five franchises deserve marvel vs capcom treatment
In the history of fighting games, few franchises reach the fevered frenzy of the Marvel vs. Capcom series. The fast-paced and colorful combat coupled with its fighting game community roots make it a mainstay in the scene, but it seems that Marvel doesn’t want to play ball for the time being when it comes to a sequel. Well, who needs ’em? Capcom’s done other vs. games in the past, so let’s take a look at a few prime candidates for the next.
In the landscape of video games, none have the cultural zeitgeist of Nintendo. With a menagerie of creative and costumed characters, the likes of Mario, Link, and Samus could be transferred into the realm of Capcom without as much of a fuss as making characters from scratch thanks to some semblance of a blueprint in Super Smash Bros. That doesn’t mean it has to cater to Smash sensibilities or even be limited by Smash’s roster. The Marvel vs. Capcom franchise has been home to icons like Mega Man and Spider-Man, but also home to the more obscure footnote characters like Blackheart and Tron Bonne. Reach deep into that well for Nintendo, deeper than the nostalgic cuts like Mr. Game & Watch and R.O.B. Surprise us.
Why it won’t happen ”“ One could assume Nintendo would want a fair amount of control on what goes on ”“ not just characters, but possibly gameplay mechanics, too. Marvel essentially gave Capcom free reign to make their characters be however they wanted be in Marvel vs. Capcom, obviously wanting characters to do actions that fit the fighters (Spider-Man is mobile, closes distances quickly, that kind of thing). That likely wouldn’t be the case with Nintendo. It should also be noted that these types of crossovers require a herculean amount of foresight on most people involved, and an almost omnipresent dialogue between the two companies. This isn’t as simple as letting Mega Man be in Super Smash Bros., the hypothetical Nintendo vs. Capcom would be a lot more involved.
The icons of anime, Shonen Jump carries dozens upon dozens of classic characters under its umbrella. Seeing representatives from Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Yu Yu Hakusho (and plenty more) would build an install-base then and there. The visual splendor dished out by the Marvel vs. Capcom series would also go well with characters that feature zany, yet powerful feats. On top of that, the vs. series tends to have all kinds of fan-service when it comes to extra content and character-specific dialogue. Having Son Goku clash with Naruto in some fashion would make me giggle.
Why it won’t happen ”“ Honestly, this seems fairly likely compared to the rest. If Capcom can make Tatsunoko talk, there’s no reason this sort of crossover couldn’t happen”¦unless you start talking money. Buying the game rights for characters such as Goku, Vegeta, Naruto, or Sasuke must cost a pretty penny, and it could be that Capcom doesn’t have that sort of capital in this day and age.
Having absorbed the likes of Marvel and Star Wars, the colorful cast of characters under the Disney umbrella would fit snuggly into a vs. game. Getting some veteran characters like Spider-Man and Captain America would be obvious, but it’d be great to see the likes of Darth Vader and Aladdin duke it out in some absurdist fashion. These characters don’t lend themselves to fisticuffs quite like others on this list, but it would still be amazing to see, as the Marvel vs. Capcom games are held in high regard around certain circles in Marvel.
Why it won’t happen ”“ Disney’s the type of company who loves to have control over a specific product, and if they get their hands on a potential follow-up to Marvel vs. Capcom, they’d probably be a lot harder to work with than the Marvel of the late 2000s. On top of that, more properties simply means more red tape that would have to be ripped up. It’d be great to see the expanded characters in Disney’s grasp, but there’s a lot that goes into selecting and designing characters than a nebulous email chain.
Nintendo isn’t the only brand so huge it warrants its own crossover franchise. Square-Enix has been doing that for years with the Dissidia Final Fantasy series. It’s easy to see how their characters fit into the style of fighting game found in the vs. series, and the scope of characters could reach far beyond Final Fantasy. They have characters from Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Bravely Default, Tomb Raider, Just Cause, Kingdom Hearts, and the enigmatic Gex (who could forget). Tossing their collective hat into the ring in the style of Marvel vs. Capcom would be nothing short of breathtaking.
Why it won’t happen ”“ Square-Enix is infamous for the litigious hold it has over its properties, and much like Disney, would probably be more of a headache to work with than Capcom would want. Plus, it’s hard to see what direction Square-Enix is looking to go these days, and if they’d even see the value in a proposition like this. They’re more interested in exploring the Japanese arcade market and mobile phone platforms in 2015, so a gargantuan crossover might not make sense to them.
Seems obvious, no? Cut out most of the middle-men when it comes to licensing fighters and just have one with the wide array of characters found under Capcom’s umbrella. They’ve tried Capcom-exclusive crossovers in the past, but they strayed away from the Marvel vs. Capcom formula and went for some strange and new angles that quite simply didn’t work. This allows Capcom to make deeper cuts in their roster without worrying about rights running out, and feasibly would make the whole project a lot less headache-inducing.
Why it won’t happen ”“ As I said, this has already been attempted in the past, and largely failed. That’s not to say this type of game is destined for failure, but it would require an immense amount of dialogue throughout everyone under Capcom’s umbrella. It’s not like the Resident Evil, Mega Man, Phoenix Wright, and Monster Hunter teams are in the same circles on a constant basis. They’re separate entities, and organizing even the most miniscule of crossovers must take a tole on whoever’s leading the project.