Monday, April 25, 2011

16 Crazy Gaming Projects I Would Love to See

This generation of gaming has been great not only because it has delivered a slew of memorable and incredible games, but has also given us a slew of wonderful gaming companies bringing out their very best material. But, what would happen if more gaming companies would work together and better yet, exchange some of their franchises just to see what the results would be? What would happen if Nintendo got their hands on some Microsoft products, and vice versa? What would happen if Bungie gave the Halo franchise to someone else? What would happen if Final Fantasy gets taken over by somebody else?

Since I am extremely bored on a Monday night, I have delivered a list of 16 interesting scenarios which would pit a certain gaming company making a game usually held by someone else. Now, pretty much all of these scenarios are impossible to pull off because of copyright infringement and competitive borders, but it doesn’t prevent me from dreaming, right?

Gaming Crossover #1:
Perfect Dark 3 by Retro Studios
Retro Studios’ Resume: Metroid Prime 1-3, DKC Returns
Usually Done by: Rareware

Retro Studios is one of the best second-party companies out there, with a flawless track record by delivering a heavily underrated trilogy known as Metroid Prime, and then reviving the seemingly-doomed franchise of Donkey Kong last December. So, why not attempt to save another franchise with so much potential it makes the jaw drop that there’s been only one good installment? Perfect Dark pits a beautifully deadly woman in a futuristic world full of conspiracies and aliens. The original N64 masterpiece mixed in excellent FPS gameplay with plenty of hip stealth action while topping it off with great multi-player. Retro Studios has already mastered the technique of mixing shooter action with exploration, and can definitely provide the necessary boost to save this ship.

Gaming Crossover #2:
F-Zero DXGP by Polyphony Digital
Polyphony Resume: Gran Turismo Franchise
Usually Done By: Nintendo

F-Zero’s absence from the Wii and from the Nintendo DS is nothing short of baffling and inexcusable. This series of games is not only fast and furious, but contains a good dosage of strategy as each character boasts different machines that contain different attributes and speeds; and when you select the character you can choose whether you want to accelerate throughout the race or depend on pure top speed from the getgo. Polyphony is already known for creating beautiful gems of racing games with heavy realism and strategy. Imagine transferring these abilities to a futuristic racer. Add the heavy sense of speed and next-gen graphics and you’ll have a frustratingly fun tough-as-nails installment of the most underrated racing franchise ever.

Gaming Crossover #3:
Final Fantasy XIV by Camelot
Camelot’s Resume: Golden Sun, RPG versions of Mario Golf and Tennis on the Game Boys
Usually Done by: Square Enix

Let’s be purely honest: the last good Final Fantasy game was part 10 which was way back in the PS2 days. Ever since it’s been pure downhill from there, as Square has lost all its magic touches from the 90s. So why not give another company a chance to do a variation of the Final Fantasy brand? Camelot is known for their excellent handheld role-playing games as well as their good sports titles, so why not give them a shot at crafting their first console RPG? Their ability to crank out spectacular graphics and music from a handheld remains underrated to this day, as we can only imagine what they can pull off with PS3 graphical capabilities.

Gaming Crossover #4:
Sonic the Hedgehog 5 by Nintendo
Nintendo’s Resume: Um......we all know that one
Usually Done By: Sega

Let’s face it: Sonic is doomed. He has not been in a good console game in over a decade, and the only increments of his Genesis magic can be found in re-releases and in the handheld. So give another company, one that is well-established as the best in platform gaming, a shot at Sonic. Nintendo has cranked out at least 7 of the best platformers ever, ranging from Mario 64 to Mario Galaxy to Mario World to Yoshi’s Island. I would love to see what Nintendo can do here, whether they would try to re-create Sega’s environment or create a totally new one similar to Mario Galaxy. Imagine orchestrated mixes of Sonic stages.

