Video Game Violence
The story of Sega, Nintendo and video game violence is fascinating. Sega produced more violent and graphic games than did Nintendo, and Streets of Rage is one of those games. The game is essentially a beat-em-up sidescroller, with multiple enemies on screen at once. Kudos to the Megadrive for maintaining speed and responsiveness even when gameplay got busy. There wasn’t any blood, so the game was tame by modern standards. However, destroying enemies with a lead pipe remains satisfying. Whump.
If you would like to learn more about the history of and war on Video Game Violence, you can watch an excellent documentary here: The Creation of the ESRB by The Gaming Historian.
Streets of Rage Gameplay
In Streets of Rage, you had a choice of three different characters, each with their own special strengths and weaknesses. As a sign of the times, one of the guys is on roller blades. Anyone remember Prayer of the Rollerboys? Here’s a clip:
It’s not a particularly hard game to play as a beginner but has a steep learning curve. Enemies get very hard, at a rapid pace. Learning where the enemies are going to appear from, and how to avoid their moves, is key to beating this game. There are multiple bosses, some ridiculous, some genuinely scary.
Local multiplayer gameplay allows you to battle together with a friend on one screen. You can watch each other’s backs, share weapons and kill everything in sight.
Want to see the game in action?
Check out the “whump” sound of the pipe as it swings and the satisfying way it mows down enemies. Skip to 1min 30secs.
This is one of the greatest games ever made, and definitely worth revisiting if you haven’t played it in years. It’s been re-released multiple times and is available on Steam, via download for many modern consoles, or on a Sega multi-game disc.
You can also play it on Arcade Pie.