One of the hottest trends for different forms of entertainment seems to be the notion of crossing over beloved characters, if I speak for myself there isn’t anything better than seeing some of my favorite characters interacting with each other whether if its through friendships or fighting
In the last 10 years or so, crossovers have evolved from something you’d see every once in a while to something that seems to be mandatory in certain movies and games. The modern-day version of hype seems to be which title has the coolest crossover.
Where the trend got widely popular is debatable, but I’d say that there are two solid contenders. The biggest influence for Gaming, Movies, and Pop Culture, in general, seems to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe that culminated last year with the release of “Avengers Endgame”. However, on the gaming side, I feel like the crossover ”genre” kicked in a new gear the day Snake got announced for Super Smash Bros Brawl.
Frankly, I love crossovers. I think they’re fun, doesn’t do anyone any ill, and is a cool way to engage multiple fan bases. And that’s where PlayStation comes in. I have always played games on the PlayStation ecosystem and grew up with the characters. To this day I love a wide variety of characters and mascots from the PlayStation brand… But I feel like they aren’t utilized in a fun capacity (And some aren’t utilized at all)
That isn’t to say that Sony didn’t try. In 2011 Sony released ”Playstation Move Heroes” which starred everyone’s favorite PS2 heroes, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and Sly Cooper. It released to bad reviews, hitting a 53 on Metacritic based on 39 Critic Reviews. The user reviews were a little bit better with a 66.
That didn’t stop Sony though, because in 2012 they released ”Playstation All Stars Battle Royale” which had a lot riding on it. It seemed to be a project Sony believed in, they started a new studio, SuperBot, for the core reason for developing a crossover fighting game with the Sony mascots.
Unfortunately, the game released to mediocre reviews, hitting a 74 on Metacritic based on 69 reviews. If you put it against Move Heroes, launched a year earlier, it’s better. The difference is that All Stars had better Critic Reviews than it did User Reviews, only hitting a 73.
Even so, the game managed to sell around 1 million copies according to former SIE President, Shuhei Yoshida. And in an interview with IGN in 2013, Shuhei hopes that there is a future for the IP. He further states
”Never say never. I’d like to see us come back to the idea, but maybe not the same mechanics.”
That never happened. SuperBot got closed down and the interview in 2013 was the last time someone at Sony even mentioned it. What went wrong?
Well, great videos and articles are describing what went wrong with Playstation All Stars Battle Royale and… They’re all valid. But people that know me, or if you have seen me around different Gaming Forums the last few years, you know that its one of my favorite games of all time. And that is no joke.
I’ve been campaigning for a sequel to Playstation All Stars for the last 6 years or so and honestly, I’ve come to realize that a sequel most likely will never happen. It’s hard talking about Playstation All Stars without mentioning the obvious counterpart, Super Smash Bros. After its latest release, ”Super Smash Bros Ultimate”, it’s hard to see a future where Sony finds success in their take on the genre, let alone succeed in doing so.
But I’m a strong believer in new crossover titles from Sony and I’ve prepared some examples of what could and/or should be made without sounding like I’m going into ”fanfiction” theory. I will try to keep this as realistic as I possibly can.
A 1v1 or a 3v3 Fighter like Street Fighter och MvC.
I think this speaks for itself, you could still do a crossover fighting game without it having to be a brawler. I think the main goal should be the roster, varied roster, healthy mix of villains and heroes, and of course… A consistent art style, I could see Kratos facing Ratchet & Clank as long as the art style lets them do so.
Imagine this game being made by Capcom, or (If we’re taking a dip into the fanfiction territory) if it was made by ArcSystem Works. I feel like the idea writes itself.
A family game.
Sony has always had some kind of family game throughout its generations of consoles. But one whose been with Sony for almost the entire way through is ”Everybody’s Golf” (Hot Shots Gold in some territories)
In my opinion, the next Everybody’s Golf should focus strictly on Playstation mascots. Lean into the charmy aspect of Ratchet & Clank facing Sly Cooper. Lean into how crazy it would be for Kratos to be playing golf. I mean, it’s not the first time he does so.
I think Clap Hanz could have something special to work with if they were allowed to make a crossover golfing game.
A Kart Racer
A very popular wish made by fans is a crossover game in the Karting genre. The truth is Sony doesn’t have a kart racer, they had LBP Karting, and Modnation Racing previously.
I think the idea of a crossover Kart Racer is excellent if made by the right developer.
The truth is I don’t know which developer would’ve been the right one for the task, in my mind, I envision Beenox which won’t happen since they’re owned by Activision. However, I think a fairly realistic choice would be Sumo Digital who developed two Sonic Team Racing titles and also some games with Sony. For example, Sackboy A Big Adventure coming later to the PS5.
A Musou game
Another genre I think would work well is the Musou genre. While I’m not particularly a big fan of the genre, I see it fit well. A fun story, a varied roster, and of course… Cool attacks. Make it with as much love as they do for One Piece Pirate Warriors and it’ll be one of the coolest crossover games on the market.
Could Sony find any success with a crossover title?
It’s a loaded question, but in the end, yes. Anyone could find success in doing this, at worst it’ll flop but won’t hurt the brand overall, and at best, it’ll sell well and strengthen Sony’s different IP’s individual. I think three points would be very important for the game to be a success
- Good presentation
- Quality Trailers
- HAVE SOME FUN!
The biggest thing that both Playstation All Stars Battle Royale and Playstation Move Heroes lacked at the end of the day was a sense of presentation and fun. It felt like the characters weren’t supposed to be there, it felt like the developers didn’t want anything to do with it. Everything simply felt forced.
I think if the game is presented professionally, like for example having a better title. (When Worlds Collide is one I’ve grown fond of) or having actual menus that don’t look like they were being made for a total of 23 minutes. Both of these points would do the game a lot of good in my eyes.
The game should also have some actual trailers, lean into the charming aspect of the different IP’s. Lean into how silly it would be for an ape from Ape Escape to hang out with Nathan Drake. Ellie goes from killing hundreds of humans and zombies to hanging out with Sackboy. Its silly to be wishing for the marketing campaign to be good. But frankly, the thing that makes a lot of crossover games and movies hype and loved, is its marketing campaigns. Look up the reveal of Noctis in Tekken, Warden in Samurai Showdown, Banjo Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. All great examples of how good a reveal can be to heighten the overall quality of the game.
An example of how bland Playstation All Stars reveal trailers were:
And simply, have some fun! I don’t think there’s any harm in having Ratchet stumble upon Jak & Daxter while traveling the multiverse in Rift Apart for example. Just have some fun with it! I remember all the talk, love, and happiness that went around the gaming industry when you could play Crash Bandicoot in Uncharted 4: A Thiefs End for example. Embrace that, do it more often!
But for now, there’s nothing on sight that hints at a potential crossover from Sony. This means that for now, and the foreseeable future, we’ll most likely have to endure some fake rumors if that. But one thing is for sure, I’ll never stay quiet about my love for All Stars, and my need for a sequel and neither should you!