Conarium – A horror game for horror season!

It’s not that horrific.

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I like Lovecraftian horror.  Madness, meddling with things that humans should be meddling with, gradual loss of sanity, horrors hidden just out of sight, terror of the unknown.  It’s a horror that’s very difficult to convey in most visual forms of media, and video games are no exception to this, often due to player agency being so important in gaming.  Many have used Lovecraftian themes through creature design or plot, but few can convey the same sense of unknowable fear and loss of sanity.  Conarium tries!  But sadly fails to pull it off.

Conarium horror
This is where you begin your adventure. Sure does look good with all those lighting effects!

Connected to (although not a retelling of) At The Mountains Of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft, Conarium tells the story of a group of scientists searching the Antarctic for ancient devices capable of doing something.  I won’t say more for fear of spoilers.  You awake as Frank Gillman, one of the scientists, in a room with a bizarre glowing device and some sort of readout strapped to his hand.  The research station is abandoned it’s up to you to explore and find out just what the hell is going on.

Conarium talking head
I found this secret early in the game. It’s a robotic head that talks to you for some reason.

The game plays something like Soma, with you exploring areas and solving light puzzles to progress to the next area.  The problem here though is that there is little to no direction regarding where to go or what to do a lot of the time.  I often found myself scouring rooms until I found an item that seemed important, such as a key or an oddity of some sort.  I didn’t feel like I was searching for answers, more searching for the next McGuffin to push onto the next area.    More often than not I was finding text logs (which are certainly the most interesting part of the game) that developed the side characters.  Many of these address the reasoning behind the events that are taking place and the experiences that people have had.  Without these, the plot would make little to no sense and some of the puzzles would be more about guess work than anything else.

Conarium
Occasionally a figure will appear at the end of hallways. I still don’t know why.

The world itself contains a variety of gorgeous and interesting environments, both real and seemingly unreal thanks to the Unreal Engine (see what I did there?!).  Transitions between areas reminds me in part of Layers of Fear as something can seem to change when you aren’t looking, causing you to transition between an ancient cavern and a household office.  I liked this as it kept things somewhat unpredictable at times.  The majority of the game wasn’t this interesting however, as the obfuscated plot and uninteresting (not to mention rare) dialogue did little to engage me.  Plus the voice acting was mostly terrible.

Conarium
You find a radio early on that is sometimes used to provide exposition. I didn’t consider how the game might be different if I hadn’t picked it up.  Assuming that’s even that’s an option.

Of course, I could tolerate this to an extent if the horror game was scary!  And it isn’t.  There was maybe one jump scare and the rest of the game was…unsettling at the absolute most.  This does tie into Lovecraft’s style somewhat, but doesn’t necessarily translate well into this format.  The tension was all build and no payoff, and the build was barely there at all.  Apparently it is possible to die in a variety of ways, but I didn’t die a single time in my first play through.  If it weren’t for my earning an achievement for this “feat” then I would have assumed that death was not possible.  This feeling of no threat certainly didn’t help when it came to the lack of fear.

Conarium
Other exposition comes via these distorted flashback scenes. The effects look pretty good in motion.

As a positive, there are multiple endings and a number of secrets to find if those things float your boat.  You get a percentage score at the end based on the items you found and ending you saw which is nice I suppose.  It took about 3 hours to finish in spite of my faffing around looking for tiny objects I missed (spent 10 minutes stuck towards the end because I missed a tiny key on a shelf), so that makes replaying to get other endings less of a chore.  I suppose the ending I saw was fairly interesting in context.

Conarium
The Eldrich figures in the environment look rather good. A lot of care has gone into the visuals.

Conarium was developed by Zoetrope Interactive and published by Iceberg Interactive.  I played the game on PC and wouldn’t really recommend it unless it’s very cheap and you’re in the market for a quick “horror” themed walking simulator.  But if you were then I’d point you towards Soma or Layers of Fear as far better options.

The X-COM War Logs – Part 1

Or: How I try to get my friends murdered by aliens.

So we begin, as many stories do, with an attempt to break into an alien controlled lab to rescue our incarcerated commander.  How many great tales have begun that way I wonder…

Anyway, for those of you that don’t know, XCOM 2 is the follow up to XCOM.  The alien invaders win the war in the first game, and in the sequel we work as an underground resistance, trying to take back our world.  This is done via an overarching strategy as well as ground based tactical encounters played out in a turn based style.  It’s also hard, meaning soldiers get killed (permanently) on a regular basis.  So obviously you name them after your friends and send them off to die!  This is a log of their exploits.  And their ends.

