“There are no politics to Streets of Rage 2. A syndicate wants this city for, well, reasons. It’s not even clear why. In Final Fight, Metro City mayor Mike Haggar is one of the playable characters who takes to the streets to clean them up, punching the trope of the “do-nothing” politician square in its jaw; then again, maybe that is Streets of Rage 2’s point: the heroes ignore the system of on-the-books police work to defeat corruption from the ground up. That corruption was likely brought about in the first place by inept leadership—how else does a city succumb to this scenario twice (and a third time by Streets of Rage 3)?
So let the citizens do the work. Remove the government influence. In that way, Streets of Rage 2 is deeply conservative, or rather as conservative as something this crudely violent and goofy can be. The foursome are not pandering to a droll anti-capitalist narrative, and Streets of Rage 2 is thus unprecedented. Few other games are optimistic to this degree. Further still, nothing in the genre has matched its style, look, ideas, or bravery yet. How unique a classic this is.”