Video Game Genre Mashups!
Are you getting bored with the same old line-up of gaming genres? This holiday we have a straight up combat shooter (Modern Warfare 2), yet another music rhythm game (DJ Hero) and a pretty standard racing simulator (Forza 3) all competing for our attention. There's nothing wrong with these titles, per se, it's just that despite their small enhancements, these games do very little to move their respective genres forward. It seems that in this period of economic recession, game developers have decided to take the low-risk approach and stick with what works: sequels to established franchises in genres that people are comfortable with. You know what? Let's toss comfort out the window for a moment and come up with something new.
We don't get outside much, but we've heard from a friend that something called 'mashups' are popular right now with the hipsters. 'What's a mashup?' we asked our friend with a sheepish look on our face.
'A mashup is when you, like, take one thing and smash it into something totally unrelated.'
'Oh.' We said, a glimmer of an idea forming in our heads.
Dance Dance 2D Fighter
The last time we went out 'dancing' it was at a video arcade where there were lots of cute Korean girls. They were all huddled around this garish looking machine that spit out tinny J-pop music and had colored buttons on the ground. It seemed that by tapping their feet (or other body parts) on the appropriate square at the opportune moment, they could increase their score. That's pretty lame, we thought, plugging quarters into an old Mortal Kombat machine and trying not to look their way. And that's when the genius idea hit us. The big problem with most fighters is that it's mainly just emaciated geeks whaling away on buttons - all of the athleticism of actual fighting is removed. Here, you'd actually have to punch a colored panel to hit your opponent, and if you wanted to pull off a combo you had better be flexible. Of course, a major disadvantage would be the likelihood of being defeated by small Korean girls.
We read a lot of Manga, so we know that there is already a game sort of like this already, called Initial D. It blends together two things that we adore: emo haircuts and Japanese cars. Other than its anime stylings, however, the developers sort of wussed out and kept the driving parts mostly standard while on the road. A true driving RPG would take things a step further: every encounter, from the starting grid to individual curves, would be handled by a turn-based battle system. You want to get around that Honda NSX? Better cast a level 3 spell of passing on the outside. Oh no! You've been hit by a traction control status affliction. Do you have any nitrous potions left? In our defense, the level of minute detail in driving sims like Gran Turismo make them almost this boring already.
Puzzle-based First-person Shooter
At first we thought this idea was totally nonsensical, but then like the incoherent wanderings of an insane person, it all started to make sense. We've played first-person shooters with puzzle elements many times before (they sucked). That's where you have to slowly inch around the walls in a level looking for the secret lever that lowers the special key from the ceiling that you need to open the blue door. No. This would be more like the game Puzzle Quest, but with guns instead of wizards. You need more bullets to take out that terrorist? Better connect three, jackass! The Body Armor perk removes all blue gems from the pay field and gives you +10 defense. The folks at D3 Publishers better be paying attention: we want to see Puzzle Quest: Assault in stores by Christmas.
Wii Sports Resort Tycoon
Back before we had any friends, we used to spend hours in front of our Pentium PC playing a simulation game called Transport Tycoon. Actually, there is a whole series of these games that all essentially boil down to the same thing: you are a god who manipulates the landscape to extract profit from hungry masses who populate your transportation grid, theme park, or petting Zoo. You can see why we liked it, in retrospect.
Then along came the Wii, and taunted us with the sad realization that we still don't have any friends. It seems like the most popular game on that console -- Wii Sports -- is best played with other people. We wallowed in despair, clutching our Wiimotes futilely in our hands, until we came up with a great idea.
What if we were in control of the entire Wii Sports resort island? What if we could design inane activities for people to play, and watch them with omnipotent disdain from above? Flail, you ignorant fools! Waggle, you pathetic punters!
Are these game ideas completely insane, or just crazy... like a fox? If you think you've got an even more mental genre mashup idea, let us know in the comments below!
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