There’s just something about assuming control of your favorite characters from childhood, battling through enemy after enemy on the way to accomplishing a goal. That goal might be defeating a boss, defusing a bomb, or simply saving the world. When it comes to these games, the risk is pretty high. Some ideas don’t age well. Some thoughts just fail in their execution. Some concepts have been beaten to death. Enter, Platinum Games. This developer has been on a mad spree of releases over the last few years, dropping 8 games over the last 3 years.
Many of these games follow a well-defined formula (the “Platinum Formula”). These are beat em’ ups or hack-and-slashers, touching on pretty much all points of the quality spectrum. From Legend of Korra (bad), to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan (we thought middle of the road) to Transformers: Devastation (pretty good), Platinum Games has shown a range of ability and competency.
Here are 5 properties that deserve the Platinum treatment.
X-Men: The Animated Series (1992)
Imagine if you will, taking the arcade game from the 90’s that you no doubt dumped an allowance or two’s worth of quarters into (or played via XBLA), and turned it into a 3D beat-em-up. Their newest TMNT game features player levels and different abilities for each turtle. This system could be implemented in a more effective fashion for the stable of characters available, offering options for Jubilee, Wolverine, Gambit, and Storm as starters, with several others as unlockable options.
The general over-the-top Platinum plot would be easy to pull from the show; Magneto is trying to wipe out humanity and pave the way for the mutants again, and it’s up to the X-Men to stop him. There are several potential villains to cap off each level, and that’s not even taking into account Apocalypse. This release could very easily coincide with the next X-Men movie in the series, most likely releasing in 2018 or 2019.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (1993)
Power Rangers is extremely near and dear to my heart. I grew up on Power Rangers, never missing an episode. For those that don’t know, Power Rangers follows a group of 5 high school friends (later to be 6 when the green ranger becomes the white ranger) bestowed with abilities from an extraterrestrial being. This group of friends leads the fight against evil trying to take over the world (while also teaching kids at home valuable lessons about life).
With a large stable of potential playable characters and iconic villains, Power Rangers is one of the best options for an IP to be turned into a game. The Rangers could all function similarly, but have unique weapons and fighting styles ensuring its not just a palette swap between characters.
It would also allow the developer to implement vehicle stages, broken up into 2 parts, isolated Ranger Zords – vehicles based on different prehistoric dinosaurs – and a boss battle where the player takes control of the Voltron-like Megazord. The ideal Platinum Power Rangers game would allow you to switch between the Rangers mid-game, and would allow for both local and online co-op. I would love to see Platinum Games take a crack at putting the Rangers back in our hands.
Powerpuff Girls (1998)
Sugar, spice, and everything nice, and then some chemical X for good measure. Most people who watched Cartoon Network at any point in their lives knows what I’m talking about. Powerpuff Girls is a prime opportunity for Platinum. Three kick-ass girls with a variety of abilities including flight, super speed, super stamina, heat vision, and more would be at our fingertips. Each girl has a unique personality, from the rough and tumble Buttercup (the hand to hand specialist), to the kindhearted Bubbles (the support specialist), to the leader of the bunch Blossom (ranged and decent close combat). Platinum could take these three characters and give each of them their own feel.
As the player battles to stop Mojo Jojo’s newest diabolical plan for world domination, they could grow more and more powerful with each enemy they dispatch. Powerpuff Girls has a multitude of villains to pull from to function as the end-level bosses, as well as quite a few different potential locations to avoid the feeling of stale aesthetics.
Professor Utonium (the father figure of the group) could serve as the player’s guide and mentor; showing them the ropes and pointing them towards new objectives. With the reboot of the series, there is a golden opportunity for Platinum to serve both the nostalgic fan base as well as a new group of viewers.
Samurai Jack (2001)
Samurai Jack (From Genndy Tartakovsky of Powerpuff Girls) took a mystical samurai warrior from the imperial age, and threw him in the far-flung dystopian future. To top it all off, in this terrifying new world, his ancient nemesis had already succeeded in conquering all land in sight. Jack fought insurmountable odds time and time again to set things right and return to his realm in the show, which could serve as the general plot of the game.
The definitive art style would lend itself well to a Platinum Games project, as would the protagonist. Jack is a master swordsman with a bevy of abilities, all of which could be included in the gameplay. With an identifiable evil overlord, the player is easily pitted in a good vs evil battle where the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.
While Samurai Jack doesn’t have repeating villains who show up in several episodes similar to Powerpuff Girls, it had a treasure trove of worthy adversaries whom Jack struggled to defeat. With a dystopian science fiction feeling, the game would offer players something different in comparison to standard games from Platinum. This aesthetic and art style could really make Samurai Jack stand out, if done properly.
Finishing out the list is somewhat of a compromise. Blade had a limited arc Anime from Marvel, but the character itself is just too good to leave off the list. For those who don’t know, Blade is half-vampire, half-human, in a world where vampires are trying to take control. The only thing in their way is the Day-walker, the one vampire who can stand the sun.
I would hope Platinum Games would focus more on his comic backstory, where Blade utilizes a variety of swords, firearms, and UV-based weapons to dispatch vampire after vampire. This game could lend itself more to some kind of skill or weapon tree, giving the player the ability to upgrade their equipment or purchase more gear as they go. Blade has always been an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, so it should be right in Platinum’s wheelhouse. The story could be based around stopping the vampires once and for all; something simple and to the point. The biggest worry about this game would be that it might feel just a little too similar to Devil May Cry, but with the right arsenal, and it staying true to the kind of deep-simplicity Platinum is known for, it could wind up being one of the better games to come out of the studio. Either that, or they could give it the Bayonetta 2 treatment, and go all out on it. Probably the better option.