We are "kounting" down the days to the premiere of the Mortal Kombat Reboot.
In honor of that we will look back at the movies and series that led up to this upcoming film by Warner Bros.
Plus, thoughts on the must-see episodes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Invincible.
All this and more, as A.C.M.G. presents TALK TIME LIVE!!!
Pokken is probably the biggest Pokemon let down in the history of Pokemon let downs.
I'm a passionate guy. I love and hate things pretty hard for many reasons and those reasons usually run deep even if they are only a few words. However, sometimes I'll have a passion so deep that it is specifically against the common consensus and will be viewed as "flawed" or "wrong" or "stupid" or "something I should get over". The point is this is one of those things that every time I explain it to my friends who like Pokken that they get defensive and tell me I'm wrong. Thankfully most of the times opinions can't really be wrong now can they? Firstly I would like to express I am not a game designer in any way and my opinions are just that. My opinion and if you don't like it that is fair. We can all live in the same space and not have to come to blows over these things. So why is Pokken the biggest let down at least for me in the world of Pokemon games? That's because Pokken is not what I expected and what it could have been. When I say it could have been better and possibly better than almost every single fighting game known to man as well better than even Smash than you can only assume my expectations were so high on this game that you could say it is my fault for putting them on the highest level and then being sad when the game doesn't even come to half of what I wanted.
Let me take you back to the first time I saw a Pokemon fighting game. For many of you, you already know or have seen the game but maybe don't know the name. That game is Pokemon: Type Wild. Type Wild is basically like every single other fighting game in that you get a roster (9) of different fighters who all fight in their own style. Simple enough to get where anyone can pick it up but few could master. It is a simple game that strikes desire into the heart of fighting game lovers. Which I happen to love fighting games. I may not play the greatest amount of them but I am ungodly at Bloody Roar 3 to a point where picking up a controller is like riding a bike. Short side story. My first time drinking I played a drinking game with friends where if you win you take a shot of hard liquor. We had 4 different types of hard liquor such as Sake, Vodka, Whiskey, and something else I can't remember. Eventually I had won so many games that not only was I shit face to the point of barely able to sit up straight, but I drank so much alcohol that by the time I was half way through the roster people quit because I was still winning and they haven't even felt a buzz yet. We ran out of liquor that day. Point is I love fighting games so I for years hoped that we would get a solid fighting game either like a 2d styles Street Fighter or a 2.5d style in the styles of Tekken or Bloody Roar. Instead we got Pokken.
So I'm sure you would ask "what is wrong with the game. I like it." and that is just fine. You can like whatever you want and we can again have different opinions. Hell even if you like a thing people think is bad or a guilty pleasure that's also fine. I love infomercials and they are stupid as hell. You are allowed to like bad things. Let's be honest though. Pokken even if a good game does have flaws. It's not perfect by far and in those flaws I find that I don't for its own merits actually like the game. This again does not make it bad. Here are the things I find bad with the game in no particular order.
Fights are too short
I hate the switch style of fighting and it tends to make certain characters like machamp unrealistic in that he now needs a ranged attack like everyone else thus he becomes like everyone else. This is bad because you have no choice when it'll switch styles as it sometimes happens randomly (or so I assume, it has been a hot minute since I played but I'm pretty positive it happened without me "triggering anything)
It's all style and no real substance. It looks pretty but it is kind of just a flash in the pan when you've seen all the moves over and over and over again.
As stated before, all the characters are pretty much the same. What I mean by that is all have a long ranged move and basically feel the same. Yes there is some rock
paper scissors but when machamp needs a long ranged move and you just make it punches then it feels more tacked on and the characters don't really shine much.
The roster looks alright at best but since there are 2 mewtwos and 2 pikachus it just feels lack luster. Also the dog and the chandelier don't seem to fit.
The little support Pokemon don't seem like they add that much.
Lastly and the most important part is that the game seems to lack real actual depth like Pokemon games do.
That's the real problem for me. You have the biggest franchise in the world and finally make the biggest spin off for it and you make it lack substance? You might be thinking "well what would you do to make the game better?" and I'm glad you hypothetically asked in this scenario I just made up and forced upon you.
