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 Post subject: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:25 pm 


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Over the past year or two I have been getting back into the 2D side-scrolling Beat 'em ups and really enjoying it. However, when looking for other sites or resources on that genre I can't find much at all. I did find this old thread on the forums while searching: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14556 but I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to resurrect a 13 year old thread so I figured I would make a new one.

I still love Shmups more, but I think in comparison Beat 'em Ups are less focused on score and more on survival which for me makes a more laid back experience. One mistake *usually* isn't going to ruin your entire run, and as long as you survived a section without taking too much damage you're okay. Stemming from arcade roots the older titles can definitely be cheesy as hell in order to get more of your money,
but most of the later ones designed for PC/Consoles are a lot better at keeping the cheese to a minimum.

Anyone else still stuck in the past like me with not only Shmups but Beat 'em Ups as well?


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:28 pm 


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viewtopic.php?f=3&t=45206

That is the one you want. Enjoy.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:55 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=45206

That is the one you want. Enjoy.


Thanks! I just saw the last page or two of that thread and didn't realize what R2RKMF meant :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:58 pm 


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No joke - that thread is probably the greatest resource on the entire internet when it comes to arcade style action games. There is a wealth of information in there.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:12 pm 


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BloodHawk wrote:
Thanks! I just saw the last page or two of that thread and didn't realize what R2RKMF meant :mrgreen:


It's kind of an in-joke. :P It's definitely the catch-all thread for classic run 'n gun action games as well as beat em ups.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:10 pm 


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Although it starts off Final Fight-centric, this thread has some excellent general discussion on beltscrolling.

Dammit, I had some really good Vludi/Hagane/Squire convos in the What Not Shmup megathread linked, for pending index in R2RKMF. But like a dumbass I didn't save the file. :oops: Will hunt 'em down. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:16 pm 


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Quote:
Stemming from arcade roots the older titles can definitely be cheesy as hell in order to get more of your money


Eh, I wouldn't be so sure. Capcom had very fair belt-scrollers as early as 1993, when they released The Punisher, and even The King of Dragons can be cheesed with relative ease if you pick the Wizard or the Elf.

What do you think, BIL? Are Kunio-kun and Double Dragon indeed "cheesy as hell"?
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Last edited by WelshMegalodon on Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:26 pm 


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Beat 'em ups are way more forgiving in every way than shmups. Pretty much the entire genre is trash when it comes to score, with a few exceptions (and they still suck compared to loads of shmups), but they're great for 1CC collecting.

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It be like that.
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Last edited by iconoclast on Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:38 pm 


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Why is Fight'n Rage so low?
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:50 pm 


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I'm more interested in learning why Infinite Combo Senshi Sailor Moon is so high...
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:01 pm 


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No Streets of Rage Remake, invalid tier list. :evil:
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:19 pm 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:
What do you think, BIL? Are Kunio-kun and Double Dragon indeed "cheesy as hell"?


Cheap, cheesy, cruel... I like to distinguish games that are assholic, obtuse and loaded with cheap shots, yet firmly masterable, like Final Fight, from true quarter-munchers, where even a hypothetical expert simply can't evade death, due to shoddy design. I'm not certain, but isn't T2: The Arcade Game literally impossible to finish on a single life? I could easily be wrong there, but that would be the sort of thing I mean.

I could see Kunio and DD1 being minor members of the first class. Kunio's relatively accessible by arcade action standards, I'd say. Particularly with it pitting you against seven enemies at once, per stage, with later foes sporting 1HKO weapons. It's also very short, so a 1CC's little obstacle - though it's obviously designed with extended loops in mind (see the stacking mugshots). Well-timed dash attacks deal with most problems.