Our biggest early encounters were a trip to a human encampment under attack, an attack on an alien VIP, meeting up with two factions in an abandoned city, and a daring rescue into an alien internment camp.

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
I’m sure she will be friendly and absolutely won’t be a pain in the backside later on.
The defence of the human camp involved Rob (a grenadier nicknamed “Wildchild”.  Also is me), Heather (a ranger) and her bond mate Stuart (a specialist with a magic robot), and Pat (a sniper).  A fairly simple affair of taking out alien attack squads decended into bedlam as one of the humans turned out to be a monsterous alien shapeshifter right in front of Stuart’s face.  With luck, his bond mate Heather was close enough to charge into danger and utterly destroy it with her shotgun.  We escaped unscathed, but sadly a number of the civilians didn’t make it.

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
Heather faces down this melted flesh monster. A dramatic encounter that she escapes from unscathed.
Later we were sent on a mission to meet up with two factions to settle a dispute and bring them into our war with the aliens.  We took Rob, Andy (a ranger), Kerry (a sniper), and Rhodri (another grenadier).  Rob and Andy faced down a zombie horde as they pressed forward to meet the first faction, with Andy blowing away zombies that were closing in on Rob.  Later, Rhodri and Kerry came under attack from a seperate horder.  Kerry came under a sustained attack and suffered significant injury before being rescued by a grenade barrage from Rhodri.  The mission ended with our confronting an extremely powerful alien who kidnapped a new soldier.  More on them later though…

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
Andy proves his accuracy is good enough to protect Rob without blowing his arm off.
In the meantime, we were sent to take out a significant member of the alien army.  For this job Heather, Stuart, Emma (a specialist), Josh (a Reaper who likes to be called “Outrider”), and Rhodri were sent out to kill some of those damn aliens.  This went very much by the numbers, with an impressive sset of moves from Josh setting up the VIP to be caught in a series of explosions set off by remote.  Emma set of a very successful series of events by firing upon the VIP’s bodyguards (for all the good it did him!) causing them to scatter right into the firing line of the rest of the squad.  It took a matter of moments for Heather, Stuart and Rhodri to defeat them.

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
A zombie looking for a tasty bit of Kerry to chew on.
Our final mission of significance involved a daring3-soldier rescue of our kidnapped comrade.  Rob, Bobbilyann (another sniper), and Stuart snuck into the encampment without being spotted.  Setting up shop by the detention centre entrance, Bobbilyann hacked the cell door…only to set off all the alarms in the camp!  She deftly grabbed our unconcious friend and made a run for the dropship.  But we were quickly met by enemy reinforcements flooding in.  After taking significant fire, we decided to make a break for it, as fighting would be futile against such a force.  A couple of hits landed, injuring everyone involved, but somehow we all made it out alive.  Tiago (a Skirmisher known as “Mox”) was the rescued soldier who will doubtless make more than a couple of appearances in future.

XCOM 2 War of the Chosen
Andy, Rob, and Josh hang out around a alien BBQ. Delicious.
A successful set of early exchanges!  With luck we will continue to survive, but I’m sure we’ll end up with other, more challenging encounters in the coming days.  Below is the current squad.  Maybe more will be added over the coming days.  Time will tell!

Heather – Ranger (Bond: Stuart)

Rob “Wildchild” – Grenadier

Stuart – Specialist (Bond: Heather)

Kerry – Sniper

Andrew – Ranger

Rhodri – Grenedier

Emma – Specialist

Pat – Sniper

Josh “Outrider” – Reaper

Bobbilyann – Sniper

Tiago “Mox” – Skirmisher

Did you enjoy this?  I hope so, because you can expect more to come as the war continues!

5 Video Game Developer Tricks – Games are clever.

In spite of what I may have said, it turns out that games may not be stupid after all.

So after my recent post about games being stupid, I found out about a tweet from game design expert and all round clever person Jennifer Scheurle.  She asked developers to share the secret mechanics they’d put in their games to promote a certain feeling or reaction from players.

It turns out that games may be really rather clever thanks to some smart thinking from those smarty pants designers.  From a feeling of intensity to keeping you engaged in a game you may not enjoy, it seems that some game designers have thought of great ways to manipulate the player’s experience from behind the scenes.  Here are just a few of those tricks.

Rubber banding – Racing games

forza horizon 3 beach photo
This is less common in modern racing games, but more arcade style racers often have it.

