With the shear breadth of gaming, it’s hard to play every title that comes out in a year, especially with a limited budget. Historically though, there are titles that stand the test time; titles that not only stand head and shoulders among their peers but also history, defining both a genre and an era. Having finally played Castle Crashers, I can now attest to its place in history as more than just a fad. Not only is it a fantastic game that has remained one of the top sellers on the XBLA Marketplace since launch, but it has helped rebirth a genre that lay mostly dormant for over a decade, arguably ushering in what could be considered the second “Golden Age” of the Brawler.

Over the next week we will look into the Brawler (more traditionally referred to as the beat-em-up); a former staple of the industry that has withered over the years, with a few notable exceptions. However, thanks to digital platforms, notably XBLA, the Brawler has seen a dramatic resurgence.  We have set aside content devoted to the Brawler. Join us as we profile the past, present and future of the genre, as we look into some of the best games on the platform and some coming out in the near future. Over the course of the next several days, we will be treated to Rush’N Attack and Dishwasher Vampire Smile, which we hope can continue to carry the proud tradition of the genre.

We have some special audio content we will be posting up on the site this week, as well as a few interviews with teams working on Brawlers slated for release later this year. Finally, we will close things off with a special industry retrospective that will delve into the history of the genre, including where it has been and where it is going with opinions from some very special industry veterans.

Oh and did I mention we have a ton of free stuff to give away? Welcome to Brawler Week!