"Celebrating not simply the fact that we remember and appreciate such shows as we grew up, but the fact that such shows could grow up with us."
Alllll-righty then! Sounds like people weren't too happy about my last post, but after a few days of discussing (and disgusting) others, I'm pleased to post an update.Now, as every good writer should know, the process of writing has not begun when you have literally started writing; the real winning begins after the first draft has been thrown to the wolves, i.e., the six or seven
In case that wasn't clear, what I'm saying is it's time to take your generous feedback into consideration and reveal that I not only have more than half a brain, I have more than half the campaign won. Let's tackle each of the problems so once that's over with, we can end on a more positive note and if you play nice, I might even reveal to you my ulterior motives! (I have two.)
The problems are, in no particular order...Thematic clash
Lasting appeal/game quality
Company goals dissonance
Doubting thomases make self-fulfilling prophecies
Goal too broad; project lacks focus
No examples given
If I missed something, say something.
(Responding to your responses)
Problem: Thematic clash
Or, "the characters don't mix well at all"
This is the most prevalent problem, but not the most difficult; it's largely based on assumptions and opinions, with the only offending fact lying in the next problem I'll address.
Almost everyone named this problem.
On one side, cartoon characters: mostly, kids of varying ages and a handful of whimsical furries--each one belonging to a show that is family-friendly and entertaining for kids, but well thought-out and clever enough for an adult audience. You know, like today's high-grossing MLP fandom.
On the other side, a bevy of video game badasses. A handful like to keep it clean, but the majority have a bone to pick with society and must annihilate thousands of foes to find a treasure, protect their race, become the strongest, and all that jazz.
There's a contrast there, and it is stronger than the contrast between whimsical though subtly dark but still magical Disney movies and somewhat dark and perilous, usually exciting, but still magical Final Fantasy installments. Vs "
That match-up was sad. It was really one-sided, and the little yellow numbskull got what's coming to hi--no, wait. That never happened. Where is your logic!? Don't jump to conclusions. Obviously if you just throw everyone together and make assumptions, things go haywire like that, and people had the same inhibitions about Kingdom Hearts when hearing about it before actually trying it. I never said we'd be pitting them all against each other, or skewing their importance in such a way as to be insulting (although in both this and KH, that's inevitable)!
Of course, I'm not saying such a match-up is impossible, but neither does it have to be as gruesome or laser-guided as you're trying to prove. No, you portion it out a little more appropriately, and simply keep the carnage with none of the blood: like All-Stars did.
Oh, but people complained about the same thing there! Well, I have an answer to that, but it's one nobody would listen to. Luckily, a friend of mine had a counter-example, and that was this: the All-Stars cast had limited interaction. Every character fought each other, but story-wise, only talked at length with their rival, an equal and opposite within the cast, then went home to continue the story they were in before the game occurred, and as such, the E-, T-, and M-rated characters did not bog each other down.
Of course, that brings up another problem, and that is that what I want would be even more disjointed if it followed that pattern. So while the information is not conducive to the solution, it's good to keep in mind.
Later, I'll provide several examples of how the PS Originals and Nicktoon characters and environments can come together, so in the meanwhile,
Answer: Use your head.
Problem: Audience Overlap
Or the lack thereof
Nicktoons "have always been and always will be" targeted at a family-friendly audience and PS Originals are aimed in the opposite direction.
Okay, fair enough. This is a legitimate problem. You have a hella hard time finding what parent wants their Spongebob-buying, Dora the Explorer-watching, TMNT-loving, TUFF Puppy-watching child exposed to a good, old-fashioned crazy villain like Sweet Tooth, angry anti-hero like Kratos, and gunslinging treasure hunter like N. Drake. Yeah, no market there.
Except this isn't a problem, it's a strength.
When you say "Nicktoons," you're not referring to anything that came out after apx. 2005; you are referring to the '90s lineup and most of the early 2000's stuff, and in this case, I specifically said to use the original '90s lineup because of the new movies coming out next year! Tie-in to the movies or play off their thematic revivals, whatever's clever!
Not to get up in your grill, but does anybody read these things?? ...although it's just as well, because if you didn't read it the first time, then my presentation is lacking and this is more a failure of me to communicate than it is a legitimate issue, much like the rest of the backlash to this game idea.
Erm...to not get on a rant, long story short, the audience for PS Originals is between the ages of apx. 15-35.
