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So what do you recon is the best comercial beat em ups for the last 10 years or so?

crimefighters3

Active member
My top 5

1.

The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors​


Gameplay is fantastic and feels perfect.

2. Sor 4

3. Tmnt wrath of shredder, the presentation is just too good.

4. Sifu, it's pretty good but it is missing something doesn't feel great to play.

5. Double Dragon Neon

I liked that they tried something different, wish it was longer.
 
I can't say I've seen much of anything that sparked my interest. Everything since Castle Crashers has relied on the same formula. Tiny models, weightless hits, no or very poorly implemented grappling, high combo counts.

The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors

Don't know that I'd call that a beat em' up. Close enough I guess, but to me, a beat em' up has to have full 3D movement. Good game though, and I can see why you'd put this here.


SOR4 was the only recent game I know of to break the Castle Crashers mold, but not really. It looks amazing on the surface, but its engine is still too modern. Instead of being about getting in close where you could land a devastating combo or grab, it's just either playing hit and run (enemy armored) or dialing up air strings (enemy unarmored). Also, the music is trash. Not even close to Yuzo's prime.

Not saying it's objectively a bad game, just not my cup of tea. Give me SOR2, Aliens vs. Predator, or the Capcom D&D series any day. Note the former two lacked running (big problem), and D&D doesn't have any grappling (bigger problem). Yet they still work because they do have a weighty feel, amazing soundtracks, tons of depth, and ooze creative effort.

Tmnt wrath of shredder, the presentation is just too good.

Beautiful art, but it's Castle Crashers with a coat of paint. Worse than that, its engine and design aesthetics are already over-saturated from other projects (Ex: Scott Pilgram, River City Girls, Double Dragon, GI-Joe, etc.).

Sifu, it's pretty good but it is missing something doesn't feel great to play.

Haven't seen this one other than videos. Ehh... looks like a Final Fight Streetwise clone, but I can't critique beyond that.

Double Dragon Neon

Great example of a kind of crappy game elevated by its presentation. Graphics were meh. Gameplay too simple, and man did I hate the twins being turned into idiot dude bros. Yet the soundtrack, dozens of little references and lots of loving touches from the devs managed to save it. I still have the tracks in my playlist. Not a great beat em' up, but a really enjoyable game anyway,



Just my OpEd.

DC
 
Best is a stretch because there hasn't been much of any good to go off but there are some games that have managed to hold my attention.

1. Spider-man

Technically not a beat' em up but it is one of the best games I've played in recent years.


2. Redeemer

had a lot of fun playing this one


3. River City Girls 2

like the first one but much better


4. Dragon's crown

Loved the art work in this, sound effects, music and combat all combined in a fantasy setting, good game.


5. Scott Pilgrim vs the world complete edition

I don't usually like the super deformed look but I actually like the combat and the music in this one.

 
River City underground
Fight n Rage

Honorable mentions
Midnight fight express
Sifu

I'd still pick the 90s era beat em ups though
Dungeons and Dragons Tower of Doom 5/5
Looking at @DCurrent 's response to DnD not having grapple had me lol.
Cadillacs and dinosaurs another 5/5
Punisher, Armored warriors. 5/5
Oriental legends 2 was released early 2000s but it look crazy.

I wish the games mentioned below had more to offer.
Mother russia bleed- game needed a more fleshed out combat system with multiple grapple moves since we on that MMA time.
Skinny & I forgot...
Turtles look dope but the combat be off
Sor4 was more nostalgic than anything for me
 
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"Fight'N Rage" is really small and exquisite, only the keys arrow, attack, jump, and special move. The sense of impact is amazing!
In particular, the design idea of the block system is really amazing (when you are about to be hit by an attack, push the arrow key front or back), which does not interfere with the operation habits of ordinary players, and at the same time gives room for high-level play show operation.
 
The Genre is very hard "upgrade", even harder than making a 3D Sonic the hedgehog game...

@danno

i believe that the spiderman games and the batman Arkham games are the closest things of the last ten years of what we could consider a modern beat-them-up, and very good attempts to evolve the genre to the 3D realm.


another Problem: Their mechanics are single player only, very hard to adapt for even 2 players, and thus fail at what the most memorable belt games had, wich was coop play

any game that tries to recreate or replicate those 90's brawlers, seem to always lack something and at best we end up with "Sonic Manias" of brawlers


other games that i wanted to mention that where attemtps at reviving or evolving the genre are from the 90's to the 2010's

God of War
And Castlevania lords of shadow,

seem to follow adapt the style of the spider man games, but the games feel more like a 3D version of
with plaformer and puzzle elements from tomb raider, zelda...

and last , these 2 games are what i think got closest to being the successors of the Brawler genre
best thing about the 2 towers is, no visual contamination, like bars and base glows or circles and exagerated glowing sparks and so..

and the second one was 2 player to boot, but i would have made the 1p and 2p icons optional, instead the glows of the weapons could have been the identifiers.

those 2 EA games, their mechanics would have been perfected for a 4 player Ninja turtles game based on the movie likeneses combined with cartoon lore, Or a Golden Axe 4....








