games / Columns

The Top 8 Crossover Games: Marvel vs. Capcom, Smash Bros., More

February 11, 2020 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about crossover games, games that feature two or more different franchises or companies coming together. Most of these might be a bit obvious, but a few are still pretty unknown picks. Enjoy:

#8: Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy doesn’t have a lot of HUGE crossover characters, but it does have a lot of indie ones. Characters like Josef (Machinarium), Tim (Braid), Viridian (VVVVVV), and Commander Video (BIT.TRIP RUNNER) to name just a few. The fun part is that most guest characters have unique abilities that correspond to the game they are from. Commander Video can hover in the air for a bit, the Goo Ball can cling to walls, Steve (Minecraft) can place blocks and also mine through walls, etc. This can make getting certain bandages and hidden objectives very easy to accomplish.

#7: Lego Dimensions

It was a real tossup between this game and Disney Infinity. I generally liked Infinity more, from a gameplay perspective, but the series was WAY too geared toward the modern Disney era and not the era I cared about (early to mid-90’s). The biggest problem though, was that you couldn’t use out-of-franchise characters in stories. Like, you couldn’t use Jack Sparrow in the Monsters level pack. Dimensions at least let you do this, even if the only characters that actually show up are Batman, Wyldstyle and Gandalf. Plus, Dimensions just had a lot more franchises I cared about: BTTF, Doctor Who, Wizard of Oz, Ghostbusters, and (of course) The A-Team. I wish this game would come to PC like Infinity did, where it just includes all the toy parts unlocked from the get-go.

#6: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

I’m not too far into this game but I’m enjoying it so far. It basically is a Shin Megami Tensei game, only your demon is an amnesic Fire Emblem character. I honestly know nothing about Fire Emblem before Three Houses, so I’m bummed that Hilda or Dimitri aren’t the characters that are summoned. About the only Fire Emblem guy I know is Marth, which is who everyone knows. Still, I really enjoy the battle system, and it is a really unique setting/world for a RPG game to be set in.

#5: Cannon Spike

It’s a real bummer that Cannon Spike has been forgotten by the world. I imagine if they game had been made now, it would easily have been a fun dual-joystick shooter. Instead, you move characters around with one joystick and had to mark them to focus your attacks on them. There wasn’t a ton of characters in it, but you had Cammy and Charlie from Street Fighter, B.B. Hood (Darkstalkers), Arthur (Ghosts & Goblins), and Mega Man. I think there might have been one original character also, but who cares about that? Cannon Spike was a fun game, especially with multiple people playing at once, and should be brought back.

#4: Namco X Capcom

Man, I wish this game had actually been released over here. Then I wouldn’t have to play some fan-translated file that only has about half the stuff actually translated. Namco X Capcom was a strategy RPG where you controlled two original characters and teamed up with both Namco and Capcom characters to prevent the merging of realities and some dark god from being resurrected. Really, the game just took characters from Street Fighter, Soulcalibur, Captain Commando, Klonoa, and about a dozen other various franchises and threw them all together. Throwing a Hadouken as Ryu at a Velociraptor from Dino Crisis never really gets old.

#3: Kingdom Hearts

If you want the best actual crossover Kingdom Hearts game, it’s still probably the first one. It had a nice blend of Final Fantasy characters, some story-focused, some extras bosses, as well as decent Disney-era stuff. Not everything was perfect, I probably would have traded Little Mermaid for Gargoyles, but that’s just me. It’s interesting that as the series went on, the Final Fantasy aspects became an after-thought, if they were even included at all (looking at you KH3), because the series own mythology took over and became overbearing. But still, this was a pretty good initial crossover that just got a tad lame later on.

#2: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

From a company perspective, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might have the most. Not only about a dozen different Nintendo franchises in there, but at least one character from Atlus, Capcom, Sega, Konami, Square, Platinum, and SNK. That is impressive to say the least. While every character might not be top-tier, it’s a very good representation of most of the popular franchises. Plus, you’re not just getting characters, you are usually getting an iconic stage, a lot of those spirit things and a whole host of music that is instantly recognizable. With the addition of a second season pass, this number will only grow.

#1: Marvel vs. Capcom 2

This might not be everyone’s favorite crossover game, but it’s probably mine. It’s a great distillation of the prior “Vs.” games, by having 56 (although 1 is a cheat) characters, even if about 20 of them play the same. I just love most everything about the game, aside from the lack of a main story, the characters are distinctive, the backgrounds are colorful, the music is solid, and the basic gameplay is just as sound now as it was 20 years ago. The fact that it’ll be back at EVO kind of speaks volumes about how timeless the game really is. I can only hope they announce a current console version, or god help me, a PC version, so the game can just last forever.

For comments, list your favorite crossover games and why.

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