There are 2 ways to make a good Pokemon fighting game. One is a rip off and the other is my own creation so to speak. The first is simple. Just make another smash. Make the Kanto region its own smash areas with instead of pokeballs and items and so on (you could cut down on all the extra stuff) and focus on making a pokemon with its own move sets. You could give them each their own moves and just make them fight like they would in smash. Is it a unique game? No, but the roster would be gigantic and it would look dope having a person fight as magikarp against a giant group of people. Also think of the amount of Amiibos they could make. The game wouldn't end there. It would get DLC for each region with new pokemon every time. The problem with this is the roster would be 1000 large and counting. So making this, as fun as it would be, seems unrealistic. So let's instead go with my idea.
My idea is more or less the same as the actual game but with fighting in it. What that means is you would take every main important mechanic and throw it into this game. Then you would take the game and make it into a fighting game with those mechanics. Let's start small. First we need a story to get the game rolling right? Let's make it simple. It is a fighting tournament where fighting types can come together and fight in the arena. You know, like the episode of where Ash had primeape fight a bunch of dudes. Instead of in general fighting in a ring, they would have a stage where fights would be held. The story is this is where whoever shows up wants to be the best. Let's say each character is going to also be it's own "person" with it's own personality. That way we can have entry comments when they start the fight because they are talking to each other. You can make rivalries happen, you can also in general say these are the best fighters of their kinds. You have options to make this into a grander stage than the original did by making this the first ever tournament of its kind. That's the setting but we need a roster to fill the game out.
So the game could start small in that it generally would have a roster specifically of only fighting types. This means that at most we would if only using final evolutions have without different forms, and megas about 32 different characters. Suddenly we now have a larger roster compared to the actual one we got. sure it is only fighting types but if we only have fighting types no one can complain about not getting their favorite. However, I'm not gonna lie, the roster looks like it lacks main villains and leaving out legends kind of ruins the whole every fighting type and lastly, with what happened to dexit I'm sure people would be mad if they can't use megas as well. So let's instead change that roster to have EVERY single fighting type in the game. (only last evolutions though. Don't need no babies and first forms in here) Now we have a total of 52. Let's also say for fairness sakes that some characters have non fighting forms. Let's add those in if they are before a mega evolution changes them. That's 3 more for a total of 55 in the roster. Now let's also have to force a couple more in there for "reasons" such as it is Pikachu who has to be in every single game. So now it is 56 total and since in general
arceus can every type the roster would be a total of 57 characters at the end of the entire thing. That puts the current roster to shame. Sure we miss out on fan favorites but in the end 57 unique characters? That is one hell of a difference. Yeah they are all fighting types but still. It is 100% better than what we currently have. Also this can be done. There are fighting games with over 60 characters and I'm not talking about a roster of "forms" like in dragonball z games where you can change your move set that is basically the same as other peoples. I'm talking about games such as smash with 58, tekken tag tournament 2 with 59, mortal kombat armageddion with 62, def jam fight for ny with 72, naruto ultimate ninja storm with 119. Suddenly you're up there with the big boys. (at least numbers wise) Some people might say that the game would probably have bad graphics and to that I say it has a simply solution. Make the game 2d.
Many people would probably say that the best thing about Pokken is that it looks "tight as fuck" or something in that regard but we all know that 3d doesn't make everything better. Old school Street fighter games look pretty good with smooth animations and also fantastic backgrounds and a lot like anime compared to now which just doesn't look the same. Good in its own ways but different. You can have more things in a game with less "graphics" while looking super great while doing so. It wouldn't lessen the game and would make future versions of the game able to add more into the game as well. It would also add for many more things to be added as well. Which is really good since in general the game is supposed to be deep and not taking the game to look amazing means you can add more into it and allow for more cool things. Let's not get into the nitty gritty just yet because there are a few things I'd like to add.
Let's take a step back to the roster. Let's say that they started off with just the first gen leading us to have a total of 9 different characters on the roster. That's not bad. This leaves us open to a ton of DLC and also alternate "costumes" to make our characters look better and more in line with who they want to be. The rosters itself would also have 9 unique characters with different strengths and weaknesses compared to a generic roster who is small but also kind of the same. You could also allow for a stage for every single type to shine through aesthetically. Sure we got some nice looking stages but imagine if we had one based on each type. A normal stage on a beach where it is sandy and has a nice tropical sunny feel to it. The only thing that would make that better is if the beach had some interaction to it.
