When Worlds Collide: Exploring Game Crossovers

When Worlds Collide: Exploring Game Crossovers

Cool cameos and collaborations

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Features on

It's always a good time when video game characters get together. In this article, I'll discuss some of my favourite crossovers within a few different genres. Don't worry; there's no need for a rip in the space-time continuum, just read on!

Street Fighter X Tekken screenshot
Mega Man and Pac-Man are about to kick some ass

Get ready, fight!

Fighting games clearly have the most amount of crossover titles. When you think about it, all the developers need to do is shove their characters in an existing formula and give them some cool moves. Who cares if the story doesn't make any sense? Okay, I'm sure it's more difficult than that. Anyway, there are the obvious choices like Super Smash Bros. and its inferior distant cousin PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but this trend has been around well before those games came out. One of the first fighters to feature a cast of cameos was The King of Fighters which over the years would include combatants from other SNK titles such as Metal Slug, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, and Ikari Warriors. Capcom soon followed suit with games like Capcom Fighting Evolution, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and even the SNK vs. Capcom series. More recently, they teamed up with Namco to create Street Fighter X Tekken. Mortal Kombat even got in on the craze with Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Having Shang Tsung and Lex Luthor duke it out is truly epic. I could probably write an entire article on fighting game crossovers alone, but let's move on.

A little role playing to spice things up

In somewhat recent years, quite a few JRPGs have been popping up that feature characters from different series. One of my favourite is Project X Zone with performers from Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega games. This turn-based strategy allows you to control chums like Mega Man X, Jill Valentine, Chun-Li, Jin Kazama, KOS-MOS, and Gemini Sunrise who could all potentially be on the battlefield at the same time. How cool is that? As of writing this, Project X Zone 2 is coming out in a matter of months and I can't wait! There are a few other little known games that fit this category as well. Cross Edge combined the universes of Disgaea, Atelier, Darkstalkers, Tekken, and many more in a subpar but interesting traditional JRPG. Going back to the strategy genre, the obscure Chaos Wars boasted characters from Growlanser, Spectral Souls, Shadow Hearts, and the like. No one said crossovers had to only include characters that people actually know, but dedicated fans of underrated games such as these sure are happy about it.

Trinity Universe screenshot
Trinity Universe's cast includes a handful of classic Atelier and Disgaea characters

The building blocks of a good crossover

Over the years, Lego joined forces with such phenomenal franchises starting with Star Wars and moving on to the likes of Batman, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Marvel. However, the recently released Lego Dimensions is bursting with a few of these properties and many more all in one game. The only downside is that it'll cost a fortune to purchase all of the optional interactive toys. From classic movies like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters to cherished cartoons such as Scooby-Doo and The Simpsons, your nostalgia meter will go off the charts. Speaking of nostalgia, I'm looking forward to trying out the Midway Arcade pack since I absolutely love Midway's retro game catalog. Portal, Doctor Who, Jurassic World, The Wizard of Oz, DC Comics, and The Lord of the Rings also make appearances in this hilarious adventure. Even a few of Lego's original titles show up in the form of Lego Ninjago, Lego Chima, and The Lego Movie. It's hard to believe that they crammed all these together in one game, but if anyone can do it; it's Lego.

Indies unite for a common good

A trend as of late is for indie developers to team up by offering their characters to their fellow game makers. Some indie games such as Toto Temple Deluxe and Super Crate Box use this opportunity to feature cameos while games like Runbow and Paperbound allow players to actually fight each other as a ton of different folks from other indie hits. However, there are two rather recent games that took the indie crossover to the next level. First, Team Indie is a 2D platformer where you can play as Commander Video, Badland's "Black Fluff Ball", Dustgirl from Dustforce, the protagonist from the already mentioned Super Crate Box, and Braid's very own Tim. Secondly, Super Indie Karts plays like a faster version of the original Super Mario Kart. Who wouldn't want to race as characters from such nifty games as Duck Game, Shutshimi, Fist of Awesome, Whispering Willows, Adventures of Pip, So Many Me, and Teslagrad? I hope this trend keeps up since anyone who's been to this site before knows that I definitely love my indie games!

Lego Dimensions screenshot
Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle take an unexpected trip to the Simpsons' residence

That about does it for my favourite game crossovers and cameos. What are yours? Let's talk about them in the comments below.

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