Double Dragon is one bent game, almost feels like an escaped beta. Besides the titanic slowdown with more than two enemies onscreen, it's also easier than many prominent console-original beaters, if you exploit the infamous Spanish Archer. :cool: If you forego El Bow and "fight fair," outzoning and outboxing enemies, it's a reasonable game imo. (outside of those dumbass traps in the final stage)

I still consider DD1 a genre classic, played in this mode - the hybrid of martial prowess and skull-crushing carnage was never recaptured, even by the objectively superlative DD Advance.

DDII's better-balanced, moveset-wise, but its large enemies starting with the st2 boss can do 90% damage per hit, and will mow through your reserve lives until you learn to counter them. The final stage is likewise a total clusterfuck, if its waves aren't properly partitioned and speedkilled. Plus, there's another dumb terrain trap to wrangle. It's a simple game, but very unforgiving. Further along the scale to Final Fight.

That said, Final Fight is still way, way, way the hell harder than DD2, and objectively, I could see it being called cheap. It's gonna rifle your wallet, motherfucker! :O But again, I wouldn't call it a quarter-muncher, as you can most definitely wrestle it into 1LC submission with enough hard-earned (or particularly in our DIGITAL SUPERHIGHWAY age, hard-stolen ;3) expertise.

(not to knock internet-derived technique - something I often think of is that one JP superplayer - I'll have to look him up -'s comment that his Mushihimsama WR wasn't merely "his," but all of his arcade crew's combined insight. you totally miss that communal element, tackling these games alone on console, as we tend to in the West - the internet is the nearest we're gonna get to a substitute. beggars can't be etc etc)

Later Capcom beltscrollers feel a lot less cruel than FF to me. The Punisher is the usual example, but I don't think any of them are quite as blunt at destroying the novice player's face. They're certainly not walk-overs, though. Nearer to the happy medium of "hard but not cheesy," I suppose? I would say Metal Slug does this, compared to Super Contra, with its more responsive controls and less assholic stage design.
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Last edited by BIL on Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:24 pm 



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WelshMegalodon wrote:
I'm more interested in learning why Infinite Combo Senshi Sailor Moon is so high...


This, please. Even if you leave apart the infinite combo thing.

Also, Pu Li Ru La sharing rank with stuff like Night Slashers, the D&D's, or The King of Dragons is gross, c'mon.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:45 pm 


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Couple of other good threads, from R2R_Index's current appendix:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=47609

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=51255

Vludi, Leandro, Hagane and Squire are my favourite shumps bros to read re: beltscrolling. :cool:
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:00 pm 


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Mischief Maker wrote:
Why is Fight'n Rage so low?

It's way too long, and the balancing could be better on the highest difficulty (at least). Still a really good game though. (SoR4 is also way too long but I like that game more all around)

Bassa-Bassa wrote:
WelshMegalodon wrote:
I'm more interested in learning why Infinite Combo Senshi Sailor Moon is so high...


This, please. Even if you leave apart the infinite combo thing.

Also, Pu Li Ru La sharing rank with stuff like Night Slashers, the D&D's, or The King of Dragons is gross, c'mon.

Sailor Moon is just Final Fight but better to me. Higher difficulty, more dangerous enemies (ie. more interesting encounters), a few extra mechanics for the player characters, a fast timer that keeps you moving, and it's one of the few bmups that isn't total shit for score (relatively speaking). The only thing it really lacks is more character variety, but you can't do much with Sailor Moon anyway. Still could've used a Haggar.

I think Warriors of Fate is the best designed game I've played, but I still put it behind Sailor Moon because it doesn't have the same bite. It's fairly easy to clear, so sometimes (with long games especially) the sections between the main chokepoints feel like filler because you're not going to die unless you screw up tremendously. That's one reason why I really liked Burning Fight - nearly every screen is dangerous, so it's engaging from start to finish. And it's the perfect length. Janky, but underrated.

