Release date: 1993 Systems: NES Last week we looked at the most important side-scrolling beat em up of all time, Final Fight. Yeah, that’s right – I didn’t hedge with ‘arguably’. It is the most important side-scrolling beat em up of all time. If you haven’t read last week’s post, go do that now. In … Read more

Release date: 1989 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, PlayStation 2, Mega-CD, ZX Spectrum, Super NES, Sharp X68000, Xbox, XBLA, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Network, Virtual Console Final Fight is the biggie, really. Even if you take Streetfighter II as the moment where beat em ups sloughed off their gills … Read more

Release date: 1988 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Sega Master System, Commodore 64, Sega Game Gear, MSX, TurboGrafx-16, ZX Spectrum New York spent the 80s gripped by violent crime, fuelled by unemployment and the crack epidemic. By the middle of the decade, its reported crime rate was over 70% higher than the rest … Read more

Release date: 1984 Systems: Arcade, NES, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum Last week we dealt with player vs player beat em ups’ inauspicious beginnings in the form of the dire Karate Champ. Today, we look at the considerably less turdy first flourish of the side-scrolling beat em … Read more

Release date: 1986 Systems: Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, NES, Sega Master System, Virtual Console, ZX Spectrum Renegade is not a classic. Let me level with you right from the off. Sometimes a game gets rendered obsolete by successive iterations (I’m looking at you, Streetfighter II), sometimes everyone was … Read more

Release date: 1984 Systems: Arcade, Nintendo, C64, Apple II You know those movies that are ‘important’, because they gave birth to a new genre? You know how they usually suck? Yeah. Karate Champ is one of the earliest beat em ups, the foundations upon which such vertiginous edifices as the Streetfighter and Tekken franchises were … Read more

I love video games. If you don’t like them, that’s fine, but if you say they are rotting our children’s minds I will fight you. I grew up reading and playing video games and found them equally fertile grounds for the imagination. I don’t think I would ever have got the bug for wanting to … Read more