If there’s one thing that the Super Smash Bros. series has confirmed, it’s that people love Nintendo crossovers. There’s something fun about seeing your favorite characters from different worlds interacting with each other, sometimes awkwardly out of place (let’s face it- Kirby is a weird globulous entity that just doesn’t belong in any universe but his own). That special feeling would lessen quite a bit if exploited too often, but with the release of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the game’s combination of two different Mario role-playing games offers a more-focused but similarly fun melding of worlds. It’s a nifty idea to inject some freshness into the Mario & Luigi franchise, and a welcome return of Paper Mario, regardless of his recent appearance in Sticker Star. The concept is something I think Nintendo could utilize with great success in the future (they really should listen to me more). With that being said, here are some other Nintendo crossovers I’d like to see:
Yarn Kirby meets Clay Kirby
Just like with Link, I choose to believe that every Kirby is a different Kirby, hero of his own story in each individual title, made out of whatever strange substance Nintendo feels like rendering at the time. At this point there are so many weird things that have happened to Kirby in every one of his various dimensions that this meeting of selves wouldn’t even cause everyone’s favorite wind-sucking puffball to bat an eyelash, but this would be the ultimate tactile visual treat in glorious Wii U HD, and that’s reason enough to make it happen. Because of Epic Yarn‘s release on the Wii, his woolly world was a little fuzzy, and the need to look at the low-res gamepad for gameplay of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse meant that much of the work that went went into molding the earthy look was wasted. It’s time to right those wrongs and bring these two together. Think of the possibilities: Clay Kirby can move through the woven surfaces of Patch Land like Play-Doh spaghetti, then morph back into a ball and roll around, cleaning up enemies by picking up loose strands until he looks like a cross between a Katamari-like guy and something you’d find under your couch. Yarn Kirby, meanwhile, could visit Clay Dreamland to see what a lifestyle sitting around eating cherries is like, utilizing a similar but less gunky mechanic, growing like a colorful snowball as he runs along, picking up sticky clay until he’s large and powerful enough to take on the boss at the end. Getting hit chips away at your bulk, whittling Kirby back to his weak yarniness, where lassos and string-based attacks have no effect on the pliable enemies. The game would be split into two, with each trying to help the other get back to his own universe. Basically the whole story would kind of be like Last Action Hero. But with Kirby.
Twilight Link meets Toon Link
Which art style would get more cheers at E3 now, hmm? Nintendo has already established an extensive and only partially confusing timeline for the different Zelda stories, so the question here is whether bright and cheery Toon Link travels to the grim, depressing parallel Hyrule of Twilight Princess, or the other way around. My gut tells me that there are more story opportunities and inherent comedy in the former, so let’s stick with that. The way I see it, Twilight Link is moping around after defeating Ganon, wallowing in his depression and lonely hero status, bemoaning his missed opportunity to get to know the human Midna just a little bit better, when suddenly who should surface out of a river eddy but the happiest Chosen One to ever wield a monster-stained sword, Toon Link! Used to being a lone wolf (that’s right) and irked by the endless optimistic emotion and constant selfies, Twilight Link at first despises partnering up with his cel-shaded other to figure out what’s going on (hint: Ganon and Toon Ganon may have joined forces as well), but like any good buddy cop movie, what was once annoying becomes endearing, and soon the two become videogame-dom’s ultimate odd couple. Switching back and forth between the two characters on the fly would allow for different abilities, with mastering each one’s skills and style of attack being necessary for solving the many dungeon puzzles. Toon Link would uncover hidden areas by revealing their secret happy colors, and Twilight Link would do the dirty work, like killing stuff. There might be an awkward moment or two along the way, such as who pulls the Master Sword out of its ancient stone resting place, and a confused Mailman, but in the end Twilight Link and Toon Link will have come to understand each other’s point of view just a little better. Also, the end would leave room for the inevitable Rush Hour 2-like sequel.
Samus meets Other Samus
There’s really only one reason I want this to happen, and that’s so that the Samus that I know and love, the one from such masterpieces as Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, and the Metroid Prime series, can meet the whiny, emo, thumbs down-giving Samus of Team Ninja’s Metroid: Other M and show her how a real video game hero acts. That’s it. No new gameplay ideas, and no more backstory than is necessary (she’s the strong, silent type, and that’s fine by me). Just Samus slapping Other Samus hard across the face, hopefully imparting some damn sense onto her. Wouldn’t that be great? Also, new Metroid game!
Ghost Hunter Luigi meets Captain Toad
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a must-own for anyone in possession of a 3DS, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is one of the most charming puzzlers you’re ever likely to come across; why not join forces? Look, my first thought was to have Mario and F.L.U.D.D. team up with the lovable but cowardly green guy and his trusty Poltergust 5000 to take on ghosts in a haunted pirate ship (one sucks, one blows), but the more I thought about my poorly-worded concept and the idea of bringing back the mechanics from Super Mario Sunshine, the more my interest evaporated (check out our Sunshine podcast to see why). After a recent playthrough of Dark Moon that had me escorting a Toad, shooting him around to collect keys for me, I realized that the only “hero” in the mushroom kingdom with a rank would be the perfect fit to tackle the sorts of labyrinths that Mario’s brother reluctantly explores on his own. Luigi and Captain Toad are peas in a pod, both massive scaredy-cats, cowering in fear at the first sign of trouble or loud noises, but also easily pushed into scenarios that put their lives in danger, especially when those scenarios involve a collection of compact rooms that require no platforming and a bit of light puzzle-solving to get through. This time the Boos have somehow broken out of Professor E. Gadd’s containment unit, stolen all his inventions, and spread their parts across the spooky land. There’s only one man for the job, but with Mario for some reason not answering his phone yet again (I wonder why…), the only option left is the sum of two parts. Both Luigi and the Cap’n are thrilled to not have to go alone, and set out to track down a variety of collectibles scattered among graveyards, old barns, and deserted, Resident Evil 2-style towns. Hilarious double-takes and kid-friendly frights ensue.
Pushmo meets BoxBoy
Yes, that title really should have read “Mallo meets Qbby”, but nobody refers to these characters by their names unless they end up on some sort of list or whatever. Anyway, if you think about it, this one makes more sense than almost anything else. These two weirdos are artist savants, and boxes are their medium. So after much deliberation, I’ve decided that while seeing Mallo in a simple but eye-pleasing black-and-white setting would be fun, the best gameplay would result from our favorite box/boy hybrid making a trip to the land of three dimensions. Naturally these two masters of the right-angled tetragon will form an instant friendship as they work together to rescue more dumb kids who get lost in Papa Blox’s new treacherous Pushmo Park. Using his ability to create squares seemingly out of thin air, Qbby will manipulate his boxes into tetris-like shapes, which now will have volume, and Mallo will do what he does best by pushing and pulling (and maybe even stretching) them into place in order to scale the colorful constructions. The silent nature of each protagonist won’t lend much to storytelling, but with the supposedly innocent and benign Papa Blox clearly overcompensating for something by delivering lengthy monologues disguised as tutorials (methinks he doth protest too much), enough of a plot should be able to be conveyed. Running gags could include Mallo’s attempts at pushing his square friend, and Qbby impersonating his rotund counterpart with one of the many costumes he will unlock. The real star of the show, however, would still be the simple yet diabolically clever box-based puzzles these two heroes would be tasked with solving, and isn’t that all anyone really wants?
So there’s some of my wishful thinking; what Nintendo crossovers would you like to see?
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam releases January 22nd for the 3DS.