Beat Em Ups: How to Properly Resurrect the Genre

As a child of the '80s, my videogame resume is filled with the likes of Double Dragon, Final Fight, River City Ransom, and Streets of Rage. Mowing down wave after wave of urban vermin made up the majority of my gaming time, and possibly prepped me for a rather excellent career as a vigilante or rogue cop should this writing thing not pan out. As such, I support the genre in all of its forms, even digital abortions like Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance, but I've become increasingly fed with an industry that seemingly has forgotten why BEUs were a gaming mainstay in the '80s and '90s. So what went wrong?

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Yi-Long3420d ago

... cause like the author, I really enjoyed them.

However, I disagree with his points made.

Keep it 2!? Yes and no. I think there's room for both 2D fighters (beat'm ups), as well as 3d. I'd love a HD 2d beat 'm up with quality graphics and gameplay (which I've pleaded for for years),

but when you look at a title like MadWorld (Wii) or The Punisher (Xbox), you can see that there are also countless possibilities to make very cool 3D beat 'm ups, with lots of different moves in different situations, arcade gameplay, lots of gore, it's own artistic style (just look at Naruto PS3 or Valkyre Chronicles for what is possible nowadays, style-wise).

What I'm saying is that there's certainly room for both 2d and 3d beat 'm ups, although obviously (in both cases) it needs to be done right, with multiple characters to choose from, and gorgeous graphics and gameplay.

Now the author also mentions that he doesn't want it lineair. I disagree, cause in those old Beat'M'ups there was (kinda) a story to follow and the villains you encountered belonged in those stages they were in, gradually become stronger and stronger. I'm sure in SOME cases (like in a game like MadWorld, where you basically fight in arena's), it would be possible to mix that up, but with the games the author has in mind, I don't see it being a wise decision. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's just my opinion on it.

Obviously we need the gameplay updated to modern standars, so a huge move-list, as well as time-attacks, combo-chains, lots of unlockables, not just new characters and artwork etc, but also new moves (think the system of God of War and Ninja Gaiden Black, where you earn new moves along the way - and btw, those kinda games pretty much ARE the new beat 'm ups of this new generation), weapons, etc.

Like I said, I'd absolutely love a return of sidescrolling beat 'm ups, or even more 3d beat 'm ups like MadWorld. Who wouldn't!? :)

2DX3420d ago

You make excellent points in regards to Ninja Gaiden Black, Madword, God Hand etc. being the modern BEUs, but I think when people think BEU they conjure up ideas of gang-infested urban environment, and horizontal gameplay - - perhaps that a little too outdated a view that some of us have? Or just a craving for something neo-nostalgic :)

As for the linear/non-linear style of play, I think it's quite feasible to have a non-linear game. I think it would be more than a little bit awesome if a BEU adopted a Mega Man-like level selector. The game doesn't have to be locked. All that's need is say an opening mission (that establishes story) and a closing stage (for wrapping things up). The content in between can be creatively written :)

omimasum3420d ago

watchmen was a pretty good beat em up