Let’s start with one that many gamers are aware of.  Rubber banding is a trick used in racing games to ensure the race is somewhat close, regardless of the player skill level.  Should the player get too far ahead, then the AI opponents get a little extra speed and control to keep up and maintain the tension of the race.  On the other hand, should the player fall too far behind, then the reverse happens, giving the player a chance to catch up.  In my opinion this isn’t such a bad thing in most single player racers, but does paint something of a false picture of your own ability level if you choose to take your skills online.

Mario Kart 8 Delux
This THING combined with rubber banding is pure evil.

Now, I haven’t played a Mario Kart game for a long time, but I can imagine that rubber banding + blue shell = utter rage.  Does the AI get to use the blue shell?  If so I can see this being a horrible way to end a race.

You live longer when your health is low – DOOM, amongst others

Doom shotgun
Get shot in the face and somehow survive even longer.

There’s nothing quite like surviving a boss encounter, or wading through a horde of enemies with just the last sliver of health remaining.  “I can’t believe I made it!” you might think.  “How did that last explosion not kill me?!” your brain my cry.  Well there’s a good reason for it in a number of games apparently.  That last little bit of health lasts longer than the rest.  The ones mentioned in the above thread are Assassin’s Creed and DOOM.

assassinscreedunityglitches6
Don’t worry about your lack of face, friend.  You’ll live longer with less blood inside you.

As your health drains away, you can suddenly take a few extra hits before finally succumbing to your assailants.  This is to give you that “just made it” feeling of barely making it out alive more regularly than you might by just playing as normal.  A cheap trick perhaps, but one that can certainly make encounter exciting.  Until you know they’re tricking you anyway.

Two Brains – Alien: Isolation

Alien Isolation motion tracker
It won’t find you.  Unless its secret second brain gives you away.

I love this one.  Alien: Isolation was trouser-browningly terrifying at times, with the titular xenomorph liable to appear at the most inopportune moment.  I’ve mentioned before that my wife yelled “OH SH*T!” whilst watching me play this as the alien slithered out of a vent right in front of me.  The xenomorph’s AI was praised in many reviews, for constantly giving you the sense of being hunted, and that the alien was using its senses realistically in an effort to find you.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that the alien has TWO BRAINS!

Alien Isolation
It doesn’t even have eyes! It should be easy to sneak around!

This is an interesting AI trick.  The alien has two brains, one that knows exactly where you are, and one that has no idea.  The first brain gives hints to the second about your location.  This prevents the alien for making a bee-line for you whilst also avoiding it from wandering off aimlessly.  This maintains the tension of being hunted and prevents you from ever feeling truly safe.  The downside is sometimes you can be caught out when you thought you were well hidden.  And occasionally you can be standing out in the open and not be spotted.  Not flawless but still pretty cool.

You get buffs the first time you play online – Gears of War

Gears of War 3
Don’t worry if this is your first time.

Gears of War can be pretty tough in competitive multiplayer.  Take it from me (I’m terrible), it’s quite possible to play a match and get absolutely nothing from it which can be pretty disheartening.  As it happens, the developers found this to be true as well.  According to them, 90% of players would not play online again if they didn’t get any kills in their first game.

Gears of War
Extra buffs for if your buff soldier isn’t buff enough.

To counter this and to try to keep players invested, in your first online game, you get additional health and damage over your more experienced opponents..  This advantage obviously helps you feel successful and to carry on playing.  These bonuses gradually get reduced over time to ease you into the game proper.  A nice idea, but it may suffer from the similar rubber banding issue of expecting to be far more skillful than you are, and getting destroyed once the training wheels are taken off.  On the other hand, the gradually reduction in bonuses may help players get used to the game over time.  Either way, it’s a nice way of keeping weaker players playing.

Coyote Time – Platform games

Mega Man 10
Don’t worry about falling to your death Mega Man.  Wile E. Coyote has got you covered.

An interesting one this, and one I don’t really understand.  This is named for the legendary Wile E. Coyote and his ability to hover in the air before plummeting to his (none) death when running off a cliff.  In many platformers, you can do exactly this.  Your button press for jumping will still work for a split second after running off the edge of a platform, allowing you to jump in mid air to an extent.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Go fast without fear of death by gravity.

I wonder if this is related to reaction time added to time taken for the button to be fully pressed.  I can’t really understand why this would exist in most platforming games beyond that, but it’s quite interesting that so many platform games use this, even to this day.

