I remember back in late 2007, maybe early 2008 when I decided to get myself a Wii. One of the things I was particularly excited about was the fact that Sonic would be in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Finally, a chance to see Mario and Sonic together, something I’d wanted to see since childhood. And then came the 2008 Sonic and Mario Olympics video game. I thought that maybe, just maybe that might lead to an actual Sonic and Mario game. Well, it’s been 8 years now and that remains a pipe dream. But hey, we’re getting another Mario and Sonic Olympics game though.
Does Anyone Even Play These?
I mean, they keep making them so I assume they must sell, but I don’t think I’ve met anybody who’s met anybody who gives a damn about these games. I love Sonic and Mario and I can honestly say I’ve never touched them. I’m sure they’re probably fine for what they are, but I just don’t care whether Knuckles or Bowser is a better figure skater. Hell, half the characters in the promo art look pissed off, like even they don’t want to do another Olympics video game. Nobody seems to really care about these games, although if they put out Amiibos with them, I’m sure those will sell like crazy. If they do that I might even get a Knuckles one it the sculpture looks nice.
But why not a real Sonic and Mario game? I have to imagine a real crossover game between these two franchises would make more money than a bordello in a gold rush. Mario remains a huge money-printing icon and Sonic, despite what seems like Sega’s best efforts to ruin him, remains popular as well.
How To Do It
The temptation here would be to make it a fighting game. It’s the easiest thing to do gameplay wise, and you could throw in as many characters from both sides as possible, ensuring everyone gets to play as their personal favorite. That seems like it would be a mistake to me. I don’t see any way of doing that where it wouldn’t seem like Smash Bros-lite.
No, you have to make this a platformer. I would say a 2-D one, to keep it simple as possible. The story would be your basic crossover boilerplate. Dr. Eggman builds a dimensional portal with which he discovers the Mushroom Kingdom, and strikes up an alliance with Bowser to pool their resources and conquer both worlds. You could do a lot combining Mario and Sonic villains. Just imagine roboticized Koopa Troopers, for instance.
Now Mario and Sonic, despite both being platformers, have very different gameplay styles. But I think the way to handle that would be something along the lines of different playable levels depending on whether you pick Mario or Sonic, or maybe like in Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ different routes you take through the levels depending on your character.
This would be a game you needed to put some thought in, and it would be precedent-setting in video games. When have two major franchises been brought together like this in something that wasn’t a fighting game? It’s maybe a bit of an endeavor, but it’s about time these franchises broke new ground once more. This would be a shot in the arm Nintendo could use and Sega desperately needs.
If you did it right, you would have the game of the year, a game you couldn’t keep stocked in stores fast enough, a game that would be one of the major reasons to own a WiiU. Or I guess you can just fart out another cheap and lazy Olympics game again in 2018.
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