Best games of the Beat-Um genre

The recent TEEENAGE MUTANT NINJA Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge reminded the whole world about such a cool and cheerful genre as Beat-Em-UP, and if easier, scores. The essence of such games lies in the systematic and incessant beating of everything that is found on the path of the main characters with the help of fists and-less often-of various weapons. Traditional Beat-EM-UP’S are presented in the format of two-dimensional sidellars, where the characters move in levels from left to right, and at the end they defeat the location boss.

The first games in the genre are Kung-Fu Master (aka Spartan X in Japan), released in 1984 and Renegade (aka Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-Kun in Japan, 1986), but the first part of Double Dragon brought the popularity of such games, The release of which took place in 1987. It was DD that influenced the genre in the most cardinal way, laying the indestructible law of the game in it.

The golden era of BEAT-EM-UP’S is considered to be the period of the late 80s-the first half of the 90s of the XX century. It was at this time that Capcom is seriously starting to work, releasing several hit products on arcade slot machines.

By this moment, game consoles have already become stronger and enjoyed mass popular. Many hits from machine guns were ported to Sega or SNES, but independent products also began to appear, which were not inferior to the older brothers.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that modern gamers know nothing about the masterpieces of the genre of those times. The maximum, something heard / read / looked. Still, after all, more than 30 years have passed. I personally became obvious after reading the comments of some overly excited readers of the review of new turtles. When you did not play recognized masterpieces, then out of ignorance you can take a new game for such. But the reality lies in the fact that the genre, to my personal deep regret, has long lost mass popularity, and those new products that have come out in recent years, due to objective (and slightly subjective) reasons, do not reach the titans of the genre from the distant past.


Today I will share with you personal opinions about the best series of games in the Beat-EM-UP Golden Era genre.

series Golden Ax from Sega and especially the third part

The fantasy adventure in the spirit of films of the 80s about Konana-Varvara, where the heroes dressed in a loincloth and armority (if we are talking about a girl) have to challenge an evil villain (Death Adder), owning a powerful artifact-a golden ax (a golden ax ( In our countries, the game is called Golden Sekira).

In the first and second part, three characters are offered to choose from:

Aks Batler is a complete copy of Konan both in appearance and in general. Armed with a sword.
Tyris Fleir is a sexy Amazon armed with a saber. Avils the Death House for the death of parents.
Jilius Zanderhad is a dwarf with a bilateral ax. He just wants to punish the villain for his vileness.

Each part and spin-off gave something new, whether it be graphics, animations or sound accompaniment, but it was Golden Ax III that collected all the best from the series and offered more changes than all previous games combined.

It all started with the replacement of the heroes. Outwardly, the warrior and the Amazon practically did not change, although they received other names and history. Now the Prince of Darkness (the villain also changed) is opposed by Varvar Cain Grinder, the Amazon Sarah Burn, the mighty strongman Praud Cragger and the anthropomorphic panther Chronos Evil Lit.

There were joint attacks, which made cooperative passage even more interesting. Given that the vast majority of us at that time played on pirate cartridges, it was possible to guess about their existence. And then not the first time-for the combo-adequate, it was necessary to put the heroes faces each other and wait until they nod. And after that, press the desired button. Yes, such a technique was described in the official guide for the game, but for this it was necessary to buy a licensed cartridge, which was impossible-they simply did not exist on the market.

They also gave the opportunity to combine magic. To do this, it was necessary to simultaneously press the corresponding button and have a sufficient amount of magic potions in stock.

Secret techniques appeared that required a certain skill and speed for successful use. For example, Cain on the ground sent a stream of fire, Sarah threw a sword forward, Proud sent three whirlwinds, and chrono made a rapid jump with a blow of claws. By the way, due to the fact that this jump could not be blocked, the panther is considered the strongest character of the game.

In the game, the developers have added a non-linear plot! The ending, of course, was always the same, but on the way the heroes could choose different directions for further journey, which raised the reigla of Golden Ax III to a completely different level!

Few? Then get a full PVP mode in the fighting format. Let the heroes fight in duels against each other, and to make the process more interesting, the developers added one of the bosses of the game as a character.

Between the second and third parts, the spin-off-Golden Ax: The Revenge of Death Adder, but besides the funeral picture and animation, it did not stand out. The last game of the series was released in 2008 at the PlayStation 3. In Golden Ax: Beast Rider, only Tyris was a game character, plus it was made in a three-dimensional style, so I will not dwell on it in detail.

Comix Zone

Another masterpiece from the SEGA company released on a native console. The game instantly attracted attention thanks to the style of comics and simply amazing soundtracks. Without jokes, these melodies come perfectly today, not at all annoying their synthesizing.