And...the audience of the '90s Nicktoons specifically getting revived in 2017 are currently between the ages of apx. 20-40.
Add on to that the fact that the 'Toons as they're already being remade are targeting the original viewers plus their kids and younger siblings to get drawn into the audience; the fact that PS Originals (well...video games in general) can and do (or did) appeal to people a bit older or a bit younger; and you've got a very wide overlap of peripheral audience, with the respective main targets also overlapping quite nicely. All you need to do is keep it E-10 or T-rated.
However, one first responder did bring up a point, and that is that playing up on nostalgia/references alone makes a weak and shoddy game. (Another said this actually weakened Kingdom Hearts's appeal, but that game's sales and Gestalt following prove otherwise.) I'm glad you said something, 'cause quite frankly, I agree. I'm pushing to get the shows and games together as one, but not in the form of something as weak and brainless as a post-2002 LEGO Game. My God, please not another LEGO Game!
"[We should be] Celebrating not simply the fact that we remember and appreciate such shows as we grew up, but the fact that such shows could 'grow up' with us."
Answer: '90s kids who "grew up on" Nicktoons are actually in the Playstation age demographic, and there's room for more people.
Now getting the playerbase to overlap is another story, but I address that repeatedly below. Next!
Problem: Licensing Issues
Convincing Viacom and SIE to mix properties
Also, third-party characters: can they be a thing?
This is the area in which I have the least expertise. As a fan-artist and creative visionary, I go about my day-to-day life imagining who and what works best, not what property rights prevent what from happening (since drawing pictures is not restrained by such laws). Only recently have I learned just a tiny bit more about copyrights, and only because it was taught in one of my classes as a side-note.
However, I've known of some of the problems for a while.
PSASBR was panned by critics and consumers alike for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons was the lack of "true All-Stars:" Crash and Spyro (which I agree) and Lara Croft the Tomb Raider and Cloud Strife from FF7. I think the All-Stars cast is perfect, FYI--quality over quantity with every character fully unique and a chance to learn about series you didn't know about (like SSB did for Fire Emblem and Earthbound).
But, people who judge harshly found Dante, Raiden, Big Daddy, and Heihachi to be less favorable 3rd-party licences than shelling out for Crash, Spyro, Lara Croft, and Cloud--never mind that Big Daddy is everyone's favorite out of those who play the game and the rest bring much-needed stability to the hectic moveset choices. Either way, it proved to be a fatal mistake, and now we're learning from it, and I posed it as a question, WatchMojo-style, at the bottom of the last entry, and only one person noticed: he suggested considering Spyro at least, given that his spin-off franchise is active if not Sony-owned.
However, and this is what I learned in class, the biggest problem would be that licensing not only restricts who/what may be used, but how--and so, before I can convince Viacom to let its golden oldies dodge bullets and bombs and promote violence by fighting back, I need to convince you that they can without losing their charm or style; likewise, I need to know what Playstation IP's that Sony would let escort America's original (sorry, ) favorite babies and elementary-schoolers around their bizarre towns and cities.
This is related to Thematic Clash/Thematic Ties, but the problem here is with the companies, not the consumers, although finding a solution to one leads to finding a solution for the other. So, stick around for some more specific solutions to that.
Aside from usage rights and PS All-Stars who are 3rd-party, there's also the matter of former Nicktoon, Doug. Like him? Hate him? Indifferent? Either way, he's more likely to appear in the next Kingdom Hearts saga than he is in a Viacom game, 'cause his license is currently held by Disnerp. This is an issue that was brought up not only for my Nickstation proposal but also for the upcoming Who Framed Nickvengers movie. This is also where my lack of expertise on the subject comes back to bite me: for instance, in Kingdom Hearts, which is worked on by both Square-Enix and Disney Interactive, are the Disney characters considered first-party or third-party? Is there such a thing as second-party? --while development of Nickstation does not hinge on me knowing the answers to such things, trying to talk to people and knowing what I'm talking about. In this case, I'm thinking that whether or not the upcoming movie can snag Doug is separate from whether or not Playstation can treat Doug like their thrid-party character investment.
...and of course, if people would even care.
Answer: This is important, but I do not yet have the answer. This seems like it can be answered in the next round, so stick with me and we'll make it happen.
Problem: Lasting Appeal/Game Quality
Can this game avoid the bargain bin?
