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Archive for July 23rd, 2015


Fight to the Finish in 3D Streets of Rage 2 — Now Available for Nintendo 3DS

3D Streets of Rage 2


The Syndicate, led by the nefarious Mr. X has returned, and can only be stopped by the likes of Max Hunter, Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Eddie “Skate” Hunter in 3D Streets of Rage 2  for the Nintendo 3DS. 3D Streets of Rage 2, a remastering of the renowned side-scrolling beat ‘em up, is the latest title to join the growing library of SEGA 3D Classics and is now available to download for the Nintendo eShop for 3DS for $5.99. YouTube Preview Image 3D Streets of Rage 2 has been completely rebuilt to take advantage of the 3DS’ stereoscopic 3D, but remains lovingly faithful to the original game — initially released on the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis in 1992. From the stunning graphics to the musical score by renowned video game composer Yuzo Koshiro, everything has been accurately remade for the 3DS.


3D Streets of Rage 2

While painstaking detail was used to recreate the game keeping in line with the previous entries in the SEGA 3D Classics series, 3D Streets of Rage 2 received a few new creature comforts to take advantage of the 3DS. In addition to the new stereoscopic 3D environments, there’s a new Casual Mode, which kills enemies as soon as they hit the ground. Beat the game to unlock “Fists of Death Mode,” which is a one-hit-one-kill mode to keep players in the grips of white-knuckle tension. And since no beat ‘em up is complete without co-op multiplayer, the 3DS version supports local co-op. There are also different emulation settings available, including the Japanese version, various display modes, and more.

3D Streets of Rage 2

For more information about this game, check out the interviews with the developers: Part 1, Part 2.


3D Streets of Rage 2 Makes Its Way Into the SEGA 3D Classics! Interview Part 2

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D Streets of Rage 2

This is a translation of an edited version of the article located here.

Here’s Part 2 of our 3D Streets of Rage 2 article!  Remember to check out the Part 1 here.

Cracking The Code: New Modes Mean New Hardships


– Can you tell me if there are any new modes for 3D Streets of Rage 2?


YO: Compared to the first batch, we put a lot more extra content into the second one, with things like After Burner’s Arrange Mode. The five Mega Drive games from the first batch didn’t really have that much additional content, so there was a lot of talk about adding new content that was up to par with the second batch.


The first thing that came up with the Fists of Death Mode we made for Streets of Rage. I told them that we should just leave that one in as is, but Matsuoka-san, the director, pointed out to me that it wouldn’t really fit this game.


You see, Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 are fun in completely different ways. Concept-wise, Streets of Rage has the blood of Double Dragon running through it. It may look like a Final Fight style game, but the makers liked Double Dragon more, so the game style is similar to Double Dragon. Enjoying distancing the enemy, the small characters, the large stages… It all really feels like a successor to Double Dragon.


On the other hand, Streets of Rage 2 became a post-Final Fight game, where combos were really center stage. Plus there were competitive fighting game elements to it as well. If we used the Fist of Death mode like Streets of Rage, you wouldn’t have any chance to enjoy those moves anymore. It’d become a very vanilla game.


NH: You have all these moves at your disposal, but it’s all over with just a single hit. No fun.


– No chance to see a Kikou Shou or Grand Upper.


YO: Streets of Rage 2 has so many moves you can do, you know? If we’re going to be using combos, one-hit kills is just too boring. That’s where the new Casual Mode comes in. If you knock an enemy to the ground, that’s it. You can combo all you want, and then knock them down for the kill.


NH: In other words, you can show the baddies a whole move string before laying them to rest.


– Most combos end with a knockdown, after all.


NH: That’s right. So we figured that’d do. I felt like we were shooting ourselves in the foot, but hey we do what we can! (laughs)


YO: It’s more of a pain to make the enemy die when hitting the floor than when taking a single blow.


NH: But it’s just something we had to do. Without it, the Streets of Rage 2 feeling will change into something completely different… Matsuoka really worked hard. As far as the 3D is concerned, it was just “problem solved, make it happen,” but adding in new content that requires deep analyzing adds a lot of uncertainty into the project. He really did a good job.


You have to follow the code and analyze it carefully to figure out how Streets of Rage 2 handles knockdowns. It’s really tough.


– If you don’t do that you won’t be able to keep the game speedy.


NH: That’s right. Heck, if you don’t you’re not getting that feature in the first place.


– Who made the call to base it on knockdowns in the first place?


NH: It was Matsuoka who suggested we go about it that way, and then the programmer played around with the game, checking the code to see if it was even possible.


It’s as much trouble as making a new game.


NH: If you’re only talking about the code itself, you can make a completely new game with the time taken. First of all, it’s time-consuming to pinpoint the location of what we’re looking for, and even when you find it, it’s hard to use the code as the original programmer intended.


– I see. You might change the way it feels.