A couple of other ones that I found interesting were in Bioshock and System Shock.  In the former when enemies appear, their first bullet will always miss to give you a chance to react whilst still making the enemies seem like a threat.  In the latter your final bullet in a weapon does double damage to hopefully finish off that enemy you were taking on.  This is somewhat like the “last sliver of health” tweak mentioned earlier.

bioshock-big-daddy-and-little-sister

Do you find any of these particularly interesting?  Better yet, does knowledge of any of these make you view the games or your experiences in a different light?  Let me know!

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

In which content is removed because mega-corporations act like babies.

One of my favourite Dreamcast games was Marvel vs. Capcom 2.  Tons of characters in a 3 or 3 fight to the finish, with fists, claws, lasers, and cactus men flying across the screen.  With over 50 team members to choose from, there were a huge number of possible combinations to play with, especially when you consider that each character had 3 different assist modes to choose from.  I was even pretty good at it!  At least I thought I was because I only played against the computer and friends.  Once I played the HD remake on Xbox 360 I got utterly destroyed online.  Still!  It was a fun package with a whole lot of content.

Presented for your consideration: Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.  This is the latest entry in a series known, in its more recent entries, for 3-on-3 fights with a large roster of combatants.  In the interest of taking the series forward, there are now fewer fighters and 2-on-2 battles that no longer have character assists.  Less is more as they say.  Whoever they are.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
The roaster looks reasonable in size, but when you compare it to previous entries then it seems a little sparse.

This mostly comes down to Disney and Fox throwing their toys out of the pram.  Fox don’t want to share the licences they own and so Disney won’t include any characters from those licenses to avoid giving them “free advertising”.  So you won’t find any X-Men at all.  Nor Fantastic 4.  Spiderman manages to show up at least.  But this business spat means that the roster is a fair bit smaller than you may expect for a game in this series.  30 is still a reasonable number (36 once the inevitable DLC crops up, more on that later though), but coming from over 50, down to 36 (48 with DLC) then down the 30 is quite the decline.  I suspect the recuction from 3-on-3 to 2-on-2 is due to this smaller roster.

Marvel vs Capcom
My daughter likes playing as Firebrand for some reason. We’re banned from playing as Nemesis because he’s a bit too scary.

The story is that Ultron and Sigma from Marvel and Mega Man have teamed up to merge the different universes for EVIL REASONS that become apparent throughout the plot.  The campaign is standard comic book affair, with various simple plot twists and nice (mostly) well-voiced cutscenes featuring popular characters from both companies.  I enjoyed this aspect but did find I was spending a lot more time watching than fighting.  A very annoying aspect of the cutscenes though, was that you could clearly see which characters were designed for future DLC.  Black Panther, Sigma (one of the main antagonists no less), and Monster Hunter all appear fully animated and voiced in cutscnes but are not playable.  Want to play as them?  Get ready to open your wallet.  Strikes me as Capcom having crappy DLC practices once again, with characters being ready but held back behind a time/pay wall.  Suppose I should be happy that they aren’t day one DLC at least.

Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite
My Mega Man X jumping over my wife’s Gamora, shortly before she ruined me in this fight.

The important part of the game though, is the fighting.  And it sure is “alright I suppose”!  This is a series known for fast combos and plenty of juggling, but I felt that all the attacks I was making lacked impact.  Everything felt too light and floaty and lacked just a tiny bit of precision.  I’m not fighting game expert, but I think I may have been spoiled by Street Fighter V and Injustice 2 having weight behind their attacks alongside the very responsive controls.  This feels weak by comparison.  Still, landing a solid combo into a juggle, then switching in your partner to carry it on can be very satisfying.  You can also select and infinity stone to alter your gameplay.  The reality stone fires an energy blast whilst the soul stone steals a little of your opponents life.  They don’t feel overpowered as they take a split seond to activate so aren’t easy to spam with.  You can also charge them up to use and Infinity Storm that will grant you short term powerful bonuses, such as holding your opponent in place or allowing you and your partner to fight at the same time.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
You do get the occasional clipping oddity (Firebrand’s arm passong through Dante’s leg here) but the game moves so quickly you’re unlikely to spot it.

The game is very easy to get started with. You can pull off an impressive looking combo just by hitting the same button a few times.  This ease of access is great and allows even the most inexperienced player pull off some cool looking moves.  I found myself feeling not fully in control of my character because of this from time to time (more my problem than the games!) but it’s nice to have that feature.  Super/Ultra/Hyper/Whatever they call them now clso have an easy activation by simply pressing two buttons at once.  I’m not sure if there is a downside to activating them this way, but again I’m glad that there are ways for newer players to get involved.  In fact I’ve had more than a few games of this against my 4-year-old, and she can pull off some good looking moves with no tutorial whatsoever.  She managed to figure out how to do throws long before I did.