One first responder said this was a "nice idea," but destined for the trash heap or one play/one rental and no returning draw. I knew exactly what he meant, too, and I know this is sort of the norm for Nickelodeon and other licensed games (not counting KH). I don't have much of a comeback for that because it is a real problem, and all I can say is, I'd best hope they give it the AAA treatment they do to their core lineup and what Square-Enix gives to everything it does, and Namco, and Capcom, but not (some) Activision, Ubisoft, EA, or THQ (that last one's dead 'cause of this).
Naw, the best I got here is, "I said not to make it that lame!" but in that form it is only a wish and not actually part of the plan.
So, I must answer your answer with another question (which a couple people have answered), one that I must pose to all of America and maybe Japan and the UK, too, and that is--Playstation can make a AAA game, no duh, but in the event Nickstation got picked up, what kind of a AAA game should it take after? ...and I go into a little more detail at "Goal too broad; project lacks focus" below, so consider your answer to this as you check that out, 'kay?
Answer: This is ultimately up to the companies, but your feedback and attention is necessary to make that a possiblity.
Problem: Company goals dissonance
Can any two companies work together like Disney and Square?
I think, why the heck not?
Well, I been doin' some light research after months of hearing rumors and whatnot, and I learned that both Sony and Viacom are companies not inclined to take risks, the polar opposite of Disney and...well, I don't think Square necessarily took a "risk" since the original KH, but that payout right there is exactly what I've been trying to communicate since last week. Now, Viacom, like Nintendo, also has a recent history of throwing hissy-fit temper-tantrums whenever they see their content under some fan user's name, spamming the Flag and Takedown buttons like they were losing a Street Fighter match. As for Sony Playstation, their approach (aside from deliberate clones of hardware) is basically Nintendo's, except the masses have decided that Playstation loses in any categorical battle except FPS's, where Nintendo sits back and laughs while PS, XBox, and PC all kill each other over it...but company-wise, Sony essentially wants to play it safe, or so I hear.
Now, in the recent news is that Viacom's top dog, Mr. Dauman, whose no-risk, no-fresh-talent, numbers-only approach to business is undoubtedly the cause of Nickelodeon's (and MTV's, etc.) decline over the past decade or two. Nickelodeon could've had smash hit Adventure Time, twice! --and maybe Pixar, LucasArts, and/or Marvel, but Dauman could not get with the times.
With luck, the new management, which includes the bloodline of Viacom's own founder, will allow for such opportunities to not get missed, and I'm crossing my fingers here, but that could be just the push I wanted to get this deal happening! (Of course, that's just a zero going up to slim chance, and only one company's side.)
Sony I know less about, chiefly because they deal with more: TV's, VCR's (well, today's equivalent), cables and wires and hardware and cameras and sometimes the Playstation, too. I'll keep things short: Sony stated that right about now is the midst of a period of growth, and Sony, with its PS4/Neo/VR, is aiming at delivering TV and other media--you've seen a commercial for Playstation Vue, haven't you?--and I'm hoping that a focus on TV shows might open the door for collaboration with TV shows, even if they did "end" about 20 years ago.
Answer: Probably not, but the timing might be right to give it a try. I strongly urge you to contribute to this idea and add your name to the long, long list of people who don't yet know they want this to happen. That'll spur the companies into action--demand a supply!
Problem: Doubting thomases make self-fulfilling prophecies
Or, it only failed because you thought it would
This might be more of a personal problem, but every time someone goes against The Master, this happens to some extent. PSASBR failed because it went against Smash Bros. Was it a worse game? Heck no! It was every bit as good, but for some different reasons. BUT, people revere Nintendo as some kind of god whose words are absolute law, and as such, didn't give PSASBR a fair assessment. Now, I know that as a "clone" it needs to be judged against its "inspiration," and I think that's fair--but when all you can think about is "Cole's good! But he's no Mario" and "Drake's cool! But he's no Link," then we have a froblem.
This may not be the main/only reason PSASBR failed, e.g., Smash fans who would enjoy this game would not also naturally own a PS3; but morale is a very real factor in determining the success of many things, e.g., the stock market or any given job ever.
I guess what I'm asking here is for people to look on the bright side of things--and most of my first responders did, at some point, although they had to get the "crazies" out of the way and into the open first. That's fine. But it's not so much that I'm looking for blind followers or easy agree-ers, but instead of borderline attacking me for wanting to see another company marriage procure another fantastic new franchise by objecting to the coupling, simply explain all the faults and what bothers you but don't forget to offer a solution. I won't always have the answer--hell, in this round, I didn't even have all the answers!
