Is it just me or is Streets of Rage 2 really easy?

Thanks to the "Beats of Rage" quest I felt like playing SOR 2 again. It's the only game in the series I ever played as a kid and even then only a couple of times at a friend's place. Anyway, I turn on my emulator of choice, set the game to Easy, figuring I don't feel like dying over and over again, and finish the game without using a single continue. In fact I had 9 lives by stage 6 and only died about 4 or 5 times during the whole playthrough. 
 
What the hell? So I switch to Normal and again the game's dead easy for the first 4 or so stages. And even though I did have to use 2 continues in the end it still felt really easy compared to something like Final Fight or any of the coin munchers I played in arcades. I must have really sucked as a kid because I don't remember this game being as easy as it turned out to be. I thought the reason might be that it only came out on home consoles so they balanced it differently but looking at the game's page there was an arcade version. I doubt I have gotten much better since I bruteforced my way through all those Capcom and Konami beat 'em ups back in the day but who knows. I guess I should play through Final Fight (or rather Final Fight Guy, I don't really like Cody).
 
Also, does anybody know what beat 'em up had the gay dudes and dogs that humped you to death in it? Now that one was hard. I remember pumping something like 40 tokens into the machine before finishing it.

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Posted by paulunga

Thanks to the "Beats of Rage" quest I felt like playing SOR 2 again. It's the only game in the series I ever played as a kid and even then only a couple of times at a friend's place. Anyway, I turn on my emulator of choice, set the game to Easy, figuring I don't feel like dying over and over again, and finish the game without using a single continue. In fact I had 9 lives by stage 6 and only died about 4 or 5 times during the whole playthrough. 
 
What the hell? So I switch to Normal and again the game's dead easy for the first 4 or so stages. And even though I did have to use 2 continues in the end it still felt really easy compared to something like Final Fight or any of the coin munchers I played in arcades. I must have really sucked as a kid because I don't remember this game being as easy as it turned out to be. I thought the reason might be that it only came out on home consoles so they balanced it differently but looking at the game's page there was an arcade version. I doubt I have gotten much better since I bruteforced my way through all those Capcom and Konami beat 'em ups back in the day but who knows. I guess I should play through Final Fight (or rather Final Fight Guy, I don't really like Cody).
 
Also, does anybody know what beat 'em up had the gay dudes and dogs that humped you to death in it? Now that one was hard. I remember pumping something like 40 tokens into the machine before finishing it.

Posted by riffingt0n

This is probably a very late reply for an old blog, but I think the thing to remember about SoR2 is that it was never a 'quarter muncher' because it was designed for home console gamers.  In Final Fight you were supposed  to have to continue because they wanted you to pound quarters into the thing.
 
Honestly I felt that SoR was less 'cheap' as a result of this design decision.  Skilled play could take you further.