Beat 'em up
A beat-em-up also spelled beat 'em up or called a brawler, is a genre of video game where the player controls a character who uses close-combat to defeat a multitude of opponents to achieve a goal. These games began in the mid-1980s as 2D side-scrollers and make heavy use of martial arts. Pioneers of the genre include Karateka, Kung-Fu Master, and Jackie Chan no Project A, Over the years, the genre has expanded to include 3D environments and have incorporated many other game mechanics.
Beat-em-ups are similar to several other video game genres like fighting games, which put more emphasis on complex individual character battles than on defeating a multitude of generic opponents, and scrolling shooters, which predominately use ranged weapons which changes the mechanic. Beat-em-ups which have a fantasy theme are often referred to as a hack-and-slash, and some gaming databases make a distinction between the two, but, since the play mechanics are effectively identical, I group them together.
I really loved beat-em-ups when I first saw them in the late-1980s, but now I find the classic beat-em-up to be a flawed gaming mechanic. It was great in the 1980s for draining quarters in the arcade, but it doesn't create a very rewarding gaming experience. While I like the idea of beating the crap out of a bunch of thugs, I dislike having to develop perfect timing and character control which is mandatory for a lot of beat-em-ups. Instead, I prefer those which have growth and story like my favorite beat-em-up, River City Ransom.
This is a list of beat-em-ups that are important to me.
|Bad Dudes Vs. Dragon Ninja||1988-04-??||Data East|
|Double Dragon II: The Revenge||1988-??-??||Technos|
|Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu||1990-12-??||Now Production|
|River City Ransom||1989-04-25||Technos|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||1989-??-??||Konami|