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Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter - The Time is Right

Garlador

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Mar 31, 2015
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The decades-long dream crossover game of many an arcade fighting game fan, and the passion project of many a M.U.G.E.N. programmer, Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter remains as elusive as ever.

I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here to find out how it can work and, if so, how best it could work.

"There part of me that's like, that would be such a cool dream, and then there' another part of me that says there's no way it would satisfy everybody," Boon said. "Even if we said it's rated M so we could tear Ryu's head off, I think that the games play so different, there's different pacing, different fundamentals."

"There's something...it's hard to put your finger on, one of the licenses is going to have to sacrifice something, and I don't know if we'd be able to find that sweet spot." -
Ed Boon
Will we ever see a Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter? It's a cross over we've always hoped for. — DanDaveTaylor

Yoshinori Ono: Ummm, it's so hard. But I have interest in it ;D

Obviously there are a lot of complications and expectations from either franchise, but every argument I've heard has never seemed insurmountable. Complicated, yes, but not impossible to address.

So let's address the biggest obstacle, and the easiest one to address first:

1. "M-rated gore or toned down T-rating"
Ed Boon said they probably couldn't get away with ripping Ryu's head off, and I agree. The gore and blood would need to be toned down. But you can't do that or the fans will riot, right?

Hold your horses. There's a middle-ground here. While, yes, the violence on MK's side would definitely need to be toned down for a crossover, it's not like they haven't set this precedent before in MK vs DC Universe, a very T-rated Mortal Kombat game.
While there was definitely some backlash among certain MK fans for subpar finishing moves, it didn't do much to hurt the game's sales. It wasn't even that great of a fighting game, and yet still moved nearly 2 million copies. Street Fighter V hasn't even matched that yet after nearly a year.

For all the infamy of Mortal Kombat's notorious, ratings board-creating violence, it has a SURPLUS of neutered, toned down material that was popular with a wide audience. We're talking PG-13 movies, GI Joe toys, a Saturday Morning Cartoon show.

Kombat Time!

While Street Fighter has had a shocking number of violent, authorized adaptations itself, in addition to its more mainstream stuff.
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie has more blood, gore, nudity, and f-bombs than any Mortal Kombat adaptation. And any excuse to bring up how awesome it is partially because of how unrestrained it is is a good excuse (and a good time as any to always plug the recent Blu-Ray re-release!)

And I apologize for bringing up the travesty that was The Legend of Chun-li, but in this crazy world it did get a theatrical release and an uncut, bloody, gory video release with enough brutality to make even a few Mortal Kombat fans cringe.

Mortal Kombat has toned down its violence, while Street Fighter has upped theirs in the past. There definitely exists a middle ground.

And Street Fighter hasn't been shy about scrapping with notoriously graphic and violent dudes in their spin-offs before.


So next question...
2. How does it play?
Mortal Kombat's combat is defined by hard-uppercuts, "dial-a-combos", and the notorious block button. Street Fighter set the genre rules ages ago with its own timeless combat that is far more about the flow of battle while controlling stage space. While the two were initially much different, NRS has moved further into SF territory over the years with their games - with meter management being a big one, and the two have approached a much more sensible singularity where if they can make TEKKEN work with Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat is far closer to adapt.

But it would have to lean harder to Street Fighter's approach than Mortal Kombat's. A larger focus on projectiles and stage management over preset combos, a loss of the block button, and the MK crew would have to learn how to fight without relying on teleport spam, much to their chagrin.

Inversely, Street Fighter has taken baby steps to bring in some environmental interactions. They'd still probably be toned down but, again, middle ground. And both revel in the supermoves like their health bars depend on it. I'd love to see "meter burn" make its way into Street Fighter to a degree.

But point goes to Street Fighter for this round. They have the animations and the flow of combat down to a fine science even if I admire NRS tweaking their formula and daring to upend it from time to time. MK would need to play more like a SF game in execution, not just because SF has the superior fight animations, but because I just can't see SF changing for MK, while MK is nothing but adaptable over the years to different fighting styles.

Next though....
3. Story
NRS takes this one. Sorry, but if this happens, Capcom needs to let the NRS team work their magic. They've set the bar for fighting game story modes and Capcom's efforts have been nothing short of embarrassing by comparison. I have no doubts NRS could spin a fantastically silly yet equally enjoyable story mode of the two universes crossing over and having characters meet up. Bison and Shao Kahn trying to one-up each other in badass boasts; Johnny Cage and Dan Habiki having a goof-off; Mileena and Juri seeing who's the craziest; Jax and Guile bleeding red, white, and blue all over the stage; Scorpion and Akuma seeing who's the scariest demon, etc., etc.

