9 Monkeys of Shaolin is a side scrolling beat ‘em up that draws inspiration from arcade classics and 70’s kung fu movies as a Chinese fisherman sets out to avenge the death of his friends and family.
In 9 Monkeys of Shaolin you follow the story of Wei Cheng, a Chinese fisherman who returns home to find that pirates have raided his village and slaughtered his friends and family. Thankfully he’s taken in by an order of Shaolin monks who welcome them into their ranks, train him and aid his quest for vengeance.
It does draw inspiration from classic arcade beat ‘em ups like Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Final Fight, but 9 Monkeys of Shaolin really feels like an evolution of the genre. It’s no button mindless masher – your character has a varied and upgradeable moveset which allows for fast, fluid and reactive combat. There’s an extensive upgrade tree and you’ll also be able to unlock a variety of different weapons to use in combat.
The story elements are a little weak (though still better than most beat ‘em ups), but other than that it’s a lot of fun. Visually it’s very stylish and the combat really feels like a step up from the traditional arcade beat ‘em up. You can even team up with a buddy (online or locally) if you fancy a little back upon your quest for vengeance!