OK so I guess this is where I take a stab at the first blog post. I will start it all off with later generation "beat em up" game from Chinese game studio PGM. My grammar is awful so forgive me in andvance, anyway here goes......
Beat em ups remained popular in China long after fighting games took over elsewhere and PGM cranked out some really great ones way after American arcades lost interest. The lateness of the development allowed for PGM to work in allot of concepts that never made it to some of the other beat em ups that came before. The Gladiator has all of them, quarter circle moves, a complex combo system, a button mashing face off mode and an insane number of multi character special moves combos. I cant make sense of some of it because its so intense. If you don't believe me just look at this quote ripped from Shinju Forest;
"A+B – Pressing these two together performs a powerful attack, at the cost of some life
A+C – Initiates the same move as the above (and also consumes a portion of the life gauge) but also gives the character a trail of shadows for a short period of time allowing every move to perform multiple hits (much like Street Fighter Alpha’s custom combo system)
B+C – When timed correctly and at the right distance this is used to cancel the special attacks performed by some enemies and bosses. If done correctly the player then has to mash the A button to counter the boss and perform an attack. This move consumes qi.
B+<direction> – Each character can have up to five special skills; some are earned as they level up and some are hidden items found in certain stages. These attacks can also have additional effects such as removing poison or increasing attack speed. If the player finds a skill that occupies the same slot as one they already have they are forced to choose between keeping or replacing the one they have, even if they have other slots free.
Countering – A well-timed A attack at close range may start off a counter – arrows will appear on screen and the player will need to push their joystick in the same directions to perform a counter.
Dashing then attacking, using A+<direction>, and jumping also perform different attacks too."
Like I said it's all pretty insane.... But you even add on top of that multiple path choices that change not only what bosses you fight but also what ending you get. All of the stages have secret areas that require things like timed runs or activating special objects. I in fact knew none of this before researching it for this blog post. There is also apparently an alternate "boss rush" that can be unlocked I never knew about......
It can be played with two player settings but we've put it on the four player cabinet at Sea Cave and bumped it up to four players. There are a total of six characters to choose from, three male and three female, all dramatically different in play style. You have all the classics, the heavy brute, the normal fighter, the fast fighter and they all have unique moves and mechanics.
Like I said there is allot going on with this game and its worth playing with some friends. Hopefully one of these nights we can round some folks up and unlock boss rush mode and try it out.