Make war, not love: A look back at Capcom’s crossovers and what’s next

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Can you feel that? The love for fighting games is in the air – Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS is still hot and Mortal Kombat X is arriving very soon. Let’s also not forget that Street Fighter V is being played as of this typing, behind closed doors in a studio somewhere, in a dark corner of the world. Fighting games are on a roll, which is pleasant to see, because there was a time when the genre was all but dead. More specifically, Capcom’s Vs. series has been risen from the dead and is back in full force after not making any appearances in the mid-2000’s after Capcom vs. SNK 2.

This is a topic I always love revisiting, because I love crossovers and I love fighting games. Capcom fighters have been the king of the fighting scene since the beginning and my personal gaming history was greatly affected by it. Some of my best memories are of my buddies and I playing some of the Vs. games at a local pizza shop – what’s better than pizza and video games? Not much.

When it hit the arcades, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes blew my mind as week after week new characters were being unlocked on the machine and seemed to have no end. The roster eventually capped off at 56, but that’s a huge amount of characters, considering that the previous title only had 15 with a handful of secret characters. Too bad there was such a drought since, because we didn’t get another crossover until years later in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. There were some struggles getting this game stateside as the game had some issues with licensing Tatsunoko properties in North America. But thankfully, we eventually got the game in 2010 for Wii. Worth mentioning is SNK vs. Capcom, which was the first and only crossover game not developed by Capcom, but instead by Playmore in 2003.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was just a taste of what was coming as Capcom announced Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in 2010 which made grown men (like me) weep with joy. Finally a sequel to one of my favorite fighters was coming and now with promises of all new characters that didn’t exist back in 2000, like Dante, Viewtiful Joe and Amaterasu. The game arrived a little prematurely as a definitive version, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released a few months later with many more characters and a much more functional online experience. They messed up at first, but Capcom’s cleanup job was great.

The last crossover, Street Fighter X Tekken was a less-than-stellar fare with too many launch day problems as well as issues that persists today. Fans wanted something technical, balanced and competitive like the super consistent Street Fighter IV string of games, but that was not the case. Still, it was a dream match-up come true, but THE dream match-up has yet to be made and that is Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, which we will refer to thus forward as Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter.

Two of the 90’s rising stars in the fighting game genre – a proverbial meeting of west vs. east in a crossover that defines what being a crossover is all about. The mad genius minds behind both wildly successful games can finally come together and give the fans a game they’ve only imagined for over two decades. Mortal Kombat creator has already expressed interest in the past on the idea of a collaboration project, which left the possibility on the crossover entirely in Capcom’s hands. With that said, Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter could be on the horizon more than ever before with Mortal Kombat having much recent success and Capcom hitting some recent rough patches; it may be time where the two can finally work something out.

So how would it all work if a deal was struck? A Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter game needs to be made from the ground up with a brand new fighting system. What was wrong with Street Fighter X Tekken is that it tried to borrow too much from previous games and, rather being a fresh and unique game, it felt like a forced mix that just never came together quite right. Obviously, compromises would also have to be made for both sides, like the violence toned down to more of a T rating or Street Fighter characters learning some Fatality-like moves. I imagine the whole thing to be a bit like Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe where there wasn’t much blood or death, but still being a pretty darn epic game all the same.

Other dream match-ups I would love to see are Street Fighter vs. Dragon Ball Z or Nintendo vs. Capcom. Back in the day, any kid pretending to throw a fireball could have easily been pretending to be Ryu or Goku, so I think that crossover is long overdue. A Capcom and Nintendo crossover is also not hard to imagine, especially with Mega Man arriving in Smash Bros. this past November. So what do you guys think? Will Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter happen soon? And what other crossovers would you like to see?

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Video games, professional wrestling and discovering new foods. I'll take a large taro slush with bubbles, half sugar, less ice.