Gaming Crossover #5:
DJ Hero 3 by Harmonix
Harmonix’s Resume: Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2, Rock Band
Usually Done By: Activision

Harmonix started the musical gaming revolution with Guitar Hero, and then after a while switched sides with MTV Games purchasing the little company that could. And after the revolution died and Activision killing off anything Hero, it’s about time MTV Games put their touch on the franchise. The reason why I’d love to see them try is because unlike Activision, MTV Games kept the value of their games up by constantly releasing new downloadable material, giving Rock Band endless replay value. Imagine every week, new remixes by the top DJs in the planet. Just might save the music game industry.

Gaming Crossover #6:
Super Mario 128 by Media Molecule
Media Molecule’s Resume: Little Big Planet Franchise
Usually Done By: Nintendo

Unlike almost all of Nintendo’s main franchises, I’ve had no gripes with their treatment of Super Mario. From the smash-smash hit New Super Mario Bros. Wii to the spectacular Mario Galaxy games, the Wii has had a lot of wonderful moments of gaming involving the plumber. But....Little Big Planet has opened up a new era of competition with their clever platform games and their great level creator feature that despite its minimal flaws is a revolutionary step in gaming. So, what about incorporating the creative level design and extra goodies of Planet into the Mario series? That could send Mario in a vastly different, but very fun direction.

Gaming Crossover #7:
The Pokemon Fable by Lionhead Studios
Lionhead’s Resume: Fable series
Usually Done By: Nintendo

Unless you don’t read any of my material, you would know that I have had major plans with the darn franchise for the past couple of years. Potential is extremely high, and nobody has been even close so far. Lionhead Studios can turn it in the right direction with the entire good/evil/rule/be ruled style of gameplay, which you can dictate your life and your quest is altered depending on certain decisions. I could have put Zelda instead of Pokemon, but that’s gaming blasphemy. Either way, I think choosing your life in the Pokemon world would make the game more effective rather than a linear goal in a non-linear world.

Gaming Crossover #8:
Star Fox Reloaded by Bungie Studios
Bungie’s Resume: Halo Franchise
Usually Done By: Many Companies

Star Fox has been tweaked by Nintendo, and then Rareware (ugh) and then Namco (Double Ugh). It has been nearly 15 years since a good Star Fox game, but I can guarantee you if you give the series to Bungie they can weave out a gem. While my gripes with Bungie has been lack of focus on single-player, they have been more than excellent in terms of the overall presentation and multi-player, two things Star Fox has been lacking since the N64 days. Throw in the mild non-linear gameplay mechanics of the early Star Fox games and mix it in with stunning visuals, and we have ourselves the Star Fox game that gamers have been begging for. P.S. Star Fox 64 for the 3DS makes me mad, why not create an original title?

Gaming Crossover #9:
Metal Gear Cell by Ubisoft
Ubisoft’s Resume: Splinter Cell Franchise
Usually Done By: Kojima Studios

Gaming blasphemy here, why on earth would anyone not known as Kojima work on Metal Gear Solid? Simple, because its time to see a fresh take on the series. I for one would wonder just how the makers of Splinter Cell would treat Snake if they got their hands on the series. Would it still have the heavy use of storyline and cutscenes? Or would it become more direct, more stealth-based, and less focus on character development? Snake is a great character, but sometimes waiting 20-25 minutes for a scene to end to get back to playing becomes tedious. Ubisoft can fix that.

Gaming Crossover #10:
Super Smash Brothers feat. Capcom by Capcom
Capcom’s Resume: Marvel vs. Capcom 1-3, Capcom vs. SNK, X-Men vs. Street Fighter
Usually Done By: HAL and Nintendo

Just imagine this: the best of Street Fighter and Capcom taking on the best of Nintendo characters. Imagine the best elements of Smash Brothers and combine it with the best of the Camcom brawlers. What would the hybrid feel like? Would it even work? Not sure, but the opportunity of Ryu fighting Super Mario and Chun-Li fighting Samus would be undeniably awesome. Capcom can work on perfecting the fighting controls and perfecting the hyper-combo system (something not done very well in Brawl) while Nintendo can bust out their presentation skills with their musical scores and relentless attempts to make this game as heavy on replay value as possible.

