A few months ago, with the imminent Western release of the crazily good Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, there was some fan speculation of what would make another great addition to the ‘Superhero Rave’ series, with Capcom themselves throwing fuel on the fire by actively asking fans to poll on what their favorite company/series for them to pair up with would be. There were some odd choices from fans, for sure, and several recurring suggestions. Square Enix Vs Capcom cropped up a lot, but really, for me, that would be a rather pointless venture. For starters, Square’s biggest franchise would likely get the most representation, and a lot of the characters share a lot in common aesthetically, potentially making for a bunch too similar in visual style, while lesser known characters would be too obscure for most people to know about. Besides, Square already had their own fighting game in the form of Dissidia. Another popular choice was Konami Vs Capcom. This one I’m kind of down with. Konami have plenty of characters in reserve that could sit very well with the Capcom side of things; Solid Snake, any of the Belmont’s, some representation from Silent Hill. Yeah, I can see that working, but the thought doesn’t get me all that excited. The big one that kept cropping up, however, was Nintendo Vs Capcom.
No. Just, no.
This would not work at all. Honestly, set the scene for yourself. Mario and Princess Peach squaring off against Ryu and Chun-Li. Yoshi and Kirby facing off against Guy and Gen. No.
Nintendo already have their own fighting game with a rabid fanbase anyway, and really, the thought of seeing Capcom cast in a Smash Bros. style game just… disturbs me. Just as much as seeing the Nintendo lot done up in the Capcom style. The two just aren’t compatible, and despite any allegiances you might have to Nintendo, just step back and think about it for a while. Yeah, you know I’m right. Nintendo, bar a few exceptions (notably Metroid and Zelda) are renowned for inoffensive anyone-can-play games. This is not a dig at them in any way, they just have a certain style that they do oh so well, that is at complete odds with the usual kick-ass with more than a dose of a silly side style of Capcom.
The answer then, and the only answer that fits so perfectly for me that I find it incredible that it doesn’t exist already, is this:
SEGA Vs Capcom.
For starters, both companies can do seriousness and playfulness at the same with an almost contemptuous ease. Secondly, SEGA is probably one of the only few companies that quite easily rival Capcom for a list of instantly recognizable, incredibly awesome characters. Heck, they even have their share of obscure ones that still kick ass and will ring a bell somewhere in the back of gamers brains. Both companies have also covered similar ground if you look through their respective histories. Megaman/Vectorman, Final Fight/Streets of Rage, Street Figher/Virtua Fighter (regardless of Virtua’s extra dimension, their principals are frighteningly similar).
Believe me, I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Probably way too much, in fact, and the more and more I’ve thought about it, the more and more it just makes sense to me. I’m at odds as to whether Sonic would actually fit in there, though, as I’m not entirely sure how an anthropomorphic character would fit in amongst a cast of humanoids, but heck, Capcom were able to get away with Viewtiful Joe in Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, and he’s not exactly the most normally proportioned of characters.
My wish list of characters from the SEGA side would probably go something like:
Temjin (Virtual On) – scaled down or colossal size ala Tatsunoko Vs Capcom
And really, I could go on and on here. My character choices would naturally greatly differ to many peoples and the developer alike if it did happen, but representation from several series’ in the above mentioned would be a given, I should think.
Agree with me, or think I’m a total idiot? By all means, please, tell me. I want to know what anyone else wants to see for any possible future ‘Superhero Rave’ games.
It’s a butt load of fun. There. Impressions put to paper/blog or whatever. But, no, seriously, the short time I’ve spent with Bizarre Creations latest entry into the racing genre has been filled with nothing but me laughing like a buffoon. In a good way, of course.
What I loved:
It. Is. FUN - As mentioned above pretty much my entire time spent with this has involved me laughing. Whether I was at the back of the pack hopelessly losing, or jostling violently with the forerunners desperately trying to sneak over the finishing line before them, only for a sneaky hit from a Shunt to send me veering wildly off course, the game has quite clearly been designed with one clear factor in mind: fun.
The weapons - It’s rare to see weapons in a racing game these days that isn’t a kart based game, or the wonderful Wipeout, and the ones on offer here certainly are a diverse and incredibly useful bunch. Shunt acts like the homing missile you’d expect to be here, and Nitro obviously behaves exactly as you’d expect, but elsewhere there are some devious entries into the foray. Barge acts as a kind of 360 degree shotgun blast, knocking any other car trying to overtake you (or indeed, you trying to overtake them) flying. Mine is as you’d expect, but rather than the Wipeout style trail of mines, it acts more like the devastating Bomb from that series, and can also be aimed forwards for anyone refusing to let you pass them. Misplace a forward placed mine, though, and expect to have a massive taste of your own medicine. There is a wonderful array of tactics available with Blur’s weapons, and using them tactfully once the whole ‘OMG press to fire them all!’ thing wears off, the risk/reward setup is immensely satisfying when it pays off.
The handling - Blur strikes a fine balance between the realistic handling of the Project Gotham’s before it, but with a hint of the ridiculous from Burnout. Anyone with a previous knowledge of PGR’s kudos system will be right at home here, albeit with a need to learn Blur’s own exaggerated take on it.
The tracks - The few tracks on offer in the beta are superb, rewarding fine driving skills with cat-like reflexes, and never once feeling unfair with unexpected obstacles bringing you to a standstill. The obstacles that are there are all easily avoided, but the fun comes from using these obstacles to your advantage against the competition.
The ranking/unlock/mod system - Only really teased at in the beta, but clearly displaying the potential for diversity, Blur’s grading system will be a point of major interest in the final release. Behaving more like an FPS in the ranking and perks department, Blur offers superb customization for different play styles. Want to advance in rank more quickly, but don’t care much for outright combat? Then give yourself a ‘Show Off’ set up, but expect to get destroyed if someone does land hits on you. On the other hand, want to go all out, then kit yourself out with extra splash damage for the Barge attack, and give yourself the extra ram damage and nobody is really gonna be arguing with you.
What I didn’t love:
There is simply not enough of it - Yep, it’s a beta, and I shouldn’t complain about getting the chance to play this nearly three months before it hits the shelves, but the game is just so much god damned fun that I want the disc in my 360 right now.
No music! - Nitpicking for sure, but the beta has no music to accompany the onscreen craziness. Bizarre Creations always throw great OST’s together, and having that currently missing does take away a bit of the magic. Still, throw your own high-octane playlist together from your hard drive or an iPod, and the situation is soon remedied.
I have to wait until the end of May to play the full thing - Balls.