Neo Geo Beat em ups...

titchgamer

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I was just mulling over my thoughts and with my physical Copy of SOR4 en route and the talk of battletoads I got to thinking I want to play a beat em up.

That got me thinking about Mutation Nation etc on the neo geo.

Then I asked myself a question I could not really answer which is this:

Why with SNK’s ability to make strong technical fighters were they seemingly hopeless at creating beat em ups!?

The ones released for the system are average at best but with the power and some technical insight they should of been able to out do Sega who were imo the kings of the beat em up genre.

They had SOR, Golden Axe and even one upped Nintendont with Final Fight CD.

So what do you guys think?

Lack of effort? Didnt care? Just didnt know how?

Discuss :D
 

joecommando

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While the Neo did not have the best beat em up library, Sengoku 2 is one of the best beat em ups ever imo. Eightman and Robo Army are also fun games to pick up and play here and there.
You're right about Mutation Nation though, that game is seriously lacking. Sengoku 1 and 3 are not very good and burning fight is a bad version Final Fight. Overall you are correct that the Neo is not a great beat em up system.
 

titchgamer

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While the Neo did not have the best beat em up library, Sengoku 2 is one of the best beat em ups ever imo. Eightman and Robo Army are also fun games to pick up and play here and there.
You're right about Mutation Nation though, that game is seriously lacking. Sengoku 1 and 3 are not very good and burning fight is a bad version Final Fight. Overall you are correct that the Neo is not a great beat em up system.

While I wouldn't agree Sengoku 2 is the best beat em up ever (That goes to SOR2 imo) I do agree its good, And that some of the others are fun.
But fun does not mean great.

They are fun just to pick up and play but ultimately they give me no desire to replay them other than once in a blue moon and tend to be a bit cheap.
I know they are arcade games and are supposed to be cheap to a degree but I dont think that level of cheapness works for a beat em up.
Maybe thats the problem with them, SNK was to coin op focused maybe?
 

Massive Urethra Chode

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Maybe SNK didnt sink development effort and creativity into beat em ups because the whole fucking genre is mostly boring
 

yagamikun

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I was just mulling over my thoughts and with my physical Copy of SOR4 en route and the talk of battletoads I got to thinking I want to play a beat em up.

That got me thinking about Mutation Nation etc on the neo geo.

Then I asked myself a question I could not really answer which is this:

Why with SNK’s ability to make strong technical fighters were they seemingly hopeless at creating beat em ups!?

The ones released for the system are average at best but with the power and some technical insight they should of been able to out do Sega who were imo the kings of the beat em up genre.

They had SOR, Golden Axe and even one upped Nintendont with Final Fight CD.

So what do you guys think?

Lack of effort? Didnt care? Just didnt know how?

Discuss :D

I agree 100% that SNK brawlers don't match the quality of SOR2 (what does?), but the thing to keep in mind here is that all of SNK's brawlers were developed/came out before they hit their stride with fighting games - that turning point being the polish and quality of 1993's Fatal Fury Special and Samurai Shodown. The same year they released their last brawler, Sengoku 2 (which is excellent).

You could sum up the majority of Neo Geo games, across all genres, between 1990 and early 1993 as "good" games, but not the pinnacle of their respective genres. Magician Lord is good, but isn't as good as Castlevania, Ghouls & Ghosts, or Strider. Blue's Journey is okay, but isn't as good as Mario World, Mega Man, Sonic. etc... CyberLip is decent enough, but pales in comparison to the three Contra games that precede it. Last Resort is great, but is it as good or timeless as R-Type or even Thunder Force 3? Nah.

SNK (and ADK) developed the vast majority of games that came out on the Neo in this period, so I don't think it was lack of effort or lack of trying. I think it was just a case of stretching themselves too thin over this period trying to meet a variety of needs and ensure that their hardware had a wide range of "good enough" titles to make money in the arcade - which was their focus. Once fighting games proved to be the arcade money maker, and coupled with the success of AOF and FF2 in 1992, their internal development became laser focused on fighting games - and that's when we began to see a shift in quality over quantity rather than the other way around.

Keep in mind too that after 1993 most of the other great Neo games of the non-fighting game variety were not developed internally at SNK - at least not initially. Metal Slug 1 and 2, Turf Masters, Pulstar, etc.
 
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titchgamer

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Hmm some valid points there yagamikun.

It does seam a terrible waste to me that they never made a good beat em up.
They include the right kind of technicalities and special moves in other games such as Dodgeball and Top Hunter (which is kind of a beat em up).
Like if they combined Sengoku style game play with a top hunter esq move set I think they would of been on to somthing.

Chodey, You have been playing the wrong beat em ups ;)
 

yagamikun

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I would have LOVED to see them do more with Top Hunter. The overall concept is great, but it's very undercooked.
 

Lach

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This thread makes me want to play Sengoku 2.
 

BlackaneseNiNjA

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:buttrock: yagamikun nailed the shift that occurred in 1993. Once SNK hit their stride and decided to focus on fighting games, they pretty much abandoned every other genre.