What matters in the game is the style of play. Pokken allows for arena battles as well as side to side battles. Both are fine but would make you have to specifically have one main style of art and dimensions. I think that side to side is better in 2d while arena I believe can only be in 3d. This to me means that we would have a side to side fighter but if for example we did get a 3d arena match then we would get hazards on the field. There was a play at doing so in the actual game where there would be spots where vines and other explosions pop up from the ground but imagine an actual 3d arena where you can get thrown into trees, or walk on hot lava spots or something akin to that. Imagine all the actual things you can do with moves such as spikes, or actual entry hazards. The game would take on more depth and allow for cooler fights. Even then having things in 2d isn't that bad. Having the ability to actually fight in a beautiful place with the character you want there allows for better visuals. The real shame is we could have gotten a battle area for every single type of Pokemon as well as a call back to the ???? typing where it would randomly choose a place to fight. This is all visual things that would make the game pretty but the real depth of it comes from how the game is constructed. That is by it being like actual normal main stream games.
So what does it mean to
be a main stream game? Let's quantify to some degree what Pokemon is. It's a jrpg with the largest party roster ever. It's a simple one on one battle style but in essence you got the fighter, the ninja, the mage, and probably a few other things. They just sometimes look like eggs or a dinosaur. Either way roster is huge. The second thing is the simplicity of type matchess and even added abilities. Stats are also a part of the game while equipment and moves that you can customize out of a set list are also there. Personalities and breeding make their way into the game. There are so many things that you can do with normal Pokemon that just allows for the most unique playthrough of the game in any way you want and matches against real people have strategies and styles you might not find everywhere else. That is unless you're not playing random children and are playing adults who use the same stuff over and over except that one guy who used pachirisu but that guy is a maverick. So how would all this work? Simple. Just do the stuff they already do.
Let's look at Pokken itself real quick. You have the attack and defense stats that in general make you deal or take less damage. You have your ultimate gauge and your support gauge. Pretty lack luster stuff seeing as we get more in the regular stats of Pokemon compared to it. We have special and regular attack. Special and regular defense. Speed and Lastly HP. That's where Pokken ends in customization. Lackluster in comparison as well when you look at all the stuff you can do in regular Pokemon to build a bond with it. So how do we build into the ultimate experience that we never got but wanted? Easily. Again just do like the game.
Pokemon has a couple things that it does for you to customize your single little buddy to take on anyone. Let's look at those things. You have levels, types, items, breeding, evs/ivs, abilities, unique movesets, specific stats. That doesn't seem like much but having 8 different things to do with their own large amount of things is huge. To start with lets go with levels.
Levels will be exactly that. They will increase the more you use a specific Pokemon. Not to say that the character would change and then have you start at a lower level, but in general you have the 100 levels and the stats on the character would grow to be that of what you finally get. You would also in PVP be matched up to an enemy of an equal level since you would have played that character and at least that long for that level to exist on the character you are using. This means that stats would also come into play.
Stats would act like they normally do however moves would dictate that thing. Normal attacks would work with attack strength while special moves that you add onto your character would use the special stat. Not moves that are special attacks but any and every move. So extreme speed and thunderbolt would both use the special stat while a normal punch or kick would be your attack. This would make moves matter and make you want to make the move set how you would like it.
Moves and customized move sets would be next on the list. This would allow for you to actually help your character and yeah this would mean that some characters are more optimal in some ways. If you wanted a move based machamp over an attacker than you have the choice and sure, some characters would be horrible with special attack but in the end all moves are special and would allow certain characters who are long range attackers such as Sirfetch'd who has a sword have to get closer to a machamp who uses focus blast to hit. This would allow for actual move customization too so that things such as toxicroak who uses poison moves to really shine since if we are making the moves than we would in general also wanna add the typings into the game as well.
Types would allow for certain Pokemon to shine through more. Yes ghost fighting types would be busted, but thankfully there is only one and that would mean that you would want some anti ghost stuff on your character or it would make for you to have to actually
do normal attacks with a special attacker as they are even if named normal attacks not normal type. As in regular punches and kicks. Things like typing would also come into effect because that means the moves would be of the type and you can get added bonuses such as poisoning people and flinching and so on. Which means that abilities would be handy to fight certain people.
If you play toxicroak then you are going to poison people with poison point. Which would go back to typing as an important thing since lucario is part steel. You could slow the opponent with electric moves. You could flinch enemies and so on. You have so many abilities to disrupt the enemy. This will make people go and make a huge deal on trying to perfect their roster of dudes they like to not only get skilled at them but also in general make them better. This is good because items and breeding are going to be a thing in the game.