Honorable mention:
this game would have been more memorable if it had been a remake of ALL the Belt turtle games....
All the NES/arcade adaptation, All of the Manhattan project levels, Turtles in time SNES/arcade, and Hyperstone heist
 
Ahh, two that I had forgotten about. Lord of The Rings, and the Arkham series. Both had some interesting mechanics and I think brought a lot to the table.

Lord of The Rings works great in co-op IMO. Honestly, I think the license held them back, and an original IP built on that engine would have been a much better game (probably not sold nearly as well though, and this is EA we're talking about). The counter + instant kill mechanic was a novel idea that sounds overpowered, but instead works quite smoothly into the combat flow. Only problem was the graphics. Too muddy and half the time you can't tell who is who. Product of its time. The arms race toward photo realistic aesthetics was in full swing at that point. If made now, I'm guessing they would have gone with something a little crisper and more stylized.

I have to agree about Arkham in multiplayer. I don't really see a great way to adapt it without some concessions. It could be done, but you'd have to rework a lot of fundamental aspects of the game.

DC
 
I second Fight'N Rage and Streets of Rage 4. They have characters with depth and offer a ton of extra content.
The Streets of Rage 4 DLC "Mr. X Nightmare" adds 3 new character (Estel, Max, Shiva) and a "Survival Mode" which can keep you busy.

Guacamelee 1 (Steam)

Yeah, I know it's a Metroidvania. But you fight enemies with melee in this game. Unlike many other 2D games which tried the formula, combat in Guacamelee feels super satisfying.

The sense of progression is good, thanks to the new moves/areas you unlock regularly. My only regret is that the last level was a real pain.

Guacamelee received an update at some point, called "Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition"^^ which added new levels/moves/enemies and a lot of tweaks.

And seriously, a game where you can play a Luchador or turn into a chicken? What's not to love?

Fist Puncher (Steam)

Despite its flaws, I like Fist Puncher. It's a 2D beat'em up which visuals reminds me of Renegade and Double Dragon.

This is a beat'em up with a lot of humor. They're quite a few 80s pop culture references which put a smile on my face.
Like the mission where I had to deal with a zombie-infested town or when I had to fight those naked people on a nudist camp. :ROFLMAO:

The games offers 19 characters to play but you start with 7. You can develop their skills with the xp you earn.
Sadly that xp in not shared between characters, so Fist Puncher is a grindy game.

Lots of secrets too. Finally the official trailer reminds me of the Rocky IV OST:

 
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I second Fight'N Rage and Streets of Rage 4. They have characters with depth and offer a ton of extra content.
The Streets of Rage 4 DLC "Mr. X Nightmare" adds 3 new character (Estel, Max, Shiva) and a "Survival Mode" which can keep you busy.

Guacamelee 1 (Steam)

Yeah, I know it's a Metroidvania. But you fight enemies with melee in this game. Unlike many other 2D games which tried the formula, combat in Guacamelee feels super satisfying.

The sense of progression is good, thanks to the new moves/areas you unlock regularly. My only regret is that the last level was a real pain.

Guacamelee received an update at some point, called "Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition"^^ which added new levels/moves/enemies and a lot of tweaks.

And seriously, a game where you can play a Luchador or turn into a chicken? What's not to love?

Fist Puncher (Steam)

Despite its flaws, I like Fist Puncher. It's a 2D beat'em up which visuals reminds me of Renegade and Double Dragon.

This is a beat'em up with a lot of humor. They're quite a few 80s pop culture references which put a smile on my face.
Like the mission where I had to deal with a zombie-infested town or when I had to fight those naked people on a nudist camp. :ROFLMAO:

The games offers 19 characters to play but you start with 7. You can develop their skills with the xp you earn.
Sadly that xp in not shared between characters, so Fist Puncher is a grindy game.

Lots of secrets too. Finally the official trailer reminds me of the Rocky IV OST:

I might aswell throw Shank into the mix
 
Haven't seen this one other than videos. Ehh... looks like a Final Fight Streetwise clone, but I can't critique beyond that.
That's p. unfair to Sifu. Sifu's combat is about timing dodges and counters to keep enemies off balance and engaged.
Did I PLAY it? No. But it's well regarded as a game, with responsive and interesting combat that's a refreshing take on a combat style that's turned into 'press b 2 win' after decades of stagnation since Batman.
 
SOR4 was the only recent game I know of to break the Castle Crashers mold, but not really. It looks amazing on the surface, but its engine is still too modern. Instead of being about getting in close where you could land a devastating combo or grab, it's just either playing hit and run (enemy armored) or dialing up air strings (enemy unarmored)
I second this, in every word.
I am happy to see the franchise back, don't get me wrong. Visually, it's kinda cool. But mechanically...,maybe its a downgrade from the SOR3.

Things I strongly dislike on that game:
- super armor (almost every boss has super armor, even not muscled ones like the first boss)
- Screen edge bounce. Makes no sense to me.
- The lack of run jump, excluding for one character if I am not mistaken. I know this will sound extreme, but I don't label a game as "beat em up" anymore if it doesn't let me run and jump - TMNT Shredder has the same issue.
 
