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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:29 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
Found another falling saru near the end of the first segment of stage 3. I think that's all of them. He drops in at the edge of the screen midway through a fight, so he could absolutely catch you while you're doing something else. So all in all there's one spot where you are very likely to get cheap shotted if you don't know about it in advance and two spots where they probably won't get you, but they can if you're unlucky. I now agree that it's a flaw that that can happen, just not a very serious one.


Good hunting. :smile: With that particular Saru, I'm busy demolishing the Kage who arrives ahead of him, as well as the Shinobu immediately after. I do this in the earlier run, too, and with Kunoichi. It's certainly memorisation, but not of the Saru - avoiding him is simply a byproduct of squashing the Kage. Whatever enemy dropped second there, facing it would leave my back exposed to TNWA's designated Asshole Hit/Runner, and soon enough I'd be pincered by Shinobus, etc etc.

Not wishing to white knight, I just think the wave design naturally pulls attention towards the Kage. Actually, even if you were to keep your distance, only to execute a deft counter-Hover on Saru - that same Kage might well rush in and backstab you. :shock: Even my ancient first Ninja Hard clear follows this pattern, though I was nowhere as competent back then.

Musings on ol' ass run: NB the knockdown after moving in and attempting to Crouch P the Saru - bad move! In that situation, I should've exploited Ninja's reach, launching Stand Ps at the Shinobus, with Nunchaku flattening the crowd. If they or the Saru were to jab, I'd instantly go into Guard, and could Tumble back to reset if necessary.

Never enter an enemy's striking range only to crouch, as Ninja - either bludgeon them with Stand P+Nunchaku/Rockets, or move in to grab - or if you're eating jabs, Guard and retreat. You'll keep your footing, your HP, and your meter - and whatever punches you've landed will have done no less damage. If you want them kept close for termination, use Atomic Drop and continue on wakeup. If you've got company, flatten as appropriate, then move in.

As with Kunoichi, a huge part of dominant TNWA play is flattening enemies into sitting ducks. This is why the latter's Hair is so deceptively useful - victims not only squash crowds (use [up] and [up/away] for respective rear guard and mortar), while taking significant damage - they're also instantly converted into PPPPP/Bulldozer launchpads on wakeup. Kunoichi has no more advantageous a situation than standing over a waking (non-boss) enemy, with her stubby reach totally obviated.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:20 pm 


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I did another playthrough, and I admit there are not as many occasions as I thought. There's the one Vanguard mentioned early on stage 3, and another one early on stage 7. And of course the much more notable ambush on stage 5, and then there are another two during the skirmish in the hangar when you head right on stage 8. Not sure if going left gives you any.

Still, they've been getting me down often enough that it started feeling like a major annoyance ot me.

Image

Anyway, I decided to double down and invest in Final Fight Tough since I realised there's no way around that game.
While it shares a lot of genes with its immediate predecessor, it's a massive, massive improvement. You'll still spend a good amount of time punching the sides of the screens when you got your enemies gathered out there, but getting there in the first place feels a lot more earned in this game. Also, the game overall is just much faster. Even Haggar is speedy as hell.
There's a bit too many "generic" enemies with very similar AI, but a few good ones help creating a better dynamic to the game. The big guys who don't pose much of a threat on their own, but will dash through the screen if left alone. The little "Joe" s that'll run around you, dodge your attacks and attempt to throw you, and the female goons that move around faster than your regular zako all help tossing things up once in a while.

Overall the game does still feel a little repetitive, but fortunately doesn't last that long either. I hate to say it, but I actually kinda miss stage gimmicks? It's obviously the same branch of beat'em up as all the other games inspired by the original Final Fight, but I'd say this one is a lot better than both Sailor Moon R and Batman Returns. It doesn't hold a candle to the Streets of Rage series, but it's definitely among the best in the genre on the SNES, though it still pales next to TNWA and that game's incredibly creative enemy constellations. I'd even say Mighty Final Fight still has more interesting enemy types.

