Friday, January 9, 2009

Atlus announces Tokyo Beatdown for Nintendo DS

Who do you reckon is more under-dressed, T-shirt Tommy or Boobs-out Betty? (Note: not real character names--I wish!)

Beatdown? Beat Down? beatdown? Beaten down?

Let's walk left-to-right as we break things/people in Tokyo Beatdown!

Whatever the grammar, Atlus continues to impress me by announcing what looks to be the sort of beat'em up I always wanted as a kid. Tokyo Beatdown promises multiple characters, multiple paths for each character, and multiple endings on top of all that. Whew! Is one of the characters a kitchen sink?

I miss Sega Saturn games like Guardian Heroes.

There were a few sidescrolling action-brawlers in the Final Fight style that flirted with the open-ended, path-branching sort of thing, but I don't recall any of them ever succeeding. What they did interestingly was usually weighed down conversely by poor play mechanics, and the ones that did the play mechanics correctly were usually pretty straight-forward, Double Dragon style, starting on the left-hand side of the map and scrolling right, beating the hell out of people through a set amount of levels until you hit the end or ran out of continues. Not even River City Ransom (below), brilliant as it was, had much non-linearity or path-branching, and for all its fun RPG elements, it certainly didn't have multiple endings. Probably the closest we ever came to seeing a non-linear, side-scrolling fighter (these genre decriptions are becoming increasingly unwieldy) was Treasure's Guardian Heroes (above), but as it was a Sega Saturn game, sadly, no one played it, and the recent Game Boy Advance version did not meet with the same critical acclaim.

If I had a dime for every time I made someone puke all over my foot in River City Ransom...

And so, a new glimmer of hope arises for those who fondly remember sauntering left to right, glibly jabbing A, A, A, A, A, B, jumping from time to time, and using as weapons whatever odd knobs happened to drop upon the street. Tokyo Beatdown looks to include the best of all of the above.

Or, if you're my mom, get hit without defeating these fiendish evil-doers!

As much as I'd like to do some research and report on how Famitsu or some such scored the Japanese version of the game, I'm having trouble coming across what it's Japanese title was. Without knowing its progeny, it's tough to get any glimpse at its relative quality. We'll just have to wait until faithful journos get a grip on some playable code or an import copy.

Really? My uncle's just a pervert who touches me in funny places and wears a trucker hat. Still wanna hang out?

The distinctive Japanese setting and goofy attitude look like they'll be just as much fun as the gameplay, assuming they nailed the whole "break things/people while moving left-to-right" concept. Don't disappoint me, game!

The "beat me (down!) to the punch, but at least I can gank their undersized JPEGs" award: Kotaku

The "I can't link you to the secret e-mail they sent me, but here's the official site" award: Atlus USA

UPDATE: Chris Kohler put up a story about the game and mentioned, in passing, its Japanese title. I did a Google search and came up with this article, which lists its Famitsu scores as three 6's and a 4. Ouch. While numbers aren't everything, and Famitsu isn't necessarily the most reliable (though they usually overrate, not underrate), with a rank that low, it leads me to wonder, as I did with Operation Darkness, why Atlus USA would bother localizing it at all.

Jesse Dylan Watson wonders where Kunio-kun has been lately.

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