Gaming Crossover #11:
NBA Jam Charged by Next Level Games
Next Level's Resume: Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out
Usually Done By: Multiple Companies

This recent NBA Jam had some of the magic from the arcade classic, but was missing that next-gen touch. We are in a gaming world in which you can nearly fully recreate the experience of playing/participating in a high-stakes sports match, brick for brick. Next Level on the other hand delivered a fantastic presentation with Strikers Charged, with its loud and chanting audience, its loud and rampant sound effects, and sinister pacing throughout the matches. This type of extreme sports magic is just what NBA Jam needs to truly rise up into the powerhouse it used to be. EA can't provide that spark, but already-proven Next Level Games certainly can.

Gaming Crossover #12:
Mario Kart Burnout by Criterion Games
Criterion's Resume: Burnout franchise, recent Need For Speed installments
Usually Done By: Nintendo

Picture Mario Kart with the intensity and explosiveness of Burnout. Now THAT would be pure mayhem worthy of day-one purchase. The Burnout franchise is known for stellar graphics, beautiful animation, intense gameplay, and of course, the crashes. Mario Kart is known for its multi-player fun, and also its simpler approach to racing games. Why not give Criterion an opportunity to intensify an already-fun franchise? Imagine the speed of Mario Kart now...might be too much for the average gamer.

Gaming Crossover #13:
Bond 23 by Rockstar
Rockstar's Resume: Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption
Usually Done By: Too many to count

Many companies have had their hand and opportunity to give their spin on the Bond franchise in consoles. Of course, the defining and best example came from Rareware, which delivered the excellent Goldeneye 007. But with Rareware no longer being the same, why not give one of the better-known mature companies a shot? You know, the one that revolutionized gaming with Grand Theft Auto? Giving James Bond the sandbox/extremely mature edge can definitely give the famed spy the game he's always wanted--complete with car chases, womanizing, intense action, spotless presentation, and the ability to choose your path to catching the bad guy.

Gaming Crossover #14:
Metroid Reach by Bungie
Bungie's Resume: Halo Franchise
Usually Done By: Many Companies

Metroid is the one franchise Nintendo has not been afraid of handing over to other companies. Intelligent Systems, Retro Studios, and Team Ninja have all worked with Samus, with different results. Systems created her best adventure, which is Super Metroid. Retro Studios took home a great trilogy with Prime, and Team Ninja.....well.......yea... Next up however should be Bungie. While my stance on Halo is a bit mixed, Bungie can definitely deliver an epic space quest full of action and exploration, while mixing in beautifully epic music and an intense presentation Samus hasn't seen since the original Prime. They kept Master Chief a mystery most of the time, so I am sure Bungie can do the same to Samus--let her guns do all the talking.

Gaming Crossover #15:
Metroid: Evil by Capcom
Capcom's Resume: Resident Evil franchise
Usually Done By: Many Companies

Giving Metroid another look, why not give the franchise to Capcom, specifically the division behind the Resident Evil series? Can you imagine Metrioud getting that extra hint of horror not experienced since Metroid Fusion? If there is a company that can pull off a pure-fire one-against-the-world subtle horror game, it would be Capcom. Mixing Samus in a Resident Evil 4 world (Minus the extreme violence) can result in something sinisterly beautiful.

Gaming Crossover #16:
Banjo-Kazzoie Returns by Nintendo
Nintendo's Resume: ()Insert Classic here()
Usually Done By; Rareware

Banjo-Kazzoie was one of the reasons why I thought the N64 was far superior to the Playstation. But, Rareware and the bear-bird duo has seen better days as the quality of the company and the franchise has dipped to rock bottom. I would love to see Nintendo have a shot at it though, as I am sure they can deliver some classic gameplay we have not seen in over a decade. Banjo was known for massive worlds full of obstacles and goodies to collect. Nintendo is now known for creating beautiful universes. Put two and two together---and we have potential success story.

Anybody have other recommendations? use your creativity and speak away.

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