Beat ’em up games have a long history, whether in the arcade or on your various console systems. From Renegade to Double Dragon to River City Ransom, this style of game was a fun diversion from my RPG and Sim game-filled life at the time. You might consider Oni a logical extension from those games. Made by Bungie, Oni is a third-person perspective beat ’em up based in a near-future dystopia, with character design heavily influenced by Anime.
The story has Konoko, working for what amounts to Big Brotherish police force finding out she’s been lied to/finds corruption, and goes on to fight it. Or something, I’m a little hazy because all I cared about was beating the shit out of dudes with the melee fighting system. There are weapons, but you can only carry one, and if you run out of ammo, they’re no good. But I didn’t buy Oni to use the weapons, I wanted to fight hand to hand. That system was fun, with combos and special moves. It would flash a different color based on how impactful the move was, or if it was blocked, and felt very fluid if your old machine could handle it.
On the negative side, I know many people were dismayed at how few and far between the save points were. The devs also overpromised and underdelivered a bit, as people were expecting LAN multiplayer and a giant mech (based on one of the trailers). Still, I had a blast punching, kicking and throwing my way through some pretty large (but fairly spartan) environments. Tons of crates, too, if you’re into classic shooter level design.
Oni was available for PC, Mac, and PS2. Your best bet would be a used copy from one of the sources linked at Amazon, there, if you are interested in trying this out.