I made this thread to try to get someone to enjoy Aces Wild with me.
This was one of my favorite genres back in the NES days. But I skipped all the 3D consoles so I missed that era of brawlers. The only traditional ones I’ve played in the last five years were emulated Capcom arcade games and Castle Crashers, which is kind of boring in single player.
Then One Finger Death Punch kicked off a renaissance! I played it until my hands hurt. If you haven’t tried it yet, stop reading and go download it.
I figured one good beat 'em up on PC was lucky enough. Then I saw a video for Aces Wild over at notonsteam.com that looked extremely intriguing. I hadn’t heard of it, so I wanted to make sure it had good cred. It did. I bought it Friday and I’ve been playing ever since. If you’re any kind of a brawler afficionado, you need to check it out. I don’t recommend it to newbies unless you’re willing to put some effort into it. It takes a lot of practice to read the enemy tells and fully grasp the combat system. The payoff is even more fist pumping and brutally powerful impact. The weird thing is nearly the entire game takes place in the air. There is an invincible dodge mechanic that makes it play almost like a shoot 'em up. You’ll need to dodge through the enemy attacks and projectiles, then gather them up with basic attacks or smash them with strong attacks. The boss fights are a nice balance between frustration and the thrill of victory. They feel like genuine duels, similar to the DLC bosses in Dark Souls. Someone please buy this and love it so I can share in the joy.
I still have more to play. Guacamelee! was ported recently to PC. Even though the brawling shares time with Metroidvania style exploration, it looks like the combat system opens up midway through the game. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind a lighter beat 'em up after OFDP and Aces Wild. I’ll grab it at the Thanksgiving sale.
I keep linking to Ben Ruiz’s blog. He’s developing Aztez with a keen eye toward proper beat 'em up design, which I’ve been reading about thanks to his devblog. You may know Ben from his orgasmic moans after landing a nice attack in the game he’s making. I’m not as big of a geek as that, though I do enjoy myself. The other reason I’m keeping an eye on his game is the turn-based boardgamey overworld map he’s making to give context to the fights. I really like that idea from Wargame: AirLand Battle. Combat is the meat of the game, so I just need a wrapper around it. That beats some lame story and shitty cutscenes.
Speaking of which, I’m debating whether to play some of the Third Age / 3D brawlers that have made their way over from console. I took a passing glance at the Devil May Cry games and even Castlevania. I just don’t know if I can handle all the crud that surrounds the combat. It has to be really good, like Batman. Maybe I will hold out for a purer experience. I wish they’d port Bayonetta to PC.
The last PC brawler I played five years ago? A River City Ransom clone called Zombie Smashers X2 by Ska Studios. The developer sold out to Xbox LIVE, so we haven’t seen any of his latest games on PC, such as the Dishwasher series. He recently announced he will port them soon. That’s even more to look forward to!
It’s a great time to play beat 'em ups on PC.