Why did Hack n Slash games thrive and Beat em Ups games didn't?

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#1 Edited by Worlds_Apart (31 posts) -

Back in the 8 and 16 bit era, both genres were very popular. We had the 2d side scrolling games. For Hack n Slash we had Golden Axe, Castlevenia, Shadow Warriors (Ninja Gaiden), Shinobi, Strider etc. And for the Beat em Ups we had Final Fight, Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, Bad Dudes (Dragon Ninja), Rival Turf etc... The Modern versions of these genres are now all 3d, which is fine, but what happened to Beat em Ups? Over the years we've had Shenmue and Yakuza. But I only own an Xbox so the upcoming Shenmue 3 and Yakuza is out of the question. Any how 2 games isn't enough for this once so popular and fun genre. On the Hack n Slash side, the releases just kept on coming over the years. Games like God of War, Bayonetta, Devil May Cry, Darksiders, Nioh, I will even throw games like Dark souls & The Witcher 3 in there, am I wrong? I've never played either so I might be.

When we look at these 2 genres, They are not so different from each other, so why did Beat em Ups disappear? Developers, all you need to do is borrow from the Hack n Slash games! Make it 3d, add a nice story with good characters (make it American if you can as Shenmue and Yakuza are both Japanese), and instead of swords and whips, make the characters use their fists!! kicks etc MMA style! How hard can it be. The market for Beat em Ups never died, developers just stopped making them. Again, am I wrong here?

Man I really miss Beat em Ups. So folks, would you buy a new Beat em Up game in 2018, Is it something you would look forward to? or has their time passed? Now it's back to my original question, Why did Hack n Slash games flourish through out the different eras of gaming but Beat em Ups games didn't?

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#2 Posted by npiet1 (1179 posts) -

Hack,n,slash are 3d while beatem ups are 2.5 which most people don't like, the other thing is there's usually only 4 different moves not counting weapons which can make it fell repetitive. Shaq-fu reborn tried to do add more stuff but it still a bit repetitive and you get bored

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#3 Posted by Worlds_Apart (31 posts) -

@npiet1: why can't Beat em Ups be 3d like Shenmue? And doesn't Hacking n Slashing get repetitive aswell?

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#4 Edited by RSM-HQ (7191 posts) -

@worlds_apart: Are we ignoring Castle Crashers and Dragon's Crown selling way past expectations?

Action RPGs (Witcher/ Dark Souls/ Monster Hunter) are not Hn'S; so let's get that out the way before I continue. They are heavily stat based with status effects and elements, focus on levelling/ loot/ items/ and builds for progression_

I'm a fan of both 3D Hack n' Slashers and traditional Beat Em' Ups, but in honesty both I would state are a dying breed. And that's due to over-saturation when they peeked in popularity.

Hn'S has the advantage of being the younger genre of the two. But both Beat em' Ups and Hn'S are equally rare to see new entries.

If you want a recent Beat Em Up? try Mother Russia Bleeds, or The Vagrant. The genre only dies out if we no longer support them. Show that it has an install-base with buying and playing them, and more will develop in the genre. If we just chat about it and ignore new games in the genre. That is how they die.

And doesn't Hacking n Slashing get repetitive aswell?

Depends how deep the mechanics are. DMC and NG series are far from repetitive. Sadly I find Bayo a tad repetitive due to QTEs.

Yet would state many from both genres can have deep systems and have shown that. The majority of games made in both genres however are built repetitive and simplistic, due to either a lack of talent, or to appeal to a simplistic/ broader audience.

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#5 Posted by Worlds_Apart (31 posts) -

@RSM-HQ:

@RSM-HQ said:

@worlds_apart: Are we ignoring Castle Crashers and Dragon's Crown selling way past expectations?

If you want a recent Beat Em Up? try Mother Russia Bleeds, or The Vagrant. The genre only dies out if we no longer support them.

Thanks for replying. I'm really just a casual gamer so I had never even heard of Castle Crashers and Dragon's Crown until now, so thanks. I checked out The Vagrant & Mother Russia Bleeds aswell. The Vagrant seems more Hack n Slash than Beat em Up imo. I will give these games a chance as you said that's the only way to keep the genre alive. I hope someone can try making a 3d Beat em Up also, something like Shenmue but more modern with the main character having a background in MMA.

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#6 Edited by RSM-HQ (7191 posts) -

@worlds_apart:

The Vagrant seems more Hack n Slash than Beat em Up imo.

If we can both agree Golden Axe is a Beat Em' Up, then you will find The Vagrant in similar fashion. From a core template they follow Beat Em' Up tropes and combat mechanics. Though I full-heartedly see the confusion-

Many Beat Em' Ups have light RPG mechanics to increase longevity (Golden Axe also did with magic potions and key items) yet not enough to change what kind of game it is.

I hope someone can try making a 3d Beat em Up also, something like Shenmue but more modern with the main character having a background in MMA.

I have never tried looking honestly, I always found 3D Beat em' Ups pretty clunky, and much prefer the 2D counterpart. Though many have stated modern Batman games play like 3D Beat em' Ups, might be worth searching into.

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#7 Posted by Ish_basic (4895 posts) -

Well Battletoads is making a come back, so who knows?

Part of the problem is that 3D brawlers (just easier to type out than beat-em ups) had a bad start. Fighting Force is a great example. It was pure tug-o-war with the game camera between you and your friend, although that admittedly is only a problem with couch co-op. I doubt it sold well and the Bouncer was a big flop. The Die Hard games that Sega did were good, but not sure how they sold.

It could have also been a story thing. When you think about games at the beginning of the PS1 era all the way through to the PS3 era/Xbox360 era when online became standard, most games felt like they needed to have a story since MP was an unreliable selling point. And it was just harder to write an interesting story about a guy walking down the street punching random people in the face and eating apples out of broken trash cans (i still love you SoR2). I think with today's Indie scene you might see a resurgence if Battletoads works out, much like Isometric RPGs are reliving their golden age as we speak.

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#8 Posted by Worlds_Apart (31 posts) -

@RSM-HQ:

If we can both agree Golden Axe is a Beat Em' Up, then you will find The Vagrant in similar fashion. From a core template they follow Beat Em' Up tropes and combat mechanics. Though I full-heartedly see the confusion-

I have never tried looking honestly, I always found 3D Beat em' Ups pretty clunky, and much prefer the 2D counterpart. Though many have stated modern Batman games play like 3D Beat em' Ups, might be worth searching into.

I guess after thinking about it, I can agree that Golden Axe is a Beat Em Up. Also thanks for bringing up Batman. I totally overlooked the Arkham Asylum games. Very impressive reviews aswell.

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#9 Posted by Worlds_Apart (31 posts) -

@Ish_basic: Glad to hear about Battletoads making a come back, I had no idea.

Also about """a guy walking down the street punching random people in the face and eating apples out of broken trash cans.""" lol even though I liked Shenmue's story, you make a great point.

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#10 Edited by Clefdefa (605 posts) -

To me slasher and beat'em'up like you said are pretty much the same thing. You beat a lot of shit up and more often than not, many at the same time.

You have stuff like Dinasty Warrior or the Zelda skin Hyrule Warrior or Devil May Cry then you have Castle crasher etc. a lot of those game in the indi world.

Shenmue a beat-em-up ? I only played the first one back in the day when it came out and remember that I felt kinda overwelm at the time with all the possibilities each days and so different things could happen.

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#11 Edited by RSM-HQ (7191 posts) -

This thread reminds me Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game was a pretty good Beat em' Up_

Clearly inspired by Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun.

Sadly not something one can just buy anymore, as is the fate of delisted games 'This is why physical copy games still matter'

Difficult to recommend a game no one can buy anymore.

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#12 Posted by torenojohn7 (551 posts) -

Because, they're not really different genres? The only difference is that instead of fists, weapons are used. That's not enough to make them a different genre and games like DMC always have a pair of Gauntlets and in games like Sengoku3 are referred to as Beat'em'up despite the fact the game is mostly weapon based.

The way i see it is that, console Hack'N'Slash/Beat'em'up games are an evolution of the simple arcade beat'em'ups.