Pu Li Ru La is just alright imo. It has great aesthetics, but the game is very simple and doesn't stay interesting for long. Unless you meant it sucks compared to those other games? I'm not big on them either, but I still like the C-tier games well enough. X-Men is the only bmup I've played that just sucks. It's pure nostalgia and aesthetics.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:17 pm 


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Sailor Moon R has a bit more character variety, albeit at the cost of Minako and Makoto being head and shoulders above the other three in terms of reach and damage output.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:15 pm 


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WelshMegalodon wrote:

What do you think, BIL? Are Kunio-kun and Double Dragon indeed "cheesy as hell"?


I've reached 3-4 in Kunio. Not cheesy. The clock, 1hko, and speedy enemies do me in at that point.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:31 am 


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I get the feeling Kunio was balanced for looping, with the game's sheer personality keeping players coming back after the first run-through. It's a hard game to put down after just one loop! I can only just reach late second/early third ATM, I'm a noob. Way the hell more suited to pick up n' play than DD1, that's for sure. Want that one's sole loop done quick, gotta bust out the Spanish Archer. Otherwise it's practically a sandbox martial arts exhibition.

Spoiler: show
Image


^ Right leg hospital. Left leg cemetery. Image

Spoiler: show
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^ Noob fucks don't know about my footwork!

Spoiler: show
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^ Even bad boxing can work out favourably, on perilous ground! :shock:

Spoiler: show
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^ Kicked in the temple and chucked down a pit, industrial misadventure par excellence :cool:

Feels good methodically demolishing chumps with perfectly-placed off-axis strikes and followup grapples. Even El Bow has a part to play! Try landing a couple knees, then releasing them with [away] - straight into a BOOM HEADSHOT elbow. But holy fuck do you need to work hard. >_< The basic strikes suck without perfect technique. Punches don't combo, relying on off-axis placement to land the full sequence. And the kick is too stubby to land from outside striking range, gotta drop it on 'em similarly. DD2 fixed this with its precision-stabbing sidekick, only mid/bosses can stuff it.

Spoiler: show
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^ Your assclown cartwheels won't escape my shoe (`ω´メ)

iconoclast wrote:
I think Warriors of Fate is the best designed game I've played, but I still put it behind Sailor Moon because it doesn't have the same bite. It's fairly easy to clear, so sometimes (with long games especially) the sections between the main chokepoints feel like filler because you're not going to die unless you screw up tremendously. That's one reason why I really liked Burning Fight - nearly every screen is dangerous, so it's engaging from start to finish. And it's the perfect length. Janky, but underrated.


Been thinking of picking up ACA Burning Fight. It's been in my box of battered ol' MVS carts forever, never got around to it. I like the heavy dude's seeming resemblance to #1 Garou badman Ryuji Yamazaki, some of those frames make me wonder if the same designers (or same inspirations) were involved.

Related, how I wish SNK had done more later beltscrollers. D: I enjoy Noise Factory's Sengoku 3 a lot, but what I want is Sam Sho X Warriors of Fate. Dreams of cutting ten zako the fuck in half with agonizingly freeze-framed B L A O W super chops. Sengoku 3's more in the genre's latter-day combo-crazy mode.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:54 am 


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Pulirula is one of the few beatemups with an actual scoring system that meaningfully changes the way you approach the game. If nothing else I respect it for that.
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 Post subject: for a fistful of coin rolls
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:07 am 


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I'll jump kick at the opportunity to ask the venerable brawlers summoned to this table before the next ineviatable bar fight:

What is to be thought about Double Dragon IV (2017)? Since it's fairly recently and staff and style is at least close to the originals in some way.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:24 pm 


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I could never get into beat em ups. But I like a handful of modern ones. Mainly Scott Pilgrim and Dragon's Crown. Actually, I think that's it. Unless Odin Sphere counts as one? :?
The more "classic" ones, I only ever give Powered Gear the time of day and that's mainly because "wow, cool robot".


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:23 pm 



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Unless I'm missing something big, life recovery and bomb items are random, you get the pumpkins appear or you don't, and they don't ever compensate what you got. This alone should suffice to make score (and survival) competitions irrelevant, if you ask me. Pu Li Ru La's inputs for the special moves and weird enemy hitboxes aren't my definition of fun either, but yeah, there's a harvest aspect which I guess is unusual.


