Excerpt: Sacred Citadel is a stylish new beat 'em up from developer Southend Interactive, the same company that brought the world popular titles such as Ilomilo and the Lode Runner series. Modeled after such titles as Castle Crashers and Golden Axe , Sacred Citadel allows players to team up with up to two friends in local or online cooperative play and take on hordes of enemies to save the kingdom of Ancaria.
Excerpt: Imagine Castle Crashers without the humor, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World without the charm, and TMNT: Turtles in Time without the pizza, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect in this sidescrolling brawler that takes itself just a tad too seriously. A Ma Barker–styled “grimmoc” queen and stylized visuals across four acts occasionally reveal stabs at originality, but on the whole you’ll find better narratives at a LARP party.
Pros: + Appealing art and music design; solid core combat (though it lacks punch)., + Frequent, powerful loot drops; RPG leveling system allows customized gameplay.
Cons: - Bland story; repetitive level design; poor A.I.; single-player can be brutal., ? Why can’t you sell weapons at the shops in town?
Conclusion: Sacred Citadel , then, is certainly of interest from a game design standpoint, but more as a warning that sometimes what sounds like a good idea actually isn’t. RPG elements have become more and more common in other genres of video games, but in this example of the side-scrolling brawler, they just don’t work.
Excerpt: Sacred Citadel and its add-on Jungle Hunt is a classic old school side scrolling beat 'em up that requires you to move from left to right and smash the absolute living daylights out of your enemy opponents. The game is reminiscent of those classic arcade games (provided you're old enough to remember) like Double Dragon and Golden Axe but it's developers have slightly modernised it.
Excerpt: I have a soft spot for the side-scrolling beat-em-up genre. It started way back on the Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive with my love for – in my eyes, two of the best entries in the genre – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and Streets of Rage 2 . Modern day gaming hasn’t been kind to the genre, with most attempts to capture the nostalgia ending up being shallow and boring.