Despite the industry's shift to the third dimension, 2D video games are still very much mainstream. 2D beat-em-ups are especially in demand on handheld consoles, and here's another one called Black Belt Challenge for GBA.
In this brand new quest for ultimate power, your challenge as one of the super-deformed characters is to fight for the pages of the Book of Zero. Your choice of character determines your motive, but you all have the same goal, the same objective.
In typical beat-em-up fashion, there's an exotic locale for each character - that's 11 in total. And although the onscreen visuals aren't quite state-of-the-art, the character animation is fluid, backdrops are vibrant, and the action rarely appears pixelated.
The control method is very predictable, with standard D-pad and button combinations representing special attacks, but it is this Capcom-style familiarity that makes Black Belt Challenge so appealing.
Game modes include Arcade, Story and Survival, but whichever route you take, you'll have to defeat some cunning opponents. Typically, Black Belt Challenge's opponents are easy to defeat in the beginning, but quickly develop impeccable timing and annoyingly lightning fast reactions. The game's AI routines are a force to be reckoned with, but they're nothing that can't be beaten given time and practice. And with additional secret characters and a cracking 2-player mode via link up, Black Belt Challenge is a quirky portable beat-em-up that's lots of fun.