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Action game origins, progenitors of modern action games.

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This thread is for documenting various action game influences n progenitors of what action games would later evolve into as we now know them.

So let's find examples of primeval action games. We can note the mechanical similarities they have to modern action games.

So start by finding and examining beat em ups, shoot em ups and fighting games they are the obvious comparisons.

Ill make a list of some later but u guys go ahead n dump some examples as u please. ;)

Due to how skill and reflex intensive action games are they quickly dominated the arcades.

Use these pages for criteria they define things well:

Action games:


Shoot em ups:

Beat em ups:

This as an insert from wiki action game page:
A major turning point for action games came with the 1978 release of the shoot 'em up game Space Invaders,which marked the beginning of the golden age of arcade video games.As a result of Space Invaders' mainstream success, the industry came to be dominated by action games, which have remained the most dominant genre in video arcades and on game consoles through to the present day. Along with Space Invaders, Asteroids from 1979 and Pac-Man from 1980 have also become iconic examples from the action genre. Robotron: 2084, released in arcades in 1982, also became a classic in the shooter subgenre.

In much the same way Space Invaders set the template for the shooter game subgenre, Donkey Kong did the same for the platform game subgenre when it released in 1981.1984 saw the emergence of martial arts themed games, with Karate Champ establishing the one-on-one fighting game subgenre, and Kung-Fu Master laying the foundations for the side-scrolling beat 'em up subgenre.

Last edited by Gabriel Phelan Lucas on Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:55 am; edited 6 times in total

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I played a ton of Streets of Rage as a kid.

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Me too, I preferred its combat to final fight, I love the grappling mechanics u get so many options from grabs.

Great tactic is grab mobs from front knee them twice then flip over to their back n to suplex them for big damage.

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I would also like to mention Wild Guns and its 'shooting gallery' gameplay. It has all the staples of action games.

You have dodge roll, double jump, stun (in the form of throwing the lasso), shooting enemy projectiles, super moves, weapon pickups, and a super mode (essentially devil trigger).

When I play something like P.N 03 I can see shooting gallery elements. The way the enemies are positioned ahead of you and firing down, and you have dodges and jumping, but P.N 03 has very limited movement options so it feels very similar Wild Guns. There's also cover in most areas which make it P.N 03 akin to Space Invaders.

You can also see elements of Space Harrier. I used to play this when I was a kid.

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Wild guns yes that's a great example. Space harrier too.

Space invaders comes to mind indeed, that's the great granpa example haha.

Treasure games made some shooters akin to vanquish n pno3, they made many smhups akin to said games. They r a treasure trove for arcade type games.

Gunstar heroes for genesis/mega drive(treasures 1st game the team previously made contra hard corps):

Alien soldier for genesis/mega drive:

Sin & punishment for n64

It's wii sequel sin & punishment 2 star successor:

These come under the shooter side of action games.

I'll add dates also. We should make a timeline from earliest action games to latest, inspirations also.

space invaders n space harrier r what shooters like pno3 n such evolved from. Much like how god hand n dmc evolved from beat em ups like final fight n streets of rage.

To note vanquish has more in common with these action shooters than modern cover based shooters, since vanquish simply reintroduced n emphasised the action aspects of cover shooters.

Vanquish is more an evoked run n gun shooter from the 3rd person perspective than typical cover shooters, to the point where u don't have to use cover beyond scripted moments, as Roy kindly demonstrated for his 0.04% cover run, tho maybe he took it too far haha.

Last edited by Gabriel Phelan Lucas on Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Gabriel have you ever heard of Rising Zan: Samurai Gunman? It's one of the first titles in the genre and one where Devil May Cry took a lot of inspiration from. Should be noted that old titles like the 2d Shinobi games already were akin to what action games are today, just not nearly as popular or well known.

tho maybe he took it too far haha.
HA! Ironically my current run is proving to be the most hard in certain points - Laser Cannon Only is a bitch due to the slow fire rate and low damage.

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I've known about rising zan for a while it's odd to see a ps1 game have stuff dmc implemented later. It's ps1 jank for sure in an endearing way. I'll get back to mikekob's lp on it.
I played shinobi genesis games, I remember shinobi 3 the most, strider 1989 is an early example of ninja type action games.
I'll add a bunch of beat em ups to this topic, I'd like to gather info here then maybe a timeline later. I'm sort of looking at action game influences as a whole, arcade stuff and wherever, noting the things they have in common. Id like to find some very primitive examples.

Do you know if Japanese destinguish between beat em ups and modern action games? Arcade games where a notable influence on kamiya and mikami and they do pay homage but they don't seem to split action games into hack n slash and beat em up n all that, they just say action game overall from what I know which is for the best.

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