The most common criticism I've seen is that the game is just too easy - which it definitely is. But I don't think that's as damning as you'd think. Streets of Rage 2 and Bare Knuckle 3 are the same, and those are still fantastic games.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:13 pm 


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Final Fight Tough is on a totally different level of easy, though. It makes the Bare Knuckle games look like Zing Zing Zip. I seem to remember making it to the last stage without using a single continue the very first time I played it. Definitely a title that benefits from having higher difficulty levels.

Are Undercover Cops and Ghost Chaser Densei on your list?
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:40 am 


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No, both are a little too expensive for me. And with the new tax laws going into effect next month I probably won't be buying anything more from Japan for a while...

I don't know, Final Fight Tough was easy, but it didn't seem any easier than Bare Knuckle III to me? I guess it "feels" easier because there's less factors that you need to adapt to.

Like most others on the SNES it suffers from that classic 3 on-screen enemies thing. There's one place where you get four enemies, and they are all of the same smaller type, so it makes sense they could cram another guy in there. I find it interesting that they designed their engine to support four different enemy sprites like that, instead of having all of them stuck to hardcoded VRAM addresses - only for that single elevator stage.
It's too bad, the game could have been really good with four enemies on screen every now and then (maybe make a dedicated single player mode, using up the sprites reserved for P2 for a fourth enemy, like TNWA does), but then I think it would also highlight the repetition in the enemy types even further,


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:33 am 


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Beat FF Tough's Expert mode on my first try, but my execution definitely could have been much better, and I was literally on my last HP of my last life when the final boss went down.

So yeah, it could have been harder, but it still places it above Bare Knuckle III in terms of difficulty, even on the highest settings of both. :P
Either way, Expert mode is a ton of fun. Enemy life and formations seem to be completely identical, but they are much more aggressive. "May" enemies grabbed me probably once on Normal, but on Expert they go for it any time they have even a slim chance. But some other enemies, like the big guys that rush you, feel unchanged. You can't let anyone out of your sight, and Haggar's hadouken move becomes a much more useful tool for closing the distance.

Definitely a top brawler on the SNES, even if it's no Bare Knuckle or Ninja Warrior.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:35 am 



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Just played through Fight N Rage. After being disappointed in River City Girls, I'm glad this more than made up for it. No rpg mechanics or silly gimmicks. Just a pure, arcade beat em up that would have totally fit in my local arcade in the 90s. Love it!!


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:00 pm 


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For all three people that care about Sailor Moon R in this forum, I finally found a use for the projectile attack. If you try to charge it at the end of the first half of Stage 2 when the green Shade is on screen, it will always jump toward you instead of sliding along the ground. From there you can reliably knock it down with a standing jump kick, then get right next to it as it wakes up to take it out without having to use your health-draining special. Highly circumstantial, yes, but it's better than nothing, and you do need to conserve your health at that point since you have to do the entire raft sequence without any items. The projectile attack will also cause Danburu and Avogadra to move out of the way while it's being charged, and it might be worth noting that an Avogadra knocked down by a projectile will stay put long enough for you to fire off another one in the same place and knock it down again.

The game also has a "True Ending" of sorts if you beat it on the hardest difficulty, but it doesn't really count because the only difference between it and the regular ending is the addition of Sailor Pluto next to Neo-Queen Serenity on the ending screen. In my personal opinion, the hardest difficulty isn't particularly fun to play, either, because all non-boss enemies have more health and certain enemy types are noticeably more aggressive. Jaamanen and Danburu in particular are far more likely to team up and put you in situations where you almost have to use your health-draining special if you don't want to get molested. Shades are also more dangerous with twice as much health because you can't take out multiple at once with your screen-clearing super.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:10 am 


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Who's the third, you know I always care about The Hard Gayming (■`ω´■) :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:15 pm 


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For all four people that care about Sailor Moon R in this forum, I finally got off my lazy butt and decided to figure out YouTube. Here's my Minako 1CC, uploaded in two parts because it was faster and I can't be arsed to verify. Those of you that have more experience with this sort of thing are free to offer advice (aside from "please edit out the parts that say "Movie replay" and "Movie end", because I could not figure out how to do that cleanly with avidemux :lol: ).

