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Bringing the Fight Home: Home versions of brawlers that done good for themselves... and a few that didn't.

One of my favorite, possibly the favorite, arcade games of all time is Final Fight.  Although simple enough in game play it has stood the proverbial test of time in my heart to the point where  I've even got a stand-up Jamma cabinet with it in the garage!
As I make my way through the back catalog of Bombcasts I notice that the crew has, more or less, declared the side-scrolling beat-'em-up brawler a dead genre in the modern era.  The prevailing wisdom being that old game play style doesn't cut it in the world of today and in order for someone to make a modern brawler they will need to re-invent or innovate game play severely.  I always consider that part of the issue here is the Arcade origins were rather unforgiving game play goes hand in hand with quarter pumping profit making.  Arcade games also used to be where you had to go for the best version of a game with better graphics and sound, a phenomenon that is more or less extinct in these times.  With that in mind, here are some console games, ports and originals, that I thought made great home game substitutes for that arcade experience.   Bear in mind that they needn't have an arcade equivalent and that I'm looking that them in their time, and through rose colored glasses perhaps a bit.

List items

  • This may be a surprise number one for some folks but this Game Boy SP variant of Final Fight is easily the best port of Final Fight. Graphics and Sound are perfect, sound being arcade quality if not exact reproduction audio, with little of that remix meddling mindset that sometimes goes overboard and unchecked in home ports. Game play is intact and also perfect from the arcade with 2 player mode supported via link cable. Options are all there from the arcade version as well and those of us in the know can appreciate how many their actually are despite how cryptic they may appear. With all these "perfects" being thrown around you might wonder what they did at all to make it any more than a simple emulated port. Well difficulty BEYOND the arcade is supported! These higher difficulties manage to cram even more enemies on screen than the most crowded arcade Final Fight moments with no additional slow down or sprite flicker. Boss fights have some fun and simple dialog story text added to them which is easily and completely skipped for purists that prefer it not exist. Options for rapid fire turbo and the SNES classic "extra joy" button config are present, huge pluses for anyone that isn't playing a brawler on a stand up arcade cabinet. Game play progress is saved in between stages and a stage select option is present which is always good for a portable system. This version even features extra playable characters in Guy and Cody wearing their Street Fighter Alpha attire and small changes to their game play styles. Really the love and attention that went in to getting Final Fight One really makes it stand out. You can tune it to be any variant you prefer, Arcade, SNES and beyond, without forcing those options down our throat.

  • Known as the Rushing Beat (Ran) series in Japan, this SNES only Jaleco title is a sequel to Rival Turf, also a SNES only title which will appear further on down this list. The Rushing Beat series plays a bit with the Final Fight formula a bit but doesn't stray too far beyond what Capcom themselves would eventually do in their own titles. You can dash around, small Street Fighter 2-esque inputs produce "hidden" moves, environments have hazards like bottomless pits and land mines, characters have a taunt move and a bit of an extended arsenal in throws and situational attacks like hitting foes while they are down and also an expanded list of 5 playable characters rather than the standard 2 to 3 of the day. The Rushing Beat series also features "Ikari Mode" AKA "Angry Mode" where your character will be invincible and do severely more damage via upgraded grapple throws after taking a set amount of damage which was a TON of fun and very satisfying when the CPU enemies try to cheese you in a big pile on. Like its predecessor it was also two player simultaneous co-op unlike the original SNES Final Fight, a very important factor for those of us playing SNES games with our buddies back in the day! Graphics and Sound are average-to-good, for a SNES game, with some of the soundtrack being really memorable stuff. Also of note is that a simple button code (press xyba repeatedly on the Jaleco screen) would turn the game in to the Japanese localized version which had a few differences worth losing out on the ability to read the typical tepid beat-'em-up plot cut-scenes. In the Japanese version enemies would hold their groins when you give them a shot in the jewels and a few levels had different layouts and such, for the better in my opinion. On the hardest difficulties this game is no joke and the game play supports the challenge. Likely one of the most overlooked titles that will appear on this list but also likely one of the most "of its time" games on the list as game play may be far too stale for the gamers of today.