340


Consider that Samurai Shodown 1 began development as a beat em up originally. The brawler version of Samurai Shodown would have likely turned out much better than their previous Sengoku 2 effort had they kept pushing and innovating in the genre. The same could be said for other genres that SNK quickly abandoned in favor of focusing of fighting games during the famous “格闘ゲームブーム” era that had it’s nucleus based in the japanese game centers in particular at that time.

When Mitsuo Kodama brought his dark and compelling visual art style (formerly from Irem) to Last Resort for the Neo Geo, it quickly became a visual linchpin for the system. He carried this art design over to the King of Fighters ‘94 project and the sprite and background design was cemented as possibly one of the most defining visual styles of the Neo Geo itself.
last-resort-neo-geo-1200x750.jpg

latest


As SNK obsorbed more talent like this and gained more experience with each title, the game mechanic, and visual evolution that their titles saw in the fighting game genre would have definitely been applied in other genres had they chosen to apply their talents in other directions.

Imagine a beat em up with the visual fidelity of King of Fighters 94/95 with art/character design executed by Samurai Spirits Shiroi Eiji! Although still great, later SNK Playmore efforts like Sengoku 3 are not really an accurate representation of what the former teams could have pulled off in the genre imho.

SNK was very fond of ideas that utilized plane-shifting (Fatal Fury series, Top Hunter, Savage Reign), perhaps they could have innovated in that area (i.e. Treasure’s Yuu Yuu Hakusho megadrive title). Anything could have been possible had they chosen to branch out beyond fighters.

Especially once SNK took in more developers from Psikyo (Daraku Tenshi) and acquired Nazca (Metal Slug, Neo Turf Masters and also former Irem devs), we could have seen beat em ups or shooters of a much higher calibur.

Sources:

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news...got_its_start_As_a_sidescrolling_beatemup.php

https://vgdensetsu.tumblr.com/post/178863779628/from-air-duel-and-last-resort-to-the-king-of

https://snk.fandom.com/wiki/Nazca
 
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Lach

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When Mitsuo Kodama brought his dark and compelling visual art style (formerly from Irem) to Last Resort for the Neo Geo, it quickly became a visual linchpin for the system. He carried this art design over to the King of Fighters ‘94 project and the sprite design was cemented as possibly one of the most defining visual styles of the Neo Geo itself.

So that's why I like KOF'94 a lot.
 

andsuchisdeath

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You're right about Mutation Nation though, that game is seriously lacking. .

He never explicitly said that.

You're the one seriously lacking.

EDIT: Also for those who keep bringing it up, SOR2 isn't an arcade game. Oranges and tangerines.
 
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Burning Fight!!

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Easy to forget SNK was really a mid-tier arcade developer at the start of the Neo-Geo library. When they became KOF SNK the beatemup ship had already sailed.

edit: oops I should get into the habit of reading threads before replying :lolz:
 
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titchgamer

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He never explicitly said that.

You're the one seriously lacking.

EDIT: Also for those who keep bringing it up, SOR2 isn't an arcade game. Oranges and tangerines.

There is actually a arcade version of SOR2.

It has the difficulty ramped up and all 1ups removed but otherwise identical to the MD version.

:buttrock: yagamikun nailed the shift that occurred in 1993. Once SNK hit their stride and decided to focus on fighting games, they pretty much abandoned every other genre.

340


Consider that Samurai Shodown 1 began development as a beat em up originally. The brawler version of Samurai Shodown would have likely turned out much better than their previous Sengoku 2 effort had they kept pushing and innovating in the genre. The same could be said for other genres that SNK quickly abandoned in favor of focusing of fighting games during the famous “格闘ゲームブーム” era that had it’s nucleus based in the japanese game centers in particular at that time.

When Mitsuo Kodama brought his dark and compelling visual art style (formerly from Irem) to Last Resort for the Neo Geo, it quickly became a visual linchpin for the system. He carried this art design over to the King of Fighters ‘94 project and the sprite and background design was cemented as possibly one of the most defining visual styles of the Neo Geo itself.
last-resort-neo-geo-1200x750.jpg

latest


As SNK obsorbed more talent like this and gained more experience with each title, the game mechanic, and visual evolution that their titles saw in the fighting game genre would have definitely been applied in other genres had they chosen to apply their talents in other directions.

Imagine a beat em up with the visual fidelity of King of Fighters 94/95 with art/character design executed by Samurai Spirits Shiroi Eiji! Although still great, later SNK Playmore efforts like Sengoku 3 are not really an accurate representation of what the former teams could have pulled off in the genre imho.

SNK was very fond of ideas that utilized plane-shifting (Fatal Fury series, Top Hunter, Savage Reign), perhaps they could have innovated in that area (i.e. Treasure’s Yuu Yuu Hakusho megadrive title). Anything could have been possible had they chosen to branch out beyond fighters.

