplayer as long as you have a third-generation device or better.
This brings with it some replay value, as fans of the game are likely to want to beat it with each of the available characters.Streets of Rage 2 is a great port of the original, with only a few control issues here and there marring what is otherwise a solid performance.