Release: Dec '92 Time to complete: Roughly 30 minutes
If fun in a videogame can be described as having many options, and the freedom to play in your own style, then this is the antithesis of that.
There are roughly two attacks worth using. The pipe, since it has great range - almost all enemies become trivial to deal with. If you don't have the pipe, by far your best option is the backthrow. Using any other attack is most likely to result in you being hit out of it by one of the other opponents, and then quite commonly, after you are knocked down, being hit again as you are getting up, over and over, until you lose a life. You can't even grab an opponent and then hit them - if you don't backthrow, pretty much your option is 'let go by accident' (annoyingly easy to do), which will usually get you hit by one of the other opponents, and then hit again as you are getting up, over and over, until you lose a life. It is possible to flip over the opponent and suplex them, however doing this will almost always result in you being hit afterwards by one of the other opponents, and then... you get the picture. Fortunately the backthrow seems to leave you with a lot of time afterwards to walk up to the other enemies and then grab them for a back throw. You can chain this over and over again, it's even ALMOST satisfying. This technique works against most of the enemies, and even quite a few bosses.
But it's just not really very fun. You're just doing the same throw over and over again, until you mess up or do something different for a change and then you will pay for it. And I'm not joking about the enemies hitting you as you get up, it happens a lot, and you can get bounced along the floor with, as far as I can tell, nothing you can do, if the AI deems it so.
On the plus side, there are more enemies on screen at once than the Master System version (3 as opposed to 2), and the music is about as good as you can get from the Game Gear - little wonder, since it's composed by Yuzo Koshiro.
Recommending this game is difficult. I love Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive, but both the Master System and Game Gear versions are very rough ports which don't capture the gameplay which makes the series such a favourite. The Game Gear port possibly feels less rough than the Master System version, but forces you to play even more robotically to progress. At least the Game Gear allows 2p co-op - just what you want on a handheld, and not on a home console, right? Stick to the Mega Drive version, where there is plenty of fun to be had.