Move over Final Fight...
Streets of Rage is a side-scrolling, fighting platform game. Its very similar to Final Fight. However, unlike Final Fight for the SNES, Streets of Rage 2 is actually two player. Final Fight had an SNES sequal that was also two player, but I found that game to be more repetitive and flat than Streets of Rage 1 or 2.
There are also more techniques and combos in Streets of Rage 2 than in Final Fight and the game is longer, the backgrounds more diverse, and the enemies more varied. Its a great improvement over the original Streets of Rage also.
Graphically, it is about as nice looking as Final Fight for the SNES, and better looking than Final Fight for the Sega CD. Its not as nice looking as the Final Fight arcade game (which I still like better), but it easily beats any other Double Dragon styled fighting game on any home system from 1992 until 2000.
The adult black character, Adam, did not return in this installment and he was my favorite character in the original. He was replaced by his annoying kid brother and a pro-wrestler pumped up on steroids. I really could do without these two new additions. I liked to play Adam. However, they did give Adam's moves to Axl.
Streets of Rage 2 is followed by an inferior sequel, Streets of Rage 3, which was still pretty good (and still lacked Adam). I would like to have seen a sequel given the full 32-bit treatment on the Saturn or the Dreamcast but that would have been intelligent and profitable which was against Sega's business policies.
The Bottom Line
Wonderful fighting game. It shows what the system was really capable of doing amid all of the crap titles that Sega's third party support was producing (Awesome Possum, etc).
I'd recommend Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 3, and Double Dragon for the Genesis. Golden Axe is also similar in some ways.