Once upon a time, the belt-scrolling beat 'em up was the king of the gaming world. Titles like Double Dragon, Final Fight, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage were some of the most successful and popular of the period; arcade titles would generate incredible revenue while home ports (and exclusives, in the case of Streets of Rage 2) were capable of tempting players to invest in new hardware.
While Street Fighter II arguably shifted focus from scrolling fighters to one-on-one brawlers, the legacy of the genre cannot be underestimated – and even today, we're still seeing incredible new titles, such as Streets of Rage 4 and Paprium.
The history of the side-scrolling fighter is a deep and complex one, and the latest effort from Bitmap Books aims to shine a light on that. Penned by comic book writer and former award-winning video game journalist Dave Cook, Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-’Em-Ups is 450 pages of bare-knuckled brilliance, covering 200 games spanning 37 years and including pretty much every notable example of the genre you can think of.
As with Bitmap's other books, Go Straight is a mix of informative text and gorgeous screenshots, and even features fold-out sections which allow for even more detail. It features a foreword by Double Dragon creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto, too, which is about the only seal of approval many fighting game fans will need.
Go Straight launches tomorrow, and can be ordered direct from the publisher.
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