Streets of Rage 3


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 2

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 6.5

Yuzo Koshiro is an icon in our industry. He has supplied the soundtrack to countless classics in our hobby, including the entire Streets of Rage series. Each of these rank amongst the best as far as soundtracks go, which leads use to the million dollar question....what the hell happened here????

The game pretty much follows the same standard set by the previous two games. You'll walk along after selecting one of 4 characters (one of them is entirely new) beating down an assortment of uglies through numerous stages of action. The story isn't exactly earth-shattering, just know that involves a bunch of cyborgs and the government.

While walking through these stages, you'll be treated to music. Lots of music....all of it grating. It almost seems like Sega let Yuzo out of the box and let him have free reign, but damn the music sucks. Sound effects are equally ear-rotting thanks to the wonders of the Genesis sound chip. If you've never heard of Yuzo Koshiro, please make no judgments based on this game.

There are a whole lotta moves crammed into this game, a rarity for the genre. The 6-button controller is used to maximum capacity for this one. Button combinations can pull off some of the more powerful moves, but unlike the majority of side-scrollers, these moves don't necessarily take off health when used. You now have a meter which builds up that lets you use these without penalty. Use them without the meter being full and you WILL be penalized. Simple enough, but it does show the designers put some thought into this one. 4 endings can also be found by meeting certain requirements, adding replay value to a genre that generally lacks this major feature.

Of the 3 games in this series, this one received the most attention due to it's "Americanization." The first boss of the game has been changed from a, uh, well, garter-wearing Village People wanna-be to a more standard kung-fu kinda guy. The main characters have also been edited. Axel now wears a yellow shirt that looks like it been, well, lets just say "stained." Blazes bright red leather skirt and top is now an ugly gray. Other than this, the game does look decent. Though the second installment looked better overall, this one does handle a lot of sprites at one time with no slowdown or flicker.

The gameplay in this one is solid and that can't be denied. However, it's very rare that video game music is so ungodly bad that hinders the game every single second it's being powered. Considering this, turning down the sound, grabbing a friend for the multi-player mode makes this one to own, but be sure you hit the mute button before-hand.

Note: There's a whole lotta secrets buried in this one. Though I won't reveal them here, rest assured you can get some replay value out of them.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:33 PM