(originally posted October 31st 2014)
In case the month’s worth of articles didn’t make it painfully obvious by this point, I love Project X Zone and, though it may never happen, I still dream of a sequel. What would change? What would be kept the same? I dunno, but what I do know is who I’d want to appear in it. The only rule is that they have to be Capcom, Sega and Namco characters.
1. Leon S. Kennedy (Resident Evil)
I love the inclusion of Resident Evil characters in Project X Zone and its predecessor, Namco X Capcom, because, while they do deal with mutants, zombies and psychopaths on a regular basis, it’s not really on the same level as fighting pseudo-gods and intergalactic beings, and I think Leon of Resident Evil 4 fame would be a perfect fit.
I’m not that familiar with the character but I’m aware of his popularity; part of which seems to stem from his massive sarcastic streak. Can you imagine how he’d react to fighting some of the otherworldly stuff you encounter, like the Feydooms or Aragami? And much like Chris and Jill, the dude’s determined, and I love characters that just keep fighting despite the odds. Plus, it’d be nice to see him as part of a massive team instead of dealing with things on his own.
2. Joe Musashi (Shinobi)
I’m kind of surprised this guy wasn’t included in the first place, given the kind of characters that were included. Many still seem to regard him as one of the best videogame ninjas. Again, I know very little about the character, but when compared to the likes of Strider Hiryu, he seems like a more down-to-earth kind of ninja, and considering how wacky a game like Project X Zone can get, there’s great comedy to be found in a deadpan character’s reactions.
Apparently, Shinobi was a very difficult game. We’re talking balls-to-the-wall hard. He could be the Sega equivalent to Capcom’s Arthur; an unmitigated badass. He’s also got a family that he could bring in as support; who doesn’t want a ninja’s pet dog jumping in to help?
3. King (Tekken)
When you think of Tekken, the first characters that come to mind are probably the Mishima family. Jin and Heihachi were in both Namco X Capcom and Project X Zone as playable characters, with Devil Kazuya appearing as a recurring antagonist in the former and Xiayou and Alisa becoming playable in the latter due to their strong connection with Jin. The only other characters, who both appeared in Namco X Capcom, (aside from Mokujin and Ogre but they were barely in it) were King and his mentor, Armor King, and I would love to see the former come back.
I played a little bit of Tekken when I was younger, and King was always my favourite (mostly because I didn’t know the leopard mask was a mask) but even now, I still love him thanks to his backstory, his kind nature and his wrestling talent. There was also a cute running gag in Namco X Capcom where people mistook King for a monster, with him having to exasperatedly explain it was just a mask. And being a believer in God, it was pretty cool seeing him fight demons and devils.
4. Zangief (Street Fighter)
Street Fighter has a surprising amount of characters to pick from. I would’ve put Cammy on the list but my reasons were that she was British and I think she’s hot. My other pick would probably be the ham-tastic Russian Zangief.
How can you not love the guy? He’s extremely over-the-top, incredibly powerful (pretty sure he’s wrestled bears) and he’s also great with kids. I’d love seeing him interact with some of the younger characters like Neneko. And given his love of fighting, he’d gladly welcome the challenge of fighting monsters from other dimensions. I could imagine him getting on rather well with someone like Heihachi or Sänger. And we could see him suplex a Vajra. How awesome would that be?
5. NiGHTS (NiGHTS)
While there were plenty of familiar faces from both Capcom and Namco in Project X Zone, most of Sega’s characters were primarily more recognisable in Japan. Should a sequel come to be, I’d love to see some of Sega’s old characters be revived, and NiGHTS is definitely one of them. Granted, NiGHTS only exists within a dream world that may or may not exist, but Project X Zone doesn’t care about making sense, so the rogue Nightmaren’s addition would be a welcome one.
I think NiGHTS would make a good support character given that he/she/it has access to a bunch of masks that allow he/she/it to transform into different forms, and it’d be pretty funny to see an enemy being taken out by one of NiGHTS’ famous paraloops. Playful, cheeky, British accent, can play imaginary flutes; it’d be great to see NiGHTS get another shot at the limelight.
6. Wonder Momo (Wonder Momo)
This 80’s arcade game got a bit of a revival earlier this year thanks to a webcomic and a (really) short anime that focused on an aspiring teenage model who gained the powers of the titular Wonder Momo, who turned out to be the daughter of the original Wonder Momo, who was playable as a young girl in Namco X Capcom.
The original Momo was reserved, a tad shy but brave and supportive. The newer Momo that debuted this year was a lot more brash; quick to anger and inexperienced, getting her ass handed to her quite frequently. I know it sounds like a massive downgrade, but I wouldn’t be against seeing her make an appearance, at least after getting some fighting experience from her mum. In fact, why not bring both of them in? Sure, they have almost the exact same power but a mother-daughter team would make for an interesting dynamic.
7. Amaterasu (Okami)
Okami is an amazing game and you should go buy it now. Doesn’t matter which version; just do it. Then come back and tell me you wouldn’t want Amaterasu in a game like this? I dare you. Admittedly, Amaterasu’s lack of communication skills (on account of being a wolf) wouldn’t make for the greatest of interactions but as a character, I think she’d be a great addition.
She is a literal goddess, meaning that the heroes would already have a supremely powerful force on their side. Plus, she has unique abilities to call her own, including her variety of weapons and the Celestial Brush. It’s been ages since we experienced an adventure with this great protagonist and I’d love to go on one more journey with her.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog)
Well duh. When you think of Sega, you think of their mascot, who was surprisingly absent from Project X Zone. To be fair, I can think of a couple of reasons why he wasn’t included but, regardless, should a sequel come to be, it’d be a crime to exclude such a prominent video game character.
And given the recent writing seen in the franchise, it means that Sonic wouldn’t be generic good guy like he’s been before. He would be cocky, snarky, constantly making fun of both allies and enemies; everything that we love about him. It’s all about contrast and it’d be great to see a talking blue hedgehog rubbing shoulders with realistic humans (in an ironic sense, obviously). And if he’s there, the good old Doctor Eggman wouldn’t be far behind.
9. Klonoa (Klonoa)
Klonoa was another character that appeared in Namco X Capcom but just like some of the others, not only did he not return for the sequel, he has very much faded from existence. This is such a damn shame, for me at least, considering he was the star of one of my favourite games ever.
I don’t know what it is about him; maybe it’s just pure nostalgia and his presence just reminds me of my first playthrough of Klonoa 2 and the good times I had from it. Whatever the reason, I’d love to see the little guy come back. Project X Zone was almost like a celebration of the obscure; a chance to bring together some of the less successful franchises, and give the fans one more adventure to enjoy them with. I think that’s part of the reason why I want another game like this; to experience and hopefully fall in love with characters that I would otherwise never have known. Characters like Klonoa may never get another game for themselves but they can still have adventures, albeit shared ones.