When a video game franchise gets gray in the beard, or is just popular enough to warrant it, it’s not strange to see that franchise take on a new direction in a spinoff. Take Minecraft for instance. It is most certainly one of the most popular games in the world as simply a sandbox explorer, builder, and action-adventure game. That hasn’t kept it from being adapted into all sorts of other things like Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode, the mobile AR game Minecraft Earth, or the recently released Diablo-like dungeon crawler, Minecraft Dungeons.
With that in mind, our newest Shack Chat asks what our staff and fans what you would like to see out of your favorite franchise? What kind of spinoff would you be most interested in? Is there a direction you wish your favorite game would take, if just a temporary one? Here’s what we had to say about the matter among the Shacknews team.
Question: What kind of video game spinoff would you like to see?
F-Zero: Captain Falcon Brawler – Asif Khan, Best in the universe
The Super Smash Bros. series has brainwashed a lot of players into thinking that Captain Falcon is a bare-knuckled brawler, so I guess it is time for the Big N to lean into that with a big old Falcon Punch of a video game.
A side-scrolling Captain Falcon brawler featuring all of the characters from the F-Zero universe would be pretty awesome. The classic beat-em-up Streets of Rage 4 recently released to rave reviews, and, hell, maybe if this hypothetical game was a success it could convince Nintendo to make an actual F-Zero racing game again. A man can dream, a man can dream.
Mortal Kombat: The Sub-Zero/Scorpion Beat ‘Em Up – Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
I racked my brain really hard to think of a spin-off that I really wanted to see. Coming fresh off my time with Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, it made me think about one of my favorite dynamics throughout the modern MK games and that’s the comradery that developed between Sub-Zero and Scorpion. After Sub-Zero denounced the dishonorable methods of his brother and former Sub-Zero-turned-Noob-Saibot, Bi-Han, and Scorpion turned on Quan Chi, the two have practically become the best of friends, right up until (slight spoiler alert for MK11’s main Story Mode) Scorpion’s death.
Everything is subject to change, especially given Aftermath’s ending, but as of right now, the modern day Sub-Zero now lives on alongside Scorpion’s past counterpart. Their continued adventures as they develop their respective clans is a story I’d love to see, especially if Quan Chi were to somehow rise again and give them something to fight against. It’s been 15 years since we’ve seen something in the vein of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks and who better to bring the MK beat ’em up back than two of the franchise’s most popular characters?
Also, give poor Sub-Zero a chance to atone for the ill-fated Mortal Kombat Mythologies. Please.
Pac-Man Dating Sim – Blake Morse, Reviews Editor
We’ve seen Pac-Man and his crew tackle just about every gaming genre imaginable throughout the years. From his initial 2D maze runner beginnings to 3D adventures, pinball-hybrids, and beyond. The Pac-Fam has just about done it all, but why not a game where you can date and, dare I say it, seduce Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man? Heck, why not try and date one of the ghosts without eating eachother? The franchise just celebrated its 40th anniversary, but it can still bust out some new moves and find true love once and for all. Also, I’m just really curious (just for scientific reasons) how beings that are essentially nothing more than giant yellow mouths would procreate. The world needs a Pac-Man dating sim now more than ever.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!: The Visual Novel Dating Sim – Chris Jarrard, Minor Circuit Champ
Everyone loves the iconic arcade boxing game that remains one of the crown jewels of the NES library. Now experience the action and drama in a whole new way as Little Mac and the other pugilists are sent back to high school to form cliques, earn a degree, and possibly find true love.
Imagine the intrigue as Little Mac gets cornered in the boys bathroom by Piston Honda, Bald Bull, and Great Tiger as they tease him about the crush he has on Don Flamenco! Join the crew in the cafeteria with meals served by head lunch lady King Hippo. See the competitive spirit unleashed in gym class taught by Coach Mr. Sandman. The possibilities are endless. You’ve loved these characters for over 30 years — now watch them love each other!
Cuno, Disco Elysium – Sam Chandler, Guides Editor
Disco Elysium is one of the greatest RPGs of all time. It is, hands down, one of the greatest games, period. The unique and believable characters in the game bring the entire experience to life, and one person you always seem to return to is Cuno.
This cheeky little bastard gives you a whole lot of trouble early on in the game. Depending on your playthrough and choices, how Cuno’s character evolves is going to be drastically different. One path actually leads to Cuno becoming your sidekick and potentially recruiting him into the Revachol Citizens Militia.
I want, nay, I need a Kuuno de Ruyter spinoff where Cuno goes through the work to become a fully-fledged detective much like the protagonist. I need to experience Martinaise through the perspective of this fiery character. Preferably before the pale annihilates the world as we know it. APOCALYPSE COP, BABY.
If you haven’t done so already, definitely get your hands on Disco Elysium, and also read our Disco Elysium review.
Pokemon Sports – Donovan Erskine, Not an intern
The Pokemon franchise has seen a vast number of spinoffs, but there’s one they haven’t really tried yet – sports. The closest we’ve ever gotten was the Pokeathlon in HeartGold and SoulSilver. Pokemon could take this concept and run with it (pun intended). The Pokemon roster has nearly surpassed 900 creatures with their own unique traits and abilities.