Moreover, don't think that I'm just outsourcing the responsibility for making this game work to you because I'm sick of answering questions. I'm not. But, I'm just one guy with one specific set of likes and dislikes. I made this an open discussion and asked for input from different people because it needs input from lots of different people in order for me--or us, or them--to find the winning combination. (And don't try to be cute and simply name different companies to mix: you all had 11 years since the first KH to try that. It's Nicktoons X Playstation and that's final, 'kay?)
Answer: Think on the positive side!
Problem: Goal too broad; project lacks focus
Guilty as charged! But, I'm not too hurt, since it was only my first draft. See, I proposed an "everything game," in which you have segments for linearity, wide-open world, shooting, puzzle-solving, driving or racing, skilled/technical fighting, mundane chores, horror suspense, mystery-solving, or any combination of those.
That...is a recipe for disaster and rarely works. If anyone can do it, it's not Playstation and it's not a legally licensed game. So I had to seriously consider these words of wisdom: the best games "focus on one thing and do it well." At first, that essentially means that picking Playstation limits me to a B-list knock-off of a winning Nintendo product FPS's or bloody, gory carnage--which is what everyone assumed right off the bat, and now I'm seeing why. But that doesn't mean it has to be or that's all they're capable of: the mid-2000s power trio of J&D, R&C, and Sly C., as well as numerous titles in years past (some first-party, some third-party) should be the example to follow. Just see my previous point.
Now, the reason I proposed such variety is inspired by Square-Enix, naturally: Kingdom Hearts 1, 2, and BBS have both the regular game mode where you run, jump, explore, fight, collect and use items and magic spells, have allies on the field and talk to people to advance the plot; then there's the spaceship segments (or in BBS, racing mini-game) that are plot-relevant but independent from the main game, yet standalone so good as to merit their own game. I wasn't very clear, but as far as Following The Leader goes, that's a must--and within Playstation IP's, there's a variety of game styles to choose from, so is uniting some of the planning/programming team members really so unthinkable? (That's not a rhetorical question, I need that knowledge to determine a plan of action.)
...and Dissidia Arcade is going to have tons of characters, who get grouped into four categories for ease of variety: Power, Speed, Shoot, and Unique. Playing off this, I suggested Power, Speed, Guns or other weapons, Tact/Guile/Friendliness (more inclined for less physically-capable Nicktoons), and Stealth. (Again, that list is too broad.) First responders compared my model to Sonic '06 and Heroes; make of that what you will, but the Dissidia model is good to take note of.
This problem also applies to main characters, not to mention setting. While deciding on a definitive number of licenses to criss-cross with, having too many dilutes the importance of each one and may make it harder to determine locations. Plus, who is the main character? Originally, I thought it best to have all heroes have about-equal footing, with them either rotating in/out (like past Nick games) or you simply choosing off the bat (any arcade-style game; Kingdom Hearts BBS who you want to be, with secret unlocks along the way and the challenge being how you can beat certain levels being easier/harder for certain characters (Rugrats in Hades!). Then I got the feeling that matching KH also meant creating new [url=]Original Generation[/url] characters to be the Nickstation equivalent of Sora, Riku, Kairi, Ansem, the Heartless (well, the Polygons got that covered), the Organization, et al. I've chosen the placeholder names Nick and Statton for these hypothetical characters who would bring the best of both worlds to light, similarly to how Sora looks like a Final Fantasy 8 reject who watches too much Disney Channel.
Long story short, I was wrong and needed to know why.
Answer: Narrow down a potential main focus for gameplay and character(s)/setting--find out what one core gameplay style clicks best with the Nick and PS audiences, and develop a secondary mode that's either fully-tested or dropped entirely, that doesn't hinder the core too much; also, find out what one or two characters click best, and have something original and worthwhile.
Problem: No examples given
Guilty again! See farther down as I amend that mistake. I apologize; see, I have a clear idea of what kind of game I would buy:
a game that's 50% Dr. Hutchison, 20% Rocko, and 29% the rest, 1% Helga/Rugrats that features PSASBR as a secondary game modebut I'm just one guy and frankly I'm very different from the majority of human beings. I figured the best thing to do would be intentionally vague (I see now I was wrong) and let people decide how they want their Nickstation burger cooked and what toppings to put on it, but I see I need to lead them into the building and up to the counter before they acknowledge that there is a restaurant to consume from.
