Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G
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Sega has a dream that someday, their entire library of Genesis games will wind up being playable on iOS. The latest game to make the jump is Streets of Rage 3, the final game in Sega's beat 'em up trilogy. This game puts players in control of returning characters Axel, Blaze, and Skate, along with new character, the android Zan, who features electrical special attacks. The goal is the same as the other Streets of Rage games - walk right, beat up enemies, avoid beating up the other player, try not to die. The story is largely irrelevant, although there are cutscenes to try and explain what is going on,as well as multiple endings available, although getting past the first couple of levels is a challenge enough as it is!
Streets of Rage 3 is deeper than the previous entries in the series, offering more attacks, new maneuvers like multi-directional dodging, and even unlockable characters. One such character, a boxing kangaroo, can be unlocked by defeating his evil trainer without killing him in level 2, for example. The power bar for special move usage expands the combat more than the first two games, as there's more to do than just mash on the B button. While this may just be my perspective, the game feels more obscure than the first two, and this was the first significant time I've gotten to spend with this game, despite being very familiar with the first two. The emulator still works well, supporting wireless multiplayer, and running at full speed on later-generation devices.
As far as the game itself goes, it is very difficult - a brisk stroll through the raging streets this is not. It will take patience and practice to keep from constantly dying even early on in the game. As far as the iOS side of the game goes, I will keep hounding on this, but these emulators need iPad support for two reasons. First, having the larger device size would make it easier to use the d-pad, which is decent, although double-taps for dashing and rolling are difficult to pull off. Second, there are definite possibilities for single device multiplayer - have mirrored screens with controls on each side for 2 player play on one device.
Streets of Rage 3 is absurdly challenging, and maybe not quite as classic as the first two games, but this is still an entertaining beat 'em up, and is plenty of fun in wireless multiplayer as well. While virtual d-pad tolerance is necessary as well, this is a solid 90's throwback that may even be new to some people.