“The reason why Jump’s awesome all-star fighter games can never come over to the US is all due to copyright laws, or specifically, international copyright laws. While Jump owns the rights to all these series in Japan, they don’t all share a US publisher.” _Chris Pranger
Chris makes a very good point here that I apologize for not noticing myself. No duh. Of course Jump Super Stars never came to the states, because all of those characters are under a mess of different US ownerships: Funimation, 4Kids, Bandai, etc. It’s not Japan’s fault, it’s our own.
[Pranger’s Note: As steel sharpens steel, one man sharpens another. That be all biblical, son.]
But for now, lets leave that unpleasantness behind us. At the end of my article on Monday, I asked any of you if there were any franchises you wanted to see made into a fighter game in a style similar to SSB, i.e. four player brawls with an extensive/nostalgic character selection, wide-open multi-layered stages, and oodles of items, assist characters, and special moves. Well, I have come back to give my two cents and show a few examples of franchises that I think, if done well, would become stand alone classics that could help define SSB as its own genre within the fighting realm of video games. I’ll then give a statistical probability of said game actually being made, and then I’ll call dibs on what character I’m playing as if that game is ever lucky enough to see the light of day.
With that, let’s roll.
5. Teen Titans
For the duration this series was airing on Cartoon Network, it was at a time when my mind was blindly focused on sheer devotion to another animated series around the same timeframe (see choice #2). Yet the several dozen episodes I did watch of the series on down time, I really really liked. So I consider myself a casual fan of the Teen Titans. First thing that’s worth mentioning is that there are a lot more characters than people would think. Sure there’s the main five: Robin, Star, Ray, BB, and Cy, but then there are all the members of Titan’s East like Bumblebee, Mas y Menos, Aqualad, and Speedy. Not even considering the vast list of charismatic villains you could use, (Atlas, Control Freak, Killer Moth, Overload to name a few) the Titans themselves create huge numbers and variety.
Odds: Moderatly Low THQ owns the rights. They made one Teen Titans game in 2006 and we haven’t seen much of them since. That seems to be their style. Churn out cheep, somewhat appealing licensed games, be done with it, and move on to the next.
4. Disney Villains
I think I’ve come up with a pretty awesome plot for a game like this. So after every single Disney villain’s [not so]tragic-yet-inevitable defeat by the hero, they are sent to the underworld to reap their failure (and not just Hades’ underworld either. The REAL underworld). There, the evil demon Cernabog, from the Fantasia movie, enslaves all of them and forces them all to battle, gladiator style, for his enjoyment. They must fight their way up the ladder, to the tiptop where they may battle Cernabog himself for the title of the greatest villain in the Disney Nether-verse. Sounds crazy right? Just think about it, getting to play as your greatest childhood fear: Maleficent, Ursula, Cpt. Hook, Jafar, Scar, Shere Khan, Hades. Not to mention it would have the most epic soundtrack filled with all the best villain songs. Awesome.
Odds: Very Low Too dark and too edgy for Disney’s taste. Besides, video games aren’t really their forte. Dare to prove me wrong, makers of Epic Mickey?
Dibs on—Dr. Facilier/ AKA The Shadow Man
3. Sony Computer Entertainment
Last year, Sony celebrated its 15-year-anniversary. It is time for them to make the most of all the wonderful and unique characters they have created since the PS1, because there is a whole lot more than a lot of people give them credit for. Even the list of characters above doesn’t do Sony justice. If it were up to me to create a roster for an all-star Sony fighter, I would take out the stupid choices like Butler, Buzz, Mauer, Racer, Boy, and the extra Uncharted characters, and add Spyro the Dragon, Sir Daniel Fortesque from Medievil, Spike from Ape Escape, Ico and Wander from the first Team Ico games, Bently and The Murray from Sly, definitely more Crash characters, as well as Cloud and Sephiroth as possible 3rd party choices. Not to mention all the wicked levels you could have, like The Great Clock, Shambala, Olympus, and how about one on the back of a moving Colossi.
Odds: Moderate Sony has shown in the past that they are not above borrowing ideas from previous games and making them their own, and when it works, it works. The big question is would they ever find the right developer passionate enough to take on the challenge. One of their big three (Naughtydog, Insomniac, or Suckerpunch) would be my preferred choice.
2. Avatar The Last Airbender
Also known as the GREATEST thing to come out of Nickelodeon in the last ten years. At least. Do I really need another reason for this to be a Smash Bros style fighting game? The special attacks within the show itself would resonate perfectly in a game like that. Azula’s fire rocket? See Fox. Katara’s ice breath? See Ice Climbers. Sokka’s boomerang? See Link. Aang’s air scooter? See Metaknight. Mai’s shurikens? See Sheik. Iroh’s breath of fire? See Bowser (or Charizard). I could literally map out an entire attack scheme for every single playable character. The stages would be absolutely gorgeous: Earth Rumble Arena, Spirit Oasis, The Drill Machine, Ba-Sing-Se’s wall, The Sun Warrior’s Dragon Alter, Koh’s Lair in the Spirit World. The Subspace-esque story mode could have awesome boss fights with Hey Bai, Admiral Zhao, the Rough Rhinos, Wan-Shi-Tong, Long Feng, Combustion Man. Damn, I’m excited just thinking about it! If I didn’t have the slightest hint of a life, I’d write the entire blueprints of the game myself, everything from the final smashes to the character’s alternate costumes.
Odds: Moderately Low THQ again (see Teen Titans above). Though I do hear they are under new management recently and have plans to start stepping up their game in the industry. One can only hope.
Dibs on—Toph Bei-Fong/ AKA The Blind Bandit
I know what you’re thinking now. “Avatar in a ‘Top 5 Franchises That Should Get A Smash Bros Spinnoff’ list by Roger Gus Townson Jr., and getting second? This is blasphemy! This is madness!”
On Monday, I stated that any Shonen anime series would have enough characters, action, and locals to merit it’s own individual fighting game. But to have a Smash Bros style fighter, I am recommending my current favorite. One that is so big and so diverse, that any game made for it should be capable of being as visceral and expansive as the series itself. I am talking of course of Oda-san’s brilliant masterpiece, One Piece. Case in point, if Avatar was the kind of show that went on forever and ever and ever and ever (which, thankfully, it does not), this is the level of scale, plot, drama, action and adventure I would expect from it. It would take me forever to describe every possible character you could play as, or even just use as assist characters. See all the characters above? Those are just the main ones from the Alabasta arc of season 2. There are still two other Straw-hat Pirates, the five main East Blue villains of season 1, five main Sky Island villains of season 3, The CP9 agents from season 4, and tons of other fun pirates and marines they met in between. I’m also not making a broad generalization when I say that EVERYONE has their own magic powers, skills, and fighting styles. Barely any two characters are similar.
Odds: Moderate/ Unknown Namco Bandi holds the rights. They’ve made a few games for the series, but no true fighters yet. This is especially difficult to see what they will do game wise, because to the anime’s defense, it isn’t even done yet. Maybe everyone’s still waiting for the series to finish before making the majority of games for it, so they have all the content to work with.
Dibs on—Tony Tony Chopper
And that’s the end of that. Having so many different ideas makes my head hurt. If only developers knew the ample amount of opportunity they are missing out on. So, what characters do you all call dibs on? And if any of you can think of another franchise you feel I have forgotten, I’m all ears.
Avatar image courtesy of DarkKenjie (Check him out. This guy is awesome!)
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