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A Weird Kid's Top Ten -- Arcade Beat 'Em Ups


Tonight's edition of A Weird Kid's Top 10 is for a particular series that I can attest to eating more allowances that I can remember in the arcades. You got a whole $10 roll of quarters? Good, you'll need 'em, cause tonight we are talking about Arcade Beat 'em Ups, the most notoroious quarter munching games ever made (besides Shmups).

It took me a while to compile this list but after making my top 10, then looking some more, I realized that I could make a top 20, that's how fond a memory I have of these games. Sure, they'd take your money more and more as the levels went on, but you wouldn't mind in the slightest. Please keep in mind that this MY top 10 arcade Beat 'em Ups, I don't mind comments, but please no whining that I forgot one. And remember if you'd like to submit your own top 10 ideas, I'll try to make it.

Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja, just the title alone warrants a place in my top 10. Even better was the Engrish in the game's intro "Rampant ninja related crimes these days...White House is not the exception...". The game had two converse sporting "bad dudes" on their way to rescue President Ronnie (Regan for you younguns out there). The fighting was pretty bleh, except for atrocious sounds the "dudes" would make when they got hit. Also this was one of the first arcade games I ever knew that let you "charge" an attack before hitting an opponent, in this case a Flaming Punch! Wow...also the first level boss was Karnov...if you know who that is.

Double Dragon was perhaps the first Beat 'em Up I remember playing, not terribly difficult, though the laggy controls and cheap ass enemies (like the whipping bitch or Abobo). This was a pretty short experience in the arcades, it only had 4 levels, and didn't cause me much grief beating it, even when I was a little kid. Truly a button mashing classic.

Final Fight was the shit. I remember vividly using either Guy or Haggar, Cody can kiss my ass! This game was pretty typical fare for Beat 'em Ups of the time except for the weapons you could use. Capcom was always good about putting plenty of weapons you could use. My favorite fight is between you and Sodom (from SF Alpha fame!) in the wrestling ring. You could make him drop his katanas and then wipe the floor with him using them. Good game, but not great.

This game blew my mind as a kid. The Simpsons beating the shit out of other Springfield residents? Turns out the majority of the people you fought were just random thugs that Matt Groening put into the game...oh well. The nice thing about this is the WHOLE Simpson got a chance to kick ass, especially my favorite, Marge! She had the vacuum to beat people with, that was just awesome when I was young, GO MARGE! SAVE YOUR BABY! Typical of the Konami arcade games of the time, this was a SERIOUS quarter muncher. Don't plan on beating this one with just a dollar peoples. Go find it, now!

One of my favorite mashup games of all time...aliens fighting predators holy shit! I didn't know there was a comic and the whole idea never occured to me until I played this in the arcade. The game had the usual Capcom Beat em Up feel, though my favorite character handled a lot like Chun-li from Street fighter, and was hella powerful, I'm talking about Linn Kurosawa. Most of the characters had hidden moves that weren't explained anywhere on the marquee or in game, you had to figure them out. If you were good enough, you could probably get through a good portion of the game with just one credit. A truly great game for the arcades.

Based on the Marvel comic books of the same name. The title says it all, this game has portions where you drive a big ass Cadillac, and plenty of times throughout where you have to fight dinosaurs. Think of it like Turok but not a first person shooter. Most of the weapons were lifted from the Final Fight series. It ranked so high only because it had freakin Cadillacs and Dinosaurs in it Hot Damn!!!

Great times playing this game for hours and hours, not to mention the fact that you weren't beating this game for less than $10 in quarters (depending on how much of a dick the arcade manager set the difficulty at). One of the first games I ever saw the wide screen format where they put two monitors next to each other, also the first arcade game that I ever played a 6 person co-op. I had to always be Nightcrawler or Dazzler. I really loved this game, but please there are only so many Sentinels one can kill in a gaming experience!

What a great concept, turning a beat 'em up into a RPG at the same time! This Capcom arcade cabinet had many many good times spent at it, alway fretting whether or not I should have picked the cleric over the fighter...damn I can remember almost having a panic attack wondering which path I should take in the game. That was something that was missing from most arcade games at the time, a choice of destination. Pretty damn good game if you ask me!

Hells the muthafuckin yea! TMNT the arcade game was one of those moments in childhood where life was perfect. Nobody told me how much of a bitch it would be to fight the Shredder or General Traag. Pretty amazing arcade beat em up for how old it is. I even got the XBLA version cause I loved it so much. I have to be Michaelangelo though bitches!

Why did this game make my number one spot you ask? Show me a game where you put your spiked boot up someone's ass and I'll show you my new number one. This was an ultra-violent, ass-kicking festival in the arcades, you could strip the skin off some enemies, or if you choose Zitz and you time your jump kick just right...your foot turns into an axe and off pops the baddie's head with arterial spray. Rash's foot turns into a chainsaw if memory serves right. Fuck this game was so much fun, but cheap as hell! I remember playing this game at my college's student-union building and putting over twenty dollars into it while I skipped 3 classes. I have never done that with any other game since. That's why it's my number one.

I'm sure many of you out there will disagree with most my choices, and will be hurt that I missed one of your favorites, but the beautiful thing is, you can post YOUR top ten in the comments. I hope you all enjoyed reading my latest installment. Don't forget to send me suggestions of top tens that you'd like to see in the future. Thanks again for reading!
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About Excrementoone of us since 5:39 PM on 07.11.2007

Hey robots, I'm Excremento, but you cool and old skool Dtoiders know that already. I've been a videogamer for as long as I can remember. I have well over 27 years of video game experience that I rely on daily, and a near encyclopedic memory of gaming starting with the Commodore 64 and ending with whatever is the current hotness.

Author of The Ten Commandments for Community Bloggers

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NES Games That You Had to Leave on All Night to Beat
Arcade Beat 'Em Ups

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