  • I've been moving this up and down the list. This XBLA and PSN release is pure emulation of the arcade board for game play so it's pretty good eh? Lots of cool features including video modes that set the game in a virtual arcade cabinet and simulate that arcade CRT look. Plenty of extras like concept art and remix soundtracks. Online play so you can play two players simultaneous whenever. Unfortunately the emulation approach means they could not add functionality like Final Fight One with extra enemies and changed up difficulties or even challenge levels like in Final Fight CD. Options seem extremely limited as well, no turbo fire and no EXTRA JOY! The most arcade perfect you can get and easily available.

  • Unfortunately I don't see a way to individually list many of the SNES releases of this game to various platforms so I'll have to put a catch all entry here for the SNES release and hit a few highlights. If I could put a variant at #3 it would be the SNES Final Fight and then a tie with SNES Final Fight Guy. SNES Final Fight was visually nigh-arcade perfect and the sound was an excellent reproduction as well. It was only single player and had a hard limit of only 3 enemies on-screen at a time with Andore or Boss enemies counting double towards that. When you consider that level 1 of Metro City ends with you fighting 4+ enemies simultaneously you may start to see a bit of a problem here. Sound Effects were hit a bit hard, most of them are there but the character specific samples for Haggar and Cody are not, replaced with a generic pitch-modulated roar although this game does have the crowd pleasing "Oh my CAR!" rather than the arcade "Oh my GOD!" Another famous change would be the female enemies Poison and Roxy getting their sex changed and becoming Billy and Sid... and no I don't want to get into the whole Poison transvestite thing. Also, Final Fight SNES was missing an entire stage from the arcade port and Guy himself was not present until the, originally Japan only, Final Fight Guy was released. Thankfully Blockbuster Video eventually snagged a license to rent copies of this version for the US. Final Fight Guy was, appropriately enough, missing Cody from the mix. Although they put in a truncated set of the audio for Guy from the Arcade and a small amount of changes here and there it was essentially identical its brother release. Let me leave no doubt though, this version was mind blowing at the time and is as game play faithful a port as you'll see on SNES of a CPS1 arcade game but in this day and age of emulation and myriad ports to newer hardware there is really no reason to go back to SNES. IF YOU DO go and try out this version be sure use the code (L shoulder button + Start at the title screen) that allows you to open up all the options and check out the awesomeness that is Extra Joy (it maps the special move of Attack+Jump to its own button!)!

  • A completely superior port to the SNES versions for Sega CD that gets ranked below said versions? Arcade perfect visuals, superior to even the SNES versions with only a small complaint to be had about the animation being a tad loose. All audio samples completely intact for all characters including some honest to god voice acting for Cody, Guy, Haggar, Jessica and Thrasher/Damnd. All I have to say about that is, "Hee Hee Hee, MISTER Haggar!" Music is Red Book audio remixes of the arcade tunes and are a fun novelty but sometimes stray just a bit too far from the originals. Game play is arcade faithful, even more so than the SNES versions in that you can have quite a few more enemies on screen at once, up to 5 (typically 4) with few limits on whether they are big bosses or Andores, etc. Two Player simultaneous also seals the deal here vs. the single player only SNES. Also featured a time attack mode with 3 different stages which throw a player into new areas created specifically for this version and ask them to kill as many enemies as they can in 60, very slow, seconds on a limited number of lives. The only real reason this gets knocked down to #4 is it came out way too late and on friggin' Sega CD, for $299 bucks plus the cost of the game itself it is just hard to rank this any higher than the SNES variants. Historically this game is worth a play through for the Voice and Music!

    (This should be the last of Final Fight cluttering up the list for a while as well.)

