I don’t particularly like beat em ups. It’s not to say I hate them but I don’t see myself ever buying one. What I do hate though are ones that include ridiculous button combos. From a quick google I found a perfect example – a Killer Instinct combo for Jago: “Jump in FK, MP, Down-Forward, Down, Down-Back, FP, MK, Down-Forward, Down, Down-Back, MK”. I’ll pass thanks.
There are a few beat em ups that don’t do this though. Dead or Alive comes to mind, and more importantly Street Fighter. I haven’t really played any SF except STII Turbo on the SNES. It’s a fine example of a game and I still play it now and again. What I do have to say though is that I can only play as Ryu or Ken – and even then I’m not particularly good.
What you no doubt have guessed is that this is all leading towards me playing the new SFIV. There were 4 of us around a mates house and it was fun. Just casual “winner stays on”, and yeah, 90% of the time I lost but I was doing alright considering my PC and distinct lack of beat-em-up background.
There are a few things to say about SF, and while obvious, I think they still need saying. Firstly, it’s very pretty. Fights are entertaining to just sit and watch. It’s pretty colors and nicely designed charcters all gatering together in bouts of extreme yet gore free violence. Secondly the big bad boss at the end of the single player (we needed to unlock some characters) is a bit rubbish. It feels like he is a cheating cock face who leaves you helpless while he continually batters you – and that was on ‘easiest’ mode. Thirdly it’s more complicated than the SFII that I remember but I suppose if it wasn’t people would call it too simplistic. Finally, and most importantly – it felt like SFII. It wasn’t some crap new version, it is still Street Fighter and you can’t ask for much more than that.
So what I am saying is this – if you buy SFIV expecting anything other than a new, modern iteration of street fighter you will be sadly dissapointed, but if you are doing that you have to ask yourself why. It’s a solid beat em up that is practically flawless for having a couple of friends round and playing. I’m not going to put a score at the end of this though as it isn’t a proper review, I don’t really know anything about beat em ups, and I didn’t get involved in the single player side. What I can say is that I enjoyed what I played – simple as that.