I'll See Them In My Dreams: Games I Want That Will Never Be Made - cerpintaxman Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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I'll See Them In My Dreams: Games I Want That Will Never Be Made

We all have our dream games.  Yours could be some ultimate crossover akin to Marvel vs. Capcom, pitting one company's characters versus another one's roster.  Someone else's could be the sequel or continuation to a series that will either never or isn't likely to happen.  Sometimes we probably even fantasize about games that could only happen if we ourselves took the incentive to make them.  The common bond everything I just listed shares is that, most of the time, they're only possible in our heads.  However much something might make sense to us, doesn't necessarily mean people will see things the same way (i.e. publishers and developers).  Thus we're left to ponder how our dream games might be in a more perfect world.

Well, instead of just moping and crying about games that'll never come out in my lifetime, I decided to just write about mine.  You could point and laugh at them if you want, because one in particular will NEVER happen.  I'm not joking.  If a genie were to pop up right in front of me and I chose to wish for the game, the damn thing would pity me and tell me to give up on ever seeing it happen.  Getting back to the topic, these are some of the games I want that will never be made.

Rock Band: The Mars Volta

Given that I became interested in the band because their song "L'Via, L'Viaquez" was featured in Guitar Hero: World Tour,  I suppose my eventual desire to see a game that covered The Mars Volta's material is no surprise.  I love the band almost as much as I love The Beatles (my favorite band), and despite my general aversion to playing much of Rock Band due to my lack of skills at it, had I heard this was happening I would've put down a full reservation on it, brought it home, and enshrined it for a few days before popping it in and actually playing.  Okay, I'm exaggerating there, but point is I'd be acting like a giddy idiot if Rock Band: The Mars Volta did actually happen.  And hell, I think if most people sat down and listened to them, even if you didn't like them you'd have to admit a lot of their material would be a blast to play (songs I personally would like to play: "Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt", "Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus", the thirty-two minute "Cassandra Gemini" simply to say I played the song [I once played it in Audiosurf, by the way; good times], "Tetragrammaton", "Day of the Baphomets", and really the list goes on).  Problem is that Harmonix seems to have moved past the franchise, same with the general gaming public in regards to the music game genre as a whole, and really, with the band broken up and their last album having come out just recently two years ago (when it actually might have been a good idea for DLC at least), the time where Rock Band: The Mars Volta would've been a good idea has long since passed.  Regardless, on the off chance it did happen, this is...

How I Would Do It:

- Match the varied visual style of the band, and better yet, maybe give a general idea of the stories behind their albums:  Take a look at the album covers and other art The Mars Volta used for their various releases.  Whether it's Storm Thorgerson's covers for Deloused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute, Jeff Jordan's art for Amputechture, The Bedlam in Goliath, and Octahedron, or Sonny Kay's art for Noctourniquet and his various other works for the band (stage backdrops for live shows, album booklet art), all would present enormous potential in terms of the game's art direction.  Toss in telling the story behind each album, and from the tragic tale of Cerpin Taxt in Deloused to the more episodic nature of later albums, I honestly think it would be a visual treat.

- Rein it in a little bit on Amputechture and The Bedlam in Goliath:  Saxophone and other varied brass (and the odd woodwind making an appearance, too) instruments have a presence on Frances the Mute, Amputechture, and The Bedlam in Goliath,being especially prevalent on the latter two.  Same for more exotic percussion instruments.  For as hilarious as it would be to see a sax and conga controller come in the box should Rock Band: The Mars Volta have ever existed, in the end it would just be silly, no?  Besides, I can't imagine how much extra instruments would hike up the price.  

- Feature some unreleased and solo material:  One thing I wish could've been done in The Beatles: Rock Band was the inclusion of solo and unreleased material.  I know the focus of the game was mostly their bigger songs, but I still think it would've been nice to play something like the White Album (The Beatles being the self-titled real name) demo of "Not Guilty" (which, being written by him, was later featured on George Harrison's own self-titled album) or the various solo material that came from each member post-Beatles.  If there were to be a Rock Band for The Mars Volta, I'd like to see the same thing.  Okay, they may not have the wealth of unreleased songs that The Beatles had, but they're there.  Maybe I'm the only one, but I'd love to play "Postulate" and "Clouds (Orchestrina)" (fan names), and even though it's not officially an unreleased, just merely not featured on the album due to label politics or some such, I'd also love to play "Frances the Mute" (which, as I said, wasn't featured on the album).  Same goes for some of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's (founding member, lead guitarist) solo material.  A lot of it might be pure wankery, but I still think it'd be pretty fun.

