One of the very first games I completed for the first time was Streets of Rage on Sega Megadrive, a title held close to my heart and a genre defining arcade beat-em up. Taking heaps of inspiration from this is MakinGames’ Raging Justice – a modern take on the 2D scrolling brawler that showcasds the classic genre kicking and screaming elements.
The story is simple with Big Smoke City held to ransom by a mysterious crime lord, in which you play as one of three characters: Nikki Rage, Rick Justice or Ashley King – who fight to prove that no one is above the law.
With modern day visuals, this is a spiritual successor to Streets of Rage, featuring fighting words popping up on screen as you deal a fist full of damage to foes, and weapons such as blades and pipes available to pick up off the ground and wipe out enemies from the streets quickly.
The one minor change though comes in the form its ‘justice’ system, whereby you can arrest enemies once down to low health and gain additional points. It’s an interesting way to vary up gameplay and breaks up that mindset of just beating the crap out of each enemies on screen. It also boosts your final score, so if you’re going for a highscore on the leaderboards, make sure you arrest those thugs.
As you’d expect of a 2D scrolling beat ’em-up, you move across the screen while smashing waves of street thugs and the odd occasional boss. Something a fan of Streets of Rage or Golden Axe are going to be familiar with and cherish that’s for sure.
To double up on the action, you can also play co-op with a friend, which is highly recommended. Dealing double the damage with a friend couldn’t have been more entertaining and for myself, should be a neccessity in all games.
Another nice variation to Raging Justice is the addition of vehicles such as lawnmowers and tractors, in turn these help to wipe out enemies quickly and provide some extra entertainment in terms of their animations and funny kill moments. All of this at a price of £9.99, who can really complain about this passionate project.
Not only that, but the improvements include animated physics such as when you punch an enemy, you’ll see their body arch into the punch. It’s a beautifully added small detail, but equally incredibly important to the game’s positive experience.
My only concern is its replayability, as once you’ve finished the story, you really only have leaderboard scores to smash or time trials. Admittedly it is only going to appeal to a select number of fans of this genre, but it’s an excellent modern new addition to the genre nonetheless.
Raging Justice has a modernised feel, but lacks the enjoyment and excitement I felt for Streets of Rage when I used to play with my friends locally back during my childhood. Maybe it’s because it felt all too similar to Streets of Rage. Despite this, at its low price, I would still say it’s worth picking up from the store.