Part 1
Part 2

It would have been a no-miss run if not for a silly mistake I made at the end of Stage 3, but oh well.

I also decided to record and upload a shorter video of Ami getting through the raft sequence without losing a life, because why not.

Ami's No-miss Raft Sequence
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 1:07 am 


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Hi there, I'm new to the site, and I was curious, is there a beginner beat 'em up that's good for a 1CC? I've been looking for some guides for beginners and while shmups have excellent resources, beat 'em ups seem to be lacking.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:15 am 


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bladesymphony wrote:
Hi there, I'm new to the site, and I was curious, is there a beginner beat 'em up that's good for a 1CC? I've been looking for some guides for beginners and while shmups have excellent resources, beat 'em ups seem to be lacking.

Console brawlers are generally way easier than the arcade ones. Sumez mentioned Final Fight Tough and Bare Knuckle III above and they're pretty gentle on defaults (it doesn't matter what region you play Tough on, the Final Fight 3 localization is fine, but the Streets of Rage 3 localizaiton does much to increase difficulty).
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:36 am 


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In my experience Mighty Final Fight was a great beginner game, too. I went in never meshing well the genre, and it did take me a few playthroughs and a guide to understand the basic mechanics (basically: repositioning enemies by walking into them to grab and then throw them is core to the game) before it really clicked with me, but I think it helped me understand the genre's fundamentals a lot better.

It's very simple in the way that you never face off more than two enemies at the same time, and they all have very obvious strengths and weaknesses that changes how you approach them. And that's basically all there is to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:22 pm 


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Thanks. I actually decided to go with Captain Commando. I know it's not an easy game but it seems like a good one to learn the basics from.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:53 pm 



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bladesymphony wrote:
Thanks. I actually decided to go with Captain Commando. I know it's not an easy game but it seems like a good one to learn the basics from.

Arcade or snes? the port is very botched.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:40 am 



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Never played the Snes port, but the Capcom Beat Em Up Collection on Switch is the version I play and it seems to run nicely.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:47 pm 



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bladesymphony wrote:
Thanks. I actually decided to go with Captain Commando. I know it's not an easy game but it seems like a good one to learn the basics from.


I find captain commando much harder than either The Punisher or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs. I would start with those instead


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:14 pm 


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I have the Beat 'Em Up Bundle so I'm going with that version.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:29 am 


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Looks like the next Arcade Archives games is a Beat 'em Up. Samurai-Fighter Shingen.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:36 am 


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Yeah, looks like it (at the least) shared art staff with earlier ACA release Ninja Kazan. And by that I mean it's kinda fugly. :lol: And likes winking at me. Image Gonna give it a go in MAME, I'd actually no idea it even existed (I'm sure I've seen its title, but then there are a million games/manga/anime/movies bearing Shingen's name). I've a particular interest in post-DD1, pre-FF1 beltscrolling... sometimes it's sublime (Ninja Gaiden), sometimes it's very good (Crime Fighters), sometimes it makes me weep the tears of a man whose god has abandoned him (Datsugoku). :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:50 am 


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Time for y'all to get serious.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:28 am 


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BIL wrote:
Yeah, looks like it (at the least) shared art staff with earlier ACA release Ninja Kazan. And by that I mean it's kinda fugly. :lol: And likes winking at me. Image Gonna give it a go in MAME, I'd actually no idea it even existed (I'm sure I've seen its title, but then there are a million games/manga/anime/movies bearing Shingen's name). I've a particular interest in post-DD1, pre-FF1 beltscrolling... sometimes it's sublime (Ninja Gaiden), sometimes it's very good (Crime Fighters), sometimes it makes me weep the tears of a man whose god has abandoned him (Datsugoku). :cool:


I thought I recognised those washed-out, slightly gimpy looking visuals.
And you summed up my feelings perfectly, but, it keeps looking at me.......
Yeah, I'll spin in on the Wii U first I think.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:52 pm 


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Only Kamiya-sama could make beating an enemy into the dirt, pissing in their face, then tearing them clean in half so curative. Enjoying Okami HD so much, I thought I'd take a blind punt at Takeda Shingen (that English title is so awkward, wonder if it was ever used BITD).