If ev's and iv's are in the game with breeding then that means you can actively max out a pokemon in ways you like. You can get points by winning fights and throw them onto a pokemon and just have like levels unlocked points for that pokemon. That way when you get good stuff for the process of breeding a new version of the character you get it in a way that actually benefits you when you choose a new nature and instead of having to grind even more each time you can just in general work hard while reasonably doing so. How would you get these items? That's simple. Either through constant grind which you are already doing or through mini games. Like the ones they had back in Pokemon stadium. People have wanted those again for such a long time. Even if they are small ones where it is training based it would be something fun to do to set off the monotony of grinding a better character all the time. So since everything is unique in that way how would the roster themselves work? It's big and it seems like we wouldn't be able to make them all 100% unique and as true as that is there is one thing to set them apart like you would in a normal fighting game compared to what it seems Pokken does. EVERY POKEMON HAS A UNIQUE FIGHTING STYLE BECAUSE THEY ARE FIGHTING TYPES.
If we looked at the roster some of them are going to be in general a little strange but take it from the guy who is passionate about this idea that I can in some ways write down a style for each of them and that's just what I'm gonna do.
Pikachu - Let's get the first and most obvious one out of the way and the most blatant problem in the only fighting type roster. Let's just say Pikachu libre was raised by some fighting types. Hawlucha to be exact and it got let in as an honorary member. It would be a fast attacker and have some good jump attacks.
Primeape - A berserker style fighter who attacks very well but lacks real use of the special moves. It can still do them, but it may be open to failing. Like the trip mechanic in Smash cause fuck you it's funny.
Poliwrath - A heavy hitter who does big attacks. Poliwrath doesn't have a style so much is just a big beefy dude. Would probably make him a little better at doing specials because of his lack of finesse and real inability to kick well.
Machamp - Based on body builders and "able to know every fighting style" kinda makes machamp a little bit of an "eh" choice. Instead of making him fully aggressive and E Honda someone with 1000 punches we could also make him have special button inputs to pose and get power ups. This would make him actually stronger on specials if you wanted to do a special attacker or something else of the like.
Hitmonlee - A kick boxer style where he would hardly use his hands. He would still be able to do special moves like the punches but in general this would mostly mean he would just kick normally and have extra blocks with his arms.
Hitmonchan - If they can make steve fox do dodges with his feet then they can make hitmonchan the exact same way.
Galarian Zapdos - Look, it's stupid that it is a fighting type but it is what it is. So let's just roll with it and say he does a lot of kicks.
Like can't really punch but would use his beak for pecks. They wouldn't be flying attacks but in general would allow for a little long range.
Mewtwo - Our first non fighting type (not pikachu) to hit the scene and a real boss. See as much as Zapdos is a boss, Mewtwo would also in general be like the larger boss at the end. A real contender for difficult since his stats would push him a little over. The real threat is when you look at his mega form which would not require an item on the boss in the game and would allow him to not be stopped from this form. He also has a different move set meaning he is just in general a different fighter as well. You could also have it to where they don't even need the players to need to mega evolve and they just choose him.
Heracross - This would be a little tricky as beetles generally just fling their enemy. He would probably have moves that did that while also being able to grapple well. His mega form would allow him to hit better like he normally does with multi hit moves and would probably have a better grab based move set.
Hitmontop - Being short is its own special thing since he would be harder to hit with high attacks but he also has capoera style.
Blaziken - Blaziken seems like it would be another strong boss in that it literally gets faster as the battle goes on and his mega does the same thing. It also has muay thai style fighting.
Breloom - It's literally a kangaroo. It punches, it kickes really hard with its tail as support. It's a kangaroo.
Hariyama - Besides Ehonda strikes it is also a sumo wrestler. So throws would be a thing it can do.
Medicham - One of the more difficult to place styles. Its mega form would allow for also easy punch combos but I think this would be one of the more wonky styles of fighting. Each fighting game has a yoshimitsu style of fighter and I'm sure this would be it.
Infernape - Monkey style kung fu.
Loppuny - Loppuny is strange in that it is not a fighter. So it should have a generic not that strong looking style of fighting but when it mega evolves it learns Tai Bo and generic defense class style.
Lucario - Also strange to place but could have something like Tai Chi or something of the like.
Toxicroak - A dirty fighter and probably like that of a yakuza.
Gallade - Would be really good at counters and uses a gentlemans style of fighting.
Arceus - I don't know man, it's a horse. The people making the game would figure it out. Just steal the horse style from the JOJO fighting game or something.
