Blog Banter: My Wish for the Year

Welcome, welcome to Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel! Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deeply insightful to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

"In a perfect world, to me, I still think it would be cool as hell to see Ryu from ‘Street Fighter’ and Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. I just think it would be cool. To me, ‘Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter vs. Tekken vs. Virtua Fighter’ would be the coolest in the world. The reality is you’re going to have [the other development teams] on the other side of the world. So, who makes it? Who does what? It would be awesome. And who knows what they’re gonna say if this is big."

That was a quote from the loveable Ed Boon in July of this year, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, and apparently bearer of an extra Y-chromosome, evident from that picture. Said quote is relevant because of the Blog Banter question of the month:

If you could ask for one thing this year from the gaming industry as a whole, what would it be and why?

In my early awkward years as a gamer girl in seventh grade, I also longed to see a fight between Chun Li and Sonya Blade, just to see who would kick more ass. I eventually grew out of that stage, and took a more serious eye to games and their contents. However, it seems some people will never get out of it. So my wish this year is for the end of video game crossovers. There are actually a lot more than people realize, and rarely are they ever successful.
Battletoads Double Dragon
First up is Battletoads Double Dragon. Now, I played both of the original games in my extreme youth, and their sheer difficulty got me bored and frustrated really quickly. However, such an amalgamation of characters changed everything. Double Dragon's plot was based on dealing with gang war and rescuing a girlfriend, but this...thing disregarded that plot altogether. The game was made solely by the Battletoads team and just shoved the DD dudes in there for novelty. That's probably why the Battletoads logo is so much bigger.

Capcom vs. SNK
Seriously, does this game really need THAT many characters? Sure, it let you pit characters of your wildest dreams against each other (how about some Mai x Cammy boob action?) But couldn't some more work have been put into this to make it look more...what's the word...cohesive? It's basically a cut and paste of characters sprites that just don't fit together well. Simply look at that shot of Ken performing a Hadoken against Mai. Ken has short stumpy legs with thick feet, while Mai takes on the more animesque style of mile-long legs. Not to mention the pixellage of her boobs are roughly the size of Ken's head. Varying character proportions does not a good game make.

Namco x Capcom
Another Capcom amalgamation that never even got to the U.S, and took the form of a cross between action and strategy RPG (you'll understand action RPG if you've ever played a "Tales of" game). On the left are two original characters that drive the main plot, while on the right are all the Namco and Capcom characters you can ever think of as basic side characters that mysteriously appear in the main characters' world. That's the plot. You work alongside them in themed stages, and then they get replaced by some other gimmicky characters. Woohoo. You may only get some of the references and characters' moves if you've played some of Namco's other games or know something of their backstory. There's a reason this crap stayed in the Japan. Nice opening song, though.

Mario and Sonic at the Olympics
I've been predicting a game with Mario and Sonic since I was 11, and it finally came true (I also predicted a Sonic RPG, but whatever). Unfortunately, it had to be something stupid like the Olympics. Where there's running. Which is Sonic's forte. I'm sorry, but a fat plumber with a wind drag for a moustache is, keeping it canon, not going to beat the infamous blue hedgehog, no matter how fast you want to button smash.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC
When I first heard this was going to happen, I wanted to rip my eyeballs out. Seriously?! The last time there was a DC fighting game was on the Genesis, and that game sucked so much ass. Now you want to take the stiff animation of MK, throw in some DC characters, and make the whole shenanigan 3D. I force myself not to look any further into this game, but can anyone tell me if gallons of red paint splash about when you punch someone in the face?
Don't get me wrong. Not all crossovers are bad. Just the majority of them are. Take the below examples.

Marvel vs. Capcom
Ok, yet another Capcom babymaker, but this one was actually done well because *fanfare* Capcom did the animation for the Marvel characters as well. Now, I can actually see a Chun Li vs. Psylocke fight actually look proportioned. Not to mention it had a finger-saving mode, where each button was assigned to a special move. Plus you got to fight Onslaught, which I praise as one of the most interesting villains Marvel has ever created (go read some comics if you want to know what I'm talking about).

Kingdom Hearts
Ok, I still refuse to play this colourful kid-fest of cute crossed with emo storyline, but from people's praises and reactions to this game series, it's apparently well-liked. What makes this different from Namco x Capcom is that the Disney characters are integrated into the KH story, no backstory knowledge required when you meet any characters.
Smash Brothers
Another game I refuse to even give a glance at, simply because I don't enjoy the gimmick of throwing characters out of their normal lives and place them in a slugfest of silliness. However, the inclusion of new characters from other games has kept fans enjoying Smash Brothers and its sequels, placing bets who is going to show up in the next game. I have no proof, but I'm sure this game is the reason why Soul Calibur added Link, Spawn, Darth Vader and Yoda to their console specific games.

So that's my wish for the year. No more characters from different companies being mashed together into one game, please. It will rarely ever work.

Other participants!

What I want in 2009
The "Roxanne" Edition
Dear Gaming Industry
If the industry gave us all presents this Christmas
Demands for the industry
Santa, Don't Bring Me Toys I Have To Share
All I Want for Christmas Is…
Crossing Over
Checkpoint Unobtained. errr.
Loading Requests
One Wish
Dear Video Game Industry

More games like Portal and Braid
Dear Video Game Industry
A Wish for 2009!


Silvercube said...

Hi :)

Nice article!

Video game crossovers are great if done well.

I would love too some more of them too.

bs angel said...

I don't like mashup games either. And the recent example of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe appears other people don't as well. I think it can be done well, I just don't think it usually is unfortunately.

Hoji said...

I <3 crossovers. It's a fanboys/fangirls delight. :) (Whether it be comic books or video games.)

Lou Chou said...

It's a great way to make a quick buck when you put two mascots together in the same experience.

Take the sales of that Mario/Sonic Olympics game.

What annoyed me the most about that Mario/Sonic game is how two iconic characters from the platforming genre come together in a pseudo-sports game. Where's the sense in that?

SnipingMizzy said...

@ Silvercube: true, but most of them are ever done well. That's the problem.
@ bs angel: Ugh. That piece of crap should have been scrapped by videogamers' popular opinion before it even finished being made.
@ Hoji: Comic book crossovers are fine, since a story is created AROUND the characters to create some kind of cohesion, even if it's not canon. The problem with VGs is that it's mostly done for gimmicks so that gamers can squee in their underwear.
@ Lou: Exactly. I would have preferred something more interesting, like maybe a cross-platoformer; shove Sonic into Mario's world and vice versa (although, Mario would have a hard time with those loops)

Angela said...

Heyyyyy Kingdom Hearts was good! And while games that pit two different franchises together will not always be fun, just thinking about the "Who do you think would win?" will be.