The current era of video games is unmatched in creativity and technology. The current gen systems have games of all types which cater to gamers with varied tastes. As a lifelong fan of video games, I love all types of games. One genre of games that I have always had an appreciation for is the side-scrolling beat-em-up. From Double Dragon to Streets of Rage, old school brawlers were fun to play. Final Fight and River City Ransom were games that added more to the genre and made it more than just pressing two buttons.
River City Ransom had great touches that made it stand out among the many brawlers out there. The RPG elements of the game were fun with power-ups and weapons that could be upgraded. The zaniness and absurdness of the game was also another element that made the game a classic. Characters yelling BARF! as they get punched still makes me laugh. The fact that it’s available for download on the Virtual Console is great for gamers who have never played it before.
The beat-em-up genre was also easy to throw in an established property and make a game out of it. Arcade games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpson’s and X-Men all had great arcade games. Spider-Man/Venom: Maximum Carnage and Separation Anxiety were also games that were fun. While the quality of those games may not have been the greatest, they were still enjoyable to see your favorite comic book characters or cartoon characters in a fun video game.
The most recent side-scrolling beat-em-up that made me realize how much I missed the genre was Castle Crashers. The game was an instant classic with its gameplay and inventiveness. The RPG elements of the game were fun and humor in the game was hilarious. The Benemoth team are two for two in terms of side-scrolling beat-em-ups with Castle Crashers and Alien Hominid. These two games could lead to a side-scrolling beat-em-up renaissance.
With the full remake of Final Fight available to download and several other other old school games, the genre is back in the limelight.
I for one am excited and am hopeful for what happens next for this timeless genre.