While originally announced by Sega back in April, the 3D port of Streets of Rage 2 has yet to make it out of Japan. It would appear that the wait is over, however, as a recent Nintendo 3DS eShop update reveals July 16 as the North American release date.
For those of you deprived of a fulfilling childhood, Streets of Rage was a highly successful side-scrolling beam ’em up game series exclusively for the Sega Genesis. The games follow former police detectives Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding in their fight against Mr. X and the mysterious Syndicate.
It was kind of a big deal that Blaze was playable back in a time when active female characters were hard to come by. While she started off faster and physically weaker than her male allies, as is stereotypical for female characters, Blaze came back in Streets of Rage 2 with more balanced stats, becoming an all-around fighter and being generally regarded as the most powerful playable option by the time Streets of Rage 3 rolled around.
3D Streets of Rage 2 is the latest in the Sega 3D Classics line, part of a larger movement that takes older games and re-releases them for the Nintendo 3DS while retaining the trademark retro graphics. Developer M2 will be following this one up with Gunstar Heroes set for a North American release in August, and then the long-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2 this September. Every game in the series will be priced at $5.99/€4.99/£4.49.