Release date: 1992 Systems: Arcade Everyone who ever played a beat em up looks back on Golden Axe with fondness. When I get into pub conversations with anyone from casual gave-games-up-when-they-hit-18 dabblers to hardcore Gamer Til I Die sociopaths, and I mention I’m working on a history of beat em ups, everyone immediately says ‘Oh … Read more

Release date: 1988 Systems: Arcade, Master System, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST I remember the first time I played Dynamite Düx at the arcade in Weston-super-Mare. A friend and I made it to the Stage 3 end-of-level boss, the rock golem, before finally our fighting spirit and pocketfuls of 10ps ran out. … Read more

Release date: 1991 Systems: Megadrive, Master System, Game Gear, Wii Virtual Console, Nintendo 3DS Right, let’s have it. As an unreconstructed Nintendo fanboy I’ve gotta confess that the knives were out for Streets Of Rage the moment I decided to embark on this foolhardy history of the beat em up. Alongside Golden Axe it’s a … Read more

Release date: 1988 Systems: Sega Master System, PC Engine, PC Engine-CD, Famicom, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, DOS Altered Beast is one of those games that everyone remembers through a fog of nostalgia. Before Sonic The Hedgehog, it came as the built-in game on the Sega Megadrive. Like last week’s … Read more

Release date: 1985 Systems: Arcade, Sega Master System We started our journey through the history of beat em ups way back in April – we’re three months deep already. If you missed previous posts they’re all available to browse. Slowly, slowly, we’re building a bluffer’s guide to the hallowed video game genre known as the … Read more

The story you’re about to read involves scandal, creative genius, and a 15 year conspiracy of silence. Oh – and Sonic the Hedgehog. So, after a long, long hiatus, I started playing Sonic 3 again. When I reached the Carnival Night Zone, a few bars of the awesome soundtrack were all it took to propel … Read more