Especially once SNK took in more developers from Psikyo (Daraku Tenshi) and acquired Nazca (Metal Slug, Neo Turf Masters and also former Irem devs), we could have seen beat em ups or shooters of a much higher calibur.

Sources:

https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news...got_its_start_As_a_sidescrolling_beatemup.php

https://vgdensetsu.tumblr.com/post/178863779628/from-air-duel-and-last-resort-to-the-king-of

https://snk.fandom.com/wiki/Nazca

Again great read thanks :)
 
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RAZO

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There is actually a arcade version of SOR2.

It has the difficulty ramped up and all 1ups removed but otherwise identical to the MD version.



Again great read thanks :)

Yea, but it was originally a console game. The Mega Play is pretty much just a jamma genesis that allows you to play a few special carts.
 

titchgamer

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Yea, but it was originally a console game. The Mega Play is pretty much just a jamma genesis that allows you to play a few special carts.

Yup, But its no different to playing Sengoku 2 on a AES.
I was just pointing out that SOR2 was infact a arcade game as well as a home cart :)
 

titchgamer

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It's quite a bit different.

How so?

They are both in effect the same game on both arcade cart and home cart with the only differences being tweaks to difficulty etc.

Yeah one was intended for home first then arcade and one was the opposite but they both reside on both systems none the less.

Sengoku 2 was much more of a quarter muncher though thats for sure!
Well in my opinion anyway, But then I have played much more SOR2 than Sengoku 2 heh.
 

yagamikun

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How so?

They are both in effect the same game on both arcade cart and home cart with the only differences being tweaks to difficulty etc.

Yeah one was intended for home first then arcade and one was the opposite but they both reside on both systems none the less.

Sengoku 2 was much more of a quarter muncher though thats for sure!
Well in my opinion anyway, But then I have played much more SOR2 than Sengoku 2 heh.

I think Andsuchisdeath's point is that we should be comparing the Neo games to other arcade games, as it is first and foremost arcade hardware. If that's the case, then any beat-em-up by Capcom would easily take the place of the SOR2 argument as they are all objectively better than any beat-em-up on the Neo. SOR2 is an exceptional console game to be sure - and while this discussion is not apples to oranges, his comment of oranges to tangerines is on point. :) Even though SOR is a beat-em-up, there is a different design philosophy when developing arcade games vs home games.
 

Atro

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Just coming in to to say to all Sengoku 3 "naysayers", that the game isn't meant to be played as Final Fight...

Learn how to combo and it becomes instantly very pleasant to play, despite the enemy repetitions.
 
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Geddon_jt

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it warms my old heart to see all the Sengoku 2 comments in this thread
it may not be the "best beat em up ever" but it is 100% awesome and to me is by far the best one on the system
 

titchgamer

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I think Andsuchisdeath's point is that we should be comparing the Neo games to other arcade games, as it is first and foremost arcade hardware. If that's the case, then any beat-em-up by Capcom would easily take the place of the SOR2 argument as they are all objectively better than any beat-em-up on the Neo. SOR2 is an exceptional console game to be sure - and while this discussion is not apples to oranges, his comment of oranges to tangerines is on point. :) Even though SOR is a beat-em-up, there is a different design philosophy when developing arcade games vs home games.


Ok fair point.

Although on the subject of Capcom I would still say SOR2 beats any of theirs, But they do make amazing beat em ups none the less!!
 

Burning Fight!!

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it warms my old heart to see all the Sengoku 2 comments in this thread
it may not be the "best beat em up ever" but it is 100% awesome and to me is by far the best one on the system

Where are the comments praising Sengoku 1 though? :scratch:
 

ballzdeepx

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Yeah I really like the concept and atmosphere of Sengoku 1 the best, its clunky and can be frustrating if you don't master the forms and when to take advantage of them.
 

BlackaneseNiNjA

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It's quite a bit different.

Even though SOR is a beat-em-up, there is a different design philosophy when developing arcade games vs home games.

Indeed. I absolutely adore Streets of Rage 2, but the fact that everything in the game can be jab stun-locked into oblivion reinforces it’s complete lack of arcade-focused balance (regardless of the “Mania” difficulty).

Side note: With that said, if you’re a fellow huge fan of SoR2, the 3DS exclusive M2 release of Streets of Rage 2 is, oddly enough, the best release of SoR2 from a gameplay and modes perspective. Definitely snag a copy of Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3 Final Stage or a digital download of “3D Streets of Rage 2” if you haven’t already. It’s worth playing through to see the awesome new ending sequence that M2 added alone :buttrock:

Sengoku 1 is one I still enjoy playing. I feel like it hasn't aged well but still has a ton of heart.

+1
It may be nostalgia fueled, but I still have a lot of love for Sengoku 1 as well. Constantly jumping around to delay weapon powerup activation so that you have a sword during certain enemy encounters can get tedious during 1cc runs, but knowing when and where to use or conserve your precious transformations is still a gameplay loop I get a kick out of.

Bonus shoutout to Sengoku’s cool unique soundtrack as well.
 
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