So, according to the plot, you play for a glorious guy, artist-comxist Sketch Turner. One dark thunderstorm at night occurs strange-in the process of working on Comix Zone (as called the comic book), lightning enters the sketch straight into the desktop, and that, along with a home manual Roadkyl, delayed in its own illustrations. And the main villain of the comic book, Mortus, falls into the real world. While the author is alive, the villain cannot get a full-fledged physical shape, but is quite capable of shit to Tingrane with a pencil, drawing up opponents and various traps.

At the very beginning of the game, the hero meets Alice, a general resistance general, who is called to help him in adventures. True, she herself does not particularly participate in the adventure, helping the hero with advice more.

Despite the fact that Comix Zone is a game for one player, the pleasure from the process does not become less. Each level made in the style of the comic book’s page offers something new-here you need to pull the lever in time to open the passage, here you need to throw the enemy onto the fan blades, so as not to cripple yourself, and here to release a rat from her pocket so that it finds it so that it finds it Secret passage or caches with supplies.

And what a gorgeous animation of battle in the game! Animators’ artists did a masterpiece. The sketch moves very smoothly, there are intermediate animations that connect the frames and transitions between the blows of the legs and arms. In fact, in Comix Zone, developers implemented the mechanics of the battle of full-fledged fighting, taking into account various small details.

And the game also has three ends (in general, this rule of good tone is to give the player a reason to return to the game not only for the increased level of complexity, but also to tell him something new). Moreover, only one of them is happy.

series Streets of Rage and especially the third part

Why not the fourth?-you ask? And I will answer. Yes, Sor IV turned out to be a very good game and a worthy Beat-EM-UP’om, but this part did not give anything new to the genre, moreover, it is significantly inferior to the third in features.

What is the series about? Yes, all about the same. Good guys (and girl) and their friends clean the gopot and those who are behind them from the streets of the city. The main characters are two-former police Alex and Blaise. And the main villain is always Mr. X, although he will not always be the final boss.

What is precisely the third part? Yes to almost everyone! Not only did the developers get a lot to bring to mind the combat system, significantly diversifying it with the combined attacks of the heroes, so they still put several secret characters in various versions of the game! For example, for the favorite of the public Shiva, who acted as a bodyguard Mr. X at the end of the second part and is one of the main villains in the third, you can play. But in order to get it, it is necessary to press the correct combination of keys and arrows after the first meeting (Shiva is the boss of the first act).

And you can open the nasty boss-gei Ash, with whom you fight at the beginning of the game on the pier. Well, the final secret is the combat kangaroo ru. It’s easy to get it, it’s enough to kill a papard clown first when you meet this couple.

In addition, a full-fledged pumping of characters appeared in the game. If the hero did not die, earning glasses, then at a certain limit he was given out of the skill star. This skill was expressed through a blow from the run, significantly increasing its destructive power. Having received three stars, such a blow inflicted much more damage than a supervas, which took life if it was used before a special scale is filled.

And of course, there was no reiglabiness, because Streets of Rage III has already four endings! Moreover, you choose the path not in the finale, but somewhere in the second third of the game, and you can not guess about their existence at all. Some of the endings are available only for the American version of the game, and the plot is slightly different (for example, Russian General Ivan Petrov is struck in the Japanese version, and in the western chief of police the city). But with the presence of an emulator, this is not a problem at all.

By the way, I personally recommend playing precisely in the Japanese version (it is called Bare Knuckle III), since the American came out a little cut and was censored.

Well, where without an excellent soundtrack from Yuzo Kosiro and Motokhiro Kavasima. An interesting fact: the game for the game was written using the Automated Composing System algorithm, which was able to generate randomized melodies with an accelerated bat and sharp transitions. In fact, the composers popularized the musical style of Trans through the computer game before the general public became known about it.

The third part was so popular that even in modern times, fans do not forget about the game, releasing their versions made on the original engine. The most famous fan work is Streets of Rage Remake. Be sure to try it!

Hits Capcom

You know, the article has already turned out to be very voluminous, but not to mention the series of arcade BEAT-EM-UP’s from Capcom would be a crime. In general, I cannot call them right here outstanding products, but what exactly is at the highest level is combat mechanics, visual and musical accompaniment. What else do you need for a fan?

So, write yourself in a notebook so as not to forget and be sure to play these masterpieces of the past:

  • Alien vs. Predator.
  • Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
  • Captain Commando.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara.
  • Final Fight (the whole series).
  • Knights of the Round.
  • Punisher: The Arcade Game.
  • Warriors of Fate.

To engage in the genre, this is enough for you with your head. The emulators and images of games on the network are full, so there should be no problems with the installation.

Play only in good Beat-EM-UP’S!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *