The 2D beat-'em-up has been given curiously little attention by indie developers over the years, so it's refreshing to see a team tackling this decidedly out-of-favour genre, even if they're doing so while borrowing Hotline Miami's seamy 1980s setting and focus on extreme pixel violence. Mother Russia Bleeds is that (fantastically named) game, a sidescrolling beat-'em-up set in the U.S.S.R. in an alternate 1986. You'll play an "imprisoned antihero with a crippling drug addiction" named Sergei, who "breaks free and barrels down a journey of hate-filled vengeance", much like I did after the 08.51 to Bath was delayed yet again. You can see a trailer that lives up to this premise below.
beat em up
Article by Nathan Brown.
While the Roman numeral in the title makes it clear SNK have been busy, the sight of their logo on booting up King of Fighters XIII for the first time is an odd one. They are perhaps more inextricably bound to the 1990s than any other company: the developers of Metal Slug, creators of the Neo Geo, and designers of countless fighting games, none of which were as good as Street Fighter II.
SNK aren’t quite the same company they were back then – they collapsed into bankruptcy, their best IP snapped up by Playmore, a studio set up by one of SNK’s co-founders – but the ’90s is still clearly in their DNA. KoF XIII has some of the finest spritework I’ve seen, and animation imbues each member of the cast with character. It’s also set on some beautiful, highly detailed (and often daft) backgrounds. It’s remarkably true to the series’ roots, a 1993 game with 2013 visuals.
I'm starting to think of Steam as a giant warren through which millions of people are crawling. In the writhing mass of bodies, somebody will eventually dig their way into a secret tunnel, and the rest will follow to see what's hidden inside. SNK Playmore's 2D beat-'em-up King of Fighters XIII had already been unearthed alongside a giant list of Steam Database entries. That revelation was dampened by the fact that the Steam Database isn't the most accurate signifier of upcoming releases. This discovery is more promising: a trailer on the Steam video page for a PC release of the game.
At last weekend's EVO 2013 event, Capcom announced the next stage of their endlessly iterative fighting series, Ultra Street Fighter IV; planned as a DLC upgrade to the existing word jumble that is Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. It will add the returning characters Elena, Rolento, Hugo, and Poison - who to my untrained eyes are possibly the line up of an '80s New Wave band - along with a fifth mystery pugilist.
Good news for people who think the only way to truly show dominance over an opponent is to rip out their spine: NetherRealm's 2011 version of Mortal Kombat is finally getting a PC release on July 3rd. Which should give you something to do over the summer months. Because given your fondness for hyper-violent competitive finishers, your friends probably aren't going to invite you to the local pub quiz.
Ninja Theory's DmC: Devil May Cry reboot tells the story of half-demon Dante's quest to figure out why his hair isn't grey anymore. Actually, it's probably about fending off an apocalyptic demon invasion. We'll know for sure when the PC port arrives January 25, Capcom announced yesterday.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week... uh... prepare to take a licking? I give up.
Sorry, but do I really need to say anything else this week? It's called Tongue of the Fatman! In an infinite universe where every possibility exists, is there even a slight chance that this could be anything but a slice of weapons grade badness the likes of which humanity simply isn't ready for? Well, only under protest then, and only because your Saturday won't fill itself up automatically. Prepare to bow before the multiverse's mightiest man-boobs in a game that, almost certainly, actually exists.
Shank is a bonkers 2D brawler in which you play as tough guy Shank, shanking up your enemies with shanks to save your girlfriend from the clutches of obese wrestler, the Butcher. The whole thing is beautifully drawn and animated, and if you like killing things with shanks, or chainsaws, or shotguns, then this might be just the game you're looking for. There's a demo out on Steam now.