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STICK'EM UP PUNK! IT'S A BEAT'EM UP CRIMINAL
Part 1 of series looking back at the Beat'em Up Genre

Posted by Invisible on Jan 10, 2011 04:11 (Jan 10, 2011 04:11)

 


Part 1: The Arcade: Scrolling Beat’em Up’s

In a realm where certain genres take significance over others (Shmups and RPGs), Beat’em Ups get something of a short shrift from more discerning retro enthusiasts as somehow being inferior or not for them. Beat ‘em Ups are therefore something of the Chav’s or Black Sheep of the gaming world, or are they?

Beat ‘em Ups have been around for some time within the history of computer gaming. The central premise of them is straightforward enough and a typical plot line would be as follows. You, the main protagonist has to rescue a kidnapped friend/daughter/hostage, from the clutches of an evil gang boss/warlord/corrupt official in order to save the day. In order to do this you must beat up a number of henchmen and end of level bosses to save the day and return things to the way they were or right some injustice in the world.

Beat ‘em Ups have come a long way, during the development of computer games, but due to its reputation it is a genre that has fallen somewhat by the wayside these days. Each game has subtle nuances and different things to do and an investigation into the genre throws up many things that keep players coming back time and again and reaffirms as to why it should regain some semblance of prominence in the gaming world.

The genre’s beginnings can be traced back to early 1 vs.1 fighting games such as Karate Champ or Ye Ar Kung Fu, as technology developed, no longer did the protagonists have to fight only each other. They could fight a multitude of other characters as well. The first scrolling Beat’em Ups look dire in today’s high res graphical society, but how do they play?



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#5 Feb 8, 2011 22:45:18 ( Feb 8, 2011 22:45 )

Frequency
I made the same mistake and purchased Fighting force from the playstation network and was totally disappointed! However I still play Streets of Rage II almost every day emulated on my pc. ( Bare Knuckle II in Japan)
#4 Feb 8, 2011 03:50:16 ( Feb 8, 2011 03:50 )
speedofthepuma
I presume non-arcade games are to follow? Of those mentioned I really only played TMHT on holiday at Butlins.
#3 Feb 8, 2011 00:54:51 ( Feb 8, 2011 00:54 )

Frequency
Let's not forget about Sega's Streets of Rage series for the Genesis/Mega drive. The first 2 games were amazing for their time!
#2 Jan 10, 2011 21:23:48 ( Jan 10, 2011 21:23 )

WhizzBang
 I used to love some of these games but they haven't aged so well. As you point out, the genre got a bit tired.

I bought Fighting Force on the PS1 hoping there was going to be some amazing 3d revival of this kind of game but it was a bit average and added nothing new.
#1 Jan 10, 2011 18:23:43 ( Jan 10, 2011 18:23 )

aberdeenlad1983
I miss the days when arcades had these machines and we would have so much fun going there to play them
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