Ahhh, Streets of Rage. Up there with “Double Dragon”, “Street Fighter” and “Tekken” in the classic “beat-em-up” genre of computer game. This was one of the first and best, and came out on the Sega Megadrive.
The game was a lot like a typical suburban high street at 2am on any Saturday morning – where the same man would come up to you and try to start a fight with you again and again.
It was great fun to play and I could really spend hours beating up someone who looked almost identical to the last 47 people I had beaten up – except they were all in different couloured pull-overs. The red pullovers wearers were the trickiest to fight, but the ones wearing blue went over just like that – easier than I would in a real fight.
As with all the Sega games at the time - it seemed – they tried to turn the game into a comic strip in the early 1990’s (along with attempts to do the same with Sonic Hedgehog and Alex the Kidd)
I had the first edition of that comic – and it was typical dystopian fodder where the characters from the comic book - Axel, Blaze, and Max – quit the corrupt poice force to become vigilantes and defeat the crime lord (and martial artist) Hawk.
Why aren’t any of our present evil people martial artists. Saddam Hussein should have known some moves. But life isn’t meant to be like a computer game maybe?
The plot of the game was pretty stereotypical but also fun. Well they really ramped up the drama. It was like Robocop or a Stallone film.
"What was once a happy, peaceful, productive city, full of life and activity, has fallen into the hands of a secret criminal syndicate. Looting, random violence and destruction are rampant. No one is safe walking the streets, day or night..."
Pretty much what the 1980’s was like in some parts of the country apparently!
"Then three young police officers tried to establish a special attack unit. One day, when they could no longer stand by and watch their city being demolished, they quit the force!' Adam Hunter, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding decided to forgo their careers in legal law enforcement and put their lives on the line. “
Brilliantly, there were actually two possible endings to the game. One for a one-player game that all ended well. But the big ending, where you get to fight the big boss baddie, can only be completed in two player mode. Then the big boss asks you to join him and one player had to join him!!! And then you had to fight it out with each other! If the player who became the “Bad Guy” wins, he has to fight the boss. If he beats the boss he becomes the new Boss! And the screen goes “You are great! You are the new Boss!" and then the character laughes "Mwahahahah" and the screen caption comes up that reads "BAD ENDING”. Hilarious!
Wouldn’t it be great if all computer games and films had that. Two options. A good and bad ending. I would love to see a version of the film 101 Dalmations where Cruella De Ville wins! Or how about a version of Bambi where Bambi’s mum isn’t killed! Kind of like a “choose you own adventure book” but a film.