Streets of Rage II hits iPhone at last! But it's not all good news...

Ah, it makes sense now. Perhaps the reason Sega was so quick to fire a 'cease and desist' at this rather awesome (but inarguably copyright-infringing) fan game was because Streets of Rage II is released on iDevices today. It's been a loooong time coming so its arrival is immensely welcome. So welcome in fact, I immediately parted with £1.79 for the privilege of playing one of the best side-scrolling beat-em-ups ever made on my iPhone. But there's something not quite right... 

Before we get to the problems, let me tell you why you should care. Streets of Rage 3 may be the collectors' favourite due to its limited print run (in the UK at least), but Streets of Rage II is definitely the best game in the series. It's a side-scrolling beat-em-up where you make your way from left to right, KO-ing thugs, eating roast chickens in one bite and generally being badass. You can even play it in co-op with a mate. The sprites are big and detailed, clearly better-drawn than those in the original Streets of Rage (already available on iPhone) and the music is superb. But that's where the problem comes in.

Above: Streets of Rage II, running on my phone. Not running perfectly, but still a wonderful moment

While it looks the same on iPhone, that unforgettable audio track isn't quite right. It's all there, but there's horrible distortion on the music. That may not sound like it matters too much, but Yuzo Koshiro's masterful example of 16-bit MIDI composition is one of the reasons people hold the game in such high esteem, but here it sounds like it's had its volume boosted too loud. Those unforgettable melodies are horribly fuzzy and the bass drum could easily have been put through ZZ Top's favourite fuzz box. Through headphones or speakers, it's the same story. There is a volume slider in the options which isn't just the iPhone's own volume level... but this doesn't affect the distortion even slightly. Boo!

On a lesser note, my 3GS also seems to be slowing down somewhat as the game plays, even when there are only a couple of characters on the screen. It isn't game-breaking, but not quite what I'd hoped for - especially when other Mega Drive emulations run just fine on the same handset. It's bound to run differently on the various iDevices, like the Sonic games, for instance, but a little more optimisation would be appreciated.

Above: TalkRadar UK listeners will know Skate is definitely Nathan's all-time favourite games character

Fortunately, iPhone games can be patched relatively easily and I'm sure Sega will be quick to rectify these problems, which shouldn't be too hard to do. In the mean-time, it's still worth playing at this price... even if you do have to turn the music off to stop the screen getting obscured by tears. Hey, at least it's out at last - it can only get better from here.

14 April, 2011 



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  • karyuudo - April 15, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    @Joeey Thank you for being one of the few people here that actually knows what's going on. @Sinosaur & @nevermore: SEGA knew what these guys were doing when they started this. They've known for 8 years!!! Bombergames got a letter from SEGA getting their blessing and now SEGA turns around and tells them to C&D. Honestly, SEGA has lost touch with their fans. They don't deserve my money anymore - especially after so many poor games as of late. They need a lesson to appreciate what fans can bring to the franchise. If I was Sega right now, I would have sent Bombergames a letter asking them to work out a contract to distribute this thing for $$$. These guys deserve it.
  • XLGirthMan - April 14, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    @db1331 You're easily my favorite person on Gamesradar
  • Joeey - April 14, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    Bomber games contacted SEGA when they first started SoR Remake and SEGA gave them the green light. They knew what was going on the whole time.
  • bilstar - April 14, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    So... Sonic blows even when they try to make a game similar to the brilliant ones they've already made in the past, the DC collection managed to make poor games out of good ones, the Yakuza franchise (about the only decent thing this crippled icon of gaming past has to peddle) takes about a year to release outside of Japan, Monkey Ball is a broken shell of it's once tight form, some fans spend aaaages tarting up one of it's best games only for Sega to stamp on it. What the hell do they think they're doing?!! Have their headquarters been taken over by blind, senile monkeys who hate games anyway!? Jesus Sega, for the love of God and all that's holy, pack the game in, or sort it out. It shouldn't be like this, it upsets me. You suck. Hard. All the time.
  • Zeokroe - April 14, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    @db1331 I sense sarcasm
  • db1331 - April 14, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    If you are playing a game on a phone, I wouldn't nitpick too much. Especially about the audio. Never mind the already tiny screen even more obscured by your fingers and greasy prints, or the even worse than waggle-touch screen controls, the sound is a real deal-breaker for me.
  • Xifihas - April 14, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    @Sinosaur Sega making a deal with Bomber Games and releasing the remake on Steam would be the sensible thing to do, which is precisely why Sega will never do it.
  • nevermore - April 14, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    @karyuudo so by your theory if someone creates something and owns the rights to it we shouldnt buy it because someone else who doesnt own the rights has re-created it for free? that is illegal. if you want something,you pay for it.
  • Sinosaur - April 14, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    @karyuudo The guys who made the Streets of Rage remake don't even remotely have the law on their side in this situation. Sure it was a really cool thing, but they sure as heck don't have any right to Streets of Rage; Sega does and they clearly have an interest in protecting their property. Personally, though, I think it might have been a good idea for Sega to do some sort of deal with the guys who made the remake and put it out on Steam or something for a fair price, then everyone could be happy. Probably.
  • genequagmire - April 14, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    I was once in a tournament for this game. How ridiculous, huh?
  • karyuudo - April 14, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Do not support SEGA on this game please. Boycott it. The guys who deserve Streets of Rage Remake deserve to have their game freely available on the net as it's vastly superior to this crap that SEGA put out.

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