Image

Good gravy, this game is fugly like a motherfucker. Drab colours and indistinct sprites are barely passable by the standards of Technos, Konami and Tecmo's contemporaries. Even Datsugoku owns it hard, actually, of course it would, that game looks great even if it plays pretty poorly. Shingen looks like an early HuCard. However, I find it less offputting than the similarly-homely Ninja Kazan - while that one suffers from clipart Injun/Aztec/Roman themes, only getting its shit together in the ninja-crazed finale, Shingen has a nicely assured Badass Samurai theme from the outset.

Loved the nod to Kagemusha (shadow warrior, effectively a royal body double) via the 2P mode, haha. The Kurosawa film of the same name is crackin'. Arrogant Son tries to destroy the timid-natured Kagemusha, putting a hard tactical question to him in front of the war council (pops be dead, news kept under wraps so the enemy won't be emboldened) - Kage's thunderous response owns junior so hard, the boy's nutsack shrivels up and he can barely squeak his assent, as his men look on in scorn before reaffirming their vow to "Shingen."

"DO NOT MOVE. A MOUNTAIN DOES NOT MOVE!" Christ. Nakadai Tatsuya (playing both Shingen/Kage) a beast. Where was I.

Oh yes, the game. Weirdly/pleasingly, this feels like Sengoku 0. Not as polished as the rather excellent Sengoku 2, or even the relatively tatty Sengoku 1, but it's got that touch-of-death katana zoning I enjoy. Grapples? Combos? Homie I hate to break it to you, but you just took a foot of eighteen-folded tamahagane across your carotid, your bitch ass WA MOU SHINDEIRU :shock:

Uses Kunio left/right strikes, to boot. Hm! Can't recall seeing those outside of that landmark and DDIIAC/FC. As expected of late 80s Jaleco, it's not a knockout, but it's more than competent. This going on five minutes' play before my eyelids wouldn't cooperate, but I've no regrets. Image

---

EDIT: Ah sheeit Image Image This is actually really good. Much like Kazan, it may look amateurish, but the mechanics are addictively tight. I like it more than Sengoku 1 now, much more intuitive and Kunio-paced.

Just like DD2AC, you have a "back attack" which doubles as a vital poke, and kinda outmodes the actual "front attack." Move away from the target while hitting the button, and instead of your short-ranged overhead chop, you'll get a rangy stab perfect for shutting out enemies mid-attack. Shingen is quick on his feet, even sans the Speedup, which brings out the quickest 80s beltscrolling I've seen to date. NKK/DD1/DD2 let you zip about too, but Shingen's emphasis on fewer, deadlier hits creates an entirely different effect. For the love of God and all that is holy, launch your attacks from off-axis. ;3

Jumping works interestingly, with the move itself counted as an attack. A leap launched from optimal range can butcher multiple foes in its path. You can also stall your advance out of neutral, for a slight Divekick effect. More frequently, I use it as a quick escape/reset. Just like Kunio, you're fighting four/five enemies at a time in small spaces, here with the occasional pit or stairwell to fall down.

Aesthetically, as with Kazan, it's the goofy spritework and off-key colouring that lets it down. The atmosphere is superb, taking very much after classic aforesaid Kurosawa. Sparely contemplative, menacingly taiko-shaded BGM (I'm guessing Tsukasa Tawada's work, man is underrated), and rustic scenery classily complement the intense scoot/stab. Overall, a strong effort in the Warring States genre.

Appropriately, gunners provided the first real threat to an otherwise formidably well-equipped Shingen. The fuckers will shred you, attacked head-on. Had a good time figuring out their weakness - as if their dominating forward offense wasn't good enough, they also love to backstab (uh, backshot :oops:) you.

