|(Source: Turbo Play Magazine Archive)|
1) 4 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters,
2) 3 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options,
3) 3 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell,
4) 1 - Story: main story at the forefront;
5) 0 - Exploration:
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles:
Cadash represents a subset of beat'em-ups that I actually enjoy, those that employ weapons, spells, and (especially) a fantasy theme. My favorite of these are the D&D games on the Japanese Saturn [Tower of Doom and Shadow over Mystara], which I'm sure would do well if they ever decided to release them in the U.S. (if they have, I've missed them, and would appreciate someone telling me).
Beat'em games tend to contain certain aspects that ensure we won't see many on this list, or played for the blog proper. Most notably the game world progresses level by level and puzzles and quests are non-existent. A lack of NPCs, stores, character levels, and stats keep most of these games from even being considered, but Cadash does employ some of these, yet not enough for me to put it on my play list.
I haven't actually played Cadash, and I based the score on videos of the first couple levels, so I may be off. As always, correct me if I'm wrong or if anyone feels I should really play through this game for the blog. Hopefully Guardian Heroes for the Saturn doesn't turn out to be the only game I end up playing from this genre. Only time will tell (unless someone wants to look it up).
Cadash is originally an arcade game released on the TurboGrafx-16 and Genesis. The TG-16 version enhanced the arcade version to better balance the classes, and offers the original four classes; however, the Genesis version only included two of the four. For those looking to play the game, it's included in the Taito Legends 2 released on the Xbox and PC (original game and hardware is expensive).
Edit: It turns out the game does offer shops to buy ans sell equipment. So, based on the comments below, I'm adding this back to the list. It'll be a year before I get to it, but I'll need to think about getting it sometime soon. If anyone has any suggestions for what version I should get, then speak up before then. I'm thinking the Taito Legends 2 version, which has some other games I want to check out.