NH: The way it’s interpreted, perhaps? You analyze functions and make guesses about how to use them and what they return, and while you often arrive at where you need to be, sometimes they have special requirements and things get complicated.


Streets of Rage II

An all new “Rage Relay” mode lets you mix up the gameplay!


– So conversely, you can see the habits and quirks of the original programmers?  


NH: While not just limited to the SEGA 3D Remaster Project, but every programmers’ code shows his or her personality; you can tell if they were an amazing coder, or if they were a lazy one that wrote lazy code. It’s pretty obvious. And every company had their own style for things similar to what they now call preemptive multitasking. It’s really interesting to observe.


YO: Getting back to the topic at hand, Streets of Rage 2 had almost nothing but praise at the time, but one thing negative was that it was a really long game. Back then, the general trend was the longer the game, the better, but this mode should help balance that out. Casual Mode keeps the invigorating battle while allowing people to play through the game pretty quickly, similar to what Fists of Death did for the last game.


– It seems like you guys keep that consistent throughout the series. You want the player to play all the way through.  


NH: I feel that it is important to get the people who didn’t finish the game back then to pick it up and do it now.


YO: Just like the prequel, we left the stage select hidden command intact. So you can play from the final stage, but each stage has its own gimmicks and charm, and I’d like people to play from the beginning. But everything we’ve discuss up to now is par for the course compared to the first batch, so we wanted to put something extra in this time, something that feels new. So we came up with Rage Relay.


NH: This mode lets you play each character evenly across the board.


– Even with the people who played back then, I don’t think there were that many who played all characters evenly.


Streets of Rage II

And of course, you can still play in Classic mode to reproduce that nostalgic CRT feel!


YO: Of course you can select your character when you continue, but typically people just mash the button and end up playing the same character. If I started with Axel, I’d keep playing as Axel. Players also get attached to their character. Max is the strongest of the bunch, but those who stuck with Axel don’t really know that. So Rage Relay is what we came up with to have people actively play all characters.


Axel’s game style differs greatly from Max’s, so we felt this would help people recognize that. Also, at the end of the game, you see all four are standing together, even though it felt like Axel fought through the whole thing by himself. With Rage Relay, you really feel like all four characters are confronting Mr. X together. (laughs)


NH: It’s like, “We did it everyone! Together!” Maybe it won’t feel like that to someone who beats the game without dying once. (laughs) I can’t do that, though.


– Back in the day, Final Fight for the SNES was single player, but this game had coop which was really awesome for Mega Drive owners, but most us probably fought alone in one player mode anyway. I remember thinking, “Oh yeah, I can play simultaneously with a friend!” but then playing all alone by myself…


NH: Yeah, me too.


YO: The 3DS has this personal feel to it, so I’m hoping everyone gets that “fighting alongside everyone” feel from it.


– Were there any technical difficulties with getting this mode in?


NH: Code analysis again. We looked up what it was doing when calling a character, but it definitely was easier than the Casual Mode.


YO: It was full of bugs at first. It made me anxious. (laughs)


NH: No matter what the situation is, working with someone else’s programming is a tough job.


The Top Three Mega Drive Games – Looking Forward to Number 2 and 3! –

Streets of Rage II

The development team won the CEDEC Award of Excellence in Engineering 2014 and the I3DAIS Good Practice Award 2014. It’s worth mentioning that the Good Practice Award trophy is made by the same people who make the Oscar statuette. It’s much heavier than you would think. According to these two, they now know why all the winners of the Academy Awards look a bit surprised when they are handed the award.

– Now then, Streets of Rage 2 is finished, but you are developing three titles simultaneously, right?


YO: That’s right. 3D Gunstar Heroes and 3D Sonic The Hedgehog 2 are still in the works. Streets of Rage 2 was completed first because we already knew we could overcome some of the initial hurdles.


But Gunstar Heroes and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also started with the age old question of “How are we going to make these happen!?” I hope everyone is excited about how they will turn out.


NH: Are we going to make it on time? What were we even thinking?


– Well let’s get into them at a later time, shall we? So closing up, do you have a final message for the fans?


NH: Oh, I forgot to mention this, but Manabu Namiki is doing to sound work this time around. Since we are doing Streets of Rage, we brought in the big guns. Of all the 3DS ports so far, Streets of Rage 2 is the best of the best. With the stereoscopic 3D combined with the amazing music, your satisfaction is assured.


Oh, and we didn’t even get around to it, but the credits. Yes, please look forward to the credits.


YO: The credits we put into the SEGA 3D Remaster Project games as a bonus are always really well received, but we didn’t do that back in the first batch. So we have them this time around.


– I was a little worried about that, but I’m looking forward to them. Alright Okunari-san, close us out.


YO: Well, we are back. And with three of the top five games from the Mega Drive era. Now, new and improved, with 3D for the year 2015!


– Really looking forward to the next two titles. Thank you for your time today!