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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


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Valve Launches Steam Bash Bash, Celebrating Fighting Games With Week-long Discounts And Demos

by Rainier on Sept. 19, 2022 @ 10:48 a.m. PDT

Steam Bash Bash is a celebration of games that fight, and is on now through September 26th at 10am PT.

Grab your weapons and prepare to fight! Bash Bash is a celebration (a “bash”, if you will) of games that fight (or “bash”, if you will). And you WILL!

But let's be honest, narrowing down "games that fight" is a pretty tall order for a broad category. Even when we started the conversations internally about which kinds of games best fit this event, we got into a few... fights (nothing exciting, mostly passive-aggressive email threads). You can see the outcome of said email thread by watching the video portion of this blog post above. But if seeing two idiots in costume attempting to explain a genre doesn't appeal to you, read on for the (slightly) more civilized written version.

Let's explore all the different ways people talk about games that fight by sharing a behind-the-scenes peek at how we looked at these games in the context of Bash Bash, while acknowledging this is one of those kinds of debates for which there is no wrong answer.

Bash Bash At-a-Glance

In Bash Bash, you'll find all kinds of games that feature combat fighting, typically involving melee-type weapons (think: swords, blades, etc.). Those aren't necessarily the ONLY weapons, as you'll often find games with other forms of fighting (like shooting) as a secondary part of the game.

Games you'll find in Bash Bash based on the above definition include:

  • Hack-and-slash
  • Spectacle fighters
  • Character action games
  • Musou

Let's start with hack-and-slash , which is a subgenre of beat-em-ups. Hack-and-slashers are action games that emphasize combat with melee weapons.

We're going to stop here for a sec because we sense a few of you may have read that sentence and thought, "a-HA! Beat-em-ups are Bash Bash worthy, so where are they?"

You aren't wrong, we promise! But beat-em-ups is an even wider genre that includes hand-to-hand combat and we wanted to focus this festival on being a bit more weapons-based. That's why you'll find hack-and-slash along with some hack-and-slash subgenres listed above.

Speaking of which, let's head back to the bulleted list: 

spectacle fighters. By these, we mean third-person games where the fighting favors a more stylistic, visually-impressive style over a realistic feel.

Character action games are also a subgenre of hack-and-slashers, with more of a focus on the story and journey of the character in the context of the fighting.

Finally, Musou games. Musou refers to games where you battle a lot of enemies. Like... a LOT, and from all angles, too. The history with the name lies in the games by Japanese developer Omega Force, which created many series of such games, typically with 'Warrior' somewhere in the title. Though that's the origin, Musou has since become a more expansive term to be its own subgenre of hack-and-slash.

Some of the features frequently found in games featured in Bash Bash include:

  • RPG elements
  • Third-person gameplay
  • Fast-paced combat
  • Tracked combat combos, or a visual representation of damage
  • Score/ranking system
  • Character moveset/weapons customization

Bottom line:

From now until September 26th at 10am PDT, you'll find discounts and demos on current and upcoming games as described above, and we hope you have as much fun exploring them as we did putting it together! However, if you disagree with our definition of games that Bash, definitely feel free to angrily tweet at us  let us know, as we're always looking for fun and creative ways to feature all kinds of genres!

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