Do you think beat'em up games still have market? Would you play a beat'em up game link TNMT or streets of rage? Do you have a favorite beat'em up game?
I think they do. They provide a nice simple experience in a world where every
game seems to have RPG or Metroidvania elements. For me in particular they represent some of my favorite experiences in arcades in the eighties and early nineties.
The Arcade version of Double Dragon is my number one favorite game of all time.
I think they evolved into what we call musou games now - like Dynasty Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors, so yes - the market is still there in that sense. The more traditional stuff you mentioned still has a niche market - the new Streets of Rage being the latest. But I don't think that will ever grow significantly.
As for my favorites - Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe, and Scott Pilgrim rank pretty high for me. Also love me some Alien Storm when I want something weird. :-)
How would people feel about a beat-em-up with some more modern trappings, like RPG-like elements or an open world? (kind of like a side-scrolling Yakuza, I guess.) I really like beat-em-ups in theory, but they tend to be either too short for me to really get invested, or they get repetitive/unfairly challenging by the end.
Thanks for the answers!
My favorite is Streets of Rage. I think that a lot of genres evolved from the beat'em ups. If you look at melee combat from action games like GTA, Batman, God of War, it's like a beat'em up game. What I like most from beat'em ups it's the straightforward approach, almost no story, just pure fun combat. What @acharlie1377 said about being repetitive and unfairly by the end is true, but I think it was the nature of arcade games.
If we're talking traditional sidescrolling 2d beat 'em ups, then I wanted to play a lot of old ones growing up, but did not have a lot of opportunity. Pirates of the Dark Water was pretty cool. They're real good for playing with family, although I like playing them alone as well.
There are two modern ones I really enjoy, Scott Pilgrim VS the World and Dragon's Crown. Dragon's Crown is like a couple of quality of life improvements, some more memorable music and character personalities and few more stages short of being my absolutely ideal beat 'em up. Loved the artwork and gameplay in that, I played it over and over again. The RPG elements are minor, but help with giving it some longevity. Scott Pilgrim is... I think it doesn't feel nearly as good to play, but I think the music and pixel art are real good in that one.
I think some people are never gonna be pleased with a beat 'em up again. Whenever they come up on the bombcast, they just talk about them like they're a dead genre that they can't enjoy anymore. But personally I like them. You gotta make a good one, natch.
In terms of 3d inheritors, I've liked a couple of dynasty warriors-style games(Senran Kagura Estival Versus, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3), but they've kinda got too little going on for me and have super ugly environments and forgettable music. I'm a much bigger fan of character action games(God Hand and Bayonetta in particular), but those are few and far between.
Double Dragon is one of my favorite. I have a lot of fond memories of that. I was a kid at the time so I think my nostalgia glasses are probably playing a large part as to how good it was, but it was awesome.
I would love to see some make a comeback so to speak. I love the simplicity of them. As some others have stated, it would be nice to have some really finely crafted beat'em up games that don't go down the road of metroidvania type games or a bunch of RPG elements. Those can be neat, but so NOT what I am looking for. I understand the idea of doing something new, and perhaps it just hasn't been done right and that's the problem but I would like a classic, well made simple experience as well.
I love River City Ransom. Streets of Rage is a solid beat ‘em up, too. I think it’s a matter of NOT being cheap and exploitative. Final Fight is cool, and I’ll always be nostalgic about it, but the arcade roots are a bummer.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer was pretty much a beat ‘em up, and that was really fantastic.
I remember digging Ninja Gaiden’s arcade game as a kid, too.
As far as recent games, I think Double Dragon Neon was pretty damned cool and proof that it can still be done.
@acharlie1377: If I were in some way responsible for a modern 2D, side-scrolling beat ‘em up, I’d make sure that to combat took a page from fighting games.
I think blocks and parries should be a big deal. There should be a rewarding timing-based system for parries, and maybe chip damage on blocking flourish or special moves.
I’d do away with special moves costing health. I’d rather see a meter or basic button combination.
Leveling and gear...I’m kinda sick of it. Maybe there could be gear you’d find that’s more of a modifier for your character, making them balance stats differently (but equally) or replacing movesets with a new fighting style.
Beat ‘em ups are traditionally coop games. They aren’t traditionally games where you can really team up, though. Simpsons had unique team moves, and I’d want to see something like that.
Lastly, the game shouldn’t be a quarter muncher. Make the game challenging, but fair. I don’t think it should be overly long, either. If a run lasts more than a couple of hours, you goofed. To give it replay value, maybe introduce branching paths, win conditions that let you go down hidden paths, and interesting difficulty modifiers. Maybe tie some gear that makes the game play differently to difficulty, so you can have a fresh experience after beating the game.
Dungeons and Dragons (the Capcom arcade editions) never get the love they deserve.
RPG mechanics and stats, inventory management, alternate costumes all WAY before that stuff was considered standard.
As for whether they're still viable: I think with the surge of the indie market, absolutely. The problem was justifying a genre that is, at its heart, shallow and short for full price or even close to it ($40-$60).
But for $10-$20? As long as it's got style and charm, I'll give it a shot.
Castle Crashers is absolutely the best beat em up ever. Some of my other favorites include Scott Pilgrim vs The World and TMNT: Turtles in Time.
I don't really think there's room for new beat em ups anymore, as evidenced by the fact that very few ever get released now. I honestly don't have any desire to play a new beat em up. If I wanted to play one, I would just play one that's already been released.
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