I freakin’ miss good ol’ beat ‘em up games. Those halcyon days where the streets were filed with rage, the dragons were doubled up and Spider-Man was facing Carnage to the maximum. There’s nothing more cathartic than practising the reverse of foot-to-face style kung-fu on wave after wave of enemies. The sad thing is, is that the beat ‘em up genre isn’t exactly in a healthy state.
It’s a selection of games that you’ll seldom find in the spotlight these days. Recycling faces with fists is a rarity, a gaming event that time has forgotten. Local developer Kopskop hasn’t forgotten about the games that defined us in the ol’ Megadrive days however. Because their Shattered Realms project feels like a love letter to a genre that is overdue for a revival.
On the surface, Shattered Realms has the tools that you’d expect it to flaunt for a game of its ilk: You’re on your own, there’s an army of punch-sponges barrelling down on you and they won’t go down from a single kick to the head. You’ve got to nail those combos, maintain awareness of the world around you and watch your health bar.
That alone, coupled with the gorgeous art direction, would be more than enough fun. Where Shattered Realms takes its formula further however, is the sheer versatality of its fisticuffs. You’re not just relying on a simple 1-2 combo, you’re combining them with more modern ideas that have surfaced in fighting games over the years.
You’re cancelling moves, breaking up combos and setting up opponents with feints. Playing with the pugilist systems of Shattered Realms is a rewarding, organic experience that allows you to create natural combo flows of juggles and super moves for the crafty and cunning enemies that are in your way. It’s still in its early stages, but Shattered Realms has plenty of potential hidden inside of it.
If you’re keen on trying it out for yourself, you can download it here. Feel free to reward the guys over at Kopskop with some monetary love, if you can.
Last Updated: November 8, 2017