Streets of Rage 2 (known in Japan as Bare Knuckle II: Shitō he no Chinkonka (ベア・ナックルII 死闘への鎮魂歌, lit. "Bare Knuckle II: The Requiem of the Deadly Battle") exploded onto the Genesis/Megadrive in late 1992 and was quickly hailed as an absolute classic. The game used Sega's new 16-meg cartridge (double the size of the original game) and was intended to be their answer to the SNES version of Final Fight.

Anyone who played the game quickly saw where that extra memory went. Gone were the tiny sprites and grainy backdrops of the original. Now the graphics were huge, highly detailed, well-animated and easily of arcade quality. This showcased what the Genesis/Megadrive was capable of and showed that it was still a serious rival to the technologically superior SNES.

The character roster expanded to 4, with 2 new characters; Max and Skate. All the characters had a large selection of individual moves and were now quite different to play. New special moves replaced the old rocket special attack and led to much smoother gameplay as players could now fight their way out of a situation without wasting a special attack. Wisely, the new special attacks cost energy, so players could not just walk through the game using them.

As well as more characters to choose from the number of enemies pitted against the heroes increased also. New, more interesting enemies with special attacks of their own were added alongside the old ones to create some formidable opposition. New weaponry was introduced to liven things up further. The 8 levels were much longer, more ambitious and with multiple scenes.

A 2-player Duel feature was also introduced, which allowed players to just fight each other one-on-one in a Streetfighter-style best of 3 battle. This was a feature that Sega had included with similar Genesis/Megadrive side-scrolling games such as Golden Axe and Alien Storm. Although it wasn't particularly fun to play, it was an interesting addition none the less.

Streets of Rage 2 is a perfect sequel. Usually videogame sequels, like with movie sequels, are rehashes of the original. Not so with Streets of Rage 2. Everything from the original is improved and expanded to create one of the best games of the 16-bit era.


Original Release Dates:

USA - 12/20/92
EUR - 09/27/93
JAP - 01/13/93


CERO: All Ages (A) (Sonic Gems Collection)
Ages 12 and up (B) (Virtual Console)
PEGI: 7+ (Virtual Console)

Production Credits:

Mega Drive Version

Game Design

      Main Planning: Cadmix
      Planning: Talk Uchimura (Shout! Ow), Ayano Koshiro (Ancient), Mikito Ichikawa (MNM)
      System Design: Talk Uchimura (Shout! Ow)


      Main Program: Akitoshi Kawano (Shout! Ow)
      Main Enemy Program: Yukio Takahashi (Ancient)
      Enemy and Demo Program: Tatsuya Sato (HIC), Djinni (HIC), Noritaka Yakita (HIC)


      Music Composition: Yuzo Koshiro, Motohiro Kawashima
      Sound Effect: Yuzo Koshiro
      Sound Driver: Takeshi Maruyama (MNM)


      Project Management: Wanta


      Obj Design: Ayano Koshiro (Ancient), Hitoshi Ariga, Tomoharu Saitoh, Anything, Pochi
      Main Design: Ayano Koshiro (Ancient)
      B.G. Design: Koji Utsunomiya (Shout! Ow), Tsurugi Oda (Shout! Ow), Akishi Imai (Shout! Ow), Kouhei Ichikawa, Satoshi Nakai, Koichiro Kobayashi, Seishi Atsumiya, Ayano Koshiro (Ancient)

Special Thanks

      Team Streets of Rage, Zozo, Todo, Y.K.K, Hassy, Kyoten

Game Gear Version

Game Design

      Planning: Monty, Show, Mud


      Main Programming: Mud
      Demo Programming: Kozo


      Music Composition: Yuzo Koshiro
      Sound Effects: Yuzo Koshiro
      Sound Driver: Mikito Ichikawa


      Obj Design: Python
      BG Design: Show, Wozl

Special Thanks to

      Ancient, Team S.O.R., B.T.R., C.O.M., Abadede Jr.

  • The game was known as Bare Knuckle II in Japan. Check out the arcade in Round 3 - there are Bare Knuckle arcade machines and posters on the wall for "BK2". Also notice the adverts in the Round 4 stadium for "Bare 2".

  • The tattered photo in the intro is of course from the ending of Streets of Rage 1.

  • Have a listen to the sound test in Options for some interesting background musics. BGM 01 is a more techno-like remix of the Round 1 music and is not used in the game. The same goes for BGM 03 which is a slower remix of the Barbon's bar music. BGM 09 is a cool tune not used at all in the game.

  • Yuzo Koshiro himself recorded the voices for all the characters in the game - Axel, Max, Skate and Blaze. To do the voice work for Blaze all he did was shout with a high-toned voice and then they changed the pitch up! (Thanks to Yuzo himself for sharing this)

  • The waves on the beach in Round 6 crash backwards - thanks to Anton Berglin for spotting that.

  • Ever noticed the two Big Ben-type punks named Talk and Wanter? Take a look at the ending credits to see that Talk (Uchimura) and Wanter are both persons who made the game, although the latter is nicknamed Wanta in the ending credits (in SOR3's credits he's called Wanter). Thanks to Anton Berglin for this.

  • There's a sign before the Round 4 Stadium that says "It's like Boo!". TurboKiller's theory on this is that it has something to with Dragonball Z - check out the pic of Fat Boo and Big Ben from the stadium for a weird similarity.


  • Timo Takalo's theory is that the Big Ben type enemies in SOR 2 & 3 named Heart are probably a reference to the popular manga Fist of the North Star (Hokuto No Ken in Japan), which featured an extremely overweight martial artist also called Heart. Check out a pic of FotNS Heart from the SNES game Hokuto No Ken 6.


  • The GG version of Streets of Rage 1 features a programmer called Abadede in the credits - obviously Abedede, the wrestler boss in SOR2, was named after this person.

  • Take a close look at the high score table. Are Y.K & A.K (playing Max & Blaze) Yuzo and Ayano Koshiro? Cheers to Anton Berglin for this.

  • In the European (PAL) version of Streets of Rage 2, the "2" on the title screen Streets of Rage logo is spelt as "II", but in the US version it's just a "2". This also applies to the logo on the box art for the different versions. Thanks to R. B. for this.
  • There was some official box art produced for the European (PAL) version of SOR2 which went unused in the final packaging for the game. Check out this rare artwork featuring the infamously "ugly" Bald Max and denim-wearing Blaze, courtesy of Eidolon:

  • In 2012, Sega commissioned Jane Evelyn Nisperos, aka Chibi-Tech, to produce all-new SOR chiptune music to accompany the menu screens in their "Sega Vintage Collection" for Xbox Live Arcade. You can download her Streets of Rage 2 offering in MP3 format here.



  • Check out the similarity here between Blaze and April O'Neil (from the game 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters'). They both wear red miniskirts, a red top, and red boots. Even their hair color and stance is virtually the same. Thanks to Luis Arguello for this.


  • The girl who starred as Blaze Fielding in the Japanese TV commercial for Bare Knuckle II was also featured in a photo shoot in a 1993 issue of 'Hippon Super' magazine in Japan. Her name is Reina Hazuki [Thanks to Aoshi102]:



  • The 1994 Sega Game Gear version of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (from Virgin Interactive) contains a large number of characters whose sprites appear to have been directly inspired/adapted/lifted from Streets of Rage 2. Check out this screenshot compilation and see for yourself. Thanks to George Parker who spotted this.


















Mean Machines Sega Review - View PDF scan


comments powered by Disqus