Streets of Rage 2 iPhone Review

Sega's Genesis played host to a variety of excellent games, some of which went on to become all time classics. Chief among them was Streets of Rage 2, a superb 2D beat-em-up that bested its prequel with a wider variety of moves, enemies, superior graphics and a memorable soundtrack. Now this pulverizing title is available on the App Store, and while the audio didn't make the best transition, the hard-hitting gameplay remains intact, making this an ideal pickup for retro fans.

If you played Streets of Rage 2, then you already know what to expect. This side-scrolling brawler features a satisfying single player campaign comprised of eight unique environments teeming with street scum. As one of four characters (Skate, Axel, Blaze and Max) you'll set off to rescue your kidnapped buddy, Adam, while stopping the diabolical Mr. X once and for all.

To complete the mission, you must smash through that army of thugs by any means necessary. Each character has a series of moves, as well as a signature attack that drains a little bit of energy. You'll also find weapons hidden underneath garbage bins and other objects, useful things like steel pipes and knives that come in handy.

You'll need everything you can get your hands on, since enemies attack in waves and some of the bosses pack a huge punch. Thankfully, Sega gives you plenty of continues, and Bluetooth support lets you and a buddy team up for some multiplayer action.

By and large, this is the same old Streets of Rage 2 we know and love; it even looks great magnified on the iPad. The virtual d-pad and buttons obscure a part of the screen (they should've been more transparent), but that doesn't ruin the experience.

Only two issues mar this otherwise phenomenal game. First, Sega didn't pay much attention to the audio, which sounds a notch below the Genesis version, a shame, considering the iPhone has enough power under the hood.

Second, the game's way overpriced. We love Streets of Rage 2, but paying $2.99 for a 19-year-old game (when so many Apps costs $1.99 and less) makes no sense.

That said, it all comes down to how badly you need Streets of Rage 2 on the iPhone. The game holds up surprisingly well, a true testament to its greatness, but the lackluster audio and high price lessons the appeal.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

Download Streets of Rage 2

What's Hot: Classic 16-bit action, four characters to choose from, local multiplayer.

What's Not: Too expensive, unimpressive audio.