As I’ve hinted at a few times here and there, Capcom became the undisputed champion of the arcade beat-em-up in 1989 with Final Fight and held on to that title (dispite some hefty challenges from Konami) through at least the end of 1994, a year which featured three great Capcom titles in the genre. I’ve already talked about two of those games almost a year ago: Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom and Alien vs. Predator. Feel free to go read up on them if you’re curious. I’ll wait.
That leaves us now with the third game, Armored Warriors, known as Powered Gear in Japan. It’s probably one of Capcom’s least-known beat-em-ups, although the overall designs and concept were put to use in creating the fighting game Cyberbots, which features the more popular characters of Jin and Devilotte. Armored Warriors is a great game, actually more enjoyable in my opinion than Cyberbots. It has all the features you expect from a Capcom beat-em-up: tight controls, reasonable (but demanding) crowd action and great aesthetics.
What makes Armored Warriors unusual—and what I love about it—is the motif. You’re not controlling some street-raised vigilante, ninja or officer of the law here. You’re the pilot of twenty-plus-feet-tall mech, caught in the middle of an interplanetary war. And your opponents are also giant machines, so there’s no need to hold back from your robotic rampage on account of hippie-like notions of “fairness” or “mercy.” And oh, will you rampage. Each of the four characters has a different playstyle by default, but the best part is how you can customize your mech on the fly. Scattered throughout each stage are parts that you can pick up and immediately equip, usually dropped by defeated enemies. Most other beat-em-ups just let you grab a temporary weapon (which, sure, Armored Warriors does), but you’ll go one step further here in replacing your standard attack arm and even legs using dropped items, creating your own Frankenstein’s Robot in the process. Want a flying, drilling, flame-breathing machine? You can do that. Tank-treaded electostatic shock-arm attack? Yup. All that not crazy enough for your pilot-a-robot fantasies? Drag a couple of friends along for the ride. During certain parts of a multi-player game, the player mechs all come together for a limited time, Voltron-style, to form an insane cybernetic behemoth that even dwarfs bosses.
The graphics and sound are just as excellent as you would expect. The Capcom palette and art style are in full force here, and the QSound music fit the game well. This is a game that’s well put-together and just downright fun to play, although like many of the best games I wish it was just a bit longer. It would have been great if Capcom somehow adapted it into an online action MMO or something like the now-deceased Dungeon Fighter Online. Take these sprite-based visuals, throw in a levelling system and just a few more types of machine parts, and I’d enlist so fast in a combat brigade my teammates’ heads would spin—if they weren’t already bolted down that is.
Who drew this???
ZOSS, Master of the Universe, the Conquering King, Lord of Throne and master of Powerful Eyebrows.
Hey there! This is gorgeous stuff, sorry to be late to the party.
Someone pointed me to your site and I saw you mentioned the 36 Lessons of Vivec as an inspiration. I’m starting to see some of the meta in your muscular, technicolor, batshit insanity-fueld mega-opus.
If you haven’t seen c0da.es/c0da yet, please drop by. I think it’s time for us to do a public mashup, soldier. ;)
Is this real life
(For real though I am flattered as hell! I don’t know if you can tell but KSBD is actually the most obtuse 36 lessons fan comic and I am a massive fanboy)
I’m gonna start making more of these — aren’t they cool?
PROVEN LANDS — KICKSTARTER TODAY 18:00 CET!
Hey guys! We’ve been working on PROVEN LANDS with a super small team for some months now, creating a game in you become an explorer - not just another sandbox item collector. Packed full with the real mysteries of physics, biology and chemistry, plus tons of (hopefully) reasonable science-fiction, influenced by Star Trek, Don’t Starve, Project Zomboid and Cataclysm. Starting with a backdrop of endless, procedurally generated terrain, PROVEN LANDS combines 3D, SCIENCE FICTION, SURVIVAL, SANDBOX, ROGUELIKE and RPG elements with an AI-driven GAME MASTER and on top of that: MODDING!
Keep in mind that the pre alpha demo is more a tech proof of concept, after some months of dev with a super small team. Eat, drink, chop trees, destroy stones and kill enemies. Enjoy an endless procedural terrain with 30+ chunk types (only desert biome yet). Fight hunger, thirst and diseases. The number of crafting and consumption items is limited, as the core engine was and is more important yet.
18:00 CET — Kickstarter start, Kickstarter video, a free pre alpha tech demo, Steam Greenlight and a reddit/iama with a bearded guy.