How does OMF stack up to other beat em ups?

Home Forums Previous Months 74 – November 2022: One Must Fall 2097 How does OMF stack up to other beat em ups?

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  • TigerQuoll

    This is really not my genre usually, and I’m 100% sure OMF is the only beat ’em up I’ve played for more than about 5 minutes. So I’m just wondering if anybody knows more about the genre than me and can say how well it stacks up?

    For those that are into beat ’em ups, it’s a HUGE genre with very strong opinions wrapped up in what games are good or not. I guess a good beat em up has to be fluid with lots of variety in characters and special moves, but still fair and balanced.

    I would guess that OMF should make for a pretty good beat em up, at least for the era – and especially on PC, which was not really known for this genre at the time. I find it controls quite nicely, all the robots feel different and I haven’t found any particularly unfair balancing issues.
    There aren’t THAT many special moves, but maybe that was normal for the time? The main thing, I think, is that the controls are intuitive and easy to pick up, but still versatile.
    I also like all the different ways you can play the game, especially tournament mode, which I don’t know if there is anything similar in other games of the time.

    Now this isn’t gameplay related, but I think it’s worth mentioning, and that is the graphics. I feel like this is the only point where people might criticise this game. The robots all look a bit amateurishly designed. And TBH, if you were only looking at screenshots you would have to admit Rise of the Robots probably looks better.
    That being said, I don’t mind it. For starters it’s a very iconic style that this game invented for itself, and each robot is instantly identifiable. It feels like they were going with a low-budget Tokusatsu (japanese live action sci-fi) look, which I think is kinda cool.

    Anyway, for people who know something about this genre, I’d love to hear your opinion on OMF? I know it’s almost universally considered the best beat em up on PCs up to 1993. Is it better than Mortal Kombat? What about compared to games on other systems, like Street Fighter 2?


    Nowadays the genre of this game is more typically called “fighting game” rather than “beat’em up”. To quote “Beat ’em ups are related to but distinct from fighting games, which are based around one-on-one matches rather than scrolling levels and multiple enemies”, although it seems the distinction was often minded way back then.


    I’ve only just playing yesterday but I’m really into it. Especially the tournament mode, with its upgrade meta-game is really my sort of thing.

    I did play a lot of Mortal Kombat 2 on PC back in the day, which might be a little deeper in terms of special moves and such, but I’m not disappointed by OMF so far at all!


    I played a lot of the tournament mode over the weekend, it was fun and I enjoyed the upgrading as well but I found a combo that worked well against the AI and ended up only losing one match with whatever the default settings are. That said I just jumped into it without reading anything about the game so missed out on destruction moves. I’ll likely revisit it again for that but after becoming world champ didn’t feel the need to keep playing. I feel it would be a different story with multiplayer.


    I played the game a bit last week. It runs really inconsistently in DosBox, lots of slow-downs. The gameplay speed seems to be dependent on CPU speed you set.

    I picked Jean-Paul and Thorn, and made it through the first maybe 8 fights by mostly just button mashing. Then I kept getting killed. After that I found the low sweeping kick (down, back, kick) had a long reach, as well as one of the other kicks (back, back, kick) – mostly unstoppable.

    I was playing on easy mode – which also meant I couldn’t fight the boss. He tells you to go away!

    I remember we had this game on the family 486 when I was a kid. I think it was only a shareware version with limited gameplay. Was good fun to revisit. I think I’ll play some more on a harder mode, learn some of the moves and try the career mode others have mentioned.

    Evil Taco

    Fighting games are a really sophisticated genre, especially nowadays. But I think OMF is still a lot of fun and very playable. I just gave it a go on and fell right back to the groove. This was amazing back in the day for DOS.

    We played a lot of Street Fighter 2 on the SNES (one friend had hit) and I think that was better as a fighting game, more fun as 1-on-1, but OMF’s tournament mode was something that wasn’t at the time in any other game, and the robot characters, level hazards and tracker techno music were other things also unique to this game. It was also something we could play on PCs and we did play it a lot!

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Home Forums Previous Months 74 – November 2022: One Must Fall 2097 How does OMF stack up to other beat em ups?