Shmup & Bemu Designs
The shoot 'em up (also called shooter, or shmup in short form) is probably one of the oldest genre in video game history. Even in “Spacewar” of 1962 you shot with a spaceship on opponents. The big breakthrough came in 1978 with “Space Invaders”. “Xevious” offered as the first game a scrolling background in 1982. In japan of the 90s the subgenre of bullethell or maniac shooter in which players have to fly the vessel through an immense number of bulletpatterns was developed.
The beat 'em up (even fighting game or in short form called bemu) genre describes games in which two players compete simultaneously, usually by means of asian martial arts against each other. The characters are often comiclike exaggerated in their appearance and actions. The player can use various button shortcuts to execute different fighting techniques and special attacks. The first Bemu was “Karate Champ” in 1984. The most successful Beat 'em up is definitely “Street Fighter II”, which was released by Capcom in 1991 in the arcade and on many consoles later. “SFII” was the starting point for numerous sequels and imitators. Also known fighting game series are “King of Fighters” and “Samurai Showdown” by SNK.