During most of the 80s and 90s, one of the main pastimes for those who loved video games was defeating hordes of enemies until we reached the final boss. Beat’em ups had their heyday, they were almost gone, and something that kept fans of these games entertained for many years was a tool called OpenBOR.
The history of OpenBOR dates back to 2003, when a group of Dutch people created the Senile Team. In love with the series Streets of Rage and The king of warriorswanted to develop a street fighting game that used SNK characters and after nine months of work, they released fits of rage.
With the game available online, it slowly began to gain popularity and the original DOS version would end up being adapted for the most varied systems, from the PlayStation 2 to the Dreamcast, even crossing over to the Wii or PSP and gaining the mainstream media attention.
However, as much as that game was the realization of the dream of not only its creators, one of its main qualities was the modular way in which it was created. This allowed various aspects of it fits of rage were modified and once they realized this, people started creating their own versions, changing characters, music and parts of the setting.
Realizing the huge potential of this engine, a guy known as kirby2000 got the source code of the tool, in addition to securing a license and permission from the Senile team to continue its development. OpenBOR was born there (Open Beats of Rage), which would allow anyone with a little knowledge to create their own beat’em ups.
Over time the development kit would become much more robust and although it is distributed royalty-free, even commercial projects can be built with it and for more information about the engine, check out its GitHub page, where the project is still is maintained.
When it comes to games created with OpenBOR, there are countless productions spread across the internet, covering the most varied topics, but almost always inspired by series that were very successful in the past or by very popular brands. Here I’ll list ten of the ones that caught my attention because of the quality on display, but for those interested in the genre, know that with a little patience and a little curiosity, this is a universe that can keep you busy for a long, long time !
Streets of Rage 2X
even though the Streets of Rage Remake will always be remembered as one of the best fan tributes, it didn’t use the engine inspired by the Sega series. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t good games made with OpenBOR that recreate the saga of Adam, Axel, and Blaze.
With support for four players, PC characters to fight by your side and most importantly, in keeping with the spirit of the franchise, the SOR2X it’s a great way to remember one of the most amazing Mega Drive games.
Golden Ax returns
In Brazil, probably no OpenBOR game developer is as talented as ZVitor, and one of his latest creations was inspired by another great beat’em up franchise from Sega, the golden axe.
With this game we will have access to characters like Ax Battler, Tyris Flare, Kain Grinder and Sara Burn, but what caught my attention the most was the weapon system, which can now be changed. In addition, you can expect all the medieval fantasy typical of the franchise, with the most varied monsters standing in our way.
Dungeons and Dragons animated series
Another ZVitor creation, here the goal was to put us in the middle of the animation Dragon’s Cave and I think it’s safe to say he was very successful. Even with some poetic licenses, the game manages to convey the idea of something official and that would have been very successful if it had been released some 30 years ago.
Being able to tackle a beat ’em up by controlling Hank, Presto, Sheila or Diana has been a dream that many of us have had since our childhood and which has now come true. The game still has some additional characters, such as, for example, the Avenger. Being able to change who we control at any time is a very interesting feature.
Super Final Fight Gold Plus
Another well-respected name when it comes to creating games with OpenBOR, Pierwolf has dedicated itself to projects like this one. In it, the author mixes two very popular Capcom universes, the street fighter it’s the Final match.
In the game, we will be able to play with seven characters from beat’em up and another 16 borrowed from the sister series, with the fighters evolving over time. The interesting thing is that in the case of World Warriors, several special moves like Hadoukens or Shoryukens can be performed, as long as we execute the necessary commands for it. Trust me, mixing makes the game a lot of fun!
Marvel Infinity War
Despite being ZVitor’s first project, that doesn’t mean the quality or lack of content is a problem. In addition to having 90 selectable characters and many NPCs, here you will have a main campaign and “remakes” of many classics, such as Captain America and The Avengers, Marvel War of Gems the Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
For those looking for something to keep them busy for hours, you’ll be hard-pressed to find other games made with OpenBOR that beat this one.
Justice League Legacy
Another production from the indefatigable ZVitor, but this time approaching the DC universe. Just like in Marvel Infinity Warthis also brings an absurd amount of content, with 57 selectable characters and four campaigns.
The author even took the opportunity to include some special entries, making crossovers with brands such as little turtles, WILD CATS and spawn. even the Streets of Rage will be present in this juicy and fun farofa.
He-Man and The Masters of the Universe
Fans forgive me, but I never liked it He-Man. Even so, it’s hard not to recommend this game, with its graphics being perhaps the most beautiful part of this list. The impression is that we are watching a cartoon, such is the quality.
A beautiful example of how OpenBOR can create very beautiful games made with hand-drawn graphics.
GI Joe Attack on Cobra Island
Who remembers it Commands in action? The franchise may even have received some adaptations over the years, but for a fan, it would work very well as a street fighting game.
Although it doesn’t bring anything too revolutionary to the genre, Attack on Cobra Island it manages to be fun and has a really cool look — except for the levels where we control vehicles, those were bad.
Mortal Kombat Unlimited
Using characters from recognized fighting franchises in OpenBOR games is an old strategy and for those who want to Mortal Kombatthis is a good opportunity to get the characters to test their skills against various enemies.
In the list of available kobatente we have figures like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Liu Kang and several others, each with their own moves and abilities. Scenarios range from the Living Forest to Shao Kahn’s home, passing through many famous locations from the series.
Against Locked and Loaded
Even though it’s not a complete game and doesn’t fit as a beat ’em up, I wanted to include it Against Locked and Loaded to show how flexible OpenBOR can be in game creation.
In it we will have access to 12 weapons, seven characters and three missions, all to try to recreate the concept of a chapter of the legendary Konami series. If we think that the engine is not built for this, it does very well even with a run-and-gun, don’t you think?