Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weekly Top 5: Dustin's Videogame Pitches

I don't have the technical know-how to create a videogame, but I have the writing ability and a noggin full of ideas. I feel like every gamer has those ideas that they would love to see come to life and find a home on their favorite gaming console, and I'm no different. The ideas sometimes come out of nowhere, and then other times I'll get a little nugget and build on it over a period of time.

During the last week, however, I found myself coming up with idea after idea, and I'd like to share some of them with you. This week's top 5 are my videogame pitches. Although I'm being comical for some of these, I would legitimately love to see these games get made (except for one, which shouldn't be too hard to figure out).

Mario-Vania

This is an idea I had about two years ago, and I devoted an entire blog to it back then, but I'm still so convinced that it's a moneymaker that I'm going bring it up again here. The premise is very simple: combine two of Nintendo's best franchises, Mario and Metroid. How awesome would it be to play a metroidvania-style game as Mario? It would be very awesome, that's how awesome.

I wouldn't want the tone to be dark like in the picture up there, what I'm picturing is a huge world that gradually changes from the Sky World to the Water World to the Desert World and so on. Mario could defeat a boss and earn a new ability, like the fire flower, for example, and use that to burn down some pirahna plant weeds to make his way into the forest area. He could switch to the various abilities on the fly and backtrack to find previously blocked secrets. Even though I'm still a huge Mario fanboy, this would definitely give the Mario series a shot in the arm that it needs. If you want more details, click on the link above.

There has to be someone reading this who has a foot in at Nintendo. Someone call Chad Concelmo right now and tell him to get on it. I don't even want royalties and I promise not to sue if they use my idea, I just want this game to happen.

Malice in the Palace starring Ron Artest

In case you're not the sports type, a little over 10 years ago, one of the biggest brawls in sports history took place between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. An altercation began near the end of the game between the Pacers' Ron Artest (who later changed his name to the incredibly stupid Metta World Peace), and the Piston's Ben Wallace. It eventually escalated into an ordeal that involved most of the players' teammates. After things had sort-of-but-not-really calmed down, Artest sprawled himself onto the commentator's table. We don't find this shocking in retrospect because we've already established that Metta World Peace loves two things: attention, and being weird.

While on the table, a Detroit fan hurled their coke at Artest, which hit him in the chest. This prompted Artest to proceed into the crowd and punch a completely different fan in the face. The ensuing chaos led to several players receiving suspensions and fines. Artest himself was suspended for the rest of the season and lost over $4 million in the process.

So my thinking is this: If Shaquille O'Neal can get a fighting game, Michael Jordan can get a side-scroller, and Charles Barkley can get a decent basketball game and two RPG computer games, then why can't we have a brawler where Metta World Peace--reprising his role as Ron Artest--literally brawls his way through the 22,000+ fans in attendance that evening at The Palace of Auburn Hills? The brawl itself has even been dubbed "Malice in the Palace," so it already has a title. Obviously, just fighting your way out of the arena can't be the whole game, so you would then take on the mean streets of Detroit. It's then that Artest tries to win the fans back by taking on thugs and ridding the city of crime.

The final battle would see Artest in a situation reminiscent of the final scene of Batman Forever, where he must choose between saving one of two Detroit musicians: Kid Rock or Eminem. If you save Eminem, the city rejoices and you win the game. If you save Kid Rock, however, you wind up dying because everyone in Detroit will kill you for making the wrong choice.

No one likes Kid Rock, not even Kid Rock.

Saved by the Bell: The Adventure

My wife's favorite show is Saved by the Bell. I loved it as a kid, but it's not the type of show I would go back and watch over and over again like The Simpsons or Boy Meets World. Because she loves the show so much, many nights before we head to bed we'll be sitting on the couch and she'll put on Saved by the Bell in the background while she's playing on her phone and I'm playing something on the 3DS. I can't help but look up every so often as it does bring back a lot of childhood memories.

About a week ago, we had another one of these nights, and I couldn't help but think that it's amazing there was never a Saved by the Bell videogame. There do exist a few homebrew PC games, but I'm talking about a real videogame from a real company that has a box in a store. How did that never happen? If Saved by the Bell was popular enough to be on Trapper Keepers then surely it was popular enough to have a game. And I noticed that a lot of the elements of the show are perfect for a point and click adventure game.

I imagine you would either play as Zack or wind up controlling all six of the students at some point. I'm not counting Tori because literally nobody liked her, and you likely forgot she even existed until I reminded you just now.

Just think of all the different scenarios: there's the episode where they create fake IDs (which could easily be implemented), Zach needs to outsmart Mr. Belding, the gang needs to find a way out of detention, they have to do battle against the Rigmas at some point, they need to convince the nerds to help them out of a sticky situation by fishing their retainers out of some hard to reach spot. Of course there would a teenage villain, who would preferably be voiced by William Zabka, and two endings. The "good" ending would see Zack saving the day and ending up with Kelly, with the polar opposite "bad" ending resulting in Slater winning the girl.

Kanye West Fashion Designer

This is a mobile "game" that costs $120 to download, and it's just a picture of a plain white t-shirt. There are also microtransactions that consist of 120 different pieces of a plain white t-shirt that cost $1 each.

Pro Wrestler Story

If you listened to episode 12 of PStoid, then you've probably already heard this idea, but now I have the opportunity to expand upon it. Given my past with professional wrestling, one thing that really bothers me about "realistic" pro wrestling games these days is the fact that they don't show the day to day life of what it really means to be a professional wrestler. Sure, you can create storylines and they'll show backstage events, but what about when the cameras turn off and you have to deal with things like backstage politics?

I want a game similar to Game Dev Story about pro wrestling where you do everything except the actual pro wrestling. It could lead down a potentially dark path, because the wrestling business itself is full of horror stories and men and women who are completely broken in one fashion or another. That's not the case with everyone, but the ultimate goal would be to create a Sim Wrestler so good at all the other aspects of wrestling that you eventually reach the heights of a Hulk Hogan. But if you're not careful, you could lead yourself down a road similar to Scott Hall.

I was referring to the alcohol problems, but this works too.

The game would be full of decisions, and each one could go one of several different ways. Let's say your wrestler got hurt, what do you do? Do you take painkillers that weren't prescribed to you, wrestle through the pain, potentially hurting yourself even further and possibly getting addicted, or do you take the time off you need to recover and possibly lose your place on the roster, in turn making less money and losing fans? There's the chance that you won't get addicted and you'll actually reach new heights, but do you really want to take that risk?

Or maybe because you're away from home so much that you miss your wife, which brings down your morale, but you need a high morale to perform better in the ring and increase your chances of getting better. Do you cheat on your wife? It boosts your morale but it could tear your family apart if they were to find out, which in turn makes your morale go even lower.

Let's say you're just trying to check into a hotel and a fan tries to pick a fight with you, do you fight the heckler or ignore him? Each decision could have possible repercussions or rewards. This would be something that I would pay full price to see if it were handled properly.

Every idea I've listed probably has little to no chance of ever getting made, but a man can dream. Anyone else have any ideas for games? I promise I won't steal them...maybe...probably not...okay I will.

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter and you can also listen to my podcast, we just did a retrospective of the original PlayStation.

Thanks for reading.

-Dustin

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