Agreed. Battlezone, Q9, and Super Liam are decent side-scrollers, but
side-scrollers can definitely be a lot more advanced as MOTA
demonstrates. Beta 17 will introduce a lot more in terms of puzzle
solving, both virticle and horizontal movement, dodging attacks such
as flying arrows, ducking sword swings, and so on. There are a
surprising number of things you can do with a side-scroller to keep it
challenging and entertaining. Someone doesn't need to create a
first-person style game to add traps, puzzles, more complex levels,
and/or a more advanced combat system.
If I have one major criticism with most VI side-sscrollers is that
movement is usually restricted to the x axis with little to no use of
the y axis. In most mainstream games, even your walk along beat-m-ups,
there is some use of the y axis. For example, in Batman, the 1989 NES
beat-m-up game, there are walls Batman can use to jump over traps and
things like that. On the clocktower level Batman can use a wall to
help give him enough height and distance to leap over gears and things
in his way. In Double Dragon, another classic NES beat-m-up game,
there are ladders in the wharehouse level that allows you to get up to
platforms and things above the floor where there are thugs waiting to
pound you. I remember that level in particular, because I use to love
knocking Willy's gunes off the platforms to the concrete floor below.
So far we haven't seen any of this in an audio side-scroller, and
there is no reason not too.
The other major complaint is a lack of advanced combat systems. In
Double Dragon, for example, there was a number of moves like a snap
kick, reverse kick, and three or four different types of punches. In
addition to your own special moves you could duck, jump, and sometimes
block enemy attacks. It definitely wasn't as simple as enemy attacks
you attack. It was more free style and realistic than that.
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