Published on November 17th, 2012 |
by Stephen O'Nion
9 Characters For the Inevitable Microsoft Beat ‘Em Up
In just one week we’ll be able to play Playstation All-stars Battle Royale, SuperBot Entertainment’s catchily titled entry into the beat ‘em up genre. Note: it’s definitely not just Super Smash Bros. for some of Sony’s biggest franchises (and a few others). Yes, soon we’ll see Sony-exclusive characters such as Nathan Drake, Sweet Tooth and Sly Cooper thrashing out their differences alongside third-party combatants like Bioshock‘s Big Daddy and Devil May Cry’s Dante. Just as we’ve always dreamed it.
Never one to let a successful idea pass without making an imitation, it’s only a matter of time before we see a Microsoft beat ‘em up on the Xbox 360 or its next-gen successor. So – who’s on the roster for the provisionally titled Microsoft Buddies In Arms: Conflicting Combat Evolved?
1. Marcus Fenix.
Reason for inclusion: So, an easy one: Marcus Fenix. The Gears of War head honcho is a sure-fire inclusion for MCBIA:CCE, ready, willing and able to put his locust-killing skills and gruff macho banter to good use. He might suffer a bit for his complete inability to jump (armour + bandana = heavy) but find the man some cover and he can hold his own, no problem.
Special attack: There’s probably no greater sight than that of a piñata gutted with a half-gun, half-chainsaw hybrid, exposing candy-laden innards which presumably have some kind of health benefit for eager scavengers. Failing that, Hammer of Dawn, making the map unplayable for all future playthroughs.
2. Alan Wake.
Reason for inclusion: Apart from Ernest Hemmingway, Christopher Marlowe and… umm… Jack Torrance, we don’t get many writers that can convincingly double up as a badass. Alan Wake might just be another exception, making him perfect fodder for battle. Plus he’d be a dab hand at combat of some kind; as Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade taught us – “the pen is mightier than the sword” – especially when duct-taped to a torch and used as a short, stabbing implement.
Special attack: Agh! A blinding flashlight! In my eyes! Two parts annoying, one part infuriating, three parts deadly. One further part irritating.
Reason for inclusion: Whether it’s the villainous Professor Pester or just a simple piñata, it would be remiss of Microsoft not to have some multicoloured fun with Rare’s most beloved game (after Goldeneye, Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day… and Donkey Kong 64 amongst others. Oh, and Battletoads).
Special attack: Characters are blindfolded as various piñata assemble and take the form of a giant baseball bat, ready to deal out sweet ironic justice. Presumably the Mexican hat dance plays as well, we haven’t thought that far ahead.
4. Lara Croft.
Reason for inclusion: If Playstation All-Stars can claim Dante and Big Daddy, then MCBIA:CCE needs a big marquee, multiplatform name. And who fits the bill better than Lara Croft? All ready to apply her dino ‘n deer killing attributes to living, temporarily-breathing people (and piñata). Remember, she’s sensitive now, and will apologise before letting loose a mighty bolt.
Special attack: You might have heard about some controversy surrounding Lara and a purported rape scene in her upcoming title. I doubt it. It’s pretty hush hush. But either way, let’s give the tomb raider some mace, an air horn, and a spike-shooting chastity belt. There, that should get us some traffic.
5. ‘Splosion Man / Ms. Splosion Man
Reason for inclusion: “Where are all the XBLAs?” you cry! Well, shut up, ok? Seriously. Shut. Up. In MCBIA:CCE you’ll (probably) see both Splosions ‘sploding their way to brutal success. Splosion style.
Special attack: As this list demonstrates: Microsoft have over eight characters to choose from for their roster. That’s a lot. So SM and MSM might well need to be combined in one character. How will you change between the two? Sex change operation in the middle of battle. Of course, the operation’s a little simpler considering they’re only made of explosive material, but at least you can expect some spare parts to swing at enemies when the job’s done.
6. Sam Fisher.
Reason for inclusion: If we’re classing this as essentially a rip-off of SSB (and we are, we definitely, definitely are) then there’s an easy replacement for Brawl’s inclusion of Snake. Step forward Sam Fisher. Currently garnering less-than-favourable responses for the gameplay of the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Sam will need a way to unwind, completely discarding the stealth that made him popular in the first place.
Special attack: Mark and Execute. Except… kind of tweaked. The game becomes dramatically slowed while Sam marks other fighters before spilling their brains all over the stage. Sure this will bump the PEGI rating up a few years but Sam’s a serious man, and for each successful mark and execute we’d get a sufficient amount of mourning period, dramatically slowing the game’s pace in the process.
Oh, and I guess there’s a chance that 7. Master Chief, 8. Cortana, 9. Arbiter and the rest of the Halo cast will make an appearance. I don’t know how big a deal that franchise is these days.