Monday, 1 April 2013

B - Beat Him Down, Sir! My Top 10 Beat 'em Up Games

Fighting. Part of of human condition since we could walk on two legs, possibly before. In fact, the protozoa that crawled from the seas probably had a punch up to see which could evolve first. Nowadays, most of our social scrapping takes place in town centers on Friday or Saturday nights, usually assisted by alcohol and/or narcotics. Dangerous, pointless and basically stupid. So, if you enjoy a fight, why not remove the risk of injury, death, arrest or being branded a fool and play a game which depicts guys and gals beating the living shades out of each other. All safe and sound from the comfort of your living room. I like a fighting game me, always a good bit of fun, and some I found that I'm quite good at. Better at controlling a computer roundhouse than actually performing one in real life! Here is my personal Top 10 Beat 'em Up's.

Perfect day for a bit of sunbathing...

#10 Sai Combat - A rare budget Mirrorsoft title from the mid 8-bit era, this was a basic one-on-one bow-staff martial arts brawler. It had little depth, was slow, but had neat graphics and was pretty unfair at times, but it got me hooked because of the range of moves available to the player, something I had never seen before at the time. It was very satisfying to KO an opponent with a stick to the testicles! Ouchy!

#9 P.O.W. - Never getting past the second stage in the arcades, Prisoners of War became a frustrating bane of mine, but I just was enthralled by the OTT sound effects, in game music and the idea of beating your way out of a prison camp against the clone army. 

#8 Samurai Showdown -.The first sword slashing fighter I played, and still one of the best. I just thought it was so cool, and special moves were great, the roster was top notch and the intro had a guy cutting a tree in half! It was also a Neo-Geo title, adding to the geekiness and cult factor. Awesome.

#7 Battle Arena Toshinden - The first 3D brawler and the first Playstation game I owned, I have an un-explainable liking for this, even though its actually pretty crap and dull. Glitchy graphics, cheesy characters and sluggish gameplay. I still like to give it a sitting now and then, but not a lot. 

Ha Ha, Missed Me!
#6 Virtua Fighter - When this first hit the arcades, it was a cabinet always surrounded by the patrons. It's early chunky 3D polygons making up the fighters, it was very usual for the time and thus made everyone curious. Nearly persuading me to ditch Nintendo and buy a SEGA Saturn, but not quite. Still, a memorable game set out the basis of future 3D beat 'em ups. It's own sequels now look very different.

#5 Final Fight - The big and brash in your face hardcore Double Dragon in a sense, Final Fight upset many gamers with the two Snes versions, because 3 characters on one cart was too difficult, Apparently. Big sprites, big hair, bit muscles  and big ego's and with the hardest city Major ever, sadomasochistic women and the most girly blonde-locked Boss ever! Final Fight was a favourite with many.

#4 Fatal Fury - Only 3 fighting chums to choose from, but my word they had some cool moves. Fatal Fury had a charm about it that fascinated me. It wasn't the best 1 on 1 beater by no stretch of the imagination, but it was damn fun with some memorable SFX and gameplay.

#3 Double Dragon - One of the all time greats that put the scrolling beat 'em up on the map in the late eighties. Two brothers go and kick the behinds of the naughty men who have kidnapped Billy Lee's, er, Jimmy Lee's... erm... oh sod it,Their girlfriend!? After the rescue and the battering of bad guys, they surely wouldn't have the energy for some dubious 3-way fun. Would they? 

#2 Tekken 3 - The game most responsible for killing most of my duel-shock controllers, albeit at my hands, only because I couldn't bear to lose to anyone whilst playing it. Trust me to share my fondness of this PS classic with a player who was awesome at it! My all time favourite 3D fighter, Tekken 3 had the style, the moves, the soundtrack and the excellent choice of characters. I still maintain Yoshimitu is a big cheating freak however!

My balls are bigger than yours Ken!
#1 Street Fighter 2 (All Versions) - It simply rocks. I could just leave it at that really, but I'll give a few words of acclaim to the all time king of fighting games. It was a sensation with nearly all who played it, and I was no exception. Never have I played another brawler that quite matches up to Street Fighter 2 and it's variations in all my gaming years. Excellent depiction and style, intelligent gameplay, a memorable roster of characters, cool music and just so friggin; good to play. The best version was SF2: Hyper Fighting of course, but in any guise, it will remain my number 1 Beat 'em up of all time, and most probably, most peoples too. 

That's it then, my top 10 Beat 'em Up's for you all to argee or disagree with. I would be confident that my Number 1 choice is not going to be argued with, but I know there will be gamers saying... Where's Mortal Kombat? Soul Caliber or the Marvel/SNK/Capcom crossovers? Well, it's my list isn't it. So there. Hope you enjoyed my little musings about games that let you slap people around. Next up on the A to Z challenge, my top 10 games Consoles! See you tomorrow.

Read my review of Street Fighter 2 at The Pixel Empire.

Bug... 'Out!


  1. YES, Tekken 3 is the best. Amazing game, one of my fondest PSX games for sure :)

  2. Mailing this list to my cousin, the gamer of my family :)

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z