Now That Nintendo is Making Crossovers, Here Are Six That I Would Like to See

Thoughts on the recently announced “Dynasty Warriors” and “Legend of Zelda” crossover “Hyrule Warriors” seem to range from OMG to FML all over the internet, and among the incredibly insane Nintendo hardcore fanbase.

Personally I think it’s about time that Nintendo starting merging their established properties with other incredibly random, yet oddly appropriate, gaming franchises. In fact, as long as the door to the entire concept is kicked in now and anarchy reigns, I can think of  at least six lazily titled Nintendo crossovers I’d like to see.

Bushido Emblem (Fire Emblem/Bushido Blade)

BushidoFireEmblem

If it weren’t already established that life isn’t fair, I would eternally wonder why the “Bushido Blade” series has not seen a proper follow up in years. A truly original entrant into the fighter genre that’s capable of effortlessly producing intense match ups, “Bushido Blade” revolves around a combat system where one hit can end it all. Think “Dive Kick” with more strategy.

The “Fire Emblem” series diverse cast of characters and their appropriately large arsenal of weapons would actually fit nicely into “Bushido’s” mechanics. For that matter, so would “Emblem’s” consistently well done art style and the fact its characters are used to dying quick and unheroic deaths (at least when I play it).

Also…oh screw it I just want a new “Bushido Blade” game. It can take place in “Pokemon’s” world for all I care. Get on it Nintendo.

PokeSpore (Pokemon/Spore)

PokemonSpore

Of course since “Bushidomon” isn’t likely even by the new Nintendo crossover standards, maybe they could blend the famous monster catching series with the 2008 “could have been way better” PC classic “Spore.”

It’s a natural merger really. In “PokeSpore” you could design a world full of Pokemon, and watch them evolve and become prized by Pokemasters everywhere. Plus Nintendo could just scrounge “PokeSpore” player’s games to tap into a nigh infinite free source of increasingly uninspired “Pokemon” designs.

That’s a win-win people.

Silent Crossing (Silent Hill/Animal Crossing)

Pyramid_HeadAnimalCrossing

Anyone can get lost in the world of “Animal Crossing.” Besides being filled with a seemingly endless amount of activities and interior design possibilities, it’s lighthearted cartoonish nature makes for a very inviting setting that can make a 100 hours pass by in what feels like minutes.

However the real question is, can the “Animal Crossing” gameplay survive a trip to a more undesirable locale like “Silent Hill?”

The answer, of course, is shit yeah it can. In “Silent Crossing” you’ll play the new mayor of “Silent Hill” and are tasked with keeping up the town and interacting with its eternally tortured denizens, as well as redecorating the world to reflect the unique psychological horrors of its next outside visitor.

The Binding of Icarus (Kid Icarus/The Binding of Issac)

IcarusBindingofIssac

Look, most of the ideas on this are poorly conceived and lazily written jokes. A rouge-like “Kid Icarus,” though, is no joke. It would just kick ass.

After all, the original “Kid Icarus” was an insanely tough game that might as well of had perma-death in place, and even featured an upgrade and item system that’s not too out of place from the average rouge-like. Combine that with the diverse mythical elements of the Icarus series, and this isn’t hard to see as a highly entertaining possibility.

In any case a rouge-like is a more logical genre for the series to merge with than a 3D shooter was.

League of Smash (League of Legends/Super Smash Bros.)

SSBMCastLoL

Blitzcrank, Ahri, and Darius? Never heard of them. You want real heroes you’ve got to look at Link, Mario, and to a lesser extent Luigi. You’ve got to look at the “Smash Bros.” roster.

In “League of Smash” you would choose a team of classic Nintendo heroes with their own unique attributes and abilities, and pit them against an opposing team of Nintendo heroes in a MOBA setting. Minions are Pikmin, worlds are based on classic Nintendo environments, and…

Huh. Maybe it’s my 8 A.M bourbon and bourbon (that’s bourbon mixed with bourbon) kicking in, but that actually sounds like something I would buy the hell out of.

Mushroom Kingdom Hearts        (Nintendo/Kingdom Hearts)

KHGalaxy

Let’s be honest. At the end of the day crossovers are built on the philosophy of combining two or more popular properties to appeal to a wider, established demographic. Following that logic, the combination of Nintendo, Disney, and “Final Fantasy” would have to be considered the alpha crossover.

It doesn’t even come close to mattering what the actual game plays like. This thing could make so much money that it would completely undo the order and structure of the global economy.

Some old and (mostly) broken LoL mechanics

I would never expect a decent LoL article to come out of a radio station, but I suppose as games gain traction in the media we’ll start seeing some decent content everywhere. A Grand Rapids station put together a quick list of 10 old mechanics in League of Legends that were (mostly) broken. It’s an interesting look back at the game if you haven’t been playing for more than 6 months, especially since the post includes video.

I’ll say my favorite “remember when” from this list is the old brush system. Dear god. Riot was one brush-crazed company back in the day. That shit was everywhere. Innervating Locket was also an interesting item, though several strong characters made it ridiculously broken. I didn’t mind it terribly much on Gragas, mostly because AP Gragas is so much scarier than pure tank Gragas. Locket Udyr though? That was broken. Pair Udyr, Sona, and Gragas, get them all to buy Locket and you have one unstoppable push comp. As annoying as it was to see that comp played, I have to say, it added some flavor to the game.