Of course, I can lead a Little Pony to water, but I can't make him/her/it drink, so you need to discuss, too. That's why I called it a "discussion." And I can't say you haven't discussed already, but now that I'm clearing the air a bit and offering some direction for this conversation to go, I want you and a thousand others like you to please talk to me! ...'kay?
Answer: I fixed that by giving examples, but you need to try, too!
If you're having trouble, simply name a game or two to follow the models of, who you think should be the protagonists, who should/should not be in it, what SIE/Viacom subsidiaries/partners should develop the game, what composer(s) should do the music (Shimomura is probably taken, but could Madeon be good?), and what writers (Joe Murray, Craig Bartlett, Stephen Hillenburg, Matt Groening, Nate Fox, Brian Hastings?) should collaborate to deliver the best narrative?
This is where I shine brighter than all the Bronies combined.
Now, hold on--before you start lighting your torches, grabbing your pitchforks, and cocking your shotguns, just consider that I might be exaggerating for good reason, and just hear out my initial thoughts on all the characters. Remember, they won't all necessarily be implemented, but this will illustrate how Playstation and Classic Nicktoons are not as bad a fit as you think.
Remember, the game I describe below does not segregate the worlds like KH does; during the course of the story, the boundaries are loose enough that one can wander into the wrong show/game!
--PaRappa the Rapper gets separated from his friends and wanders into Arnold's town. PaRappa asks for directions, and that'd be that, except PaRappa starts busting rhymes and gets everyone in town singing along to his silly song. Seeing this, Arnold encourages him to help out in the community.
--(If Disney relinquishes Doug) Turns out Doug had the Conduit Gene all along, so something like the Ray Sphere that doesn't kill people in the process activates his powers and allows Doug to truly become the Quail-Man. ...then Cole/Delsin/Fetch catches word of a new Super on the streets, and aims to confront him. If it's Cole, then he starts out Evil--and only after battling Doug (win or lose, could work either way) is Cole compelled to turn Good.
--Rocko and Clank. Space thugs with a bone to pick with Ratchet see Rocko out in public and mistake him for the former; the subsequent battle for survival sends Rocko on a chain of events that lead him around space and eventually to Ratchet, whom he is now convinced is a very...dangerous...guy! To top it off, RRBM and Captain Qwark duke it out, and Dr. Hutchison starts getting Mega Man/Iron Man-style upgrades with the wonders of future tech her four kids neglected to give her.
--Spike (Ape Escape, not RR) gets sent out to capture unusual monkeys who turn out to be the Real Monsters. It's not easy, but he's successful, and one straggler runs to alert a stronger "monster": Sir Daniel Fortesque.
--Toro and Kuro are seen almost everywhere (because they are from Together Everywhere). Kuro in particular is travelling to meet babes, esp. the PS ones: Kat, Nariko. Actually, Kat, Nariko, &/or Lammy are escorting the Rugrats because they're babies and girls do motherly things (we can talk sexism later, just roll with it) and protecting them from danger and fear; Kuro offers to tag along for an opportunity to hang out with the girls.
--Speaking of Rugrats, they're hella important to the plot, at least for the villainous side: one villain wants to use magic to steal their youth to bring him/herself to the modern age in full force; one villain wants to use technology to steal their youth to create immortality; and the soldiers of Fat Princess who succumbed to diabetes want to put Dil through a ritual to revive said Fat Princess by the power of Tara. Sweet Tooth, though crazy, wants to prevent those things from happening and so seeks to kidnap (or kill) the babies, though you don't find out until you've beaten him multiple times and sit down and interrogate him. "You all hate me...even when I try to save your world(s). Who's really the hideous, disgusting monster here? Not I...."
--Sweet Tooth gets asked why he knows so much about the babies. "Why do you think I know so much about kids? I drive an ice-cream truck!" --cut to a scene of Sweet Tooth innocently passing out a couple cones to regular kids, overhearing their chitchat about playing "Patapon Go."
--Again with the Rugrats, as the PS girl(s) is/are wheeling them around trying to find their parents, she/they also find a Sackboy doll in the store somewhere and give it to them, then make up a bedtime story starring the Sackboy to calm the babies' nerves. THEN, in the babies' imagination, they go on an adventure with the life-sized Sackboy. This occurs once or twice before, near the end of the game, magic or technology enhances the babies to become as capable in real life as they are in their imagination, allowing you to play them and the Sackboy (or add them to the team) in the final chapters.
