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The Gladiator; a deep cut hidden gem beat em up...and other beat em ups in need of more love!

VGEsoterica

Member
I still remember the first beat em up I ever played...Double Dragon. I fell in love with the genre as a kid and once I played Streets of Rage on the Genesis my love was cemented that much more. But damn if the beat em up genre isn't FULL of awesome hidden gem games that people would love if they just knew they existed!

Enter The Gladiator. Made in Taiwan by IGS and popped onto the PGM platform. Basically just a BIT more powerful Neo Geo. It's legit IMO one of the best beat em ups of that generation yet its also a beat em up I rarely if ever hear mentioned in lists of best beat em ups.

Which is an ABSOLUTE bummer as The Gladiator has everything a beat em up fan wants. Awesome combat, a solid character selection, legit graphics and a great soundtrack. Plus the fact it takes place in China gives it a certain vibe we didn't really get back then.

But 100% if you enjoy beat em ups...play this! But what are your fav beat em up recommendations? Deep cuts especially appreciated (Like Night Slashers)

 

fart town usa

Gold Member
Damn, that game is gorgeous. Insanely impressive.

The Punisher is a great beat-em-up that doesn't get mentioned too often.

There's a tiny arcade in my town. Owner converted a car garage into the arcade, it's pretty cool. He has a mame type machine in there with a bunch of solid games. Lots of racers, prize style games, pinball machines, skee ball, etc. He also has one of those old CD based juke boxes. My birthday a few years back, my friends were like "what do you wanna do?" Me: "Get high and go to the arcade..." lol. Playing Alien vs Predator while listening to Janie's Got A Gun by Aerosmith was hilarious and surreal. Good times.

Best part is that the arcade is never at risk of being closed down. It's unmanned, the building can't be used for anything else since it's a small garage. He just has some cameras set up and owns the bar next door to it. Basically just free money and minimal effort for him.
 

_Ex_

Member
Lesser known 2D beat 'em ups worth playing; Gourmet Squadron Barayarou (SFC), Battle Circuit (arcade), and Night Slashers (arcade).

For a 3D beat 'em up; Urban Reign (PS2) is not a deep cut, but it was wrongfully ignored in its day. This game is brutally difficult to actually finish (I did though), has loads of combat depth, and is violently cathartic. It's also violent on your tendons, I ended up buying wrist compression wraps to wear while playing this. Recommended for serious beat 'em up fans.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
Lesser known 2D beat 'em ups worth playing; Gourmet Squadron Barayarou (SFC), Battle Circuit (arcade), and Night Slashers (arcade).

For a 3D beat 'em up; Urban Reign (PS2) is not a deep cut, but it was wrongfully ignored in its day. This game is brutally difficult to actually finish (I did though), has loads of combat depth, and is violently cathartic. It's also violent on your tendons, I ended up buying wrist compression wraps to wear while playing this. Recommended for serious beat 'em up fans.
Gourmet Squadron Barayarou is even better now that it has an English translation
 
Lesser known 2D beat 'em ups worth playing; Gourmet Squadron Barayarou (SFC), Battle Circuit (arcade), and Night Slashers (arcade).

For a 3D beat 'em up; Urban Reign (PS2) is not a deep cut, but it was wrongfully ignored in its day. This game is brutally difficult to actually finish (I did though), has loads of combat depth, and is violently cathartic. It's also violent on your tendons, I ended up buying wrist compression wraps to wear while playing this. Recommended for serious beat 'em up fans.
Oh man, I love Urban Reign. So underappreciated.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
Lesser known 2D beat 'em ups worth playing; Gourmet Squadron Barayarou (SFC), Battle Circuit (arcade), and Night Slashers (arcade).

For a 3D beat 'em up; Urban Reign (PS2) is not a deep cut, but it was wrongfully ignored in its day. This game is brutally difficult to actually finish (I did though), has loads of combat depth, and is violently cathartic. It's also violent on your tendons, I ended up buying wrist compression wraps to wear while playing this. Recommended for serious beat 'em up fans.
If you like Urban Reign play Spikeout Final Battle or Slashout from Sega. Need to emulate them unless you have OG arcade hardware but they are V similar
 

_Ex_

Member
If you like Urban Reign play Spikeout Final Battle or Slashout from Sega. Need to emulate them unless you have OG arcade hardware but they are V similar

I've played Spikeout: Battle Street on Xbox back in ye days, but never heard of Slashout, will check that one out thanks.
 
Don't know how unknown this one might be, but I loved playing it as a teen. Also one of the earliest indies I played.



It had coop, lots of skills, combos, magic and absurd amount of enemies on screen. One cool thing is that you could play s the bosses, and I remember it having some kind of sandbox mode were you could set up the stage as you'd like.
 
For a 3D beat 'em up; Urban Reign (PS2) is not a deep cut, but it was wrongfully ignored in its day. This game is brutally difficult to actually finish (I did though), has loads of combat depth, and is violently cathartic. It's also violent on your tendons, I ended up buying wrist compression wraps to wear while playing this. Recommended for serious beat 'em up fans.
Yeah that game had great mechanics. It's a shame they didn't build a traditional beat-em up around it instead of making what was a lengthy challenge mode.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
Don't know how unknown this one might be, but I loved playing it as a teen. Also one of the earliest indies I played.



It had coop, lots of skills, combos, magic and absurd amount of enemies on screen. One cool thing is that you could play s the bosses, and I remember it having some kind of sandbox mode were you could set up the stage as you'd like.
Def one I have never heard of before
 
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