There is a tutorial available, although it’s a little bare-bones.  It allows you to learn a few basics but doesn’t really teach you the depth of the game.  There was also the odity that the game teaches you how to air dash before it teaches you to jump.  The mission mode is more useful for this as it trains you on each character’s abilities and combos.  The training menu can either show you the name of the move or the command for it, not both for some reason.

Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.
The effects look pretty great when everything kicks off.

And that’s the thing with this game all over.  It could have done with another month or two of polishing.  Tutorials in the wrong order, features that aren’t fully thought out, arcade mode being hidden in a sub menu rather than being one of the first things you see.  This should be an excellent fighter (as previous entries had been) but it feels a little under done.  I get the feeling that I’m not the only person that feels this way too, as I have yet to have an online matchmaking fight in spite of many attempts to find one with a number of different settings.  Is the community for this already dead?  Maybe it’s just the Xbox One version that’s unpopular.  Either way, this is quite a crucial point, as if there is little to no online community, this game will likely not last too long.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.
There’s still an emphasis on air based combos. Wouldn’t expect any less from the series to be honest.

Visually the game looks good.  All the characters stand out well and have their own animations and moves that fit their game/comic personality.  There are multiple colours to unlock through playing the arcade mode (as is fairly standard) to give each character a few different looks.  Everything runs very smoothly from what I’ve noticed too, so top marks there.  The sound is pretty good too.  The various attacks and projectiles sound powerful (although the game doesn’t make them appear as such) and the music is good and fits the stages nicely.  The voice work is mostly good.  The man voicing Tony Stark is doing his best (and succeeding) to sound just like Robert Downey Jr. and Captain Marvel sounds great.  Morrigan just sounds a bit silly though, and Ghost Rider’s voice is quite muffled at times making him hard to understand.  A little hit and miss.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite
I wasn’t a fan of Rocket. Found him very hard to use due to his speed and small size.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was developed and published by Capcom.  I played the game on Xbox One and would recommend it in part.  There’s a good (although short) story mode and the fighting is fairly entertaining, but I just don’t think this will hold my attention all that long.  The lack of content and online community is a concern when there are more feature rich fighters available elsewhere.  Maybe this will be the last of the series.  I certainly hope it isn’t, but when you look at how content rich some of its competitors are then I think there may be a little cause for concern.

I’m Rob, and here’s what I’ve been playing – 08/10/17

I’ve been playing games mostly.

One of my all time favourite games is Baldur’s Gate II.  I played an unbelievable amount of it over the years after it released.  And whilst I tried a number of other games set in the same world, even made with the same engine, I couldn’t find anything that hit me in the same way.  With recently releases like Tyranny and Pillars of Eternity bringing back those classic CRPGs, I decided to give one of them a try (and a thank you to my wife for buying it for me).

Baldur's Gate 2
I haven’t played the Enhanced Edition, but any enhancement on perfection can only be a good thing.

So Torment: Tides of Numenera turned out to be pretty damn great.  The main plot and side stories were engaging, the characters were varied and interesting, and the gameplay allowed you to deal with situations in a lot of different ways.  Pity about the bugs and the occasional difficulty spikes.  Still, there was a world full of different (and often very creative) things to discover and I enjoyed my time there.

Torment
Torment is pretty great. I haven’t played the original so I don’t know how it ties in.

My wife bought me Nier: Automata for my birthday.  This is a game I’ve been wanting to play since release and now I might finally get around to it.  Pretty much anything made by Platinum grabs my interest by the simple virtue of my having never played a game made by them that I didn’t immediately adore.  Metal Gear Rising anyone?  I’ll get onto this one pretty soon I think.

Nier Automata
I’ve been very keen to give this one a try. Platinum tend to make very good character action games and I’ve yet to play one that’s disappointed me.

Another birthday present I received that I’m very keen to try is Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu.  Our family would play Pandemic a lot, so any opportunity to play more of it is welcome.  I had heard of this one but didn’t know anything about it.  Having read the instructions, I’m quite excited to give it a try as this feels like more than a simple reskin.  The game plays in mostly the same way but with some significant twists, such as Old Ones rising and altering the game’s rules in place of epidemics.  Plus the board looks gorgeous which certainly helps.

 

Cthulhu
Fear great Cthulhu! And my carpet.

