|Streets of Rage 2|
|Developer: Sega CS, Ancient, H.I.C., Shout! Designworks, MNM Software (some planning, sound driver), Japan System House, MNM Software (sound programming), Smashing Studios|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Mega Play, PlayStation 3 (PSN), Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, Steam, iOS, PlayStation Now|
|Peripherals supported: Gear-to-Gear Cable|
|Number of players: 1-2|
Streets of Rage 2, known as Bare Knuckle II: Shitou e no Requiem (ベア・ナックルII 死闘への鎮魂歌 lit. Bare Knuckle II: Requiem to the Deadly Struggle) in Japan and Streets of Rage II in Europe, is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up game for the Sega Mega Drive, released in 1992 as a sequel to Streets of Rage.
One year after the events of Streets of Rage, the game's former protagonists Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, and Blaze Fielding go to a nightspot and reminisce over their defeat of Mr. X. The following day Axel gets a call from Eddie "Skate" Hunter, Adam's younger brother, telling him that he returned to the brothers' house to find it in shambles, with a picture of Adam chained to a wall next to Mr. X left behind. Axel, Blaze, Skate and their friend Max embark on a mission to rescue their friend, traversing through the city once again overrun by Mr. X's criminal gang.
|“||One year after the battle...
The city that had been plagued with crime and violence was safe and peaceful.
However, evil has once again cast its shadow over the city.
Mr. X, the Syndicate boss believed destroyed by the three young vigilantes, has come back to life stronger than ever.
Thirsty for revenge, he kidnaps Adam in an attempt to lure Axel and Blaze into a trap!
Axel and Blaze set out to help their companion, joined by Axel's friend Max, a wrestler, and Adam's kid brother, Skate. They're determined to save Adam and put Mr. X out of action!
Four young friends, rage burning inside them, make a stand for friendship and peace...
— Opening sequence
For the most part, Streets of Rage 2 remains largely unchanged from its predecessor in terms of gameplay, however makes several important additions which would become staples in the series.
Rather than all characters sharing the same special move to defeat all on-screen enemies, each character is given their own unique blitz attack, which allows the player to deal great damage with a single hit. Also included are 'breakout' moves that allow them to break out of holds, which can in turn damage enemies both in front of and behind them. The amount of times that blitz and breakout attacks can be used is limited, as each decreases the player's life gauge (the latter only if the move connects, the former always). In addition, each character has a unique move (e.g. Axel's Grand Upper, noted above) that causes substantial damage without depleting their energy.
The most notable change between Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 are the aesthetics - Streets of Rage 2 uses bigger sprites and backgrounds, which in turn leads to greater combat accuracy (at the expense of screen estate). Characters are all individually named and there are more special effects.
|Like the previous game, Axel is the middle-of-the-road character, and is considered the best choice for beginners due to his all-round stats. His blitz attack is the Grand Upper, which is arguably the most useful and effective move of the game due to its high damage but relatively fast execution, which make it effective against bosses and enemies with a "breakout" special move. He has average movement speed and agility.|
|Blaze is the faster option, although the game hides this from the user with its "star" system for measuring stats (which in reality isn't tied to the actual programmed stats). This comes at the expense of dealing less damage to enemies with some of her moves.|
|Eddie "Skate" Hunter/Sammy Hunter|
|Skate, known as Sammy in Japan (a reference to the Sega-published DJ Boy, originally by Sammy) is the lightest and most agile character, the weakest in terms of combo damage, but the second strongest in terms of grappling. Skate is the only character capable of sprinting, thanks to the rollerskates after which he is named, which can allow him to escape many attacks which the other characters would not be able to avoid.|
|Max is the "powerhouse" of the game possessing great strength at the expense of slow movement speed and, like Adam in the previous game, he is only present in the Mega Drive version. This puts him at a disadvantage with speedier enemies.|
|Galsia is a common street punk, known from Streets of Rage, with improved yet similar sprites. He is very weak, has low health and does not have special attacks. Like in the previous game, he appears sometimes wielding a knife, performing the same attacks.|
|Donovan is a skinhead thug characterized by sunglasses. He has a special uppercut that is used, occasionally, to counter players' flying kicks. Sometimes he appears wielding pipes, and he can also grab them on the ground.|
|Another enemy known from Streets of Rage, characterized by the mohawk, with the sprites completely remade. He is quite slow, but has the abilities of throwing the players and a sliding attack that can knock them down. His variations, except for Axi and Mavin, are named after the color of the jacket. Y. Signal wears a yellow jacket, for example.|
|Members of the Biker Gang wear a full helmet and, sometimes, appear riding motorcycles. They have a special punch which knocks you down, and they can also grab you from behind. The name variations are related to weather conditions, such as Fog, Storm and Typhoon.|
|Hanzo enemies usually come wielding either a Katana or a Kunai, which can deal a lot of damage and knock you down, at the same time. They move quite fast, have a sidestep technique to dodge your attacks, can throw Shurikens midair while jumping, can perform flying kicks to knock you down and have the ability of throwing you away.|
|Based on Haku-Oh from Streets of Rage, their sprites are completely different. They have powerful flying kicks, can perform upward kicks to counter players' attacks and have a very strong palm strike, similar to one of Blaze's special moves, which will throw you away and knock you down.|
