So normally for these rundown posts and the showcase streams that come before them, we play a game that I either haven't played for ages or not played at all. This week things are a little different, as the last time I played Streets of Rage 2 was earlier this year when a colleague brought their AT Games MegaDrive into the office.\n\n\n\nTherefore, I actually had a good memory of what I was getting into this week. With that in mind, the "first impressions" below are more like "latest impressions". So, let's get on with it, shall we?\n\n\n\nFirst Impressions\n\n\n\nWhen the game started up, I instantly felt a sudden rush of joy and nostalgia when the music hit my ears. The soundtrack for Streets of Rage 2 is outstanding, pumping up the adrenaline, preparing you for some of the best beat-em-up action to this day. And yes, you can probably already tell that Streets of Rage 2 is getting a positive score here.\n\n\n\n\ufeff\n\n\n\nOnce you're in the game, the control system is easy to pick up, allowing you to start feeling awesome within a few seconds as you work your way through a bunch of enemies. The backgrounds look gorgeous and the sidescrolling is smooth. The whole game is just brilliantly polished.\n\n\n\nHowever, one thing that I did notice was the database of names for the enemies is very limited. Specifically, I saw that I would fight an enemy with the same name multiple times in a row. That is, of course, an incredibly minor detail that really doesn't matter; I just thought it was amusing.\n\n\n\nAll in all, my "latest impression" of Streets of Rage 2 is that it is just as awesome as it ever was. The game is brilliant, and playing it just made me want Streets of Rage 4 even more!\n\n\n\nGameplay\n\n\n\nThe gameplay of Streets of Rage 2 is pretty simple really. I mean, it's a beat-em-up so you can't really expect huge amounts of side content and massive varieties of gameplay. However, depsite the simplicity of the game, it is highly engaging. The combat is fun and fast paced, with the easy controls meaning that the developers could add more enemies on screen without the player getting confused.\n\n\n\n\ufeff\n\n\n\nOn top of this, the weapon pick ups are a lot of fun (the pipe being my go-to weapon of choice) and the boss fights are just the right difficulty. I really don't have anything negative to say about the gameplay for Streets of Rage 2!\n\n\n\nIt is worth noting, though, that the game's difficulty level increasing progressively. That means that you need to get better at controlling the crowd, rather than just blindly attacking anyone. As well as that, some of the enemies can be a little frustrating at first, such as the flying enemies. However, they are few and (relatively) far between.\n\n\n\n\ufeff\n\n\n\nThe game also only has 8 stages, so if you're not dying too much (or using an infinite continues cheat), you'll be able to finish the game in a couple of hours with one character. From there, it's still just as fun to go back through the game with another character because of their different stats and play styles.\n\n\n\nEntertainment\n\n\n\nIn the end, I had a lot of fun playing Streets of Rage 2 this week. In fact, it was so much fun that we went through the entire game with Axel, beating the final boss on stream. That means that Streets of Rage 2 has the prestigious honour of being the very first game I played from start to finish in a single stream!\n\n\n\nThat, in and of itself, should show you just how much entertainment value the game has. There is a reason why it is so fondly remembered, and it isn't just because of rose-tinted glasses; Streets of Rage 2 remains one of the best beat-em-ups I have ever played.\n\n\n\nAnd That's All Folks\n\n\n\nIf you're looking for a good beat-em-up to play any time soon, don't settle for "good"; play Streets of Rage 2! It is an amazing game, even after all of these years. The graphics haven't really aged that much, due to the fact that they are pixel art based, rather than attempted 3D using a Mode-7 style system. The gameplay is easy to get into but incredibly fun to play, and the music is just top notch.\n\n\n\nHave you played Streets of Rage 2 (you probably have)? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!