  • For the purposes of this list we are discussing the NES version. The NES version is one of the better NES games ever made, to be honest. Even when we had a SNES we would still pop this bad boy in and play. Amazingly faithful to the Double Dragon II arcade game for a NES game. Graphics are top notch for NES as is the Sound and Music. Two Player simultaneous with a variety of modes, essentially rules for being able to hit each other, this game had it all over the NES Double Dragon. There is even a bit of story telling in between levels! This game is worth a whirl to see 8-bit brawling done right.

  • One of the first games that could make a boast of being better than arcade perfect. Graphics and sound were on par with the original arcade game and it even had an additional boss after Death Adder (jr.) was killed! Having the arcade experience in your home was the epitome of bad ass for video game dorkery in the 90's. Play this or the Arcade game if you call yourself a Beat 'em Up aficionado.

  • The fourth home game of Double Dragon continues the up and down motion of quality with an upswing of quality. The graphics and sound are strictly early SNES quality stuff but they are serviceable. Gameplay has all the Double Dragon tropes you've come to expect and some fun new stuff. A meter you manually charge up to unleash spin kicks and such and a counter attack stance button that lets you catch enemy punches and kicks and then return them with brutality. The game played slowly, not painfully so but... methodical. It was also very LONG. Reserve an evening for a two player wade through Double Dragon IV, it might surprise you a bit.

  • Essentially a fully fleshed out and NES specific version of Renegade. This game, like Double Dragon II for NES, shows what you can really do even on an 8-bit system. For some reason never really as popular as it deserved this franchise has maintained a cult(?) following that has seen it slowly get sequels on nearly ever platform in one way or another. Gameplay is a mix of Double Dragon and RPG elements where you literally beat up kids for their lunch money and spend it for power ups. There is ongoing dialog commentary along the bottom of the screen at all times and a bit of story cut-scenes here and there. There have been a lot of ports and improved versions of this over the years so grab whatever variant is easiest for you to get a hold of and try it out, totally worth it.

  • Essentially a 2010 remake of River City Ransom. Seriously! Different enough to be worth checking out but the game play is firmly rooted in a bygone era. The soundtrack is amazing and obviously the graphics of today tend to smash those of a 1980's NES game. Available on PSN, XBLA and likely the newest game you'll see on this list hence its lower placement.

  • A Sega Saturn original that has recently seen a XBLA and PSN re-release. Four playable characters and a odd three plane Z movement system reminiscent of the Fatal Fury games. I've not played the new release version but I was the freak as kid with a Saturn and 6 Player multi-tap and we played this CD in to the GROUND. The story mode is two player simultaneous with multiple branching story paths and difficulties. The Vs. mode is up to 6 players and is sheer sprite insanity. Apparently anime style art and sprite based goodness aren't enough to get through the jaded hearts of today so this former sure thing may be a hit or miss, try the demo on XBLA or PSN and decide for yourself I guess.

  • Somehow if you go back to 2008 this game is the amazing SHIT but in 2011 Guardian Heroes, which has it all over Castle Crashers, is catching flack. From the notorious Behemoth folks with art by Dan Paladin and game play affected by his art in the Green Knight. Game play is pretty much the standard hack and slash experience and weapon upgrade stuff pioneered by Capcom with some tweaks for the modern era. If you like this and don't like Guardian Heroes well, wtf?

  • Big APPle! 3 A.M.....

    Freaking amazing port of a decent arcade game to SNES. Plenty of voice samples, rocking music (Hey!) and game play superior to the arcade version. This is one of those games that rewards you for owning a SNES in the 90's. Two players baby! Just be sure you play Raphael since you'll be so fast you steal all the kills from your slower brother turtles. I can honestly recommend this over the arcade version for the improved controls.

  • The SNES release of The King of Dragons is probably the most impressive arcade port Capcom pulled off. The original was 3 player and this is two players. All the characters are present, although I rarely saw anyone play anybody besides the Elf and Dwarf and rarely the Cleric. Sound is impressive as is the Music. Game play at this point is getting pretty divergent from Final Fight in that you have a weapon at all times, an experience and leveling system and can block attacks with a shield, cast magic spells, basically laying the groundwork for the Dungeons and Dragons games Capcom would later release. Short and fun, totally worth a play through on Snes or Arcade, you won't miss much either way.