I envision a game in the same vein as the Mario and Sonic at the Olympics series. Let me pick from a limited roster of Pokemon from each generation and compete in a series of athletic games and events. I mean seriously, how epic would it be to watch Blaziken hit a double crossover and slam dunk over a Lucario? Or to watch Machamp and Conkeldurr go head to head in shot put? The possibilities are endless.
Umbra Witch Jeanne – Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor
I’m a huge Bayonetta fan, and I’m still waiting patiently for Bayonetta 3. But Jeanne, Bayonetta’s best friend and rival, desperately deserves her chance to shine just like Cereza has. She’s a playable character in the first two games, sure, and can be utilized in co-op mode. But I want to see a story where she’s the star. She’s every bit as sassy as Bayonetta, if not more. Plus, if you remember that sick Edelgard-like look from the first game, you’d be dying to see what other outfits she could unlock. I’d call this new game Umbra Witch Jeanne, like the typical anime series naming conventions, and it would be a typical Bayonetta-like game with some important flourishes. Call me, Kamiya. Let’s chat.
Sadie Adler in Red Dead Redemption 3 – Bill Lavoy, Falls Down Stairs
If there’s one character I’d love to follow through their own game, it’s Sadie Adler from Red Dead Redemption 2. Sadie had quite the story arc in Red Dead Redemption 2, going from a woman who lost it all to a hardened outlaw and one of Arthur’s most trusted friends.
We got a bit of time with Sadie in the epilogue of Red Dead Redemption 2, but that only made fans want more. It’s also hard to imagine Rockstar Games weren’t well aware that Sadie would resonate with fans the way she did. After all, they created her and made her the badass that she is. If Red Dead Redemption 3 is going to be a thing, and it probably will be in several years, who better to lead the way that Ms. Adler?
More from the Witcher’s world – Josh Hawkins, Guides Guy
The Witcher series is one of my all-time favorite fantasy games series, with Witcher 3 being right up there with my favorite games ever. But, to be honest, I’d love to see more from this wonderful world. CDPR has a massive world to explore, and while they might not have as much source material to work with for spinoff characters, I’d still love to see more about the politics and overall volatility that we’re introduced to throughout the series.
There’s just a lot there that they could really dive into, and I think they could do a great job with it following their success with Geralt’s story. Sure, we know that they have no plans to continue Geralt’s journey, but maybe we can get more of Ciri, or even a look at the way the Witchers themselves came to be. I don’t know. Just give me more there, please.
More Franchise Kart Spinoffs – TJ Denzer, Pushing the News Kart
Something I fully believe when it comes to almost anything, and especially video games, is that when you have multiple folks competiting to do the same thing the best, the competition can drive everyone to make an altogether better product. Case in point: Mario Kart didn’t become the stand out of popular franchise arcade racing overnight. In fact, I don’t like the original Mario Karts all that much. I can’t go back to them. There are far too many better games to play. But do you know what I believe makes Mario Kart 8 so dang good? It’s the fact that not only did people enjoy these games, but Nintendo had competitors to keep them improving upon themselves to remain the Kart king.
Whether we’re talking about cheap cash-ins like South Park Rally and Mortal Kombat’s Motor Kombat or actual good games like Diddy Kong Racing, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Crash Team Racing, there are games out there that aren’t Mario Kart that innovated in ways Mario Kart might not have done on their own. And it’s not just about Mario Kart. I love Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch, but I also legitimately love when another franchise does a kart racer well. I loved the original Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is as much a go to for me and my friends as MK8 Deluxe. They’re just good games.
And hey. If you want Mario Kart 9 to be even better than Mario Kart 8: Deluxe? Well, someone pushing them to be an even better version of the best might be just the ticket, not to mention just something fun we can all enjoy on the way to the next Mario Kart entry.
A Blizzard Fighting Game – Greg Burke, Head of Video
Blizzard has tackled just about every genre of video game. First person shooter, MMO, RPG, RTS, point-and-click adventure, MOBA, TCG, and action adventure. I’d love to see what a fighting game would be like in their hands. They could feature the famous cast of characters from StarCraft, Warcraft, or Overwatch. It’s the last genre of game they’ve never created. Most of the staff are huge Street Fighter players so I believe there’s hope. I await an announcement every year at Blizzcon for a fighting game and maybe this year will be it.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons – David L. Craddock, long reads editor
Give me a Tom Nook spinoff where I’m the one who knocks… er, swindles. Give me a Blathers off-shoot where I go on archaeological adventures that make Indiana Jones’s greatest romps look like a game of make-believe. Give me a Redd side entry where I travel the world collecting famous works of art and then savagely deface them and sell them to “cousins” at outrageous discounts, constantly on the run from museum authorities who would really rather I not ruin another Mona Lisa. Just give me more Animal Crossing.
Mario Ice Hockey – Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor
I am really into sports and I really want a Mario Hockey sports game. There was a small taste of it in Mario Sports Mix but it wasn’t a Mario sports game build from the ground up like Mario Baseball and Soccer. Seeing Mario line up for a slap shot would be a dream come true. There could be power-ups that allow for faster skating or the puck getting larger for more points. Now that there are even more Mario characters, you could have several teams or be like the NES Ice Hockey where you can select a type of player for your team. You could have special shots like Mario Baseball did with special pitches. Mario VS Bowser, throwing punches like in a hockey game would be awesome as well as getting to body check Luigi through glass!
What about you? What’s your ideal video game spinoff? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below!