Head over to the WGRD station for the rest of the article.

LoL could learn from DotA 2 spectating

If I were at Riot, I would be looking at one of DotA 2′s features above all others: spectator mode. The spectator options in DotA 2 are absolutely incredible, and could serve to reduce the learning curve for getting into the game more than any feature in a modern MOBA. With Riot’s focus on the competitive scene, a robust spectator mode is an absolute necessity, and Riot has taken far too long to release the feature to the general public.

Valve, on the other hand, has an incredible setup, complete with the ability to download and save any of your recent replays. In fact, it’s hard to talk about the DotA 2 spectator mode without mentioning the fluidity of the client. While queued for a match, players can drop in and spectate on any of the public games being played. Yes, any of them. While the list could use a little more organization, the filter system allows a player to find recent games by hero, player, and skill level, among other criteria, as well as watch games that are live and in progress, albeit with a delay.

I have never been one for livestreams. I watch a tournament game here and there, but for the most part I don’t have a lot of interest in watching. Not just watching, anyway. Certainly not watching people I don’t know. With DotA 2, though, I can jump straight in and watch the games my friends are currently playing. It’s incredibly easy, and it opens up all kinds of room for multiple tournament streams. Don’t like the casters at one site? Each game can have up to 64 spectators, so finding a tourney stream from the site you love could be very easy.

As I mentioned above, all of this can be done while in queue for a game of my own. That’s huge. I think it might be one of the features that saves DotA from the inevitable overwhelming burden of knowledge that 100+ heroes can put on a new player. Being able to see a hero played and see some of the builds out there could help new players bridge the knowledge gap they face from the start of their very first game.

Today I learned how big League of Legends truly is

Shrimp Tacos

My girlfriend and I are headed on a road trip up to Ohio this coming weekend to spend 10 days or so with our families. We’ve been preparing for the trip for the better part of the week so far – buying snacks for the road, doing laundry, all the boring stuff you do before a road trip. We also wanted to get together with some friends before taking off, which tonight meant dollar tacos at a local bar. They’re good too – way beyond fast food fare, replete with cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheese.

A friend turned to me at one point during the meal and said, “I just read that League of Legends has 15 million subscribers. That’s huge, right?” Granted, he knows that’s the game I write about, but he’s not a particularly avid gamer, and certainly not a PC gamer. Still, he not only knew the game, he knew the numbers, and that speaks volumes more than any number could.

To say that League of Legends holds a special place in the gaming industry would be a gross understatement. At the beginning of the week, Marc Merrill gave us proof of the game’s success in numbers so big I couldn’t begin to break them down. My conversation over dollar tacos tonight gave me tangible evidence of LoL’s unique position in the industry.

I’m tempted to quote Spider-Man here, but I think I’ll just say this: keep earning it, Riot. Riot earned my loyalty to the game by honing one of the most energetic and aggressive new genres into an excellent play experience. To keep my loyalty, they need to give us something great for Season Two. I absolutely think they can do, but I’ve also been burned before, and that’s not a good feeling going into Season Two. Here’s hoping the game gets the support it needs. Here’s hoping that six months from now I have random people rattling off news stories about a game over dinner.

Riot pre-releases the Tribunal amidst forum unrest

If you spent some time on the forums today you might have noticed a higher than average amount of unrest about Riot’s development cycle. Among the many lessons the internet has taught is the fact that the internet and its denizens do not forget a date, a time frame, or anything that sounds vaguely like a promise. It’s the reason developers are unwilling to lay down release dates that aren’t absolutely set in stone.

One of the more prominent threads today asked for a timeline on achievements, a feature that has had a tab in the PvP.net client for quite a while but hasn’t received a whole lot of airtime. Phreak stepped in today to quell any hopes that we might see achievements soon, pointing out that balance changes and features like the Tribunal are higher on the totem pole. The thread quickly filled with complaints that even those features high up on Riot’s to-do list haven’t been done, that is until Riot did something I never saw coming: Riot released the Tribunal.

Technically, the company is calling it a pre-release as it will only be accessible to summoners that have achieved level 30. I use the future tense because shortly after the official pre-release it seems interest in the feature rocked the Riot servers and brought the website crashing down. So now we sit, patiently waiting out a 4-hour maintenance window to see what this new feature, which was first announced in January, is all about.

It seems like a strange confluence of events that Tribunal would release on one of the most active forum complaining days I’ve seen in months. I’m not saying Riot made the release based on the griping, but rather that Riot’s timing is either perfect or perfectly awful.

If Tribunal works, if summoners really get behind the idea of doling out justice to the grouchy bastards that ruin so many games, the system could be a real boon for the community. I think it could definitely lift spirits enough to carry people into Season Two at the least, about which we’ll hopefully get some news over the next couple weeks. There’s also a solid chance that it will generally improve behavior in game, which I think everyone would welcome.

Tribunal could be a flop, though. I know a lot of people who have been waiting a long time for the League’s gameplay to evolve, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time, at least not for veterans of the game and genre. While Battle Training and Co-op vs. AI are certainly gameplay features, the first has no value to seasoned summoners and I would consider the second situational at best. If Tribunal doesn’t capture our collective attention, I can already hear the gnashing of teeth about the informal priority list Phreak served up today. As I mentioned earlier, the internet doesn’t forget, and they certainly won’t forget this one, even if Phreak was just giving an example.

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