  • My buddy swore up and down that this game was awesome. I got to play the original for a nickle then he threw in this game and we played through it once. It seemed pretty tight, AI was a bit a "jerk" if you will. Game play was a lot closer to Final Fight or the Rushing Beat games but with a bit more combos it seemed. Somewhere someone is punching their monitor because this game isn't #1 on the list.

  • Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive is in the same vein as the amazing Golden Axe port. It is simply not as good a brawler as Golden Axe, lacking Z plane movement and being kind of goofy all around. Again though, bringing the arcade game home this was brilliant in its day.

    As a nigh-straight port of an arcade game, I can't really recommend checking it out over the original.

  • As one of the last Capcom arcade beat-'em-ups to get made this port to the dead-in-the-water Sega Saturn was flawless. It lands a bit lower on this list than it probably deserves since it suffers from Final Fight CD syndrome of just how much effort you would have to put in, even at the time of release, to get your hands on it and play it. Plus why were they only 2 player at home? I'd have thought the Saturn could handle more.

  • Well... it was 1993, Street Fighter 2 already had multiple sequels going on, the NES itself was basically dead and... what? A new Final Fight game? On...NES? It took me forever to lay my hands on a copy of this game but even so, 4 years later and on a 8-bit console this game wasn't bad at all. I only ever play it as Haggar btw. It has some fun story and Super Deformer style art that lends itself well to the NES graphics capabilities. Game play is two buttons with a leveling mechanic to unlock simple, street fighter style input moves and more Hit Points. Music is 8-bit versions of Final Fight themes. All around this is worth a check out for Brawler and Final Fight fans.

  • A long, long time coming for this XBLA and PSN release. The original X-Men arcade game was a huge, two screen, 6 player cabinet and this home version has gone through a lot of effort to match that experience to today's internet and HDTV reality. Why it took 16 years to get a port we'll never know and that hurts its standing on this list.

  • SNES Captain Commando was a faithful port in the spirit of the Final Fight port. Captain Commando the arcade game itself is a 4 player, futuristic, wild version of Final Fight in game play. All the characters are present on SNES and the graphics are well done if a bit scaled down to the SNES capabilities. Capcom redeemed themselves by making this two player simultaneous at least. Featuring running attacks and some expansion on the Final Fight game play this game is a bit too... wild, to be a classic like Final Fight. Another case where you might as well try and lay a hand on the original rather than play this home port. At the time of its release it was an amazing effort although quite a few years after the arcade release.

  • The last Final Fight for SNES, they actually beefed it up a bit and changed some game play. Game play is remarkably similar to Brawl Brothers level Rushing Beat game play. There are front and back throws, a meter that lets you do super damaging grapples, running/dashing, etc. Haggar is back and so is Guy although the additions of two more characters in Dean and Lucia are essentially worthless as they just seem like poor versions of the Haggar and Guy archetypes of Big Guy and Fast Guy. Worth a play through for any beat-'em-up fans or Final Fight fans, if pressed for time throw this in over Final Fight 2.

  • Gets a bad rap. This SNES only sequel had 3 playable characters and, GASP, two player simultaneous cooperative play! Throw away cameos of Chun Li and Guile are there to drag in lookie lous. Haggar plays exactly like he always did although his look is slightly updated and Carlos/Maki are more or less Guy and Cody. If this tech had been used for the first SNES Final Fight it would have blown our minds but as a follow up this gets a D for Effort in the creativity department. If you like Final Fight then check it out on a once through, it is more Final Fight, on SNES!

  • The only one of the Spider-Man games I ever got to play, and then, only for an afternoon. It seemed fun, ala The Tick or The Death and Return of Superman. My friend seemed to think it was the fucking bomb though so, check it out?

