Three Genre Cross-Overs That Would Totally Rock


Borderlands fused loot-based RPG mechanics into a shooter.  Minecraft brought action-adventure to Legos.  Super Puzzle Fighter managed to put a… erm, puzzle game into… well, you get the point.

Every once in a while, a video game developer will boldly go where no other game has gone before.  They take one completely unique genre, rip out the defining characteristics that are its heart and soul, and surgically attach it onto a game you’d never expect.  And every once in a while, like the games listed above, it totally rocks.

Usually, the success of these games spawns clones and essentially moves the industry in a more progressive direction.  Genre crosses have a ton of potential, and I have three in mind specifically that would be amazing.  Unfortunately, though, the universe doesn’t like its peas mixed with its porridge; so it’s very unlikely we’ll ever see them.  But oh well, here’s hoping!

#3.  Sports & RPG


It Would Be Like…

…the over-the-top arcade gameplay of EA Sports BIG’s Street titles, with incredulously deep character creation and progression.

Why It Would Totally Rock

First of all, if you are unfamiliar with the rather secluded titles of NBA Street, NFL Street, and FIFA Street, the gameplay can best be described as the illegitimate lovechild of a proper sports simulation and hallucinogenic drugs.  And yes, it was as awesome as it sounds.  Check out this video to get a feel for the craziness that ensues:

Combining heavy RPG elements into a jock-happy world may seem like an exercise in stupidity, but sports games are much closer to their anti-genre than you think.  Take Madden 13, for example; the franchise mode allows the player to:

  • Fully manage a roster of characters, which often ends with them obsessively comparing stats such as Strength, Speed, and Agility to ensure they have the best possible team available
  • Progress each team members’ skills by performing well with them in a match
  • Prepare for and beat down several different opponents on their way to the ultimate battle, in this case the Super Bowl
  • Lose a match only to reload a save, then go on pretending you never lost

If that sounds familiar to all the Final Fantasy hounds out there, it should.  The actual gameplay of sports titles may revolve around scoring points while white players sit on a benches, but plenty of RPG features would fit in seamlessly if they were fully fleshed out.  Adding in a cartoony vibe (like the gameplay of Street) would allow character progression to remain as extravagant and unique as it is in RPGs, without sacrificing core gameplay.  Give me a perk that makes opponents’ ankles literally break off when I do a crossover, and I’m sold.

Why It’ll Probably Never Happen

The fact that I care about sports titles and role-playing games so much that I’d want them together already puts me in a very select group of gamers.  And by ‘select group’ I mean ‘me, myself, and I.’  The game would take such a risk at releasing into a microscopic market, it has little chance of surviving outside of an independent title.

#2.  Strategy & Tactical Shooter


It Would Be Like…

…the tactics-heavy Risk with the delightful squad-based skirmishes of SOCOM.

Why It Would Totally Rock

Strategy games are a lot of fun… for the right customers.  They cater to a crowd that likes to outsmart their opponents in due time.  While the subgenre of RTS (real-time strategy) games bring more action to the table, they still require patience, planning, and a hell of a lot of time to get good at.

This is where a tactical shooter would fit in perfect.  Think about it like this; you control several different groups of soldiers and lead them into a tactical position over enemy squadrons, exactly how most current strategy games are already set up.  However, instead of ordering your friendlies to spray their weapon wildly at foes to diminish their health, both players are transported into their respective squads’ shoes to engage in combat.  A battlefield shifts into existence and you take the role of a commander in a third-person perspective, where each player attempts to command their squad to victory and eliminate the other’s squad.  The winning team takes the space, and any squad soldiers lost during the scuffle are dead for the remainder of the match.

A game along these lines would have two advantages:  Firstly, strategy newcomers that have a background in shooters wouldn’t get completely embarrassed by a veteran, making the game more accessible to everybody.  Secondly, it would break up the monotonous gameplay many associate with strategy titles.

Why It’ll Probably Never Happen

Well, it could, but probably never on a grand scale.  A single round of any strategy game could potentially last hours depending on how the players play.  If these games also included a deathmatch for every single skirmish, you’d be looking at two-three hour matches on average for conservative players.  Unless the amount of squads per player is reduced to somewhere under five, the accessibility of this title would drop immensely.

#1.  Sandbox & Every Other Genre


It Would Be Like…

…the open freedom of Saints Row or Grand Theft Auto, but have snippets of every single other genre tossed in just for good measure.

Why It Would Totally Rock

Just imagine this series of events;

You’re fresh off a spree of running over hookers and stealing cars, when you decide to break up the murderous pace a bit.  Setting a waypoint to a local bar, you head over and start a Saints Row-type activity: “Headbanger,” as this particular minigame would be known as, encourages you to earn some extra cash by playing with your band, “The Blood-Curdling Aardvarks.”  You dust off that old Rock Band controller resting in the corner of your living room, and suddenly your sandbox adventure morphs into a music/rhythm escapade, ending with you failing a Metallica song six dozen times.

After accepting that you have no future playing the plastic guitar, you switch over to your arcade stick and exit the bar.  This time you’re in the mood for a little more action-oriented activity.  You sprint across the street to an illegal underground fight club, where dark, gritty versions of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Liu Kang are looking to go a few rounds.  In combat that is an amalgamation of Street Fighter, Tekken, UFC Undisputed, Persona Arena, Double Dragon, and Twisted Metal, you take each of them down for some delicious prize money (which you will later use to build your own city from the ground up).

When the repetitive grind of getting combos wears on you, though, you decide to walk back out into the street.  But – GASP! – the city is now in the middle of a zombie apocalypse!  You call up three of your closest friends, invite them to join your game session, and together you scavenge for supplies and wreak havoc on the undead.

Oh, and this all happens in the span of about twenty minutes.

Why It’ll Probably Never Happen

Take your pick; the excruciatingly enormous amount of man-power the game would take to put together; a budget that would make the United States’ debt look like a bar tab; a longer development time than Duke Nukem Forever (assuming that’s possible); or maybe just that fact the human race would die out, because no guy would ever put down this game long enough to reproduce.

We all know how crazy this concept is, which is exactly why it’ll never happen.  As long as I was making a fictional list of video games, though, I figured I’d go out with a bang.  Oh, which reminds me; the game would also include a ‘hot coffee’ mod… if you know what I mean…