Arcade (style) Brawlers, Beat-Em-Ups, Belt Scrollers

Good time to point out that we’re two days away from the 1CC. 12:15 Eastern on Friday for Armored Warriors, which is on the Capcom Beat 'em Up Bundle.

I have a lot going on this weekend, but I’ll definitely do my best to make time for it and of course catch up later on what I missed.

Watching a couple of Pasky’s training session has been enlightening as ever.
In particular, watching his playthrough of Tenchiwokurau 2, associated by the clean emulation of the Capcom bundle and the ergonomics of the M30, has upped my game to a point it had never reached before.
I cleared only the 3 first stages with a virtual coin so far (and not in hardest mode, he is insane), but that’s one extra stage already! 1CCing such a game doesn’t seem that absurd anymore. Maybe that’s the root for true despair though!

Warriors of Fate is pretty long, I think? For sentimental childhood reasons, I’d like to get good at that one, but it seems daunting.

I’ve been training on Battle Circuit, because it’s

  • in the Capcom Beat-Em Up Bundle
  • new to me so I won’t get tired of it as easily
  • apparently one of the easier Capcom Beat-Em Ups

Watching replays really opened my eyes on it. Like, in Battle Circuit, you get a ton of invincibility after your Desperation Move, so there’s a lot of strategies involving using it when there are no enemies nearby in order to bypass projectiles, or just to get invincibility and approach a boss.

I’ve been replaying the bosses over and over using save states to get better at them (the levels are generally pretty easy). Even though I’m far from executing, I can see how it would be possible to beat all the bosses without dying, which is new for me.

Pasky emphasized something about this in Warriors of Fate (thanks for the translation!) that changed totally my approach to the game: using the desperation move as soon as you are about to be taken in a pincer. I was always grindy about using those — now I have to just get to a point I won’t have to think about using them, but do it as a reflex. I still need to really think about it before using one, but it’s improved my survivability the most.

To me, all those games are pretty long, over 30 minutes to complete, but I might be wrong.

I think the Warriors of Fate 1CCs I saw on YouTube clocked at about an hour, which seems long. Checking now, there’s speedruns that are shorter, but they might not hit all the content?

I think that’s the hardest change to make having played these games my entire adult life… using those desperation moves as a defensive measure or positioning measure is never something I even thought of doing. When I started watching Pasky and others playing these games, that’s what stood out the most. That and things like the backwards jumping in Final Fight and other weird movement quirks I never even knew existed or did accidentally.

I think it’s really made me better at ALL videogames to have seen these things. I now look for exploitative things like that which are totally within the rules of the game in pretty much everything I play. It has frankly made me even better at first person shooters like Apex, too.

It’s kinda energized me about gaming in general.

I think they’re a little different.

The backwards jump seems more like a speedrun “tech” than an intended design decision. My understanding is that you backwards jump because the game only scrolls if you’re facing to the right, so you can back-jump to position yourself without triggering additional enemy spawns. I don’t think the average player would have ever figured that out in the course of normal play.

Stuff like “how do I use DM-invincibility to my advantage” requires a different approach, but it feels way more obvious once you learn about it, to the point where you wonder why you never thought of it. Like, that’s why triggering the move doesn’t incur damage, you only take same when you hit an enemy with it, which wasn’t always the case.

It is amazing how rich a game can be with just like 3 verbs though.

While I agree they’re in a different category (arcade-action/arcade-action-platformer?), I think they’re definitely cousins. Ninja Warriors is the most beat-em-up adjacent.

Speaking of which, Ninja Warriors has been remade, for modern consoles:

I guess the version I’m most famiilar with is the SNES one? The original had such punch with its enormous sprites. This remake looks the way the original looks in my memory.

Thing has been on my wishlist forever.
Fun fact, it’s priced twice the western price in Japan’s eshop. Was almost an incentive to buy it on release, it felt like 50% off!

This is a remake of the SNES game. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I intend to purchase eventually.

I recently played the arcade original for the first time ever at Galloping Ghost. I think the SNES game is better.

I didn’t even know there was a SNES game! It must have been a late one?

The arcade game was quite terrible: you had to stop all the time while progressing to kill guys spawning in your back, like in Green Beret — but the wide screen made it even worse! The soundtrack was really striking. It was also incredibly hard. I don’t think I ever made it past the first level. Actually, were there levels?

