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Genre: Beat 'em up / Brawler

Group Description

Beat 'em ups, also known as Brawlers, are action games revolving around melee combat between the protagonist and a number of enemies. The distinction between beat 'em ups and fighting games in the narrow sense of the word is the number of opponents (beat 'em ups rarely feature one-on-one fighting) and the protagonist's ability to move through a level (stage) rather than being confined to one screen.

Traditional beat em ups are side-scrolling 2D games; typically, gameplay mechanics in those games are quite simple, consisting of the protagonist slowly making his way through a large number of enemies. In many brawlers the protagonist is unable to proceed until he has cleared a small portion of the stage of the enemies.

In many of these games, the protagonist has the ability to freely move on the horizontal plane (i.e. move "into the screen"). Such brawlers were often referred to as "3D beat 'em ups". However, with the advent of real-time 3D graphics, the term "3D beat em up" began to refer to brawlers set in a 3D environment.

Limitations:
  • Versus fighting games in which the participants are confined to a small stage usually composed of one screen should not be included in this group.
  • Games in which protagonists use ranged weapons, guns, magic, and other non-melee alternatives to deal with the enemies, and/or heavily rely on bladed weapons (swords, etc.) should be excluded as well. Use your judgment: if you don't have a feeling that you are actually beating up your opponents, the game in question probably shouldn't belong here.
  • Games that focus on platform-style gameplay (jumping, avoiding hazards, etc.) are not allowed.
  • Only games that are predominantly brawlers should be included. For the sake of clarity, hybrid games that merge beat 'em up gameplay with other genres (such as Yakuza games) should not be accepted, unless the brawling gameplay is clearly dominant.


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Selected Covers

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse SNES Front Cover
Front cover for X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse
Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam CD-i Front Cover
Front cover for Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam
Ghost Chaser Densei SNES Front Cover
Front cover for Ghost Chaser Densei
Streets of Rage 3 Genesis Front Cover
Front cover for Streets of Rage 3

Selected Screenshots

Main menu
Screenshot from X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse
Title screen
Screenshot from Kaze Kiri
Pee & Gity
Screenshot from Pee & Gity Special