Ask the Kliq #11
Every once in a while, you will think about video games and then ask yourself a question that has no rhyme or reason, but that just happened to pop in your head at that exact moment. In some rare instances, not even Google or Wikipedia can provide the answer you need. Sometimes you wouldn’t even need an answer to that question.
This is where we come in.
Our panel of experts is here to take on all of your video games-related questions, no matter how serious or silly they may be. With each new edition, we will submit a question to this elite committee, which will in turn try to provide you, our beloved readers, with the most accurate answer they can come up with.
Do you have a question for us? Shoot us an e-mail at kapoutman AT hotmail.com with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”, or leave a comment below. The best questions will be featured in an upcoming column.
This Week’s Question
It has almost become a rule that if a game is based on a licensed property, it will suck. Of course, there have been exceptions in the past (some Star Wars games as well as Goldeneye come to mind), but odds are, the game is going to be bad. A kind reader by the name of Sal Parker seems to think otherwise, and he challenged us to come up with something good.
Here is this week’s question, in Sal’s own words:
What license would you like to see picked up and made into a video game? Explain why and describe the idea of the game itself.
Christopher Bowen: I’ve never been much for licensing existing products; I have a good mind to leave those kinds of things alone on their own, and as most licensed titles tend to suck, I am usually proven right, being a fucking genius and all.
With that said, I’m going to dip my toes into the sports realm and say that women’s sports need some recognition. I’m growing tired of playing men’s’ dunkathons, and women’s college basketball is an untapped market. I’d like to see a game – preferably made by 2K, since EA can’t figure out basketball – that takes this into consideration, especially considering the fact that most schools not named UConn or Tennessee are getting closer in competence.
A.J. Hess: Green Lantern. “But that’s just another comic book property!” cry the masses. Yeah, but shut up and listen, says I. The Lanterns have mostly been a side note or alternate character in most of the DC titles that feature superheroes. It’s time for them to take the stage. The Lantern Corp has one of the richest stories in DC Comics history. There’s no lack of villains, heroes, heroes that become villains, and omniscient narrator characters. Not to mention, Microsoft already has that translucent green effect nailed with the Xbox.
How to do it? Crackdown. “But that’s just an open world police game!” the crowd shouts. Yeah, I know. Didn’t I already tell you kids to pipe down? The Corps are cops as well, just with a bigger jurisdiction. Think about taking five of your favorite GL’s for a spin: Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kilowog, Kyle Rayner, and John Stewart. The excellent Rebirth comics gave each of those characters more personality than most of the last ten years of prior writing managed. Instead of jumping around the city, you can fly. Instead of picking up weapons, you’ll gain new Ring powers. Not the least of which would be Telekinesis, which would handily allow you to fling cars, trucks, and small buildings at the Sinestro Corps.
That could just be one city. The Lanterns could each get a different planet for their individual campaigns, with an over arcing story connecting all of them. And for bonus content? How about a reversed game, where you play as Sinestro and are out to destroy all the things that the main storyline had you protect? I’m sold. Get me what’s left of Real-Time Worlds on the horn.
Aaron Sirois: Batman.
Yes I know there have been more than enough Batman games, but I’m not going for a simple action game or a beat ’em up.
I want a detective game.
You see, above all else, Bruce is an awesome puzzle solver and I would be thrilled to have an adventure game staring the caped crusader. If they could add in action sequences (and do them right) to add to the experience, then that is all the better. Think about it. You pick up clues, stalk suspects, and beat down villains all in one game. And you’re Batman!!!
I’d buy that in a heartbeat.
Ian Gorrie: I think they should redo some of the old classics.
Tron lightcars, only in the Initial D cockpit-on-a-stick method. Bring back big, cool, and expensive arcade games. There’s still a market! Just put them in popular bars!
Also Marble Madness. Marble Madness was awesome trackball arcade goodness and should be done right again with some new cool controls.. (PS: it has not happened yet. I’m talking to you, Wii-shovelware)
Matt Yaeger: I’m going to go with the movie Crank. In the movie Jason Statham has to keep his adrenaline up or else he dies. I’d have that transfer over to the game. Instead of how many action games let you regenerate health now, I’d have the character constantly loose a little bit of health unless there is a lot of action going on. Additional health or power up bonuses based on type of kills (environmental, multiple, etc) so that the player has to be constantly engaging the enemy in order to survive.
ML Kennedy: There are many answers I’d like to give. A sandbox version of Frank Miller’s Sin City or any Roger Zelazny world would be a system seller for me. Daredevil could make for an awesome game, but I’ve mentioned that before. I would play a Wii version of The A-Team or Burn Notice or Kitchen Nightmares.
But the obvious answer here is PATRICK SWAYZE MOVIES: the game. Imagine a game where you could play through the timeless films of everyone’s favorite be-mulleted, tiny, dancing action star. Avenge the death of your brother in the Next of Kin level, fight to keep the commies out of Colorado in Red Dawn, rob banks in Point Break, get Baby out of the corner in Dirty Dancing, play dress up in To Wong Foo, molest children in the Donnie Darko world. . .
Okay, maybe we’ll skip Donnie Darko.
In the Roadhouse level, pain won’t hurt! Battle Dame Maggie Smith in Keeping Mum! Make a horrible career killing by playing in the Father Hood level!
Man, I can’t wait for this game to come out!
I’m so disappointed that I just made this thing up. I’m going to pretend that it is being released next month.
That feels better.
Chuck Platt: Last week, my friend Frank and I were trying to think of a good license for a third person shooter and we simultaneously came to the same conclusion: G.I. Joe. Imagine how awesome a Team Fortress style team shooter with G.I. Joe vs. Cobra as the teams. It would be amazing. Just picture it:
Firefly as the Cobra Demo Man!
