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Replay: Crossover Insanity
by Joey Núñez

It's happened. After years of waiting, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is finally here, and it rocks. I know the masses of faithful fans are somewhat divided on the pros and cons of its new game mechanics, but I don’t think anyone can deny that the game is loads of fun (especially for a comic fan like yours truly). A big part of the fun factor in this classic series is the opportunity to see iconic and disparate characters clash in visually stunning over-the-top battles.

Simply put? It's fanboy heaven.

Yup, there is definitely a special appeal to any 'vs.' series, and contemplation on this subject got my brain gears grinding. Once the resultant massive headache subsided, I was left with one very distinct thought: "I want more". If Marvel and Capcom can somehow put all their characters into one single awesome fighting game, why can’t everyone?! Sure, the logical non-fanboy half of me immediately started blurting out some nonsense about character rights and copyright infringement, but in grindy-gear-brai-fantasy-land there's no room for naysayers. So, after I shut him up, I thought it’d be a good idea to share my little wishlist; nay! My list of demands.

Videogame industry? These are the 'vs.' fighting games I want. Get on it!

1: Marvel vs. DC

Go ahead, call me obvious. Scream to the top of your lungs about my lack of originality, and see if I care. Sure, any gamer who’s ever glanced sideways at a Spider-Man comic or a Superman novel has at one point or another dreamt of a videogame crossover. It’s a cliché, guilty as charged, but it’s one of the awesomest clichés in awesometown. I’ve been dreaming about this game since I was six years old, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t made in my lifetime.

Our chances of playing a Marvel vs. DC are not as low as you might think. The comic publishing giants have collaborated several times before upon comic book crossovers, and the commercial success of a product pitting the two sides against one another is practically guaranteed. Marvel’s characters are back in the fighting game spotlight thanks to Capcom, and the DC catalogue wet their toes in the arena with the lacklustre, yet still undeniably fun Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. There is no reason why both companies can’t have another go, only this time against one another. Superman vs. Thor... Batman vs. Captain America... Wonder Woman vs. Ms. Marvel...

Tell me you’re not excited.

I’d hand over development of the game to Capcom, as they are the undisputed masters of fighting games and have proven that they can recreate the out-of-this-world battles that go hand-in-hand with superhero comics. The tricky part will be to get DC’s parent company, Warner Brothers, to sign off on this. But, hey, we can all just share the money... right guys?

Make it happen!

2: Mortal Kombat Vs. Killer Instinct

I am hoping that most of you out there remember Killer Instinct. The original Killer Instinct was released on the Super Nintendo way back when, in 1995. With crazy characters, insane one-hundred-hit combos, and finishing moves pulled straight from the Mortal Kombat editing pile, this game managed to have a voice all of its own. A sequel was produced for arcades in 1996, but home consoles have been left wanting and waiting for a Killer Instinct title since the release of the original.

Granted, the franchise is pretty obscure. Though originally developed by Rare, various other studio heads have expressed interest in revisiting the franchise front time to time, perhaps via a release on the XBLA arcade. As of today, we fans haven’t heard anything but rumours. So why pair up this game with the MK franchise?

If you're the one asking that question, you probably haven’t played Killer Instinct.

Killer Instinct was a brutal game - the only fighting game I remember playing which evoked the same gore and brutality as Mortal Kombat. The two franchises are a perfect fit. The creators of Mortal Kombat at Midway actually published the original Killer Instinct, so the necessary relationship is there. All signs point to a return to form for the Mortal Kombat franchise later this year; if Rare can get Killer Instinct out onto XBLA sometime soon, I can see enough positive buzz being generated to give this prospective crossover a concrete chance of coming to fruition.

Make it happen!

3: Capcom vs. Sega

Oh, Sega, I truly do miss your glory days. Once a company leading the charge against Nintendo in the console race, you've now dropped out of console development and dedicated yourself to publishing games. Even though your golden age may be behind you, your catalogue of characters is more than suited to take on the Capcom bunch.

I remind you, first and foremost, that the guys and gals at Sega are the ones behind the Virtua Fighter series, and that alone gives them a slew of characters worthy of taking on Ryu or Chun Li. And let’s not forget that hasty blue hedgehog, Sonic, and his supporting cast. Just the thought of Sonic and Tails wailing on Megaman and Roll gives me goose bumps. For those of you that have played Valkyria Chronicles, can you imagine Welkin, Alicia and Selvaria taking on the S.T.A.R.S. team, of Resident Evil fame?

The main reason this game needs to happen is that some day, before I leave this mortal world, I need to see Dante take on Bayonetta. This fight needs to happen, and I need to be at the controls. 'Nuff said.

Make it happen!

4: Namco Bandai vs. Capcom

One of the first games I ever played on the original PlayStation all those years ago was Tekken. It was the first 3D fighting game I had ever played, and I was in awe. I vividly remember thinking to myself "Huh. So this is the new Street Fighter...". Tekken was the fighting game to beat for a few years in many respects, and Namco has made quite a reputation for itself in the fighting game arena, having also created the excellent Soul Calibur series.

Granted, Tekken x Street Fighter is going to happen (haven’t heard? Look it up, people!), but why stop at making a Street Fighter-esque game featuring the Tekken characters, when you can create a crazy, over-the-top 'vs.' series featuring all of Namco’s characters? The Soul Calibur roster is just itching to get out there, and seeing Kosmos from Xenosaga ripping on Zero (of Megaman fame) is one of my more awesome recurring dreams. Seriously.

The two companies have already come together twice in the past to create the quirky RPG Namco x Capcom, and the aforementioned Street Fighter x Tekken, so what's the hold up? Let's take it the whole nine yards!

Oh, and remember that Namco merged with Bandai a few years back? You know Bandai, the guys behind the Power Rangers... it's morphing time, amigos!

Make it happen!

5: Square Enix vs. Capcom

Have you played Dissidia Final Fantasy? You haven’t? Let me boil it down for you. Turns out Final Fantasy characters in a fighting game are downright unbelievably fun. This is really a no-brainer. Square has a great catalogue of characters, and can call on anyone from Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest fame, arguably the company’s best-known franchises.

Capcom has long-since established that it has the talent necessary to put a great 'vs.' game together, and Square has the roster it takes to make what could feasibly be the most epic game in the 'vs.' genre. Ryota Niitsuma, the Capcom developer behind Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, has already stated that he would love to work with the Square Enix characters.

This could actually happen.

Wait a second... Square Enix is publishing Tomb Raider now. Does this mean a Square vs. Capcom game could have me pitting Lara Croft against Jill Valentine?

...please excuse me whilst I go to the corner and nerdgasm.

So that’s it, guys: my wish list for 'vs.' games that need to happen. Any great ideas of your own? Sound off in the comments section below.

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- Joey Núñez

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