The Theme Of Backshot
Shoot You In The Back

Turn your back, let the cunts dart in and - remember that Back Attack? - *BLAOW* how you liek me now, don't fuck w/ mah style :cool: Trickier with a crowd onscreen, ofc! AH'M WORKIN ON IT Image
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:44 am 


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SNES Batman Returns is fantastic. I played it when I was a kid and a handful of times over the years since, but haven't properly returned to it until the last few days.

The core moveset is really enjoyable. At first I missed not having a down-aerial for stunning enemies while jumping on them, but the batarang fills a similar role and is really gratifying to pull off proper crowd control with. Picking out a proper enemy to stun, deciding whether to go after them or use their stun as a reprieve to go after someone else, the way this ties into Batman's double-grapple move - all awesome. The double-grapple is great too; I love how it kind of takes the place of the usual big grab attack brawler heavies (like Haggar or Max) tend to have, but it has its own particular strengths and weaknesses relative to them due to the setup required.

Enemy design is fantastic. There aren't that many types of enemies, unfortunately, but they have really sharply distinct roles and play off each other well - and thanks to that, encounter design / enemy arrangements are also able to stay good and varied all the way through, which keeps the game from ever feeling repetitive or overlong. Even the basic grunts do pretty high damage (really, the high enemy damage and low amount of HP pickups is the thing keeping the 1CC out of reach after my couple of playthroughs the last few days).

The flat 2D bits are kind of mixed. They really aggravated me upon first returning to the game, because telegraphs for some of the hazards and enemy attacks in them are kind of unclear. I think they ultimately add some appreciable variety to the game, even if they're not the game's strongest aspects, and what annoying elements they do have ultimately get ironed out after some very light memorization. (The batmobile shooting stage is kind of charming too, even though it's completely bone-dry mechanically.) It probably is the case that the reason the pacing of the belt-scrolling bits is able to stay as good as it does is because these gimmick / alternate gameplay sections exist to fill out the game's runtime, so the relatively low amount of enemy types doesn't feel like a handicap and the standard fighting segments never have a chance to feel padded out.

The bosses are mostly simplistic, punishing, fast-paced fights. I like them on the whole. The tattooed strongman (stage 2) and organ grinder (stage 6) do crazy damage if you get nailed by them, especially the latter, but aren't too difficult to navigate around - though I like the little footsies game you have to play with the organ grinder to get out of the way of his melee range - and so both boss fights turn into pretty short, tense crowd control exercises which I enjoy a lot. On the flip side, Catwoman's completely bonkers damage, her sometimes-unclear telegraphs, and the fact that you have to fight her twice back-to-back makes her perhaps more volatile of a fight than I'd like - though I don't have as many issues with her as I did upon playing the game in the last few years; she's certainly not as insurmountable as I guessed. And the Penguin boss fight in stage 4 - which is a 2D plane fight rather than being a typical belt scroller one - is maybe the game's hardest point, standing out as an outsized difficulty spike, and not a particularly enjoyable battle.

I love the game's presentation, too. The character sprites and backgrounds are excellent.

This probably isn't one of the absolute best brawlers I've played, but I struggle to think of like eight or so I enjoy more. Despite some rough edges, it has great pacing, and very strong fundamentals.

-

I've played Final Fight 3 and Splatterhouse Part 3 a bit recently too, though I have less to say there.

FF3 - really awesome core moveset, but enemies feel mushy in that they don't have strongly different gameplay roles to the extent of SoR2's enemy cast, or even Batman Returns', which then necessarily limits the potential quality of encounter design (this reminds me a lot of SoR3). Combining that with the game's relatively long runtime and it makes it feel a little overlong; it really runs out of steam by the end. I don't really understand the bosses yet; a bunch of them have kind of unclear triggers and I tend to lose several lives to some of them - they're less punishing than Batman Returns' but also more annoying to figure out. I definitely think this is a solidly enjoyable game and on some level it might be more refined than Batman, but I don't enjoy it quite as much.