  • I was a pretty big fan of The Tick comics so I thought it was neat that the video game had references to the comics and not just the Fox cartoon show. Unfortunately it was just way too hard. Night of a Million Billion Ninjas indeed! Tick fans should check it out with cheat codes in hand.

  • I'm a staunch supporter of the Death and Return of Superman comics story even though it turns out all the brilliant touches I thought they put in were just dumb luck. At a point in the middle of the comic story the new (don't call me) Superboy is playing a video game titled "Death of Superman" where you have to die fighting Doomsday. That happens in this SNES game! Does that make it hard or easy though? A fun little game as you play as Superman, then all 4 of the new supermen from the Rise of the Supermen comics, then back to the O.G. to wrap things up. Reccomended to fans of Superman.

  • One of my best friends all time favorite games and arguably the brawler that started them all. The NES port was impressive, maybe not arcade perfect graphics and sound but perfect in its own way. Game play was fully intact. Who didn't like to get hugged to death? Give it a whirl on NES or Arcade, you owe it to yourself to check out or roots and see how we've come so far yet this game is still FUN.

  • 1993 and the NES is on life support, multiple Street Fighter 2 sequels are floating around and generally games have moved forward yet POOF out comes this 8-bit Final Fight sequel... and it is pretty good! Super Deformer graphics fit the NES capabilities and the sound is classic 8-bit Capcom goodness as well. I've only ever played through it as Haggar but it had Cody and Guy in it too. Two Button game play works fine on NES, obviously, including a level up system with unlock-able special moves inputted ala Street Fighter and it even has a bit of fun story stuff sprinkled in. Worth a play through for brawler and Final Fight fans alike.

  • The only Battletoads game that I ever played more than once. The game play seemed tighter than I remember the NES Battletoads being and you could also play as Billy and Jimmy! Decent SNES graphics and sound and a little easier than the cruel NES Battletoads game. Speaking of which I, luckily, must have been on my game for when I rented because I beat it in an evening and returned it! All the game play of a Double Dragon or Battletoads game in one package pretty much, give it a shot if you are a fan of either otherwise, pass.

  • When I recalled this game I literally said, "Aww fuck yeah!" The SNES port of this unique 3 player arcade game was very well done with a bunch of features not present in the arcade and minimal tweaking for the home experience. One of the few Brawlers where you generally play as the biggest dude on the field beating up hordes of smaller enemies with attacks designed for you to handle the crowds. Great port probably worth playing the SNES over the arcade version to be honest.

  • Moonwalker probably makes little to no sense now but in 1989/1990 arcades it was pure gold. Michael Jackson defeats thugs with the power of his rock and the aid of his chimp, Bubbles, that turns him in to a giant laser firing robot. What? Duh. Home ports had to be dialed back a bit to accommodate the Genesis/Mega Drive capabilities but killing dudes to the strains of Smooth Criminal is still awesome. Check out this hokey bit of nostalgia whether you are a Michael fan or not.

  • Representing Capcoms incremental step between Final Fight and The King Of Dragons is the surprisingly difficult SNES port of Knights of the Round. Trading in the punch button for a sword button mash your way to victory with the surprisingly boring cast of knights from King Arthur's round table. There seemed to be some kind of experience or weapon upgrade system and I can't remember any story. Mild recommendation to avoid.

  • The original arcade game had no less than THREE monitors arranged horizontally to represent the vast threat the Ninja Warriors faced. The SNES was not up to such a task but it cashed in that triple threat for spruced up game play and the tighter focus made the graphics actually seem superior. A cult favorite to this day, I recommend trying both the arcade and the SNES versions.

  • An original XBOX game on the list! This game is a fully 3d polygonal brawler with GTA like story missions. I broke no less than THREE Xbox systems trying to play through this game and not because of game play induced fury. Somehow every Xbox I crammed this game in the internal power supply would burn up after a couple of hours! Sound like a ringing endorsement?

