When I was a kid at Ramsgate Pleasurama during the 80s, the beat ’em up landscape was pretty much dominated by Double Dragon, a side-scrolling fight game that arrived in the arcades sometime during ’87. It was stupidly addictive and really exciting, to the point where kids in Ramsgate would queue up to play it. I vaguely recall that the owners of the boating pool at the other end of town once managed to get their hands on a Double Dragon machine of their own and the place was practically overrun. After that came Dragonninja (the full title seemed to be Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja but few people ever seemed to refer to that), a faster-moving side-scroller that even contained a level on the top of an eighteen-wheeler truck. The last fighting game I personally remember before I became too old for the arcades was Final Fight, which contained much more detailed characters and a goliath-sized wrestler who grabbed enemies in a sort of back body-drop move that was stunning to watch. Over the years, the graphics and playability had improved but Double Dragon still managed to stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Streets of Rage was the first game I encountered of the same type on a gaming console and I played it on the Sega Megadrive over and over again. Recently, I decided to show my kids the game and see how they coped with the denizens of Fight City! Some games just never seem to lose their appeal – and Streets of Rage is definitely one of them: the music alone makes it constanlty replayable and has one of the most incredible soundtracks I’ve encountered in any home video game.
Streets of Rage was written by Davey Stone based on a video created for Retroland in 2020. If you enjoyed Streets of Rage, please consider signing up and following the blog. Thanks for reading Streets of Rage!