This article might be a bit ambitious as I plan to cover a few topics and boil them down to a single idea, why SEGA needs to diversify its “Sonic & SEGA All-Stars” brand with a cross-over fighting game, to further compliment their current revival.
Right now you might be thinking—“SEGA is in the middle of a revival and they should take things slow, avoiding a saturation of the gaming market”, in fact it was their saturation, which included poor quality games, which caused their image and reputation to dip in the first place. However, with the stellar reaction to games in development, such as Sonic Mania, and recent PC ports of fan favorites Bayonetta & Vanquish developed by PlatinumGames, the company has been seen in a more positive light.
If you are a SEGA die-hard, you might even argue SEGA’s turn around began during E3 2015 when Shenmue 3 was announced. Shenmue 3’s announcement, at one time, was considered a fan’s pipe dream alongside a Final Fantasy VII HD Remake, ironically announced at the same E3, and Valves long lost Half-Life 3, sadly which will probably never see the light of day. Off topic but, E3 2015 might never be topped as far as announcements go and I still get chills watching those reactions.
If Sega really wants to get on fans good side they will announce a Shenmue 1 & 2 HD Port for PC and major consoles.
SEGA has been making progress in regaining trust from gamers, perhaps the acquisition of Atlus played a role in this internal reversal. President Naoki Satomi of SEGA released a statement in which he expressed concern over how he feels the company has failed and “betrayed” the trust of gamers and wishes to rebuild the brands image. Personally, I feel SEGA is well on their way but others may need more convincing, and I perfectly stand by wanting to see more “good” from SEGA.
This means poorly created, outsourced games, like 2014’s Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric for Nintendo Wii U must be a thing of the past…
SEGA can’t “just start” with the Sonic franchise, each release must count, be it in-house or just a game the company publishes, as their brand image is riding on it. Especially after Satomi’s powerful statements on his company and how he believes they have failed gamers. However, even during the era before Satomi’s statements one series seemed to do very well for SEGA at the time.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing | Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Overlooking the SEGA Superstars & SEGA Superstars Tennis games which received mixed reception at best, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing and its sequel Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed received very positive reviews and even has been called “the superior” Mario Kart clone or a direct rival to the Mario Kart franchise, a feat which is rare; if ever been done. This series has been primarily developed by Sumo Digital and published by SEGA. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any additional entry in this franchise since the last game in 2012 except for an iOS/Android port in 2014. Recently SEGAbits released a video discussing concept work which included a possible “Sonic & All-Stars Fighters” which could play similar to Capcom’s Powerstone & Powerstone 2.
A Sonic & All-Stars Fighting game wouldn’t be SEGA’s first attempt at a Sonic fighting game
Sonic The Fighters (1996) Developed by SEGA AM2 | Produced by Yu Suzuki
Developed by SEGA’s Arcade Division, SEGA AM2, best known for SEGA classics such as Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop, Super Hang-On, After Burner, and Space Harrier. This fighting game has been described as a “casual” or “simplified” Virtua Fighter 2. The game is a 3D fighter, like Virtua Fighter, which stars Sonic and Friends. The game saw an initial release in the states with 2005’s Sonic Gems Collection on the Nintendo Gamecube and Playstation 2, later released on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade in 2012.
Sonic Battle (2003) Developed by Sonic Team | Produced by Yuji Naka
Developed by Sonic Team and produced by Yuji Naka, Sonic Battle was a game published by SEGA for Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance. Unlike Sonic the Fighters, Sonic Battle is a 3D Arena fighter which used 2D sprites. The game contained fighter customization and a campaign mode which included a complete story mode which could last up to 10-15 hours. Personally, I felt Sonic Battle had some great potential and included depth that Sonic the Fighters lacked. Honestly, I’m unaware if there is any official way to play this game outside of the Physical GBA cartridge, no virtual console release that I’m aware of…
Why Should Sega Revisit Fighting Games?
I feel that outside of the MOBA genre (Multiplayer online battle arena) Fighting games are the most popular multi-character driven games in existence. Sure, you could include the Tactical RPG genre, i.e. Nintendo’s Fire Emblem or Nippon Ichi’s Disgaea, but I’d argue they are much more niche in appeal than Traditional or even 3D Arena Fighters. Also, series such as Project X Zone have largely been inspired by RPGs and Fighters. But ever since that series creation I’ve heard fans cry out for a fighting game which combines Sega, Namco, and Capcom. (One man made it happen, more below…)
You can’t tell me you haven’t seen this image before or images like it.
Honestly, I’d play a SEGA MOBA but I’m not counting on it.
Again, like Project X Zone before it, Sega and Capcom have come together to allow Archie Comics to produce, not one but two, Comic series combining the likes of Sega and Capcom Characters. The first crossover just combined the worlds of Sonic and the original Megaman, called “Worlds Collide“. However, success of that series allowed a follow up which combined famous Capcom and Sega characters to make the sequel “Worlds Unite“.
Let’s not forget Super Smash Bros. The only developer who has dropped more bombs than Daddy Jeff , is Daddy Sakurai, literally the first person who comes up when you google “sakurai”. Masahiro Sakurai can move mountains and is literally made of magic. Sakurai’s Super Smash Bros. is probably, like he said, the “number one character game” of all time.
Only Sakurai could snatch up Bayonetta for a Fighting game before SEGA, Smash Bros. for Wii U anyone?
SEGA has allowed us to be teased for far too long, I say!
Crossovers, like the ones mentioned above, usually sell very well. They promote multiple brands through the multiple character interactions and stories told between the franchises, no matter how crazy they might be. I’m not necessarily saying SEGA needs to make a fighter with Capcom, Namco, or any other company. However, I am saying that a fighter made by SEGA which focuses on their own IP’s would be a great start. Anything more would just be even better, if you ask me.
But the point of this article is to focus on SEGA and how they can bring themselves up. I would love to see a new Sonic Fighter, but I would love even more to see a SEGA All-Stars fighter which brings some of the best characters from SEGA’s history and showcases them and possibly promotes future or existing franchises in SEGA’s catalog. Right now I’m not even concerned about the type of fighting game, Traditional 2D, 2.5D, 3D Arena, Party Fighter, etc. As long as SEGA promotes their characters well, the game is developed well, no rushed to the market nonsense, I could be just about okay with anything.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 got me to care about Resident Evil, Doctor Strange, & Guardians Of The Galaxy
Crossovers expose fans of various franchises to other characters they might not have been exposed to before. It’s a great way to get fans interested in other properties which is extremely beneficial when you own all the properties in a given work, i.e. if SEGA makes their own crossover fighter, or how NRS’s Injustice franchise got me to play Mortal Kombat after years of avoiding the series. This has been sort of a rambling, but I totally think this would be a great idea.