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30 Genres of Christmas
Brawlers
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 05, 2009   |   Episode 10 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



Capcom is planning an "upgraded" version of Final Fight next year, let's hope it's better than Streetwise!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Brawler? You're in luck; I have a special checklist specifically designed for that very good question. Are you playing a game that requires you to beat up three to four hundred people you've never met before? Do most of these people look like clones with different colored shirts on? Have you already walked through a park, industrial center and a really large elevator? Do you have so much rage that you want to beat up cars for no reason? Do the weapons you pick up mysteriously disappear after a few seconds of use? And the final question: is the person you're going after named Mr. Big or Mr. X? Alright, based on this checklist you are currently playing a brawler!

Patron Saint: The casting call for West Side Story.

Typical Story: DUDE! Your girlfriend has been kidnapped! I'm serious, the biggest gang in town just punched her in the gut and taken her. So whatcha gonna do about it, bro? If I were you I would stop beating that car up and slowly walk through every part of town before eventually coming face to face with her attacker. Dude, here's an idea; I'll even come

I love both Battletoads AND Double Dragon, yet I loathe this old school brawler!
along for the ride ... er, walk. We'll clean up the streets, seriously injury thousands of people we don't know and, best of all; eat straight out of the garbage can. It'll be FLY!! Do the kids even say "fly" anymore? Well, it doesn't matter, because we're going to kick some butt. Right, dude?

What James Bond Would Say: "Alright Miss Moneypenny, what you see before you is a list of my evening plans. First I will attempt to save my girlfriend from the city's biggest gang, which means that I'm going to need a lot of surveillance, a laser pen, a car that doubles as a tank, an explosive device in the shape of lip balm, night vision goggles and a spare set of condoms. My plan is to sky dive down to their head quarters, blast my way in through the top undetected. Make my way

Rockstar Games is still trying to milk The Warriors license, they released a new installment this year!
through the vents without hurting anybody and then sneaking off with the girl before anybody is the wiser. It's a perfect plan. However, assuming it doesn't work, I'll probably just pick up a new girl at the poker game happening down the street. Either way, I'm going to need those spare condoms."

Not a Brawler: Despite the name, Super Smash Bros. Bawl is not a brawler. In fact, no traditional one-on-one fighting game (including multi-person tag teams) is a brawler. The NES version of Double Dragon is both, using the main storyline as the brawler and the extra two-player mode as a one-on-one fighting game. The perspective didn't change, but the genre does simply because the goal is different. The Warriors is a brawler, but Bully (which used some of the same gameplay mechanics) would be considered a sandbox adventure game.

Then vs. Now? These days our brawler choices are pretty slim. Outside of a few failed attempts by Sega and Capcom (including a tragically awful Final Fight reboot), there are really only a couple of modern day brawlers worth talking about. The Warriors is an incredible 3D brawler, taking everything we loved about the genre and adding the amount of depth we expect from a modern action game. On the other hand, many old school brawlers suffer from being overly repetitive and lacking any kind depth whatsoever. If only we could combine the two. Maybe Capcom can do just that when they yet again try and reboot the Final Fight series sometime next year. For now, I say that the best time to be a brawler is 1994.
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