Arcade Hidden Gems - 10 Best Games For Mame
When it comes to arcade games, quite a few come to mind. We have the fighters street fighter and Mortal Kombat the beat 'em ups Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Final Fight. You have your NBA jam your WWF Wrestlemania. There’s the shmups 1942 or R-Type. But what if you’re looking for something different, something that’s seemingly, right under your nose. In today’s article you’ll find out ten hidden gems on the arcade that you should check out.
Table of Contents
Up first we have Night Slashers by Data East. This beat em up has the theme where you get to play as one of three zombie slayers. Punch, kick, and slam your way through werewolves, mummies, vampires, and even Death himself to eradicate the marauding monstrosities! What makes it unique, though, is its campy horror setting. Despite the fact it takes place in more modern times, it’s more or less the closest you’ll get to seeing Castlevania in beat-em-up form.
Elevator Action Returns
Up next is Elevator Action Returns. Elevator Action Returns improves greatly on the formula established by it's predecessor, featuring much more intense gameplay and strategy when using elevators, as well as the inclusion of more intelligent enemies.
While it’s basically still about going through buildings and retrieving information behind marked doors, the stages are more elaborate and there a vast amount of enemies to kill and weapons to pick up such as machine guns and bazookas. While the original Elevator Action only involved moving around the level vertically downwards, the game allows the player to move in all directions, often having to horizontally backtrack through a level in order to reach a new area.
Gun Force 2
Next we have, Gun Force 2 . Right off the bat, it plays a lot like other run and gun action games. Each character uses two guns at the same time which fire at different angles. Think predecessor to the metal slug games. Many of the same sound effects were later reused in the metal slug games. Even the graphical design elements are shared, right down tot he small details like explosions and shrapnel.
Coming up next is Metamorphic Force. Konami really did know how to get the best out of their beat em ups. I can best describe this as an X-Men style beat 'em up with the ability to power up your character into alternate forms like Altered Beast. Heck there are even elves running around that you can hit to drop powerups like in Golden Axe! This is a sure fire beat 'em up that should have never went un noticed.
Ninja Baseball Batman
Up next is Ninja Baseball Batman. Now it’s not the batman you’re thinking of. They’re just baseball players where you beat up evil baseballs, evil baseball gloves, evil baseball bats with baseball bats. Now try saying that three times fast.
It’s definitely nutty, you have this boss that’s an airplane within an airplane. A baseball boss formed of baseballs. At the end you’ll retrieve a statue in the form of an animated Babe Ruth. Well, we didn’t expect it to have loads of depth in a beat em up but it sure it witty.
Rohga Armor Force
Up next is Rohga Armor Force. Hop in a mech of your choosing and make your way through tanks, planes and other robotic beings in this futuristic shooter. One interesting mechanic is when you take too much damage, you’ll lose your suit and fly around in pilot mode. If you’ve played Ranger X or are into the Gundam Wing series, Rohgha Armor force is for you.
Next up is Shadow Force. On the surface, it looks similar to your brawlers like the Simpsons or TMNT but this shadow force is a bit different in the combat style. You’ll face the direction of each enemy in one on one combat being able to block attacks almost like super double dragon is on the SNES. You get to choose from one of four Ninja Style characters, then pick the stage you want. What I didn’t like about Shadow Force was the difficulty curve. This game is tough. Shadow force was neve ported, given a sequel, nothing. Another forgotten beat 'em up in a pile of great games.
The Cliffhanger Edward Randy
Make way for The Cliffhanger Edward Randy by Data East. Watch out for those solders coming your way in the 1930’s. Edward will fight off enemies from the background or foreground, very reminiscent of Indiana Jones using his whip. You can also jump from different platforms in the environment. Look at how much is going on here, enemies flying around, explosions going off. The multiple uses of depth in Edward Randy really makes for an interesting experience.
Next up is Tecmo’s Wild Fang. It’s incredibly barbaric as it is gruesome. It reminds me of a bloodier, R rated variation of Golden Axe. You punch an enemy so hard that their head pops off their body as it explodes. You also have the ability to take on different forms depending on the situation. Oh and watch out for the pits, damn it!
Up next is Violent Storm. Generic gang members, stealing of a girlfriend, yada yada. Konami did a fantastic job with Violent Storm. The sprites are huge, there wasn’t any noticeable slowdown when making my way through the single player mode. The level design is fairly generic as you would expect from a beat em up. Oh a subway station, I haven’t seen that before! The characters are adequate, You have wade who’s clearly a ripoff of Billy from Double Dragon. Finally Boris who resembles Chicago Bull's fan favorite Dennis Rodman. The soundtrack is so upbeat, I’m surprised there was some wacky lyrics going on. Surprisingly enough, it was catchy, give it a listen. There was also a really unique boss that goes by Mr. Julius. He’s some sort of ancient body builder that comes to life after being cast away as a statue. Every time I would lose a life he would taunt me by saying beauty is power! Violent storm gets everything right in a beat 'em up.