Capcom brings over 7 arcade classics in the new Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, which launched on the E-Shop with the new Nintendo Switch Online service. While Captain Commando, Final Fight, Knights of the Round, The King of Dragons, and Warriors of Fate have made their appearance on consoles in the past, the last two games in the bundle, Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit, make their console debut as part of this collection.
Each game is a faithful port of their arcade versions, both English and Japanese, and includes the classic graphics, sounds and gameplay that players loved back in the day. While one may think that beat ‘em ups are all the same, the Beat ‘Em Up Bundle has a good variety of gameplay between the titles, with a level of depth that may surprise you. While Final Fight is the most simplistic game in the bundle, Cody, Guy and Haggar do have some subtle differences that can change things up on multiple playthroughs. On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Armored Warriors, which not only has 4 different playable characters, but also different pieces that you can pick up to customize your mech, including rocket launchers that home in on enemies, drills that allow you to make dashing attacks, and tank treads that make you move faster.
The bundle also includes options to adjust the number of lives players have, the difficulty level and the difficulty scaling, so there’s no need to worry about quarter-muncher difficulty making things too frustrating. You can also save your current progress in case you need to take a break from playing, but the one downside is that it looks like each game only has one save slot, so you’ll need to be careful not to overwrite your progress if you decide to start a new game with a different character. The bundle also contains both local and online multiplayer, with certain games allowing up to four players at once.
One neat extra included in the Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a gallery of various pieces of artwork for each game in the collection. You’ll be able to look at early conceptual sketches, character designs, advertisements and even the instructional cards that were included on the original arcade cabinets. It’s a nice behind-the-scenes look at what into designing the games, and a fun look back on arcade history.
For $20, you can’t go wrong with the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle. It’s a joy to revisit the arcade classics of old, and it’s especially nice to have them in a portable form that I can play on my own or with my friends wherever we are. And like every other beat ‘em up fan, I’m hoping that this will lead to a sequel collection with Alien vs. Predator, both Dungeons & Dragons games and Cadillacs & Dinosaurs. Make it happen, Capcom!