Emboar - Based on chinese symbols and also wrestling. This could be a grappler as well with a greco roman style and theme.
Conkeldurr - This would have range over most of the others as well as strength, it would be slow moving but could swing fast. It also uses centripital force.
Throh - It knows judo and would be good at grapples and blocks.
Sawk - It knows karate and would be really good at strikes and counters.
Scrafty - Would use headbutts and kicks. Nothing other than what it says since inner city youth generally don't have a fighting style.
Mienshao - Shaolin style kung fu.
Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion - Each would have the same style of fighting. The difference being is Cobalion would have average speed and attack while terrakion and virizion would be slower or faster while weaker and stronger.
Keldeo - Would have a style like the others but with some variations to it. It would be kind of bad in comparison as it is not as old and skilled but it's resolute form would make the style come together and make it better.
Meloetta - Would have a buff system like Machamp but could also change style to allow it to do better at fighting but lose the ability to make buffs
Chesnaught - It's a noble knight. Give it a graceful style that doesn't fit its huge armor or make it a power house. The choices are up to the developer at that point.
Pangoro - Big punches and wild swings. Like Poliwrath but handles different.
Hawlucha - Luchadore style wrestling, but has a high jump allowing for aerial attacks.
Crabominable - Just punches. It
can't do anything else but it should have strong hard to stop punches.
Bewear - Based on bear wrestling and bear hugs. It is your modern wrestler. Since we won't have incineroar in the game this would be the closest we get to WWE style of wrestling.
Passimian - Tackles and moving. It's a football player. What else would it do?
Kommo-o - Honestly this one eludes me since it just is a fighting type and I don't think it was inspired type wise by anything.
Buzzwole - Just like Pangoro and Poliwrath. Would just be a big buff fighter.
Pheromosa - Would be a kick fighter like Jenny from Bloody Roar 3.
Marshadow - Since it mimics it would just be the random fighter each time.
Grapploct - A grappler.
Sirfetch'd - Uses his spear/sword for doing long range styles of poke. Shield would help block better. Also is small.
Falinks - What could it do? I have no idea.
Zamazenta - It has a normal non shield form, and it has a shield form. It could be slower in non shield mode but also when in shield mode be harder to hurt.
Urshifu - Urshifu has 2 forms. One which would be single strike which is precise and accurate trying to end the fight in as few hits as possible meaning dealing more damage or something like that while rapid strike form could just be an unending combo like Maxi does in Soul Calibur 2.
The real thing to know is that in general certain pokemon could have unique abilities not explained. Such as better blocks where they take less damage to no damage compared to other fighters or even more damage even if at the same number or other things like that, This would also make the boss battles more unique. That's mostly how the game would be made.
At the end of the day we lost out on what could be the most deep fighter ever made. What saddens me more is that had we gotten this game it would have probably made Nintendo do better with their online services. Either way we will never know what truly could have been.
Disney Fighting Game Roster (Walt Disney Animation Studios Films)
So, with all the recent asks about a hypothetical Disney fighting game, I drafted a roster of what this Marvel vs. Capcom-style game would look like at launch.
As the title suggests, I only included Walt Disney Animation Studios films, so no Direct to DVD sequels, no TV movies, no Pixar, and no DisneyToon studios movies (A Goofy Movie, Ducktales the Movie, etc)
I decided to have a base roster of 30 since that was the amount the latest MvC game had at launch.
“BUT WHAT ABOUT THIS CHARACTER YOU DIDN’T INVLUDE!“
To reiterate, this is a roster of only 30, and for me, just throwing in every character takes the fun out of there being a selection process. I basically went through all the films in chronological order and listed every character I thought was a viable choice, then narrowed that list down to 30. If you wanna know why a character was omitted, this is why.
If you’d like to know how I think a certain character would function in-game, you can send an ask.
So, here’s the list, in order of the movies’ release order:
1. Mickey Mouse (with an unlockable Minnie Mouse skin)
2. The Seven Dwarves
5. Peter Pan
6. Captain Hook
8. Robin Hood
11. Aladdin and Genie
13. Simba (MAYBE with a Mufasa skin. The two character have different builds, which could affect hitboxes)
15. Timon +Pumbaa
20. Pacha and Kuzco
22. Lilo and Stitch
25. Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope
27. Big Hero 6
28. Judy and Nick
30. Raya and Sisu
EDIT: Despite making a note to include Lilo and Stitch in this roster, in forgot to actually add them, so I cut Cruella and added Lilo and Stitch.