That's p. unfair to Sifu. Sifu's combat is about timing dodges and counters to keep enemies off balance and engaged.
Did I PLAY it? No. But it's well regarded as a game, with responsive and interesting combat that's a refreshing take on a combat style that's turned into 'press b 2 win' after decades of stagnation since Batman.

How exactly was I unfair? I said I'd never heard of it and what it looked like visually, and also that I couldn't critique beyond that. So you assert my opinion is objectively wrong despite you not playing it either? Uhm... OK.

Also, there's nothing new about a combat system using precision dodge and coutner mechanics. Even in the 2000's when beat em' ups were considered boomer trash, we had Lord of The Rings and Golden Axe Beast Rider that both relied almost exclusively on dodge and counter moves.

That doesn't make Sifu bad, it might be the best beat em' up ever made for all I know - but innovative? Yeah, no. In fact, looking more closely, it seems to me all they really did was ape the Arkham system only with tradional button combos instead of freeflow attacks. Not a bad mix at all, but still doesn't bring anything new to the table.

DC
 
Final Fight Streetwise is... well, it's not particularly well regarded as interesting or even, uh, good. People blame it for Final Fight's death, if I recall. Sifu, however, is liked on the whole.

That's all I was saying. I wasn't trying to challenge you, but rather to say that the game's regarded rather well and that you might find more in it to enjoy than you may think. Especially if you find the recent-era stuff boring or derivative. It's got a totally different feel than a lot of brawlers do.
 
How exactly was I unfair? I said I'd never heard of it and what it looked like visually, and also that I couldn't critique beyond that. So you assert my opinion is objectively wrong despite you not playing it either? Uhm... OK.

Also, there's nothing new about a combat system using precision dodge and coutner mechanics. Even in the 2000's when beat em' ups were considered boomer trash, we had Lord of The Rings and Golden Axe Beast Rider that both relied almost exclusively on dodge and counter moves.

That doesn't make Sifu bad, it might be the best beat em' up ever made for all I know - but innovative? Yeah, no. In fact, looking more closely, it seems to me all they really did was ape the Arkham system only with tradional button combos instead of freeflow attacks. Not a bad mix at all, but still doesn't bring anything new to the table.

DC

It's similar to godhand for ps2 imo if you've played that? But I prefer godhand.

@danno

I really like the look of that enhancer game, I got to try it sometime, they have some sort of sequel already ki borg, looks interesting.

I also want to try 9 monkeys of shaolin.

@Grit I think you mean skinny and Franko? I want to try it but it looks really bad, I guess if the gameplay is good?


My favorite 3d brawlers are urban Reign and shadow of Rome for ps2. But those are way older than 10 years.
 
I think you mean skinny and Franko? I want to try it but it looks really bad, I guess if the gameplay is good?
The animation and the combat look off but there is something about it that I like, must be the art style.
My favorite 3d brawlers are urban Reign and shadow of Rome for ps2. But those are way older than 10 years.
Shadow of Rome looked insane for its time but there hasn't been a titled that alleviated beat ups within the past decade.
 
Sleeping Dogs

As far 3D commercial brawlers go it was the most satisfying experience I had on a whole.

The game leans heavily on melee. Firearms are the exception in Sleeping Dogs.

You can fight bare-handed, use melee weapons and even buy special outfits which grant you new moves.
For instance the Drunken Fist outfit unlocks the Drunken Master style.

You get new melee moves by finding Jade Statues. You can also use the environment on your enemies for a pretty gruesome result.

Sleeping Dogs is an unforgettable experience. It's all about the story, the HK music and the great fun it gives you.

The "Undercover Cop infiltrating the Triads" plot was handled so well. It reminded me of some of the best gangster movies (Infernal Affairs, etc).
It's hard to understand why Sleeping Dogs didn't receive the Game of The Year Award. The dub is stellar, game feels like a movie sometimes.

The suffering during the Endgame is unforgettable. I practically felt the ordeal of Wei Shen in my bones.

Any fan of Sleeping Dogs will tell you the same: it's the kind of story that stays with you forever.

technicalities: Sleeping Dogs original is not on sale anymore but you can buy digitally "Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition". The Definitive Edition includes all the DLCs and comes with visual changes in lighting and objects. For instance the phone of Wei Shen is updated in the Definitive Edition. Some purists might argue that the lighting is better in the original but that's a moot point: original is not on sale anymore and DE has all the DLCs ^^.
 
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Judgment and Lost Judgment

Same guys who made the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series with the recent ones going for more a turn-based battle system. Plus it is set in the same universe but it has its own self-contained story.

One of the main reasons why I like the Judgment games is because of the main character, Tak Yagami or Tak for short and his combat style is more in line with kung-fu switching Dragon and Crane same as Kiryu in the prior series like Brawler/Bruiser etc. The sequel added two more styles one of them you have to purchase the season pass.

Doing those EX attacks with Yagami's combat styles added some diversity to the brawler combat and just going around beating up goons and kicking them around and watching them rag dolled never gets tiring lol
 
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