Category Archives: Beat 'em up

Street Fighter V Review Diary – Multiplayer or bust?

So, I’ve had Street Fighter V for a week. For most games, especially a fighter, that’s usually plenty of time to polish off a review. Except I can’t really do that with Street Fighter V, because I’ve not been able to play anywhere near a finished product. That’s not to say there isn’t lots to say on the game’s single and multiplayer content so far.

We already knew the proper ‘Story Mode’ complete with cutscenes, wouldn’t be coming until Summer, but that was always seen as an extra, something we don’t usually get with an SF game anyway. It was fair to assume a selection of the usual modes would be on the disc from day one, but many are missing or ‘coming in March.’ Once these modes are here, and there’s no denying they damn well should have been on the disc from the start, I’ll be able to give the game a finished review with a score rating, much like I prefer to do with Telltale’s episodic games – not exactly a comparison I was expecting to make. Continue reading Street Fighter V Review Diary – Multiplayer or bust?

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Mortal Kombat X Jason Voorhees DLC (Review) – This is why they run

Mortal Kombat X Jason Voorhees DLC Review | This is why they run

Season Pass content can be tricky to navigate, especially when you’re not sure how a piece of paid content is going to work out. At Dealspwn we always advise waiting for some coverage or reviews before putting any extra cash down, especially for season passes. We really enjoyed Mortal Kombat X at launch and have been impressed with the variety of characters already on offer. So how about the DLC ones? Well, here’s our review of the first to arrive, the infamous, Jason Voorhees.

The indestructible star of the Friday the 13th movies (yes, except the first one) initially seemed a rather odd choice for the series, as he’s never been known for his pace and the idea of him performing combos seems a bit absurd. Thankfully, NetherRealm have given him a generous injection of pace and a decent skillset with linkable moves, while maintaining his sinister style. Continue reading Mortal Kombat X Jason Voorhees DLC (Review) – This is why they run

Mortal Kombat X (Review) – Gore galore

Mortal Kombat X Review | Gore galore

NetherRealm Studios come to their tenth canon Mortal Kombat release after the rather excellent Injustice: Gods Among Us. Working on the superhero title seems to have strengthened their resolve to come up with one of the best games we’ve seen in the long-running, face pummelling series.

The Story mode is a good place to start for any rusty brawler fans. You’ll control a set character for four fights before being put in the shoes of a new combatant. By the end of the story you’ll have played as most of the 24 strong cast and you should have an idea of which characters you’d like to develop your skills with and those you never want to see again. Continue reading Mortal Kombat X (Review) – Gore galore

Injustice: Gods Among Us (Review)

Smashing heads, walls and expectations.


Street fighter IV has held all the glory this generation thanks to a lack of creativity in the fighting genre. Developers NetherRealm hadn’t really managed to reignite brawler fans’ enthusiasm for the Mortal Kombat series either. So, upon learning they were working on a fighting game with the DC character roster it perhaps wasn’t unfair to assume something of a DC cosplay version of Mortal Kombat.

Except this isn’t a reskinned Mortal Kombat. This is a great game. While some of the control inputs bear a strong resemblance to Mortal Kombat, this feels much more responsive and fluid when layering combos and juggling opponents. These may sound like basic things to get right in a fighting game, but they form an essential foundation and grab your attention early on.

Continue reading Injustice: Gods Among Us (Review)

PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (Review)

Requested and rumoured for years, we finally have a game putting together a rich collection of the finest PlayStation-exclusive characters along with some top names from third-party brands for a mighty punch-up. The comparisons to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers are obvious, as they always were going to be, but I’m here to review the game on its own merits.

Buying the PS3 game also gives you access to a free download of the Vita version and I’ll go into details about the portable options later on. Let’s get stuck into the game itself on PS3 first.

Continue reading PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (Review)

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Review)

Accessibility and new fans. That’s what Namco would have you believe are the targets that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is aiming for as one of the most respected names in the fighter genre returns. Getting new players used to the basics of the series has always been an obstacle many fighting games so anything that seeks to address this is going to be well worth a look.

