Street of Rage is the one old-school beat em up you may not miss even though its the weakest the franchise when it comes in minimalistic game play mechanic and the game was the early of selling product in Sega Genesis console which there were many beat em ups spawned in home console era. I was the one who saw how this game popular around my neighborhood back in mid 90s, back in the day there is no save button and how one game made people to keep playing without finishing the final boss because the difficulty of game itself its ridiculously hard and difficult.
I re-played and bought the game in Sega Mega Drive collection on my PC, considering Sega gives their player base with emulation version, the emulation version is the saving grace how I can finally played and finished the game till the end. In the emulation version, save state and re-wind button is my savior to beat the game with many trials and error.
The story is simply about three fighter that player can choose with different basic stats where there are 8 levels to beat in facing thugs and bosses that took over the city. The control has three only button, remember when I mention this installment is the weakest and probably worst version, its because you can only jump, attack and doing special move (where you call a car that shoot missile in the area) once without any dodging button or slide away from attacking enemy instantly,
The control is really stiff and literally you are controlling a tank here, dodging enemy is kind of impossible and enemy always find the spot how to punch you mercilessly, even the boss consume half of your life bar once they touch you. Glad there is rewind button in this version so the game becomes a turn-based strategy for me instead beat em up. Literally, players need to know what timing to punch or attack first before enemies attacking you from any direction.
There are some pick ups such health and weapon like throw-able knife or pipe that damage twice as your punch, doing aerial attack is stronger attack than punching any enemies who can counter by grappling you instantly. There are also some money to collect that adding your score which in certain point give you a life bonus and that iss a crucial to keep yourself from dying in the stage because each boss in any stage literally can insta-kill players with their own move, some are really difficult to counter and some are easy to beat if players how to pick a spot in the area.
One thing I observe in each level, the more you progress you are basically facing with same enemies but with different color, the enemies are basically have double and triple life for the next level, but if you know handle each of their own it would not be a problem.
I think the music is the most awesome thing to listen, its techno music that surpasses the possibility of the console. Also, the music is considered for something that is ahead of its time. And that makes me adding one points for this game. I always coming back to listen the ost on Youtube because personally I think its one of electronic music that covers in video game that has been made particularly.
So, if you like playing really difficult old-school beat em up game while adoring the music, Street of Rage is what you can get. As for my recommendation, play with emulation and use rewind and save state as many as possible, its not cheating because the game cheats with you.
Side Note : Played as Adam and finished the game in one sitting (1 hours) with frustrating trial and error beating each boss.