Nintendo scored a major coup when they got the exclusive rights to the mega-popular arcade hit Final Fight for the SNES. So Sega responded with Streets of Rage, which not only met the challenge of Final Fight, but surpassed it in many ways.
The plot is pretty simple here; pick one of three characters, try to find a friend to play along with you (the SNES version of Final Fight was sorely missing a 2-player option), and then head out to kick some ass on the scum of the city.
Graphically, Streets of Rage couldn't really compete with Final Fight, but it still represented some of the best stuff of the time, and has held up fairly well.
But the soundtrack, composed by the legendary Yuzo Kashiro, is still amazing, even compared to today's games, which have the luxury of using DVDs to store "real" music tracks. The fact that Yuzo was able to squeeze so much out of the Genesis' limited sound capabilities is a true testament to his genius.
And, most importantly, Streets of Rage is still fun as hell to play, especially with a buddy. There's some surprising depth to the moves you can pull off, and let's face it, whacking punks upside the head with a lead pipe never really gets old.
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