Chrono Break

Let's all have a good laugh at me for holding to some hope we'll see this series again eventually.

Remember when I was talking about the game that literally has zero chance of ever happening and that even in a perfect world wouldn't happen?  Well, this is it!  The sad thing here is that Chrono Break was trademarked for a number of years after Chrono Cross' release.  Whatever factors might have contributed to it (one of the main ones being the departure of staff to form Monolith Soft), nothing ever came of it.  I love both Trigger and Cross, and honestly, I'd probably faint if I saw the series return.  For as much as I'm a dreamer, I'm also a realist: this will never happen.  Even if Chrono Break did happen I'd be more nervous about it than excited, largely because I would be scared that Square Enix would somehow botch the game.  Putting that aside....

How I Would Do It:

- Distinct art style:  A number of years ago I remember reading what I believe was Game Informer's "Top Ten Sequels In Demand", and it mentioning giving a potential continuation to the Chrono series a modern anime art style.  That's all well and good and is the direction I'd want it to go myself, so long as it's something more unique than your standard fare.  Personally, I would love to see Studio Trigger, creators of Inferno Cop, Little Witch Academia, Kill la Kill, and feature some of the staff that was in charge of Gurren Lagann, take over the art duties.  I know that some of you might be concerned how provocative some of Trigger's work can be, but I honestly feel that their style would fit, depending on the tone of the game at least.  For all we know a new Chrono game could be as somber as Cross and, should that be the case, it would only be right to have an art style that matches the tone.  Or maybe it could more adventurous like Chrono Trigger and warrant a more lively style.  Okay, so maybe this is more a flavor of the month type preference, but hell it would be interesting to see.  (By the way, I'm not trying to diss Chrono Cross' art, because truth is, due to the soft spot I have for it, I generally like most of the things that Cross did better than Trigger, the exceptions being story and cast.)

- No more silent protagonists:  I used to enjoy experiencing an adventure through a silent lead, and to some level still do (if my current playthrough of Skyrim is any indication).  At this point however, I think I'd rather see the series get a lead with more personality.  Of course, that might just backfire, but I would still be willing to give it a chance.

- Like Cross, be more its own game than a completely direct sequel:  It always annoys me when I hear the reason that some people didn't like Chrono Cross is because it wasn't the sequel they wanted.  It wasn't Chrono Trigger 2.  Well excuse my bluntness here, but I say f*** your Chrono Trigger 2!  I realize that if the Chrono Break trademark had ever materialized into anything it had just as much a chance of being a direct continuation to one of the two games as it didn't.  Still, I would rather it be or have been more loosely related to the two like Cross was to Trigger.  Even after having experienced how awesome the latter is, I got enough of those characters and the same goes for Cross.  Unless they're relevant to the story (example: how Chrono Cross ties back to Chrono Trigger at the end), or are actually a part of the game, I'd rather have a new cast and setting that connects to the previous two without being a strict continuation.

- Player choice of turn based or real time combat:  This is a point of conflict  I would love to see the best parts of both the Trigger and Cross battle systems modernized and combined into a beast of a turn based system.  At the same time, I've come to really appreciate real time battle systems, and wouldn't mind seeing the series go that way.  How do we solve this?  By featuring both, of course!  Would probably be too much to ask and I'm probably being unrealistic, but hey, Chrono Trigger, despite it still ultimately being turn based, had a similar system.  So maybe it isn't too out of the question.
 