Splatterhouse 3 - playing the JP version. Unlike the others I haven't credit-fed this one all the way through yet. The aesthetic is phenomenal, the game is filled with charmingly grotesque enemy sprites and backgrounds. Enemy variety is good, and I really like the twist on your core moveset where grabs are your biggest damage dealer but are also very unsafe compared to typical brawler throws. The enemy damage seems surprisingly very high (it seems like some standard enemies in late stage 3 can just do 80% of your health in one hit?), though that is mitigated a bit by the power-up forms' defensive boost and maybe a higher amount of healing items compared to something like Batman. Working out a good route for stages is a really fun little element to add to a game like this, as is the powerup meter managing. I'm really liking this game but definitely have to spend more time with it.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 3:08 am 


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Worth noting that in SHp3 (the dormant Silent Hill fanatic in me won't allow me to call it "SH3," despite its horror rivalling KCET's quartet :mrgreen:), enemies can actually force you to grapple them - either by walking into you, or by wakeup proximity. This is a problem, when bludgeoning multiple targets in a corner - you may find your PPP barrage is now an intensely punishable headbutt, or long throw. Happily, there is a workaround: always hold [down] on the pad. Rick won't move, but if you're autograppled, you'll instantly execute either the bodyslam (Rick), or Body Blow (Monster). Both come out instantly, and are 100% invincible - the former flattening the crowd, the latter doing immense damage to a single target, and best followed by holding [forward] to insta-grapple any interferers afterward.

Great game. I would call it a very good FFesque, on its thumping combat alone (that obscenely grainy fist-on-flesh hit SFX; those bestially plaintive KO GUWAAAAAAS Image), but the strategic POW-driven time attack and show-stopping horror elevate it to one of my favourite console originals. Killer soundtrack, too - morbidly bubbling and undulating early on, contrapuntally bone-driven as the finish line nears.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:49 am 


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Not sure if it's already been mentioned here or if it's even good enough to be of interest, but Night Slashers was recently added to the "Retro Classix" lineup on GOG, though the handful of reviews don't make it sound too appetizing...
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:00 pm 



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Night Slashers is the truth, and reviewers are clearly a bunch of crypto-reactionaries on the payroll of Capcom, QAnon and the Donald (who will be reinstated in August, of course)!

I have been playing this title again, of late, after 1-CC'ing a while ago via a very conservative approach ("1 enemy per time").
Suchisdeath and I posted a few comments and thoughts in this very thread, I guess (OK, too lazy to scroll a few posts).

This time around, I am trying to 1-CC it by being more aggressive and learning to crowd-control at ease. By no means the perfect title. Still, the third boss is a vampirical, ultra-ripped version of Lord Gaza from Cyber Blue (i.e. an '80s macho shonen manga with...a steroid-laden parody of Prince Roger Nelson), to mention one hilarious design idea that is too campy too miss.

From the link, though, I guess that the Steam version is craphola. I am half tempted to buy it anyway (to have a "legit" copy) and keep buying the MAME version.

This fact reminds me that I should write (up?) my thoughts on DragonGun, in some other thread. Ah, DECO, how much do I love thee?
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:27 am 


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Night Slashers seems to have vanished from the Nintendo UK store for some reason. Ah well, I'll pick up a JPN card and pick it up with Raiden tomorrow.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:47 pm 


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The brawler mood I'm in saw me take a complete detour from the other games I was juggling over into Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (SNES), an old childhood favorite - and, honestly, the game that got me into the genre. It stymied me as a kid but I was finally able to credit-feed through, only having my 1CC stopped by the final boss fights with no real desire to clear the game.

It's sadly a pretty amateurish game. Basic genre fundamentals are nearly approximated - which is actually a big accomplishment for a mid-90s western-developed game, I think - but they aren't quite there. Hitstun and especially the feedback of enemies' attacks on you feel off (more an aesthetic issue than a mechanical one, but this still drags down the feel of the game) and enemies move at high speed and sport some occasionally high-damage attacks despite your lack of real crowd control options, (throws in this game aren't as useful in that regard as they are in other brawlers), which makes managing groups of enemies feel finicky in some pretty unpleasant ways. Enemy design is fairly lacking as well, though enemies are at least reasonably divided into short-range, mid-range, and long-range attackers - they have almost no distinguishing features beyond that, but it at least helps make prioritizing targets and disassembling crowds feel decent.

