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

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.

Damn, and then after him just lock screen after lock screen with wave after wave of punch-sponge enemies…negating all the cash we just gained. This game is bullshit. You suck, WayForward.

While the bosses sucked, I don’t really recall the lock screen being hugely problematic.

If you’re playing co-op, maybe the scaling is weird? If the cash doesn’t scale correctly, you may also end up being under-statted. (It isn’t explained, but the first time you eat a new food in the store, you get a stat up. I don’t think it counts if you get the food to go). And there are definitely moves at the dojo that are just straight up more useful than others. Like, “throw the other direction” is expensive, but fully useless except for style points.

Because of the gated stats and attacks, I felt deliberately handicapped until at least halfway through (the fancy/seaside zone).

I started playing Fight’n Rage a bit last week, and I hope that’s not an issue that will be hidden inside that one.
It’s been awesome so far: I have hardly ever had so much fun punching enemies to pulp in a recent game. There is an hilarious “punch them to bones” factor in some of the comboes you can pull off that is super satisfying, like punching people in half in some old games.

You should write the strategy guide. That game was pretty damn near impossible for me.
I remember being shocked when I discovered in the coinop games the “soundtrack” was the soundtrack. Military music isn’t my jam!

I’ve been playing Way of the Passive Fist recently, because it was on bargain bin sale on the Switch (90%, I believe).

It’s interesting. It’s not really a beat-em-up, although it looks like one. Your primary verbs are “parry” and “dodge”, you don’t really have a punch. Every enemy has Punch-Out style attack patterns, and your job is to avoid attacks until they wear themselves out (and also build a meter to occasionally throw a super punch of your own).

It doesn’t have any real crowd control mechanics, because enemies queue up one at a time to attack you. There’s a bit of prioritisation and positioning, but it’s mostly managing the noise of multiple enemy types and remembering their patterns.

While it doesn’t feel like a beat em up, it does feel like a vintage arcade game, both mechanically and stylistically (large arcade-y sprites). Like, a 2d scrolling version of Crossed Swords, or something like that. It seems like it would be great fun to watch speedruns of.

This is one of those inexplicable plagues that haunts gaming.

Nobody wants to watch your cutscene a second time (just fucking remove them after the first play; although keep them skippable because honestly not that many people want to watch them the first time either). I took 3 tries on, uh, the rooftop boss (Yamada? I’m still pretty early in the game) and like having to go through the four skips the third time almost tilted me.

Were there four? He’s the one I was talking about (took us a few tries to down him).

I think Yamada had a comic-book panel cutscene? That adds an extra one. Scene-comic-scene-intro splash makes 4?

I found the Abobo cutscenes the most annoying, because I had to retry him like 20 times, and I think he has 2 scenes to skip.

That was it yeah.