As a kid, I remember trying to play Streets of Rage 3 and just hating it. The only thing in my memory was that you could play as a Kangaroo. Come to find out years later, there is a reason why this is such a let down compared to Streets of Rage 2… The US version is markedly different in difficulty compared to its Japanese counterpart. The version we got here in the states is nigh unplayable as it is so insanely hard that even veteran players of the series will have a difficult time beating the first stage.
Thanks to the internet, you can play the Japanese version, or even go one step beyond and download and play a fan version called the Deluxe edition, where it has the Japanese difficulty, translated cutscenes, changed costumes to reflect the original characters and even some deleted content. It truly is the only way to play this game.
The game itself in the Deluxe version is decent enough, with the same characters and bad guys but also having cut scenes and “better” graphics. The levels are decent and I really did enjoy the game a lot more with the new special meter combo system. Instead of using a one time use powerup like the first game, or having a special that takes life away, you get a meter that fills up over time, once that is full and flashes, you are able to use it, once it’s gone, you can just wait until it fills up again, adding a much needed mechanic to the game that gives you much more to do. Timing your attacks properly, avoiding enemies until the right time… it makes the game much more enjoyable.