There’s a pretty cool list of undiscovered beat-’em-up games you may not have known about. The list contains a lot of classic and cool titles from the home console and arcade era, covering games like one of my personal favorites, Vendetta, and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms-based multiplayer title Knights of Valour.
Racketboy has an exhaustive list of games, mostly from the 1990s that span the likes of home consoles but mostly centers on arcade cabinets. Some of the games I didn’t even know existed, or rather I had no idea they had sequels, such as the two sequels to Knights of Valour, both of which are still hand animated, but the third game is called Knights of Valour: The Seven Spirits, it came out just over a decade ago in 2004.
The animations for the game are okay, but the actual sprite work is fairly impressive. You can check out a video below from YouTuber Jornada Gamer who captured 42 minutes worth of gameplay footage.
A few of the games kind of surprise me, like Super Battletoads. He mentions that this was a rare arcade gem, but I clearly remember the gory details of that Battletoads arcade title. Michael Jackon’s Moonwalker also makes the list – the arcade game – but that’s another one that I used to see often and avoided in order to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Captain Commando is another game that’s not really all that obscure, but some of the other games on the list are.
Arabian Fight, Metamorphic Force and Night Slashers are a few amongst many on the list that I’ve never played, including Gaiopolis and Ninja Baseball Bat Man.
Some of my absolute favorites are on the list, though, such as The Punisher, which was one of my favorite games from the 1990s, along with Capcom’s Aliens vs Predator game, which actually aged quite well.
As I mentioned, the list is exhaustive and anyone who is looking for some cool console or arcade beat-’em-up titles will definitely want to check out the list over on Racket Boy.
When looking up some of these games I even came across a rare Capcom gem called Red Earth. Another game I never heard of before now.
You play as a lion man in a loin cloth, and Capcom really knocked it out of the park as far as animations and sprite work are concerned. It reminds me of why some gamers never stopped being head over heels in love with hand-animated sprites.
Unfortunately a game like Red Earth couldn’t be made for today’s market because it would be pelted by the worthless scum known as “gaming journalists” as being “toxic” or whatever. Worse yet some numbskull who has never picked up a controller in his life will likely do a video where he gets jammed on a wall because he lacks analog precision and then proceeds to blame the game for his sucky play skills because he would rather whine like a little pissant than get good.
Anyway, you can check out some footage of Red Earth courtesy of the YouTube outlet World of Longplays.
The character designs and fighting is sick. I would love to buy a newer version of a game like that with smoother animations that could take advantage of the multi-GB systems and far more powerful GPUs of today’s generation.
On the upside, at least there is emulation to make up for the neutered content we’ve been getting out of the industry as of late, so gamers can go back and play some real true and thorough classics.