A Wheel of Time Series That Actually Follows The Plot of The Books

The Wheel of Time.  A fourteen book long (fifteen if you include the prequel, New Spring, set twenty years before the events of The Eye of the World) series that due to the death of the original author Robert Jordan had to be finished by another author, Brandon Sanderson.  Featuring its richly detailed world and expansive cast of characters, plus a pretty damn long plot, this may well be impossible to ever properly adapt into anything else.  I'd love to see a television or animated show of it, but the length of the series would probably be a major issue, not to mention much it might cost to make.  I'm not sure how I'd feel about a movie (again, the length of the series arises as an issue), which leaves one last option: a video game series.  It would hardly be the first game based on the property, an FPS set in the world of the books (not canon as far as I know; entitled, you guessed it, The Wheel of Time) having been released back in 1999, and an online game called Wheel of Time Multi-User Dungeon seeming to be the more well known ones (I've got very limited knowledge here, so any lifelong fans feel free to correct me).  I'm sure those games are fun, but man would it be nice to get a game where we get to follow the main cast.  I'd without hesitation go through an entire series of games to see how it's brought to life digitally, but again, The Wheel of Time is a lengthy series with a diverse cast, setting, and plot.  Might be quite a task for anyone to make, and begs the question of how should it be done?  Time for me to roll the dice.....

How I Would Do It:


- Properly depict the world:  One thing that immediately jumped out at me the other day when I was checking out gameplay of the 1999 FPS, was that none of the characters had accents, or to give you a better idea, it just sounded like American accents only slightly more fantasy-ish.  If you've looked up and asked about what a person from each country/region/kingdom sounds like you'll know that the game isn't a very accurate depiction (you can find a list of accents for some of the countries, as well as parallels drawn between the cultures of our world and the world of The Wheel of Time on this page on the Dragonmount FAQ).  I realize it would be a huge pain in the a** to get every little detail right, but then again I'm only projecting how I would do things here.  I get the feeling if I was ever to be the director of a game I'd be quite the little dictator....

Continuing, we come to issue of how the game should look.  You have your fans who prefer the original covers for the books and those who prefer the e-book covers (the side I'm on).  What style would be best for a game?  You could always modernize the look of the original covers, or stick with the darker tone established in the latter.  Or better yet, go in an all new direction with it, like a cel-shaded visual style with Celtic elements (given that the series focuses on the characters from Emond's Field, located in the Two Rivers).  Honestly, I'm not sure what I'd choose here.

- Have more than one book's content told for each game:  This is largely to minimize the amount of games that come out.  I know yearly releases are commonplace now, but I just wouldn't want to see a series based one these books come down to that.  Besides, if it were a game per book, each of them would only be a few hours tops.  No reason you couldn't combine every three or so books to get a good fifteen to twenty hour game every few years.

Nintendo Football

I've played just about every Mario sports title.  I grew up playing Tennis and Golf on the Nintendo 64  and a little of their follow ups on the Gamecube.  I also owned Mario Superstar Baseball for a time, and rented Mario Strikers Charged for about a week.  Despite some of the lukewarm reception those latter two recieved, I've enjoyed them all, and I consider it a bit unfortunate I never got around to playing Mario Hoops 3-on-3 for the DS.  But as a proud (okay that's a lie, I'm if anything a disappointed critical of my country whenever I tend to care), red, white, and blue blooded American citizen, there is one sport I've always wanted Nintendo to tackle, that given its relatively slow growing popularity in the world will never ever be done: football.  Whether it's been on the can or during a sleepless night, I've often wondered how a Mario Football might be.  Actually, I've always wanted it to be more than just Mario, instead, like Smash Bros. ,encompassing a good chunk of Nintendo's other properties.  Would it be stupid?  Of course it would.  Regardless, I still wish there could be a game like this and I don't know why. 

How I Would Do It:

- Hand it off to a developer who knows what they're doing:  This could either mean making a deal with EA, that given the publisher's attitude towards Nintendo probably wouldn't happen, or get 2K Sports and see if they can still make a good football game.  Or let whatever team Nintendo chooses wing it and see what happens. 

- Make good use of the properties:  Imagine some of the stadiums you could get based on levels and worlds Nintendo has made, and imagine how the game would have the potential to be completely insane if you included all the various enemies, power-ups, and traps.  Even if it wasn't the best game, it would certainly be an entertaining time. 