It’s there, with Dragon Ninja, as one of those rare arcade games that left me an impression as a kid but got me shocked at what they really were when I saw them again. I’m glad they are the exceptions and most are even better when I get to play them nowadays.

Yeah, the SNES game was The Ninja Warriors Again in Japan and just The Ninja Warriors in the US and Europe. It’s much better than the arcade game and that’s what The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors (Ninja Warriors Once Again in Japan) is built on. It’s a remake with some additional levels and characters. Zuntata soundtrack again I believe.

Anyway, it was kinda late because it arrived early in 1994 but it was still prime 16-bit era. Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn were definitely known quantities by then but not yet released.

1994 is right the beginning of my dark spot for SNES games: we were all over the PC-Engine CDs and the Neogeo then. Pretty cool to have a game to look forward to, 25 years later!

Of course, I have been playing my Switch arcade games lately and I have been making some unlikely progress.
I’m going to make another shootout for the wonderful M30: I grab usually the Nintendo Pro gamepad as a reflex, but still proceed to play some arcade games with it, and the difference between the two pieces of hardware has been so funny. For instance in King of Dragons, I am hardly able to make it to level 3 with the Pro, while I reached level 6 with the M30.
Amazing gamepad.

The new King Of Fighters mobile game is apparently kind of a beat-em-up? I mean, as much as gacha games ever have mechanics.

So that’s weird.

My brother got this game, and it starts out strong, but a lot of problems quickly become apparent. There are a lot of attacks, but they use the same/similar inputs, so you end up accidentally doing the wrong thing a lot. You have a block button, but there is very little point in using it, because enemies have no tells and once you get hit you’re going to keep getting hit for the entirety of the slow, three-hit combo. The “kick your buddy’s soul back into their body” mechanic is cute and fun at first, but the animation that precedes it takes forever to play out, you usually just don’t have very much time to do it while a torrent of enemies is flooding you, and it uses possibly the most finicky attack to execute in the whole game, ugh. Speaking of hitboxes, some of the bosses (who all so far represent a massive difficulty spike) have attacks with absolutely bullshit hitboxes, along with unblockable attacks with bad tells, etc. Repeating a boss (and you will repeat them) means repeating their cutscenes, and although you can skip them, they all have multiple cutscenes to skip (the second guy has three), and you don’t immediately skip but have to hold a button for a few seconds to do so. Just like…why would anybody think this was a good idea? Altogether I started out thinking it was a great and very fun co-op experience, but after about three or four hours I’m pretty soured on it and would not recommend it, especially at $30. Just overall a very frustrating game, even if everything about it aesthetically is pretty great.

I played Green Beret on my Amstrad 128 CPC. I was shocked when I played it on my friend’s Commodore 64. It was a very different game! The levels all looked different, and they had a different scrolling mechanic. On the Amstrad, you had to approach the right side of the screen, and when you got close, the whole screen scrolled over to the right while the game paused. On the C64 version, the screen just kept scrolling while your character was in the middle of the screen. So you couldn’t do what I did on the Amstrad which is to fire a flamethrower flame, have it kill a bunch of enemies, and then scroll the screen to the right just as it’s about to hit the edge of the screen. Then the game paused and scrolled over, and the flame kept going for THIS whole screen as well, killing all the enemies along the way.

I played River City Girls a bit ago, and I agree there are some significant issues. It’s also kinda not a Beat em up, because it’s a Brawl-RPG, and so the game is very different in the beginning vs the end. Stats go up with levels and with buying new foods, which makes your characters move faster, which makes the entire game feel better and more responsive as you progress.

As you said, the blocking is, unfortunately, useless. I kept hoping that correct parry timing on blocks would let you interrupt an enemy’s attack string, but it never does.

I liked it overall though, because I feel that by the time you get your full suite of moves, you do have a satisfying ability to be expressive in your attacks. It isn’t really hard enough to care about optimal attack strings, so it’s fun to play around and enjoy the various animations. The different characters (there are 2 unlockables) are different enough to be fun to play with, although there aren’t really different strategies, just different animations. Juggles are possible, but not trivial, so they feel fun and good to land.

I liked it overall, but I was about ready for it to be over when it ended. Theres a new game+ that doesn’t really add much, as the harder enemies aren’t really more interesting.

The Abobo boss is just absolute raging bullshit.

100% agreed.