Since it's a portable system, when you pull out your Game Gear while waiting for a flight to arrive, or your dinner to show up, the last thing you want to do is sit through people talking or endless cut scenes. You want action right now, right away, and in that regard, Streets of Rage 2 delivers.
It's a very successful port of the popular Genesis game, and mere seconds after you turn it on, your walking down the streets beating the snot out of the people you meet. It's simple, almost too simple, but that's part of what makes it ideal for the portable platform. After you finally do beat the game with your favourite character, there are two more characters for you to choose from and go back through with. Don't forget that in old games like this you can still go back and just try to beat your old score, too.
Streets of Rage 2 doesn't really compare to fighting games of today, but it really reminded me of the good old days of playing Double Dragon, a game that needs no introduction. I walk around beating people up, picking pipes and knives to help me out and that's that.
Part of the beauty is the fact that it's a two-player game, as well. So if you're lucky enough to know someone else with a Game Gear and a link cable, you're all set ...
All in all it's a fine game for simplicity and nostalgic purposes if nothing else, but it compares poorly by today's standards, and if you get too attached to the game, you'd better be willing to either find an adapter so you can play at home, or be willing to fork out tons of cash to keep batteries in a system that goes through six at a time like they were oxygen.