Bazooka as the Joe Soldier!
Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes as the Spies!
Seriously, this would be the best game in the history of the world! I would buy any system to play this thing on, even a Microsoft one. Damn, now I’m sad that this will never, ever happen…
Robert Capra: I keep thinking of treasured titles from my youth and wondering which ones deserve a licensed game. My first thought is that most of them had games, and they sucked. My second thought is that in clearer moments, most people will realize that cartoons from the 80s sucked. (I realize this comment is like running into a Baptist church and saying that Jesus liked rough-trade, but still, I stand by it. (The 80s bit, not the rough trade)).
Where was I? Damned parentheses…
Oh yes, cartoon shows of the 80s and licensed games. Rather than simply picking a favorite, let’s gather up all the properties and smash them together into some kind of fighting game. Super Smash 80s!
Tell me you’ve never wanted to see Quicksilver from Silverhawks fight Lion-O, or Snake Eyes vs Optimus. Hell, Smurfs vs My Little Pony would work too. Or better yet, Optimus vs Smurfs and Snake Eyes vs Ponies. Whatever, you get the idea… Battle of the Network Stars: The Videogame. (or is that name taken?)
Editor’s Note: At this point, the conversation quickly degenerated. Every staff member started suggesting 80’s cartoon that they would like to see added to Mr. Capra’s imaginary game. Yaeger suggested Captain N, our PR representative Bebito Jackson wanted The Wuzzles, Kennedy added the Cabbage Patch AND the Garbage Pail kids, and eventually even the Care Bears, Count Duckula, Danger Mouse, Mya the Bee and Reading Rainbow made an appearance. It sure looks like that Super Smash 80s game has the potential to be the biggest clusterfuck of all-time. In a good way.
Adam Powell: I’d like to see Kabuki done in a similar way the comic was done – a variety of media. From black and white, straight comic style to the gorgeous water color Mack started using later in the series. It would be fun to see a variety of level styles from side scrolling (perhaps a B&W side platformer level for invading Kai’s palace?), to top down beat-em-up (Noh team-ups!), to crazy FPS (Scarab vs. yakuza!), and with a variety of the Noh as playables, since the series followed several different storylines.
Mark B.: I could probably think of a hundred franchises that could easily be translated into an awesome video game of some sort or another, but the franchise I think I’d most love to see converted into an interactive gaming product is Dexter. Now, obviously that says a lot about me, and none of what it says is even remotely flattering, but let us press on.
I could forsee this as one part action game, one part stealth game, and one part adventure game. The plot wouldn’t need much to make it work; give the player a huge, overall story dealing with a shadowy serial killer, maybe one who has decided to copy the MO of the Ice Truck Killer or something, who Dexter has sworn to hunt down and silence, and set the game up into chapters, or “episodes” if you’re being cute, where our protagonist has to hunt for evidence (the adventure parts), track down his prey (the stealth parts), fight off hoodlums or wrestle with a victim (the action parts), and finally put his target down (I don’t know, stick an active time event in there or something, everyone seems to love those). Add in some conversation sequences between the characters, either as cutscenes or adventure game-style Q&A segments, and you’d easily have a game that could be a whole lot of fun, with the right developers on board.
I mean, hell, people bought Manhunt, so why not, right?
Guy Desmarais: With sandbox games becoming so popular in the last few years, I finally feel like the gaming world is ready to take on my favourite property in the right way. I finally feel like a Beavis & Butt-head game could be done right.
Imagine controlling Beavis or Butt-head, GTA-style, through the town of Highland. The difference is that instead of killing people, stealing cars and making your way up in a gang, you would be rude at people, stealing shopping carts and trying to make it in Todd’s gang.
Missions could be based in things that happened over the course of the show: change the oil at Burger World, avoid getting Beavis deported when he becomes Cornholio, acquire tickets for a rock concert, kidnap Stewart for a ransom or get Anderson’s shopping list from the drug store. The rest of the game could be spent exploring the town B&B-style: attending and disrupting class, acquiring nachos, trying to make a quick buck, trying to score and playing baseball with frogs.
It would probably be just under the new Ghostbusters game on my list of must-buys.
Ashe Collins: I’d love to see a decently done Transformers game that kind of spans from Gen 1 through all the toy lines up through Classics. Maybe skip Animated. You start off with a nice cast mix of the represented series in some kind of time-traveling dimension hopping adventure with a nice mix of brawling and long range fighting. For those that desire downloadable content they could have packs for each series that increase your character selection pool by leaps and bounds. And then add in something like a create a wrestler mode where you can build your own Transformer starting with an alt mode from varying choices and transformation options that you can slap some paint on and other options.
They’ve been relying too much on tying this into the current series or movie instead of thinking long range and doing it right. Yeah, never gonna happen and an Autobot geek can dream, but that would be a fantastic game.
Misha: Judge Dredd.
Riding around Mega-City One, busting perps and enforcing the law.
Free-roaming gameplay, lots of missions, hidden stuff – It’d basically be a GTA/Saint’s Row-style game, but played from the other side of the law.
One thing I have noticed while interviewing my fellow staffers is that 80s nostalgia seems to hit a sensible spot in all of them. The only characters not mentioned for a place on the roster of Capra’s imaginary Super Smash 80s were probably The Popples and My Pet Monster. Just imagine all the Popples ganging up on you like a cuter, greater-in-number version of the Ice Climbers.
Do you have a question of your own which you want our experts to answer? Send an e-mail to kapoutman AT hotmail.com with the subject line “Ask the Kliq”, or leave a comment below. We’ll put our team right on it.