The Fight Lab is Namco’s attempt to ease-in new players and get them used to Tekken’s basics. Basics that to outsiders make the game immensely difficult to pick up and play with the same level of success as the Street Fighter or Soul Calibur titles. Button bashing in Tekken games will generally get you nowhere, thus making it less enjoyable to crack out at parties for anyone that hasn’t played them before.

Continue reading Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Review)

Reality Fighters (Review)

Until Street Fighter X Tekken arrives on the Vita the fighting market is pretty open. Sure you could go for BlazBlue, but some may prefer something a little different and a new IP to go with their new handheld. Reality Fighters comes loaded with gimmicks, but does it pack enough punch to warrant a place in your collection?

This arcade fighter’s hook is letting you put your own face onto the fighters. A further use of reality takes advantage of the Vita’s rear camera to fight against a real-world background, in real-time or from pictures you snapped earlier or from a few glossy pre-loaded ones.

Continue reading Reality Fighters (Review)

WWE ’12 (Review)

With promises of rebuilding the aging gameplay for this year’s title, we’re expecting a lot of WWE ’12. The Smackdown name has been removed from the title as a statement of intent. But has enough changed to warrant the new name, or is it just another gimmick?

The most noticeable addition is the Predator system, which allows you to use the face buttons while locked in a grapple to target the arms, head or legs. Repeated manglings cause your opponent to move awkwardly and reduces their resilience to submission moves. It works well, although repeated use of a move to cause the injury can get boring and makes play feel mechanical, rather than fun.

Continue reading WWE ’12 (Review)

WWE All-Stars (Review)

As the UFC games send the wrestling genre towards ever-duller reality the WWE universe gets a style overhaul as WWE All-Stars throws in the biggest, names past and present, into the squared circle. Expect to battle with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart, Ultimate Warrior, Stone Cold, The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, Shaemus and Rey Mysterio.

The emphasis is on setting everything to the extreme. The character models are beefed up to ridiculous proportions and their faces are amusing cartoonised charactertures of themselves. The first time you see two wrestlers standing toe-to-toe at the start of a match you’ll only be able to think ‘they’re effing huge!’. There are no Divas to oggle at, but considering the beefcake visuals, that’s probably a good thing.

Continue reading WWE All-Stars (Review)

Kung-Fu Live (Review)

The ominous safety warning and disclaimer that precedes the game acts as a sinister precursor to the first time you kick a wall, housemate, sofa or yourself in this motion-controlled martial arts PSN title.

Unlike, say Sports Champions, which allows you to play from a lot closer than it recommends, Kung-Fu Live really does need the epic space suggested. So if you can’t clear a square space sized (at least) 2.5 x 3 metres, then forget it. Various player heights can throw up a few problems too.

Continue reading Kung-Fu Live (Review)

Castle Crashers (Review)

Talk about delayed, Castle Crashers originally appeared on XBLA in 2008, it then hit the US PSN Store in August, which is where the demo ensnared me. I’ve had to wait until now for a European release PSN release. But was it worth the wait? Hell yes. Hell, yes.

This retrotacular title is a side-scrolling beat-‘em-up with a few simple RPG elements thrown in for good measure. It’s great fun on your own, but to get the most out of this game you should really fire up the multiplayer. You can have up to four players with drop-in co-op action. You can even play it online, but this can throw up problems when you both want to be the same character (because it’s the only one you’ve spent ten hours levelling up) so one of you will be on Level 30+ while the other is Level 1. At least you can revive team-mates. Continue reading Castle Crashers (Review)

Fly Fu (PSP Minis Review)

How annoying are flies? The dumb bastards come in from outside and spend the rest of your hangover bouncing off the window despite you closing the curtain and opening a window. Well next time you roll up a magazine, just beware, he might know Fly Fu.

This is a simple side-scrolling beat ‘em up. How simple? Well, all the backgrounds are basic grey pencil drawings on white paper and the cutscenes are basically doodles. But this only helps add to the game’s charm. The game has no pretensions as instead of saying ‘loading’ it will say ‘doodling.’ Continue reading Fly Fu (PSP Minis Review)

Young Thor (PSP Minis Review)

Young Thor is a traditional side-scrolling platformer / beat ‘em up title. It follows the journey of Thor on his way to rescue four maidens from Hel, ruler of the Norse Underworld.