--Kratos sees Catdog and believes him to be another Olympian monster, like Cerberus or a Hydra, and seeks to hunt him down. Must cussing out of Zeus occurs.
--Polygon Man has the cartoonists (Bartlett, Murray, et al) trapped, forcing them to draw up new characters for him to inhabit the bodies of to subvert the heroes' efforts. The cartoonists, in this case, are roughly equivalent to the Princesses of Heart in Kingdom Hearts.
--Speaking of Polygon Man, he could be teamed up with/fighting with/also controlling Face from Nick Jr.! Just a thought.
--Say the Rugrats do get kidnapped...most Nickelodeon police are incompetent (at least, unable to fight monsters and villains) nad Playstation police are unavailable (dead, don't care, or too busy tailing Sly Cooper, who has yet to be seen at this point in game), so Cole volunteers to back-up or lead the police effort. Some of the cops (from Doug/Hey Arnold!) doubt him and want him to stay put, being a civilian, but Doug/Arnold attests to his capabilities and convinces them to let him try. Meanwhile, Daxter has already found the babies and is trying to ottsel them out of captivity.
--Nathan Drake has a run-in with the Angry Beavers. Whatever happens, it culminates in Drake having to outrun a rolling log the Beavers dropped like the Indiana Jones boulder.
--Jak & Stimpy. Ren & Daxter. ...wait....
--A scene were Trish from inFamous is treating some patients and chews out the doctor for using outdated (by about 13 years) methods. Turns out it's Hutchison and she's hearing about it (the time lapse) for the first time.
--All the kids from Hey Arnold are streetwise enough to be capable of navigating big cities like Empire City/New Marais while easily avoiding danger and finding hidden passages and other places.
--Going along with that, say Arnold (plus Gerald, Helga) do wander into inFamous territory (I say "wander," but obviously they would arrive as part of the journey, so they're looking for something/someone or getting away from something/someone). Eventually they run into some Reapers or other thugs. The kids are about to sneak away undetected, but Toro, wanting to be a hero, makes a big, hammy entrance (変身! and all that) to bring justice. The thugs start shooting. One manages to clip Toro's ear, and after recoiling from the sting, Toro lifts up a large, heavy object (a metal box, a palette, something) and chucks it at the thugs, knocking them out. Then, Arnold and co. walk up to the dazed thugs and reflect on their situation. Toro suggests they bash them one more time, but Arnold is shocked at the thought, and says they could tie them up instead. Toro goes on to explain that Reapers aren't human anymore, then goes ahead and kicks on into the wall for a Wounded Kill +1 Exp. Arnold is disgusted with Toro and lets him know exactly what he thinks of the cat. Toro thinks a Rival Battle is about to happen between him and the boy, but Arnold and co. just walk away to let Toro think about what he's done today. ...then RRBM flies in and states he's there to beat the baddies, but Toro says, "Naw, BM. I took care of it already," then RRBM comments about needing to be more timely and how superheroism over multiple worlds being a challenge all its own.
I answered this in my problem responses above, but to summarize,
Answer: Choose less numerous or more-relevant titles/characters to cross over, and have a definitive style of game, not a jack-of-all-trades and master of none.
Either way, the bottom line is that unless we turn this idea into a AAA or at least single-A title, there's no point in even trying. The opening is there, the will is there, and there is some combination of the words comin' out-O-my mouth that is exactly what Nintendo is scared witless to hear, and I am Filled With Determination to find that combination.
Disney has enjoyed a lineup of licensed games that don't suck--even before Square-Enix's KH, you'll recall Capcom's Ducktales as being the most revered game of its kind, and not far behind it, Mickey Mania. Now, who made Mickey Mania? It was a guy named David "God of Twisted War Metal" Jaffe. The success of this idea is a birthright--just needs that push.
What I'm getting at is that Nickstation should be a celebration of the returning Nick lineup that also serves as a legitimately adult game--not with a dark, menacing, bulletstormed tone or with gratuitous nudity
People never stopped wanting it. They just waited in anticipation and gave Hot Topic all their business--but a well-placed reference and Throwback Thursday gear is not enough. It is time to take a stand.
