The old school beat em' up's heyday ran from the late eighties to the nineties, urged on by big macho movies of the period like Streets Of Fire and anything starring Steven Seagal, Arnie or Sly.
While there have been scattered revivals in recent years – Viewtiful Joe, Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - these often featured diminutive or geeky heroes, over the beefed up, cut off t-shirt clad heroes of yesteryear.
It wasn’t all brainless fun, though, with a bunch of key developers at the time –Technos Japan, Sega and Capcom to name a fistful – putting serious thought into what they were creating, each adding little mod cons and innovations to their games, which in turn would get picked up by the next developer and so on and so forth.
This meant that with each brawler that hit shelves, gamers had something new to enjoy, be it the addition of a double-tap run up on your foes, or the ability to waltz up to a baddie and grab him.
Not many genres out there progressed in this manner at such rapid speed - a cause for celebration, if ever there was one.
Shaun is a former contributor for a number of Future Publishing titles and more recently worked as a staffer at Imagine Publishing.
He can now be found banking in the daytime and writing a variety of articles for What Culture, namely around his favourite topics of film, retro gaming, music, TV and, when he's feeling clever, literature.