|Jack is another character re-used from the first game, but this time he looks like a punk instead of a clown and has grown more muscles. He throws knives when you stand still far from him and uses them for slashing when you get close. He has a infinite supply of knives and can do moderate damage, but is quite easy to kill. The name variations (Jack, Beano and Soya) come from Japanese bean snacks sold at the time.|
|Electra, known as Nora in Streets of Rage, and all of her variations, always come at you armed with a electric whip. She is the only female enemy found in the game, who first appears as a miniboss on the first round, just before Barbon leave his bartender position to fight you. Besides the whip, she can perform a flying kick which knocks you down.|
|Big Ben is a fat guy based on Bongo from Streets of Rage. He has been demoted to miniboss and highly weakened in Streets of Rage 2. He runs diagonally breathing fire like before, but it happens less frequently and can now be thrown away without the player getting smashed by his weight. Big Ben does a face-slapping sequence if you get close enough and can perform a body press if you get distracted.|
|The kickboxer first appears in Round 5 and have powerful kicks. The name variations are all after birds, such as Eagle and Raven. This enemy isn't present in the Game Gear version.|
|Vehelits is a miniboss found at an area of Amusement Park (Round 3), which is known as "Alien House". It moves the head from side to side and knocks you down if you get hit, but it does not have any special attack being quite easy to defeat.|
|Barbon is the boss of Round 1.|
|Jet is the boss of Round 2.|
|Zamza is the boss of Round 3.|
|Abadede is the boss of Round 4.|
|R. Bear is the boss of Round 5.|
|Soother and Stealth|
|Soother and Stealth are the bosses of Round 6. Soother is a variation of the boss of Round 3, Zamza, and Stealth is a variation of the boss of Round 2, Jet. Stealth is there just to annoy you, while Soother is the actual target.|
|Particle and Molecule|
|Round 7 bosses. Particle (right) and Molecule (left).|
|Shiva is the penultimate boss, found in Round 8, just before the final boss.|
|Mr. X, believed killed on the previous game, is again the final boss.|
|Round 1 - Downtown|
|Round 2 - Bridge Construction|
|Round 3 - Amusement Park|
|Round 4 - Stadium|
|Round 5 - Ship|
|Round 6 - Jungle|
|Round 7 - Munitions Plant|
|Round 8 - Syndicate Stronghold|
Japanese television advertisements featured Reina Hazuzi as Blaze Fielding.
In Europe, the Mega Drive Streets of Rage 2 was released at around the period where Sega switched from the classic "black grid" design of its Mega Drive boxes to the "blue" style of 1993 onwards. Later prints of the cartridge label use this newer style (with the "Mega Drive" text printed vertically rather than horizontally) - it is not thought the box or instruction manual were changed at any point.
The direct sequel, Streets of Rage 3, borrows heavily from Streets of Rage 2.
Streets of Rage 2 has been included on numerous compilations of Mega Drive games and was brought to the Mega Play arcade system. It is also available on the Wii Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Steam and iOS. The iOS version was removed from sale on iTunes in 2015.
The Xbox Live Arcade version sold 184,555 downloads, as of 2011.
Sonic the Comic included few "Streets of Rage" comics strips, which seem to be heavily based off Streets of Rage 2. Curiously, Max Thunder has replaced Adam Hunter role as one of the people who left the police force. Adam Hunter isn't seen anwyhere. The story arcs are: "Streets of Rage" (Issue #7 to issue #12), "Skate's Story" (#25 to #30) and "The Only Game in Town" (#41 to #46). The special issue Sonic the Poster Mag 7 had one-part story called "Facts of Life".
A prototype of Bare Knuckle II is was leaked onto the internet, with the dump being very different from the final, and only Round 1 being playable. The prototype lacks sound effects, and the scrapped music track "Walking Bottom" is played throughout. The player cannot pick up weapons, even if they are within range. Max has a different sprite set, and can vault enemies, which means he cannot perform his Atomic power throw.
Varying levels of censorship were included for western releases of the game. In the North American version, the cigar smoked by Mr. X in round 8 is removed, as is the ability to see up Blaze's skirt when she performs certain moves. The European version has the upskirt animations, but no cigar. There are minor name changes across characters also.
Streets of Rage 2 was one of the first Mega Drive titles to be region locked, however data is largely consistent between the two versions (i.e. there are two title screens, just one is disabled). If one changes the region in an emulator, elements of the game may change, and if physical cartridge sizes were not an issue, the European and Japanese versions of the game would be interchangeable (although at the correct speed, as the PAL version runs in unoptimised 50Hz) and vice versa.
Streets of Rage 2's soundtrack was composed by Yuzo Koshiro (known for his work on the first Streets of Rage and The Revenge of Shinobi) and Motohiro Kawashima. This soundtrack is considered by some to be the best of the series, and the printed album is by far the easiest of the series' printed releases to find since there was a US release as well as a Japanese one.
US TV Advert
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Mega Drive, AU|
|Sega Retro Average|
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|Sega Retro Average|
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|Sega Retro Average|
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|Sega Retro Average|
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|Games in the Streets of Rage Series|
|Streets of Rage (1991) | Streets of Rage 2 (1992) | Streets of Rage 3 (1994)|
|Streets of Rage (1992) | Streets of Rage 2 (1993)|
|Streets of Rage (1993) | Streets of Rage II (1994)|
|Streets of Rage (1993)|
|Streets of Rage 2 (2007) | Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage (2012)|
|Bare Knuckle Mobile (2010)|
|Streets of Rage 2 (2011)|
|3D Streets of Rage (2013) | 3D Streets of Rage 2 (2015)|
|Fighting Force (unreleased) | Streets of Rage 4 (unreleased)|
|Bare Knuckle (1991) | Streets of Rage 2 Original Soundtrack (1993/2000) | Bare Knuckle III (1994) | Bare Knuckle Original Soundtrack (2012) | Streets of Rage (2015) | Streets of Rage 2 (2016)|
|Streets of Rage: Bad City Fighters (1994)|