  • Surprisingly competent little PS2 game with art and story from D.C. artist extraordinaire Bruce Timm and a villain designed by Jim Lee. Batman fills the roll of Haggar style character with Robin being the faster Guy style character. The game is surprisingly difficult and the damage ratio is off in favor of Robins speed being able to zip around and steal kills out from under the slower Batman. Fans of the D.C. animated universe should grab some cheat codes or a Game Shark and play through this for sure.

  • In the arcade heyday it seemed like there would always be a copy of this game somewhere in the building with the volume turned way up and the "BOOYOW! BOOYOW! BOOYOW!" voice sample screaming out of it at regular intervals. Not strictly a Z plane brawler the SNES port of Magic Sword made this list because it was a real A for effort in the 16-bit era of home gaming. That being said, since you probably own the Final Fight Double Impact game, just play Magic Sword there.

  • The third installment in the Rushing Beat series from Jaleco (you'll need to fire up a copy of any of them to see why I keep bringing up JALECO, it's memorable, I promise) was just a bit too ambitious. I don't think Jaleco quite realized how lucky they got with Brawl Brothers. Peace Keepers is too complicated but it means well and looks pretty darn good. Go ahead a grab and FAQ and play through it, you'll see what I mean.

  • The first installment in the Rushing Beat series for SNES from Jaleco. Primarily competing with the original SNES Final Fight they went for more cartoony and colorful graphics and Two Player Simultaneous Cooperative play which was missing from SNES Final Fight. This was important in those halcyon days of youth with multiple people over and limited controller time! It also had a completely bullshit, broken Vs. mode, grab a turbo controller and check it out and see how many weird, vibrating power bombs you can do in a row on your unsuspecting opponent. No really check it out!

  • One of those middle of the pack early SNES titles. How this game got made I'll never know since the arcade was a game with a freaking BOXING GLOVE for a controller. "The Arcade Hit!" my ass! Mediocre Final Fight style game play where you could power up for your "100mt punch!" The very definition of a rental SNES game, only check it out if you are somehow a Sonic Blast Man fan already.

  • OY, the sequel nobody asked for. Slightly more complicated game play than the original with 3 selectable characters. See Sonic Blast man for more info.

  • Argh. I was a pretty decent fan of the first few seasons of MMPR. So I took a gamble and rented this SNES game. WOOF. Just... sound effects... is all I got. Way too hard and too crappy, seems to be a theme with licensed franchise beat 'em ups. Game play is like sloppy Sonic Blast Man style Final Fight. I hear you can play as the Megazord if you get far enough, I didn't bother and neither should you.

  • OOh the Capcom AVP game? No. No it is not. To quote Kevin Kline from A Fish Called Wanda, "DISAPPOINTED!" It seemed a decent enough game in its own right, derivative of the Capcom game but I couldn't get anywhere after having my hopes dashed and so it gets nowhere on this list.

  • The NES Renegade was a pseudo-faithful port of a bit of a lackluster arcade game. One of those rare instances where the 8-bit NES port was probably a better game all around. The arcade game was kind of slow and this game is faster, small things like that. This might be the first Kunio-kun game made, which means little in the U.S. unless you know they are the River City games and even then, who knows? Give the NES port a shot, but be warned, it is difficult!

  • I debated about whether to put Neo Geo games on this list but I had an AES and could actually rent Neo Geo carts from a local shady video game retailer so I figure they belong. Yes I had a Neo Geo as a kid since I had a job when I was 15 years old and that meant fully disposable income baby! Sengoku was wild crap, fun for a bit and goofier than shit but ultimately memorable in a so-bad-its-good way. Since I played it on the AES I couldn't put in quarters and this is a no bullshit Neo Geo arcade title meant to devour your entire wallet. Luckily I had the Neo Geo Memory Card which let you save progress and such so we eventually beat it. It had a sequel but it was kinda more of the same and not worth it. Mild recommendation to check it out on an emulator with all the quarters you can eat.

