6 Bad Ideas in Video Game Mash-Ups We'll Probably See Next
For years, game companies have been combining games that make money in order to make even more money. Occiasionally this works out pretty well.
A lot better for games than movies for some reason.
But with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 hitting shelves and selling pretty briskly, game designers will be trying to cram even more blockbusters together into the same universe. Because once you've earned enough money to fill your bathtub with molten gold, you still need to be able to buy more bathtubs that you can safely bathe in. Let's take a look forward at some of the terrible ideas we will soon see hitting shelves ...
The Sims: Starcraft
If you're a StarCraft player, you may have wondered what goes on inside the little production buildings that are always churning out units. Those little factory workers and egg-laying aliens or whatever need to wake up every day, go to the bathroom, and cook food for the Zerglings without setting the hatchery on fire.
Now, instead of focusing on overarching combat strategy and exciting battles, you can focus on the minutiae and daily drudgery that makes those battles possible. Instead of queuing up a bunch of troops for training and focusing your attention elsewhere, why not actually sit there and click endlessly on each unit as it lift weights, does target practice, and of course sleeps and goes to the bathroom in between workout sessions?
Instead of attacking the Zerg base next door, why not try talking to them about what the intrusion of creep onto your lot is doing to property values?
Incidentally, that marauder is going to drown.
It's about time a war game showed us some realism in the day-to-day life of regular joes, in terms of bodily functions, chores, and of course, setting the stove on fire every time they try to cook.
The Firebat has different priorities.
Farmville: Modern Warfare
Runaway Facebook hit FarmVille teams up with the megapopular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to bring gritty modern combat to cartoony farms.
As in FarmVille, you build your own farms, but instead of making building decisions to make money or "because it looks pretty," your decisions are key to your strategy for defending your farm when it is invaded by other players. Rice paddies are a good choice for your perimeter, giving would-be invaders no cover on the approach. Corn mazes and hedges are also ideal for well-planned ambushes.
And of course, there's plenty of purchasable extra content.
Super Mario Brothers 1942
Combining Battlefield 1942 of the blockbuster Battlefield series with the juggernaut Mario franchise gets you Super Mario Bros. 1942. Having Italians as main characters and the year of 1942 as a setting gives you a golden opportunity to make a super gritty game that will be sure to delight gamers looking for dark, serious games to shove in critics' faces in order to argue that games are art. (That is also why the game is in black and white, of course.)
Drafted by Mussolini, Mario and Luigi are sent to Stalingrad with the ill-fated Italian 8th Army for what they expect to be a quick rout. However, after a brief combat mission, the rest of the game involves no shooting, but a variety of challenges such as fleeing the initial Soviet counteroffensive.
I don't know why a Mario title is on the PS3 either but that hardly seems like the most pressing question here.
In the next stage of the game, Mario and Luigi settle in for the long siege as the Soviets encircle the Axis forces and starvation sets in. The multiplayer gets really cutthroat at this stage.
Finally, all the surviving players are brutally rounded up and sent on a merciless march into captivity, a minigame which involves the player repeatedly pressing two buttons to put down the left foot and the right foot respectively. This event takes about three days in real time, during which the player cannot pause or save, or the character will die of exposure or be shot by guards. Now that's what I call immersion!
Grand Theft Madden
GTA IV has sold over 17 million copies while Madden NFL 10 sold 7.36 million copies. These two franchises have a lot more in common than just selling like hotcakes. Grand Theft Auto is an open-world crime game that involves a lot of car theft and hookers, while the Madden NFL series is a money-minting series of sports video games about the NFL, a league whose players often lead lives filled with crime and hookers. Of course, the NFL would never license its team names to a game that focused on that part of the players' personal lives. But it's at least worth noting that if a professional athlete were to go on a crime spree that ended with him driving a boat down the middle of the street, he would almost definitely be a linebacker in the NFL.
From Grand Theft Auto, we take the bit about stealing cars and committing random acts of violence with them instead of actually doing missions, which seems to be how the game is most popularly played. From Madden, we take former coach and commentator John Madden, whose commentary is actually not considered a positive contribution to the game play by most players, but whose name branding is valuable in letting people know they are buying the same kind of game they bought last year. So people who automatically buy "the new Madden" every year will be shoo-ins to pick up this game on reflex.
Put those two hit elements together and you get a game where you steal John Maddens. This is illegal, so you'll be chased by the police on their police-issue John Maddens.
If you get away from them, you're free to explore the open world of the game, including its fun ragdoll physics and destruction effects, by running over pedestrians and crashing into cars on your John Madden.
World of Tetris
Blizzard's unstoppable fantasy MMORPG teams up with the legendary puzzle game Tetris to create an immersive online world where players from around the world roleplay any character they can imagine, as long as that character is made of four contiguous squares.
Players can cooperatively raid with up to 40 others by trying to fit with them into numerously creatively shaped dungeons in the most efficient way or they can participate in massive battles where they have to push enemy players into organized rows to cause them to disappear.
Or they can roleplay having sexual relations with other characters. We're not going to judge.
Resident Evil: Pokemon
If you think about it, these two top franchises actually go pretty well together. Despite how cutesy Pokemon look in cartoon form, attempts to bring them into real life range from creepy:
To horrifying examples of animal abuse:
In Resident Evil: Pokemon, one insane biotech firm decides to genetically engineer actual Pokemon, reasoning that they will make a mint selling these abominations to millions of Pokemon addicts. As always happens whenever anyone tries to invent anything in a video game, it goes terribly wrong.
The resulting Lovecraftian horrors break loose, longing only for death to release them from their unnatural, tortured existence, but in their blind fury, they murder and devour left and right, leaving the laboratory a charnel house of gore and death.
As Leon, you must find and destroy every specimen lest any trace of the plague remain (slogan: "Gotta kill them all.")
Fun for the whole family!
Check out Christina's look at games that already exist in 5 Multiplayer Video Games That Will Destroy Your Marriage and weird stuff that foreigners go nuts for in 7 Things From America That Are Insanely Popular Overseas.