Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris - PS4 Review

A welcome return to action for Lara Croft

Bladestorm: Nightmare - PS4 Review

An unusual mix of strategy and Warriors games, Bladestorm works more often than not

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea Review

We readily dive in head-first on this JRPG series

Dragon Ball Xenoverse - PS3 Review

An interesting take on a well-established anime universe

Evolve - PS4 Review

A good idea and solid execution, but lacking in content (unless you want to download it later)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Streets of Rage 2 - Retro Reflections

This could fall under a Retro Reflection or a PlayStation Network Review, but I really did not want to break this down into a series of score points.  One of the titles I got to play while using PlayStation Plus was Streets of Rage 2 on the PSN.

This was a classic beat 'em up game from Sega that I played over and over again on my Sega Genesis.  I actually played Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3 back then - but 2 for some reason was always my favorite of the trilogy.  By today's standards, it can be a bit slow and sometimes the fighting is a bit 'cheap' - but it is still a good throwback to the older days of gaming for those of us who recall Final Fight, Golden Axe, Double Dragon and Streets of Rage so fondly.

The premise is pretty simple - you walk from one side of the screen to the other, causing it to scroll in your direction as you take on wave after wave of street thugs.  Each level culminates in some sort of a boss battle that is equal parts amusing and frustratingly cheap.  Along the way you will pick up a variety of items like food, money and weapons stored in random barrels, benches and more from the environment around you.

You can play the game with a friend, which I recall doing repeatedly when I was younger and it is still fun today.  There is an online versus mode as well that does not hold up nearly as well, for a variety of reasons.  One, the fighting mechanics are really shallow - Street Fighter IV this is not.  Additionally, it seemed like the connections were flaky at best a lot of times.  If I can run around environments like Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 and suffer no lag, then it seems baffling to me that a game like this would consistently have trouble keeping up during a single isolated fight.

Beyond that, it seemed like every time I was about to win, my opponent would disconnect with no fear of tangible penalty that I could detect.  Anyway, not a big deal as the majority of my time spent playing was just trucking through the actual story mode on my own.  I beat it two or three times over the span of a few days, and it definitely provided me with a nice dose of nostalgia along the way.