  • This game was kind of rad. Again for the Neo Geo (See Sengoku) AES this title was a lot closer to Final Fight than Sengoku was. Game ripped off everything in sight from WWF to Street Fighter. Ultimately a bit more pedestrian than Sengoku and it just gets boring fast.

  • HA! This was one of my buddy from high school favorite game and we used to ridicule him MERCILESSLY for it! Super sloppy Final Fight gameplay with a power up attack ala the Superman arcade game where you hold down the button and release your uber attack!

  • Sequels are rarely as good as the original and this one doesn't buck that trend. Even with bigger "megs" and prettier graphics it is somehow a worse game and that is sometimes all the Neo Geo had going for it at times back in the arcade heydays.

    BTW it is mildly recommended that you don't bother with any of these Neo Geo titles, just in case you didn't notice.

  • The NES port of the already shaky Double Dragon III decided to try and spice things up by changing things around a bit and customizing game play to be more in line with the capabilities of the NES. This lead to bizarre game play for a Double Dragon game like switching characters between stages or having an "Iron Claw" that you could only hit someone with 4 times. 4 playable characters and all kinds of odd, seemingly arbitrary, game play restrictions and decisions made this one a frustrating release after the superb NES Double Dragon 2.

  • Well, a game more famous for its Bon Mots than its game play? And it is a SNES port of same? Somehow, even though the arcade is a fairly shoddily slapped together game this manages to top it. The two big things I remember of this SNES port was that you could grapple and lift the enemies over your head... forever... and, "It is you who will the one escaping!" Another title where you might as well play the arcade release. Buggy, shoddy port all over.

  • Another case where we are limited by functionality. In this particular I'm addressing the original TMNT NES game that was NOTHING like the awesome TMNT Arcade game, that is until they released TMNT 2 for NES which was a port of the TMNT original Arcade game and was pretty good and... what was I talking about, I think I just got brain damage listening to the underwater "Dam" stage music from this title. The Angry Video Game Nerd once did a review of this game that maybe sums it up best wherein he spends 10-15 minutes trying to jump over a hole in a stage and eventually just... walks... across it. That is right, a video game where you don't jump across pits, you just walk across. The TMNT arcade game was so amazing and we NES owners got... this.

  • Arcade Double Dragon was so god damn good teenage me would sit and plunk 5 bucks into it in the Disneyland arcade rather than enjoy the rest of the theme park! Note that is ARCADE. Double Dragon is easily the proper "grandaddy" of this genre but that is also a factor working against it in that it is a bit simple in game play and kind of short. Once you know how to hit Punch+Jump to do the Elbow attack this game gets really easy but then you miss out on the glory of the Knee Bashes and trying to slug it out punch-to-punch with an Abobo! Again the issue of release variant limitations rears its head but then again I don't know that I'd put the NES version of Double Dragon on this list anywhere. I hate that game! Even the Sega Master System version was better, kinda.... maybe not so much but still, augh! Fortunately his game has seen an XBLA release that is essentially the Arcade version running on an emulator and thus saving Double Dragon from the depths. Unfortunately that version is no longer available as the developer went under and when you consider how much TIME has passed in order to get a decent home version out this game gets knocked WAY down the list.

  • Here is an out of the box entry. Yeah it says Dodge Ball in the title but really you are beaning them with a variety of attacks and special throws plus countering with well timed dodges and counter catches. Now, I was a huge fan of the incredibly difficult arcade game but nobody else seemed to give a fig. When the NES version hit it definitely turned some heads on the matter. It was a bit faster and featured a deeper vs. play with an extra "bean ball" mode which was off court in a sand lot instead of in a stadium. In general the NES game seemed more well thought out as characters all had their own special attack throws and a variety of stats. Check it out, 100 percent! One of my favorite stupid tricks to do in the game was to hit Select during the plane flight then press A and B and Select rapidly so it would go back and forth quickly and slow the in game music down to a crawl, making my own remixes this way. Dork.