4LOG Likes: Beat ‘Em Ups
Welcome to the 2nd installment of 4LOG Likes, where the For the Love of Gaming writers share some of their favorite games with you! This month, the theme is centered around classic Beat ‘Em Up games featuring classics such as these:
Garrett: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie (Sega Genesis)
When I was younger, I worshiped two things: My Sega Genesis and the Power Rangers. When the first Power Rangers movie came out, the merchandising extended to game tie-ins for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis, yet both games were different. My preferred version was for the Genesis, which featured 2-player co-op, simple controls, Megazord combat, and a rockin’ soundtrack. Whereas most movie-tie ins nowadays are extremely lackluster, Power Rangers: The Movie felt like Streets of Rage Lite, where you beat the snot out of countless Oozes and Putty Patrol troops with one of six rangers, each with their own abilities. If you haven’t given this game a shot, check it out. It may not be the greatest beat ’em up, but for those who are suckers for 90’s nostalgia, this game is a great choice.
Cory: The Death and Return of Superman (SNES)
There were only a few things that I loved as a kid. Superheros and my Super Nintendo topped that list. For some odd reason I was never really into Superman, but when I heard that there was a game where Superman died, I was curious. I somehow got a copy of the game, and got hooked the minute I switched on my SNES. The Death and Return of Superman in my opinion is the best beat-em up ever for single player. I have played tons of beat ’em ups, but they all get bored to me if I am not playing with a friend. This is due to the repetitive nature of beat ’em ups.
The whole idea of having Superman acutally dying blew my mind as kid. I mean it’s freaking Superman. The idea of him dying just wasn’t something that seemed unprobable, but when that faithful moment happens so early in the game, I was speechless. Then seeing that there are other characters that are trying to claim they are Superman just makes the story so entertaining.
The Death and Return of Superman keeps the gaming interesting the entire time by the variety of different characters you get to play as. There is Superman, The Cyborg, The Eradicator, Superboy and Steel. After having my mind blown because I just witnessed Superman get punched so hard he died, my mind was blown yet again to be playing as Robot who has a machine gun for a hand, and claims he is Superman. Each Super character plays so differently, and just when you start to get the repetitive blues, the game throws a new character at you. Each character plays entirely different than the rest, and learning all of the cool moves each Superman can do was a lot of fun. From slapping bikers around with a hammer as Steel, to throwing gangsters into walls as The Eradicator, The Death and Return of Superman is a blast from start to finish.
Casey: The Bouncer (Playstation 2)
The Bouncer was released in 2001 by Squaresoft for the newly released Playstation 2. The game follows the story of three bouncers who find themselves pitted against an evil corporation, whose crazy, cyborg, ninja minions have taken their friend captive. The character design, and that of the world around them, seems to stem from similar inspirations for Final Fantasy X, which would release a few months later. For its time, The Bouncer was a visual masterpiece; taking advantage of the new console’s technology, it delivered a cinematic tale that would set a standard for that generation of console. This game was the first release by Squaresoft for the Playstation 2 and it delivered an audio experience as well as a visual one; having dual voiceovers in Japanese as well as English; it was the first on that console to also support Dolby 5.1 sound.
The gameplay mechanics were very well done for this style of game; as with most fighting games, the four buttons each represented a different kind of attack: low, mid, high, and special. Along with being a beat-em-up, The Bouncer also had some RPG elements that would allow you to upgrade your chosen character (of three), using points earned from beating the crap out of everything. The story was the weak point for this title however, as Squaresoft failed in providing a backstory for the game, but it otherwise entertained. The visuals remind me very much of a Final Fantasy game, but the fighting is akin to a Streets of Rage/Virtua Fighter hybrid. If my Playstation 2 was not in shambles I would have replayed this game, but alas, I fear I will have to cherish the memories I had of this one. Ragdoll physics abound, The Bouncer was a great release title for the Playstation 2 and, despite mixed reviews, I will always remember the great time “teenage me” had playing it.