Being that I'm a uniform or athletic aesthetics nut, I'd also want the team identities and uniforms to be true to each franchise represented.  Then again, I doubt anybody wants to hear me go on and on about uniforms so I'll just move on to my last dream game....

A Pokemon Game That Spans The Franchise's Entire World

How I imagine those who are fine with Pokemon as it is reacting to the following.

I've been a fan of the Pokemon series since I was young.  I haven't played every generation, but any game I have played I've vastly enjoyed and tend to sink fifty to eighty hours into.  The formula is simple: catch Pokemon, train them, and take on Gym Leaders for badges.  Even now though, despite the challenge of past games getting a firm kick to the curb in X and Y, it's still amazingly addicting.  I've long wished that Nintendo would have Game Freak make a full fledged Pokemon on consoles (I never played Gale of Darkness, developed by Genius Sonority), and I would be absolutely giddy if I'd heard something like that was actually coming.  But I know that won't happen, so I'll just stick to my fantasy here.  I've wondered for a while now how a fully fleshed out open world Pokemon would be.  None of the boundaries you find in the handhelds, free to go wherever you want to.  About the size of Xenoblade's world would be perfect.  Then, while playing Pokemon X, I thought, why not something even bigger than that?  As opposed to just becoming the champion of one region, why not send the player on a quest to conquer ALL leagues.  It would be the Pokemon to end all Pokemon.

How I Would Do It:

- Bring back the challenge:  Let's get this out of the way: for as fun as it is and as much as I've enjoyed my eighty hours with it, Pokemon X is a painfully easy game.  I won't take issue with how the game literally handed you money (as that's what I've struggled with in past titles), or how the game pretty much treats the TMs and other items the same way.  But what I will take issue with is how easy any major battle is in the game.  I breezed through the gyms, slapped the taste out of that loser Lysandre's mouth each time I faced him, caught the game's showcase legendary, Xerneas, with a QUICK BALL of all things, and flat out made the Elite Four and the Champion Diantha look like chumps.  I remember getting my a** handed to me when I played Pokemon Blue.  I even remember having a little bit of a hard time later on in Diamond.  WHERE WAS THAT CHALLENGE IN THIS POKEMON GENERATION?  Non-existent is what, and it would be a crying shame if a Pokemon World game came to pass and it was the same way.  I'm being honest when I say that I can be terrible at videogames, and you would think I'd welcome the change.  No.  If this kind of Pokemon became reality I'd want it to crush me, pure and simple.  I miss being punished for prioritizing an offense heavy party, and I'd welcome a return to a higher difficulty with open arms.

- Choice of battle systems (again):  I'll always love the turn based system in Pokemon games.  Amazingly, even though it hasn't really changed all that much since the first time I played it, the system still has yet to stagnate, at least in my opinion.  If that were to be the only option we would be given in this game I'd be perfectly fine with it.  At the same time, I'm curious to see how a real time system would work.  How would you utilize certain abilities if you took into account range and whatnot?  Could the same affect your chances of catching a Pokemon? Would a basic attack like tackle be made the default while other moves were given charge times?  I might be the only one who'd like to see Pokemon transition to a real time system, but you've got to admit that it would be interesting to see how it might change the series.

- An open world:  Probably impossible if you're going to fit every region into one game, but as I said back in the introduction of this section, for a while now I've wanted to see how an open world Pokemon would be.  Honestly, I would just like to see how Game Freak would handle it.  Would they still use the same look in the tall grass mechanic, or would they go for broke and create a world full of Pokemon in their natural habitat?  I think just to see Pokemon out and about in an environment would be neat, and being that you would have take into account herds possibly gunning at you and moving around freely, it might add a new challenge to catching them.  Again, something I've been curious to see.

How I would react if any of these dream games were to actually be made.

While it's certainly not all of them, those are some of the dream games I have in mind that I know have little to no chance of ever happening.  You never know, though, maybe one or two could be made somewhere down the road.  It probably won't be the one I want the most (a new Chrono game), but it would still be a pleasant surprise to see one of these actually happen.

So what about everyone else?  What are the games you often think about that you know have little chance of becoming reality?

Take care and thanks for reading!

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