The grab thing is something I have a big problem with, though. You can't throw enemies off a grab - you have to grab an enemy (just as in Final Fight and its scores of derivatives), then hit up to have your character hoist the goon over their head, and then throw. You're vulnerable during this process, and the act of lifting up an enemy once you've grabbed them takes a moment during which you can still be attacked and interrupted - as does, I think, the actual throw - meaning that unlike most other Final Fight-likes, you can't quickly break up a bad situation by tossing enemies around. It never quite feels like you have all the options you need to escape a bad situation; enemies move at high speed and mid-range attackers can shred you; it feels less like interestingly nuanced, dangerous combat and more just like a series of unconsidered design decisions.

I don't think the game's standard combat is entirely botched, though; I've certainly played duller games. Dash attacks are enjoyable to disrupt enemy groups with, the ability to stun enemies momentarily with web shots is nice, bowling down enemy groups with the throw is kind of kinetic. If the game's problems stopped with its gauche visuals and sloppy but occasionally adequate combat, I'd call it a heavily flawed but somewhat likable brawler - which is unfortunately not the case.

The boss fights are totally miserable. Almost all of the boss battles are against a set of five supervillains who make up the antagonist group in the comic story arc this game was adapted from (most of the rest are against standard enemies with inflated HP and boss music). You fight a few of these supervillains piecemeal every few stages early on the game, but at the halfway mark you have a climactic stage where you have to fight all five of them back-to-back, and from that point on every other level sees you fighting the group of five villains in its entirety up until the game's finale.

Most of the villains are nonsensical bosses with basically no hitstun, the ability to interrupt your attacks from basically any position, and with no real vulnerabilities. Fighting them head-on seems like a lost cause (with the exception of Shriek, who is the only villain who feels like a proper boss fight by virtue of being fairly underpowered and like more of a projectile-spewing support unit to the more powerful bosses than a stage endcap on her own. I'll take it though.) However, halfway or so through the game you can start finding superhero summon items in stages, which summon various allied characters from the original comic storyline to attack for you. Most of these are just different flavors of "bomb" attacks - they aren't quite screen-clearers, generally, and there is some nuance in how they work (different ones will target enemies in different ways or will be more effective at dealing damage to specific enemies or bosses) but they are effectively just panic buttons bombs. In the end, though, surviving through the game's final stages and its endless boss rehashing just comes down to stockpiling summon icons and unloading them whenever the supervillain crew steps onto the field, letting you bypass the fight entirely and turning the endgame into an unpleasant kind of resource management test more than any kind of interesting combat scenario.

The final two boss fights strip away all your collected heroes and replace the ability to use them with a character switch that sends you back and forth between the two playable characters, Spider-Man and Venom. Beating the final boss, Carnage - who is somewhat less nonsensical than his lackeys but has significantly more health - ultimately comes down to abusing the i-frames given when switching between characters, which doesn't make for a particularly enjoyable final battle.

The game has some slightly likable aesthetic elements - the soundtrack, done by a rock band of the time, is fun, some of the music transitions within stages are nice touches - but I've seen this game held up as one of the more decent licensed superhero games in the past, and it certainly doesn't hold up to any half-decent brawler. Having said all that, I don't think I would have had nearly as much to say on this unremarkably mediocre game if it wasn't one I had grown up with and if there had been much of anything said on it in this forum / thread at all in the past.

Back to Batman Returns / Final Fight 3 / Splatterhouse 3.

EDIT: Came back through and 1CCed both Batman Returns and, on a whim, Maximum Carnage.

Batman Returns is definitely awesome. Its attempts at variety aren't always well-considered but I think it's a great, brisk brawler. Maximum Carnage isn't a very good game, but after improving just a little at the standard combat, I appreciate it a tiny bit more - the bosses are actively poor enough to drag the game down and the whole experience is still very unrefined, but there are genuine moments of goodness in the game's fleeting grasp of brawler fundamentals. Not really recommendable but not entirely inept either.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2021 9:46 pm 



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Posts: 45
BulletMagnet wrote:
Not sure if it's already been mentioned here or if it's even good enough to be of interest, but Night Slashers was recently added to the "Retro Classix" lineup on GOG, though the handful of reviews don't make it sound too appetizing...