Combat is pleasingly simple and the lack of depth is hidden by the way you can attack enemies in different body parts for better effects. Numbers fly off enemies to indicate the damage done and when these numbers turn yellow, you know you’ve just discovered a weak spot. For example, the best way to deal with the tall trolls is to jump over them, turn around in mid-air and give them a crack to the back of the head. Continue reading Young Thor (PSP Minis Review)

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (Review)

Approaching a new beat ‘em up name for the first time can be a tricky affair, with no familiar character to go for at the character select screen, your first impressions of the game are severely at risk. Do you pick the huge mass of muscle, the one with a sword, the one made up of a Studio Ghibli oil slick nightmare or simply the one with the biggest boobs?

Choose carefully my friends because you won’t pick up a brawler this year with such a diverse set of fighters. There might only be twelve to choose from, but any similarities are minor. There aren’t any Ken, Ryu and Akuma-style remixes of characters here. Pick the wrong one and you might get a rough start. However, things start to look up once you find a character that suits your own individual style. Continue reading BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (Review)

Yakuza 3 (Review)

How to describe Yakuza 3? Well it’s an RPG beat ‘em up stuffed with a huge variety of mini-games to distract you from the games story that involve multiple Yakuza gangs and government conspiracies in Tokyo and Okinawa. Oh and you look after an orphanage too.

Players new to the series are welcomed by detailed compilations of cutscenes from the first two games that make a decent effort of bringing you up to speed. Long story short, Kazuma (that’s you) climbed the ranks to become the 4th Chairman of the Tojo Clan of the Yakuza, didn’t fancy it and went to start an orphanage on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Continue reading Yakuza 3 (Review)

Bayonetta (Review)

With no new Devil May Cry anytime soon, Kratos and God of War III probably thought they’d own 2010. Yet he’s having to face off a triple offensive of Darksiders, Bayonetta and Dante’s Inferno, one after another. Out of the three, original Devil May Cry director Hideki Kamiya has changed tactics the most by sending the sassy temptress Bayonetta in instead of yet another angry man. Hoping to charm her way in, before going berserk in a way we forgot Japanese games used to do. Continue reading Bayonetta (Review)

Darksiders (Review)

The hack n’ slash genre is back in force this year with the first quarter playing host to Bayonetta, Dante’s Inferno and God of War III. Amidst the hype of these three big names Vigil Games have been pretty quiet promoting their effort Darksiders. Turns out keeping their heads down and getting on with it has paid off as we have our first surprise of the year. Continue reading Darksiders (Review)

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Review)

Who would have thought one of the Wii’s most engrossing games of recent months would totally forgo any motion controls and be a 2D side-scrolling RPG slash-em-up? That’s right; you can sit and play this Wii game all afternoon without worrying about waking up the next day feeling that familiar tightness in every muscle. Well, your thumbs might take a slight pounding, but nothing the little brutes can’t handle. So dust off the pad for this one folks. Continue reading Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Review)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (Review)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 arrives with memories of its predecessor filling most gamers’ hearts with a self-doubting terror from being made to feel utterly rubbish at games and having to call it a day by the time the motorbike ninjas arrived. Only the old school, challenge hungry, were really up for that madness.

Don’t worry if the first one handed your ass to you on a plate though as the sequel is much more accessible. That doesn’t mean you can happy slap it into submission, but you’ll probably make it half way and maybe even whisper it… finish it.

Continue reading Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (Review)

The King of Fighters XII (Review)

After the heyday of the duelling beat em’ up in the ‘90s it’s surprising how slow the genre has been to get going on current generation consoles. Virtua Fighter 5 and Street Fighter 4 eventually turned up and dazzled everyone for about a month while Soul Calibur added a bit of polish but left most fans shrugging in indifference as it offered nothing new. So what chance does The King of Fighters XII have? Looking at the lack of current competition (I’m pretty much ignoring the ever-delayed Tekken 6 until it decides if it wants a PS3 or PS4 release) it might be worth a look. Continue reading The King of Fighters XII (Review)