I picked up Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite at the weekend ago on a whim.  I enjoy playing Street Fighter V with my daughter and figured something with Marvel characters in might be fun.  We’ve enjoyed playing it together (although I regret playing as Dormamu at one point as he seemed to scare her a bit), but I haven’t touched the story mode yet.  Personally I find the gameplay a little too…floaty?  I don’t think that’s the right word.  But I feel like none of the attacks really have any impact.  I do enjoy fighting games, in spite of being terrible at them, but this one’s moment to moment action hasn’t grabbed me as well as I’d hoped.

Thanos
Still don’t want to get into a fist fight with this chap.

My new PC finally arrived, ready to take on some games that need a GPU more powerful than a cheese sandwich.  I’ve yet to really try anything particularly taxing on it, but I didn pick up the XCOM 2 expansion and I’m keen to give it a play.  Any opportunity to hop back into that game is one I happily take.

XCOM 2 Faceless
Hopefully my new computer will be able to run this at more than 30 FPS

Oh, and I downloaded and played Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.  But more on that another time…

So what about you?  Have you started up anything new and/or fun recently?  Something freshly released?  Or maybe back to the backlog or a classic that you’re returning to?  Let me know!

Do the Video Game Shuffle!

To the left. To the left. Quarter-circle forward and punch!

No, it’s not some crazy new move that all the kids are down with (I’m so cool) these days.  Mind you, anything would be better than “dabbing” at this point.  No, it’s fusing two disparate games together into something new and exciting!  With the seeming success of Mario + Rabbids fusing Mario, Rabbids and XCOM together, it got me thinking about what other games could be combined into something amazing.  Here are a few that crossed my mind.  Expect them to be terrible.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Can you imagine what the meeting to pitch this idea was like?

Left 4 Dead + Warcraft 3 = Left 4 War

Left 4 Dead Warcraft 3
Fear my editing skills!

So I think this sort of thing probably exists already, but if it doesn’t it could be fun I suppose.  This would basically be a hero focused RTS zombie survival game, probably based played on PC using a mouse.  You and your AI or player controlled allies fight your way through the zombie horde, collecting weapons and items as you go.  Each character would have their own special abilities, and the games would culminate in the same way as Left 4 Dead, with a grand set piece to escape the zombie menace.  Throw in some Warcraft characters for good measure and I reckon you’ve got some potential there.

Street Fighter + Magic: The Gathering = Street Magic!

Street Fighter Magic the Gathering
Seamless!

Prepare for a horrible microtransaction filled monstrosity.  Picture Street Fighter, with all its fireballs and ultra combos in tact, but with collectible card game mechanics!  Imagine having your character, but with special moves locked behind cards that can level up.  Ryu doesn’t have his dragon punch until you’ve found the card and Guile can’t throw a sonic boom until you’ve unlocked it.  Of course you’ll be able to spend real money to buy new card packs to unlock these attacks.  Perhaps you could create your own character to take online to challenge players who have spent all that money to get the best character possible.  I’m pretty certain this is something Capcom would actually consider, and that scares me slightly.

Overwatch + Pokémon = Pokéwatch!

Pokemon Overwatch
A talented person may have fused these together in some way…

Ok, I actually kind of like this one.  A first/third person multiplayer game in which you choose which Pokémon to play as and have access to its associated abilities.  Now here’s the thing, in the loot boxes would be passes to go out into the wild and catch new Pokémon to add to your roster.  Think of the potential for team compositions!  It would be nearly impossible to balance but the possibility for objective based games with huge variation in team setups sounds pretty great to me.

Forza + Dance Dance Revolution = Forza Motorsport Revolution

Forza Dance Dance Revolution
I’d actually love to play this

Look, just hear me out on this one.  I’m thinking one for in the arcades, in which you have a dance platform to throw your feet around in time to the music.  The better you do, the faster your car goes.  In front of you though is a steering wheel for controlling the ever accelerating vehicle.  Obviously things like braking would be accounted for in some way but this sounds like it could be insanely silly fun.  Or a recipe for severe injury.

Bayonetta + Metal Gear Solid = Metal Gear Rising

Metal Gear Rising Logo
Metal Gear Rising (2013)

Because sometimes the planets align and something magical happens.  Lunatic story?  Check!  Lunatic action?  Check!  A cyborg ninja fighting giant stompy robots with a sword before taking on a cybernetically enhanced senator?  Where do I sign?!

How about you?  Are there any games that you could slam together into something terribly fantastic or fantastically terrible?  I like to think the gaming community has more imagination that most publishers these days so there must be something out there!  Tell me, I could use a good laugh!