Writing features is like finishing off the decoration in the en-suite that I started eight months ago. Well, I finished it this weekend, so proud to have created one of the many features I intended to write: 10 Beat ‘Em Ups On The Switch You May Have Missed Or Overlooked.
I’m aware it’s a very, very catchy title and filled to the brim with meaty, punchy goodness, but vegan kicks too. This isn’t a ‘best’ list, just a collection of games that you might have thought about or possibly never heard of.
There’ll be a separate list for other platforms such as the PlayStation 4 and even PC(!), including a best of type list, but they’ve been done to death, and I doubt I need to tell you what Mortal Kombat is.
Without further ado…
10 Beat ‘Em Ups On The Switch You May Have Missed Or Overlooked
Super Punch Patrol
An arcade chain may have well devised this from back in the day to lure punters in, spending their dosh on a pretty challenging game. On the surface, Super Punch Patrol is a unique looking beat ’em up with a similar art style to Gunman Clive. That’s because it’s from the same creative gene pool Hörberg Productions.
With classical side-scrolling mechanics and easy to get started controls, Super Punch Patrol should be a game at the top of the list. Alas, it’s stupidly hard, at least for these digits. Enemies spam moves when you’re down, along with classic juggling attacks, but you’re on the receiving end.
A shame then, as Gunman Clive, albeit a different genre, was a great game. Super Punch Patrol has the potential – hell, it may already be the game you’ve been looking for. I would review it, but I’m so bad that it wouldn’t be much of an appraisal. For the price, it’s worth giving it a go.
Fight Of Animals
If you’re an animal lover, but also like a scrap, while not mix the two and have a punch up with a kitty? Before you start offering out your cat Felix, boot up Fight Of Animals on the Nintendo Switch.
Now, this isn’t one of those ’10 Of The Best All-Time Beat ‘Em Ups On The Switch’ lists. First, it’s a list of those you might have missed, more importantly: all-time? The Switch is four years old. Stop using ‘all-time’, you spanners.
That’s all just filler as there’s already a review of Fight Of Animals on this very site. It’s not the best fighter, notably because of the all-year Christmas theme and lack of features. Still, for the price and a bit of intuition, you can pit Mochi and Pochi against each in a fight to the death without having a nasty email from PETA.
Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [cl-r]
It’s almost like you need programming skills to decipher this nonsensical title, but you know what they say: you can’t judge a Switch game by its ludicrous title. Yes, I’m aware nobody says that.
Still, putting aside the silly title and the throwaway plot of noshing on EXS, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [cl-r] is a fantastic one-on-one beat ’em up in the style of Street Fighter II, and the SNK Vs Capcom series, with a brilliant line up, hand-drawn by elves.
Don’t expect to see 100+ characters, but for those available, they stand out from the next. You can thank the people at フランスパン (that’s French Bread), who made the game – also behind the rather excellent Melty Blood.
Drunk Fu: Wasted Masters
Not one of the best titles in this list, but you can’t complain about variety in a restriction genre list. Drunk Fu: Wasted Masters is a game I picked up last year and showed up on my library when compiling this list.
Poo-pooing Gang Beasts the first time around, then realising it’s an absolute blast with the right company, it was natural to have some expectations for this party beat ’em up.
The key ingredient here is alcohol. Booze and fists, unfortunately, mix (read the Drunken Fist review – finally got the Platinum), so it’s a no-brainer for a game, and also a no-brainer button masher. While it’s not in the same league as Gang Beasts, it is significantly better with others, as long as you don’t take it seriously.
The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny
As a fan of the arcade version, then also on the Sega (I love you) Dreamcast, I was a dog with two tails when this reached my inbox. Alas, everything was so small as this is a Neo Geo Pocket remaster.
That wasn’t a good first impression at first, but the controls felt pretty good. Perhaps it paved the way for SNK Vs Capcom Match Of The Millenium, as that really is a great game, but that might be due to the Ryu influence.
Anyway: swords – beat ’em up – not Samurai Shodown. The Last Blade: Beyond Destiny has plenty of features too. If you can get past the ickle little sprites on screen, this a good ‘un.
If you’re pleading poverty and want something cheap, One Strike is one way to go. Featuring an array of samurai and ninja types, this game seems to be perpetually on sale. I paid 89p for it, which is the equivalent of two medium-sized fish.
The visuals aren’t great, but the speed is. Why? It’s all over in a slash. No, it’s not that kind of game, but One Strike taps into the way of the warrior, notably the PlayStation’s Bushido Blade, by punishing unexpecting opponents with one move.
One Strike has as many features as that mail order bride ‘they’ assigned you, but it sure makes up with it with playability. Perhaps not replayability as it’s over so darn quick, but it’s a nice alternative to a duel at noon with your cocky friends.
Kawaii Deathu Desu
At first glance, this looks like a title transcribed by someone with a lisp, but it’s actually from the Japanese language they use in Japan. Japanese lesson: Kawaii: Cute, Deathu: Death, Desu: Is. Kinda. You’re now a bona fide Japaneser – congrats.
Kawaii Deathu Desu, from Eastasiasoft, is a bit of an alternative to the others as it could very much sit on mobiles without breaking a nail. It’s a button masher where you tap the corresponding direction of the incoming waves.
Sure, it’s a no-brainer, but it’s really addictive, and you’d be surprised how kawaii the outfits are in the game. I mean, I’m not into cosplay or nuffink, but they’re so moe (similar to kawaii).
A bit like Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late [cl-r] (stupid name), so I had to split them up to avoid any fighting; Chaos Code rolls off the tongue like a ball bearing laced in battery acid, but has a similar, forgettable story.
Fortunately, the gameplay isn’t remotely forgettable as it’s chocks away in the world of fisticuffs for another belter of a game. I made up a gameplay video for this ages ago. It’s rubbish like all my other attempts, but it might illustrate the game better.
Once again, Mugen like visuals with retro sprites, over-the-top combos and a pretty decent roster, if you ask me, Chaos Code should be a game in your Switch library if you like hitting stuff. In the beat ’em up sense, playa.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues
This is a token entry as I wanted to wind this up with a rounded ten titles. It was the PS4 version that appealed to me most, and I still revisit it after reviewing it on release. Cobra Kai Season 3 was also an incentive for the fam to get involved too.
In all honesty, Flux Game Studio really fudged up Johnny in this game. Yes, we have the actual actors doing the voice-overs, but having him doing a fairy spin with fire spinning around was cheesier than my mate Monterey Jack.
Levels are quite big, though, so you get to hit more stuff than you would in an actual karate lesson; plus, depending on who you are, you get to walk the streets with a headband and have fire shooting out of your ankles. Or ice, if you’re a pussy.
Finally, we get to the title that kicked this off. Believe it or not, I have a list of features to write, all categorised based on systems, genres and themes, but never have the time to do it all.
That catalyst was counting how many Switch games I had and when I reached the bottom and saw Wulverblade. I thought it was a demo, but when opening the game, I realised it was something I bought ages ago but never played.
What a fool – this is excellent. Sharp illustrations, animation, and even sharper, pointier blades to poke things with. Even better, it’s loosely based on history too, so it’s a win from me. Sure, it’s more of a side-scrolling hack and slash, but the theme here is 10 Beat ‘Em Ups On The Switch You May Have Missed Or Overlooked, and I’m steering this ship.
Have I missed anything? Of course, I ruddy have. Whether that is through choice, ignorance, or perhaps it might be because I’m struggling to type any more and need to go to bed. Regardless, if you have any recommendations on the Switch, hit me up via the contact form or tweet it back at me, and I’ll check it out.
In the modified words of Shang Tsung: Finish It!