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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:26 pm 


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Golden Axe II is still on my hitlist..

but the genre eludes me at a fundamental level
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:58 am 



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Beat 'em ups' strength is that they are more about learning fundamentals (moveset and enemy behavior) than focusing on very specific setups like shmups, so they are a lot more appealing to return to and play semi-casually as they allow more improvisation and semi-random scenarios.
Last game I spent quite a bit of time playing was Fight 'n Rage and I liked it, I guess it can be criticized in that it's a bit derivative from other games (mostly Capcom and SoR), but I think it has enough to offer on its own, playing the game on Unfair difficulty + turbo speed is definitely one of the finest and most chaotic experiences in the genre. I think the only thing I'm not a big fan of is the console-style balancing with lots of extends yet outrageous final stages, kinda like SoR2, but even then it's nowhere near as bad as SoR2 in that aspect.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:13 am 



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What about Battletoads (arcade version)?
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:00 am 


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Are the differences between the JP and US versions of X-Men and Simpsons enough to bump them up a tier?


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 Post subject: Re: for a fistful of coin rolls
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:58 am 


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Ronyn wrote:
What is to be thought about Double Dragon IV (2017)? Since it's fairly recently and staff and style is at least close to the originals in some way.


I was looking into DD4 recently, having slept on its release (as I did with basically every game, the past generation). The system expansions to the DD2FC engine appear DD Advance-inspired, which bodes excellently - Advance nailing the balance of modern combo options and bone-crushing oldschool impact. Its juggling is less for showboating, more for turning a stiff beating into a fatal one. Image

Spoiler: show
Image


Spoiler: show
Image


Look hon, I'm tryna kill motherfuckers here. When I wanna put on a show, I ain't gonna put +5 on Aerial Rave, I'm gonna bring a ball-peen, a roll of duck tape and a sturdy chair. Image

Only thing holding me back - I'm ambivalent on the cheap n' cheerful aesthetic, and honestly, I prefer that to something like Bloodstained ROTN's distracting polys - is unsettling talk of input lag, screen tearing and other technical badness. I'd just picked up the similarly Arcsys-published Kunio World Classics Collection, which besides lacking the superior JP version of DD2FC, also had some noticeably sluggish control response compared to my FC/NES carts. So I left it for the time being.

Hard gayming on modern console. :| When it works out, it's splendid. Capcom Belt Action Collection was a pleasant - and merciful! - surprise, and Hamster have done sterlingly with Technos's AC brawler canon. A lot of false alarms out there too, it seems - GameFAQs assclowns said PS4 SOTN has input lag, my fuckin ass it does. Image

But I get burned just often enough (SNK 40th Anniversary's shitty control bugs, Metal Slug XX's input lag) to prevaricate. Got enough on my plate anyway tbh. >_>

DD4 actually received a patch not too long ago, which makes me hopeful.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:20 am 


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BIL wrote:
Vludi, Leandro, Hagane and Squire are my favourite shumps bros to read re: beltscrolling. :cool:


<3

I'll take some time to ramble a bit and lay out some of my favorite recommendations and some thoughts on them and the genre!

Image

As I've often talked about before, my favorite belt scrollers are Alien Vs Predator and Armored Warriors.

Alien Vs Predator is one of the closest things I've ever played to a "perfect" action game. It's got it all. Incredible genre fundamentals in the core action, a deep moveset where each action is a veritable swiss army knife just waiting to be stylishly applied in a variety of contexts, unpredictable but consistently tricky enemy AI that forces reaction and improvisation with the aforementioned moveset, and an almost Treasure-esque sense of pacing and variety. Some people have complained the game doesn't have much in the way of scoring (a complaint valid for much of the genre), but honestly it doesn't need it. With the games clever and deep moveset and movement mechanics, and the raucously volatile AI, it's very well geared towards Devil May Cry-esque "stylish/spectator action" play, where rather than follow some rote ruleset for optimal numbers, you're simply going out of your way to make each run as stylish and entertaining to watch as possible. Less the objective craft of scoring, more the subjective art of style. You could record the game for 1lc countless times, because a truly beautiful run is going to be uniquely so.