1) The Open-Area Idea
Knowing that wide open-world levels are done in a number of PS games, it seemed natural to capitalize on that to some degree. I imagine that you'd either have to unlock more characters as the game goes on or choose one right from the get-go...now, they'd each have specialties or primary modes of getting through:
I was thinking Kratos and Big Man for strength, Rockets for speed, Sly and babies for stealth, Arnold and Doug (if they can get him back from Disney) for charisma/team-building, Arnold and Rocko for vehicles (and maybe Sweet Tooth), Drake for guns (and vehicles), and Cole, Ratchet, Rocko, Sackboy, Quail-Man Doug, and in-their-imagination babies for balanced.Not a complete list, but you get the gist.
And Hutchison for god tierThe challenge and fun comes with trying to beat all levels/missions with each char., right?
2) The Simple Approach
Keeping in mind that wide-scale crossovers can be hard to reign in if they suggest several gameplay styles, then it would be best to stick to a party game approach; the flexibility and ease of access of such a game is something I originally wanted to incorporate, too, but for the love of God, not something as brainless as a post-2000 LEGO Game. For depth of a game, this approach must forego that entirely, but while I would weep at that loss, I must remember that sometimes the best games--esp. the best crossovers--are simple enough to be accessible not only to every player, but to every character.
Now "party game" isn't really a style so much as a utility, so this could be racing game (Wipeout: Nickstation), fighting game (All-Stars 2: The Nick Advantage!), a Mario Party (Nickelodeon/Dreamworks have done this before. The answer is "no"), or a beat-'em-up (what God of War and Nicktoons Unite/Volcano Island/Toybots have in common) featuring a mixed cast of PS Originals and '90s Nicktoons (plus Spongebob if Executive Meddling occurs).
Alternatively, a "simple" approach could simply be to follow the model of an existing game like Ratchet and Clank or Ape Escape or even (no, especially) non-Sony titles like Kingdom Hearts or Paper Mario (good way to incorporate cartoons and PaRappa), and shifting effort more to composing the narrative and soundtrack than inventing completely new code (and yes, I know they obviously don't have rights/access to Square's/Nintendo's code, but it would save the trouble of innovating...and I bite myself saying that, but remember, Innovation Kills Games).
3) Legend of Nicktoon (The Anti-Kingdom Hearts)
If KH used FF7 as a baseline and the other FF's to bolster the cast and your arsenal, then Nickstation would use Legend of Dragoon as a baseline and the All-Stars (any or all--say, Ape Escape, Medievil, and Uncharted) to bolster the cast and your arsenal. The main character would be a Dragoon like Dart Feld and co., and his/her (should be your choice in gender, to one-up KH) dragon spirit would be customizable to equate to the Keyblade; instead of a single, full-item transformation, however, it could have interchangeable body parts, such as head, torso, lower-body, left arm, right arm; and these parts would come primarily from your Nick friends and foes (I know what right arm I'm never unequipping) as well as a couple from PS Originals (with Medievil and LoD being the strongest ones.)
Once again, as KH already exists, care should be taken to give it that thing that convinced Joe Murray to make Rocko's: that "Nicktoons have a unique attitude to them." (Well, "used to have.")
3.5) Destiny of Nicktoon Wars? (Additional IP's to consider)
In the past couple days, I researched a little bit and found out that since All-Stars came out, some other Playstation IPs have emerged (and others have existed long since). At least, I think they're Playstation Originals--I need some help confirming that fact. There's Destiny of Spirits (discontinued tactical RPG with mythology from all cultures) and Freedom Wars (dystopian future, anime action-RPG with co-op focus); and for an older title, someone please tell me if Legend of Legaia (an FF7 competitor like Legend of Dragoon) is a Playstation Original or not.
I mention these because it may be good to incorporate them instead of/in addition to Legend of Dragoon and all the other, well- and moderately-well-known PS IP's.
Delsin: "That 'Steamboat' crap might've been part of your childhood, but it sure as hell wasn't part of your generation!"
Cole: "What's your point?"
Delsin: "This is a big deal; we waited 20 years for this!"
I would very much appreciate an analysis on what makes/made Kingdom Hearts great and cross-reference that with what made early Nickelodeon great. I'm sure a large part of the answer lies in there somewhere.
- - - ... - - -Inspired by the success the combination in Kingdom Hearts delivered, and its lack of a direct competitor,
learning from the mistakes made with PSASBR, and other failed video games or company decisions,
and getting ready to usher in the new wave of Classic Nickelodeon,
What would you like to see happen for such a game?PLEASE leave a comment below and don't hit me!
--Rey_JJJ / Nemesis QQ-Type