[Editor's Note: This is a review of a game not officially released on the Sega Dreamcast. The build reviewed is a homebrew application that was created by fans well after Sega decided to drop the Dreamcast from production. If you have any questions about the game's availability or creation I recommend you visit Beats of Rage Vol 2's web site. Sega did not endorse this product for use with the Dreamcast.]
I've been a fan of the thriving Dreamcast Homebrew scene for some time now; more or less since I first figured out how to burn these bad boys onto a disc. While many of these games show potential for what the average gamer with programming abilities could achieve, few create fully playable games. I stayed away from the Beats of Rage games; basically because I thought they were, again, demos using familiar characters. How wrong I was!
Essentially, Beats of Rage games are created using either the Beats of Rage mod, created by Team Senile, or a newer BOR open mod. The mod allows you to import character models, background images, and even music from existing games and create brand new side-scrolling beat em up spectaculars, limited only by one's level of determination. I give this compilation, as a whole, a 90%, as it is a fine collection of some of the very best BOR games available today. This collection does include eight full games and one demo, which vary greatly in terms of look, feel, and overall fun factor.
While each game uses the same engine, the overall experience found in each game differs dramatically. The collection includes Beats of Rage Xtra, Beats of Rage Remixed, Hyper Final Fight 1 and 2, Hatchet Ninjaz, Dragons of Rage, Alien Versus Predator: Aftermath,
Double Dragon Extreme, and Rage of the Streets. The graphics alone do not determine whether or not the game in question is at all fun to play either. While I found Hatchet Ninjaz to have some of the best-looking characters and animations, the storyline devised in completely void of competence, interest, and anything considered a grasp of the English language. The game was created by a fan of Insane Clown Posse, which should say everything in itself. Another game, Dragons of Rage, features the most crisp level design and character animation, probably better than Hatchet Ninjaz, but the overall difficulty is ridiculous!
Some of the shining moments in this compellation are to be found, in my humble yet final opinion, in Alien versus Predator: Aftermath, and Double Dragon Extreme. Alien versus Predator features large, excellent character models, a never-ending supply of aliens to destroy, and a perfectly fitting musical score. As far as Double Dragon Extreme is concerned- come on, it's Double Dragon! This "remake" features the original games, with the option of either the arcade or the original NES music, as well as a difference between character models and sprite count. Quite an outstanding collection by itself!
If you own a Dreamcast, and have a working knowledge of burning either Disc Juggler or Nero images, you absolutely must obtain a copy of this disc. A wonderful old-school experience with a brand new flair, there is something for everyone here. Head on over to DCevolution right now, and get a burnin'!