Five Crossovers That Should Have Been Like Project X Zone

(originally posted October 24th 2014)

If it wasn’t clear enough by this point, a lot of my love for Project X Zone comes from its set-up and character interaction. As such, I couldn’t help but think how good some crossovers could have been if they adopted a similar route. A lot of videogame crossovers just have the characters fight each other, which is entertaining but it very much lacks that special charm that something like Project X Zone had, which is ultimately why it’s one of my favourite video games. It may be but a fantasy to never come but I can certainly dream of a world where these existing crossovers were a hell of a lot more awesome.

1. Marvel vs Capcom

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I call Capcom the king of crossovers; mostly because they seem to do an awful lot of them, and most of them were fighting games. When Marvel vs Capcom 3 was announced, though, I couldn’t help but get excited. Not because I wanted a third instalment like the fans did (I never played the first two) but because it looked like Capcom were going to take the concept to its highest point. They released a bunch of cinematic trailers that hinted towards a grand tale, and the instruction manual even laid down the foundations for one, where Doctor Doom and Albert Wesker team up to conquer both the Marvel and Capcom universes.

Sadly, that didn’t happen. Despite having everything they needed to make an awesome story, Capcom wasted it on bland arcade endings that weren’t animated and only hinted towards things we’d have loved to see in full. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to see Chris Redfield team up with Hulk to fight Nemesis or Dante crossing paths with Mephisto or Chun-Li taking down the Kingpin. Both Marvel and Capcom have libraries filled with characters so having a more story driven version of this crossover would be most welcoming.

2. Playstaion All-Stars Battle Royale

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I may be more of a Nintendo fan, but the idea of a PlayStation equivalent to Super Smash Bros still greatly appealed to me, even if I wasn’t as familiar with their characters (and no Spyro, what the hell?) However, not only was there a lack of story, aside from some very bland arcade opening and ending scenes, the game itself wasn’t all that great.

But this isn’t a critique on the gameplay. There were some hints towards a wider story within the game, with the existence of Polygon Man (a rejected PlayStation mascot turned into a rather hammy and enjoyable god-like entity)and his essence being the pick-ups needed to charge the special meter. There were even cutscenes for the rival battles in the arcade moment which I legitimately love. You had Sly Cooper and Nathan Drake trading snark when Drake winds up in possession of pages from the Thievius Raccoonus that belongs to Sly; Colonel Radec from Killzone getting frustrated with Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil because he can’t understand what the undead knight is saying; the Big Daddy gets jealous of SackBoy because the Little Sister finds him cuter. These confrontations ranged from awesome to silly and I loved it.

Even the stages had some level of interaction; two worlds colliding into one another and creating interesting locales, such as the Hydra from God of War turning up in Ratchet and Clank’s Metropolis. You already have a plot there. Worlds colliding and merging and all these heroes trying to fix it all. Make it happen, Sony.

3. Dissidia Final Fantasy

Dissidia_Cover

Admittedly, Dissidia did have a plot. It was bat-shit crazy but it was a plot; one that managed to take the entire Final Fantasy universe, mesh it all together and explain its origins (I think, it was kind of confusing). It was great because, again, it had interaction and had the characters being the characters. How would a conversation between Tidus and Cloud go? What would Squall and Zidane talk about? How would Lightning treat Kain? It took the idea and ran with it.

The only problem, though, is that as a Final Fantasy game, it had to get really confusing and convoluted, and not the good kind. Project X Zone’s story made little sense at times, but it had enough humour, fan-service and spectacle to get away with it. Dissidia kind of lacked it. If Square Enix gave it another go, only with more characters across the series, a slightly more simple story and made it a tad self-aware and not as serious, I’d be all over that.

4. Mario and Sonic

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Let’s face it; as enjoyable as the Olympic titles are, no one was really begging for them. They’re quick, fun party games you can enjoy with a couple of friends. They’re not the grand crossover between two of the biggest videogame icons of the 90’s we all yearned for. It’s such a shame because the opportunity to take it is right there, but neither Nintendo nor Sega will take it.

You don’t even need to mix the two gameplay styles; the levels could remain separate but imagine Mario jumping around the workings of an Eggman fortress or Sonic blazing through Bowser’s Castle. A crossover could take all new spins on past levels and areas. And while many are not fans of the extended casts, it’d still be cool to see the two casts interact with each other, especially Bowser and Eggman. With the right writers, it could lead to some rather humorous dialogue. It’s just such a shame that Nintendo and Sega don’t seem to be interested in doing it. I guess they just hate money.

5. Super Smash Bros

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I know many would disagree with me, but I enjoyed The Subspace Emissary mode in Brawl. Part of that reason was those lovely cutscenes. Diddy Kong and Fox teaming up to fight Rayquaza, Pikachu saving Samus from Ridley, a showdown between Bowser and Dedede; it was just plain cool. It was a shame that they were attached to a mode that many found mediocre or bad.

So, imagine those cutscenes attached to a fully-fledged game that wasn’t ‘meh.’ An RPG? Maybe a basic fighting game arcade mode like Persona 4 Arena? Given the huge roster of characters, both playable and non-playable, I’m not sure if I would care how the game would play. There’s just so much potential with this idea and, as good as the series is, I could safely say that a Smash Bros that featured something like Luigi and Pac-Man bonding over their mutual animosity towards ghosts or Link and Shulk comparing their respective godly weapons would be the greatest thing ever.

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