Many other mediums such as film, comics, and especially music encourage remixing, adapting, and creating mashups. Think about the movie Let Me In, the comic book series Fables, or music mashups such as Danger Mouse’s ‘The Grey Album’ which mixes Jay-Z and The Beatles. Each of these is heavily derivative of what it is inspired by, yet creates something brand new artistically by creatively dissecting its source material and putting it back together in a new way. This clearly works in other art forms so why don’t we see more remixes and mashups in video games?
I’m not suggesting developers flat out copy everything from successful games or slightly tweak a popular formula, but rather come up with creative ways to mix wildly different ideas into one fun game. It would be great to see more games like Rock of the Dead or Super Meat Boy, that take established gameplay mechanics, styles, or graphics and mold them into something new.
In order to advance the “video games as art” movement, Game Rant has put together a list of the top five video game mashups that would blow our minds. Each of these takes two games and uses elements from each, whether it is gameplay mechanics or graphical style, to create an original experience.
#5. Fallout 4: Colored Blocks (Fallout 3 & Tetris)
Start with the award winning and slick RPG Fallout 3 and add a dash of the classic puzzle game Tetris. The game would function in a similar way to Puzzle Quest. Our imagining of Fallout 4: Colored Blocks would consist of the great graphics, role-playing, and open world of Fallout 3, mixed with games of Tetris for the battle system. Depending on the enemy and situation, the battles would have certain restrictions or requirements. Certain enemies might require you to clear eight lines in 30 seconds, while others may force you to last as long as possible without clearing a single line or build up to a certain height and then clear 10 lines. The possibilities are endless and this combination could easily create a fun and addicting game.
#4. Burnout Party (Burnout & Mario Party)
The Mario Party games are fun with a group of friends, but the mini games can start to get old and feel overly simplistic if played for a prolonged amount of time. The idea behind Burnout Party is to take the party atmosphere and board game layout of the Mario Party games and combine it with the arcade racing elements and crash mode of Burnout. The entire game would have a racing theme and would still take place on a board, but every mini game would be a short Burnout style challenge where you would try to have the biggest crash, fastest lap, or craziest landing.
#3. Mega Chief (Mega Man & Halo)
Mega Man is having a big resurgence with its retro sequels Mega Man 9 and 10 and the recent announcement of Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe. Also, the Halo franchise is looking for a new direction now that Bungie has moved on. Mega Chief capitalizes on both of these facts and is a spinoff that has the retro look and gameplay of Mega Man, yet all the characters, enemies, and weapons of the Halo franchise. Imagine guiding master chief through a 2D Mega-Man-esque level with your shotgun and sniper rifle, shooting jackals and hunters.
#2. Mario Football ’12 (Mario sports games & Madden)
Mario has had several fun outings with his zany and unrealistic sports games, but one sport he hasn’t touched is American football. I’m sure this has to do with Nintendo being a Japanese company, but I think a Mario football game in the style of Madden would be tons of fun. It could keep the 3D gameplay style and play calling of Madden, but add in some Mario flair. How cool would it be to run a kickoff back because you picked up a star, or sack the opponents quarterback with the help of a fire flower?
#1. Plantcraft vs. Zombiecraft (Plants vs. Zombies & Warcraft/Starcraft)
Popcap scored a surprising hit with Plants vs. Zombies and it has turned out to be one of their most successful games. Additionally, Blizzard has had great success with their RTS games in the Warcraft and StarCraft series. Why not combine the two? Plantcraft vs. Zombiecraft takes the precise and competitive real time strategy gameplay of the Warcraft/StarCraft franchises and adds the sytle and design of Plants vs. Zombies. Instead of a serious space mission a la StarCraft II, it would have lighthearted zombie survival missions. So many people love the characters and style of Plants vs. Zombies and I think it’d make a great RTS.
The prospect of mixing some of these games might be a little farfetched considering copyrights and other legal issues, but I think the right developer could work through this and create some very unique games.
Would you play any of the above games? What video game mashups do you want to see?