Surprisingly, while there weren’t a lot of deck builders compared to previous years, we had quite a decent variety of beat-em-up games for 2022. And here are my top picks for the genre.
#3 Young Souls
Young Souls was one of the more ambitious beat-em-ups of 2022 that tried to combine action RPG design and loot with the two player coop beat-em-up. While it didn’t quite hit all its goals, the game was still satisfying to play and I hope we see more of this kind of RPG pairing with beat-em-ups, which is kind of a clue for the next game.
#2 River City Girls 2
River City Girls 2 is not a sequel that reinvents the series, but is all around a bigger and better version of the first game. Each character is now more diversified in terms of abilities and how they handle, there are more catchy songs, and more punks to beat up. What keeps it from scoring higher is that while the moment-to-moment gameplay is great, the stuff around it was very awkwardly paced. There was a lot of busy work, and I was hoping for more iterating on the beat-em-up and RPG combination.
#1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
And now we turn to a game that fully understood its audience and goal, and hit that perfectly. TMNTSR is a nostalgic success, with great music, fantastic pixel art, and up to six-player coop. While it is not as innovative as the previous games, this one succeeds with having the most solid beat-em-up and moment-to-moment gameplay out of the pack.