Recently I've been a litle irritated, and there's nothing that cheers me up 
quite as much as pile driving crooks! 

so I've been playing double dragon advanced and final fight advanced, ---- 
final fight particularly is actually an arcade perfect conversion for the gba, 
and on my big tv with my huge speakers it's pretty awsome, especially playinhg 
with the x arcade stick. 

however, this set me thinking. 

thus far, while we've had several audio games where you walk along and smack 
people, Q9, battlezone, possibly even superliam in mechanics terms, all have 
basically worked the same way with a single, 1D advance/retreat mode, possibly 
including jumps and jumping attacks as in Q9, but essentially boiling down to 
something more boppit style with little thought given to the relative positions 
of your character and enemies. 

Yet games like Final fight, streets of rage, golden axe etc, do not actually 
work like this at all. 

Yes, in most games you just walk left to right beating up thugs, however there 
is also a crytical, vertical element, and I don't just mean jumping. 

The best way to explain this, is imagine each level of the game, instead of 
being a single line with the odd pit thrown in, is a long rectangle. Yes, you 
must walk from left to right, and usually must go right to finish the level, 
but you can also walk up and down by a limited amount, while stil facing right 
or left. 

Another way of thinking of this might be to look at your pc keyboard. If you 
imagine having an action figure, and placing it on the leter row on the A key 
but keeping facing right, you can side step up to the Q key or down to the z 
key, or progress forward to the S key, all while facing right. 

Imagine that a thug is on the d key. The thug could come streight towards you 
by going forward, or could try side stepping around you by going down to c and 
onto the bottom row, or up to e and onto the top, however, the thug can only 
hit you (and you it), when both are on the same row. 

Thus, the game becomes one of position, moving not just forward and back, but 
up and down, indeed, in many games (including streets of rage and final fight), 
you'll get hit pretty quickly if you walk streight left or right into a thug, 
but are best off moving diagonally oup or down and initiating a grab. 

I hope this explanation makes sense to anyone who hasn't had the eyeballs to 
see how such games work. 

The thing is, just as in 2D platformers lack of the actual second dimention in 
audio makes the games far simpler, in 2D beat em ups, lack of this up/down 
positioning makes the games far simpler too, sinse without being able to out 
flank or maneuver your enemies, they just turn into a hit it before it hits you 
type of thing. 

I think though, this would be comparatively easy to show in audio by using 
either pitch, or volume to show vertical position of enemies relative to your 
character, and thus making you neede to considder where they are vertically. 

this would add significantly to the tactical gameplay of such games, sinse you 
would need to for instance estimate when an enemy is close on a vertical level 
then move up or down to attack them, or wait until an enemy came into your 
vertical plane before attacking. 

Even just three positions for enemies, above, below and on the same level would 
be enough for tactical play I think. 

I really hope the next person who looks at making a walk along beat em up in 
audio will considder this, sinse I really think we need to move away from the 
boppit style here it, react, type of gameplay of games like Superliam, and move 
into something more technical, and ultimately more replayable and satisfying. 

Yes, this will be more difficult, but games like Final fight and double dragon 
were never easy either. 

Beware the grue! 

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