Marc wrote:
Night Slashers seems to have vanished from the Nintendo UK store for some reason. Ah well, I'll pick up a JPN card and pick it up with Raiden tomorrow.

Here's my review of Night Slashers on Switch:

A=punch
B=jump
Y=special attack

(no control config option)

All the modern console ports of Data East games seem to be a total waste.

bladesymphony wrote:
Thanks. I actually decided to go with Captain Commando. I know it's not an easy game but it seems like a good one to learn the basics from.

bladesymphony wrote:
I have the Beat 'Em Up Bundle so I'm going with that version.

I was in your boat: I decided I was going to 1cc a Capcom arcade brawler and decided Captain Commando would be the first (and still only) one, since it's kind of an old favorite of mine. Well, I eventually did it, and I don't even want to dwell on how much time and effort it took. After the bonus round it really ramps up the amount of "unfair" stuff that almost can't be passed without cheese strats. If you stick without it, consult YouTube 1ccs as needed, because there's some important stuff you'd probably never think to try in a million years (the final boss strat comes to mind). The Aquarium boss alone means I'm not finishing the game with Baby or Cap any time soon, unless I hit some kind of breakthrough. Mummy is for sure the easiest all-around, I'm trying Ninja but it's tougher.

As far as learning the basics goes, CC has the oddity that you have to grab to do a throw, whereas in other Capcom games you can throw from a jab chain.

Sir Ilpalazzo wrote:
Splatterhouse 3 - playing the JP version. Unlike the others I haven't credit-fed this one all the way through yet. The aesthetic is phenomenal, the game is filled with charmingly grotesque enemy sprites and backgrounds. Enemy variety is good, and I really like the twist on your core moveset where grabs are your biggest damage dealer but are also very unsafe compared to typical brawler throws. The enemy damage seems surprisingly very high (it seems like some standard enemies in late stage 3 can just do 80% of your health in one hit?), though that is mitigated a bit by the power-up forms' defensive boost and maybe a higher amount of healing items compared to something like Batman. Working out a good route for stages is a really fun little element to add to a game like this, as is the powerup meter managing. I'm really liking this game but definitely have to spend more time with it.

BIL wrote:
Worth noting that in SHp3 (the dormant Silent Hill fanatic in me won't allow me to call it "SH3," despite its horror rivalling KCET's quartet :mrgreen:), enemies can actually force you to grapple them - either by walking into you, or by wakeup proximity. This is a problem, when bludgeoning multiple targets in a corner - you may find your PPP barrage is now an intensely punishable headbutt, or long throw. Happily, there is a workaround: always hold [down] on the pad. Rick won't move, but if you're autograppled, you'll instantly execute either the bodyslam (Rick), or Body Blow (Monster). Both come out instantly, and are 100% invincible - the former flattening the crowd, the latter doing immense damage to a single target, and best followed by holding [forward] to insta-grapple any interferers afterward.

This is good advice, re: the forced grabs. Ofc in the US version that best tech is spin kick everything, but you guys probably already knew that. Notable that the game has a lot of secrets: obviously different paths, different endings, some hidden bonus rounds, and iirc level 2 can be skipped altogether if you finish the first one fast enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups (Including Switch/PS4 List)
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 7:42 am 


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Any new takes on The Takeover? It's available from Limited Run Games right now, and I've been kinda curious about it for a while. I really like its unique visual style, and it seems to be mechanically functional.

The one take I've been able to find previously isn't very positive, (thanks, Sir Ilpalazzo), and it kinda echoes what I've seen elsewhere too. Basically like Streets of Rage 2, but without what makes it good.

I've been tempted to take the plunge anyway. I know it's not gonna be a SOR4 or Fight'n'Rage, but if there's still some mild appeal to it, I might still be interested.


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