In space, nobody can hear this party getting crazy.

Armored Warriors on the other hand doesn't quite have the same expansive moveset (though it does have a fair share of specials and mobility mechanics depending on how you power up your mech), but it sets itself apart with a really fucking fast base movespeed. Your mech jets around like a motherfucker on rollerskates, and this allows the action to take on a more freestyle and flexible vibe. I think the speedy movement and handling might be fun for shmup fans right off the bat.

I tend to like flash, speed, and coolness, so I prefer the late Capcom titles that experimented with all sorts of killer mobility and combo mechanics, but I do have an appreciation for the older, more restrained classic brawlers though. A nice way to think of it is like the dichotomy between oldschool fighting games (like Street Fighter 2, King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, etc.) which often had extremely strict combo rules, simple mechanics, and not many additional mobility options, and newschool "airdash/anime fighters" (like Darkstalkers, Guilty Gear, Marvel Vs Capcom, etc.) which often have long flashy combos, lots of gimmicky mechanics, and tons of mobility mechanics like air dashes, teleports, etc. to up the flash. Games like Alien Vs Predator offer flasy, feel-good mechanics, and deep movesets, but games like Final Fight drill down to the core and focus absolutely on taking that volatile footsies and spacing game as far as it can go.

Blinge wrote:
but the genre eludes me at a fundamental level


I was talking about this with Hagane a few nights ago. I think the thing that gets most people with this genre is that they go into it expecting to dodge telegraphed attacks on reaction like any single player game (and indeed, like most modern 3d character action games), but then enemies start puching you with fighting-game-speed unreactable jabs* and you're like WTF is this cheap quarter munching bullshit.

But damage is almost always avoidable. The key is to think of them as taking classical fighting game concepts and putting them in a scenario tailored to single player action. You're not dodging or directly reacting to attacks, you're using spacing: typically enemies attack ranges will be shorter than yours, so if you attack from the very tip you'll always be "safe". The challenge is in reacting to enemies erratic and often extremely random movement to avoid letting them get past that optimal range.

*There are some exceptions to this IIRC. Games with parry or blocking mechanics tend to use more telegraphed attacks, for instance King of Dragon's, Knights of The Round, and maaaaaaaybe the D&D games which I like to think of as forming a sort of quadrology of fantasy themed brawlers.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:05 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
Are the differences between the JP and US versions of X-Men and Simpsons enough to bump them up a tier?

I actually really like The Simpsons, I just rated it low because it's simple and easy. It's not a game I'd spend much time with, but I'd absolutely recommend it to fans of the series. Same for Knuckle Bash, Toaplan had no idea what the hell they were doing but it's a fun game anyway.

Re: Capcom, there's the caveat that I only like a few of their later games so much if they're played certain ways. Like Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit, they can either be really bad or really great games, you just have to choose not to use or abuse the broken (and boring) weapons and strategies. Same goes for Cadillacs really, Mustapha spamming dropkicks makes it a lot less fun. AvP isn't too broken surprisingly, it's really just Lynn who can ruin the game by sitting back and spamming her gun, but she has other options. I think Mystara is the only one that can't be saved for me, I just dislike everything about that style of bmup.
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 Post subject: Re: Beat 'em Ups
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:08 pm 


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Vludi wrote:
Beat 'em ups' strength is that they are more about learning fundamentals (moveset and enemy behavior) than focusing on very specific setups like shmups,



ahaha and my problem with fighting games is that my fundamentals are dogshit and I always focus on game specific gimmicks and mechanics :lol:
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