Not that Capcom can't tell a good story from time to time, but NRS's got the track record for this. Which leads me directly to...

4. Presentation and Extras
Again, this is NRS's bread and butter. I'd expect and want pre-game banter. Copious amounts of unlockables. Alternate costumes, art, movies, massive and extensive single-player modes and challenge modes. Capcom knows what they excel at and focus on competition, while NRS knows and embraces the fact countless players don't even go online and just enjoy beating up AI dummies to get Arcade endings and having hours of fun offline.

So I can see Capcom handling that competitive side while NRS builds a horde of fun modes that please both sides of the fanbase, hardcore and casual. The best of both worlds.

5. Visuals and tone
Here's a secret about both Mortal Kombat AND Street Fighter that's known to pretty much everyone; they're both goofy and quirky as hell.

Both franchises rarely take themselves entirely seriously. From goofy unlockables, bizarre joke characters, and enough easter eggs and in-jokes to fill a circus tent, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter both revel in the absurd, and that's their common ground. Rather than fight it, embrace it and find that common ground.

For graphics, I'd imagine a more stylized, comic book-esque Mortal Kombat with a slightly more realistic Street Fighter in the vein of UMvC3 would look splendid on modern hardware.

But just remembering to have fun can cover a lot of problematic elements. While I'm not expecting buckets of blood and spilled guts, some really crazy over-the-top finishing moves can go a long way towards putting smiles on faces. NRS has plenty of great supermoves and finishing moves that don't require decapitation to leave an impact.

So, lastly...
6. Now is as good a time as any so, screw it, WHY NOT?!
NRS has come so, SO far from the "ha, what a joke" fighting game developer they were during the Special Forces and MK4 days (*shudder*). And, let's be frank, Capcom has struggled a bit lately and needs a few more sure-fire hits they can rely on to bolster their coffers. We're at a point where NRS has leverage, skills, and expertise they initially lacked, while Capcom is perhaps a bit more open-minded when the money comes knocking.

NRS is riding high off of Injustice 2 right now as they head into the DLC season, and Capcom has Marvel vs Capcom Infinity on the horizon in addition to a slow stream of SFV support, but there seems like a lot of core talent there that could collaborate at this point.

And we DO know that both franchise leads at this point like each other's products and have considered a crossover time and time and time again, with the only major obstacle being taking the time to just sit down and figure our who does what, when, and how.

But there's one thing I do know and I know this quite well, as the strongest argument in favor of making it happen.

7. It would sell a ton
At the end of the day, money speaks louder than any noisy fanbase, and slamming two of the largest and most popular fighting game franchises together after decades of cultivating their own dedicated and loyal fanbases is a guarantee multi-million selling idea that would get tongues wagging, tantalize the tournament types, and bring in legions of curious and giddy players who grew up with both franchises.

Either way, both franchise remain great, but the dream of a crossover is far from dead.


So... am I overtly optimistic? Do you still think Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter, after all this time, is a stupid idea that could never work? Would you ever compromise on any part of either franchise to make it happen? How would YOU approach this dream project?

Sound off!
 

shingi70

Banned
Aug 27, 2015
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No,


Mostly you'd have a hard time fighting a play style between the two, and I doubt Capcom wants you seeing scorpion ripping off Ryu's head.
 

Strings

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Aug 6, 2016
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You've put a lot of thought into this and I appreciate it, but this is like the one crossover I absolutely do not want (outside of the presumanly rad story mode the game would have).
 

TheDinoman

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Aug 7, 2015
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No one wants to see Scorpion rip Chun-Li's head off...but at the same time, no one wants to see Scorpion not rip Chun-Li's head off.

It's the same problem Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe had. MK is just too inherently violent a series to really do big crossovers with other brands.
 

Lulubop

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May 27, 2011
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No one wants to see Scorpion rip Chun-Li's head off...but at the same time, no one wants to see Scorpion not rip Chun-Li's head off.

It's the same problem Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe had. MK is just too inherently violent a series to really do big crossovers with other brands.

Could work with Killer Instinct, but they'd be leaving money on the table since it'd be exclusive.
 

MGrant

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May 6, 2006
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Not gonna happen. I'd play it if it were entirely designed by Capcom, don't get me wrong. But the game isn't even acknowledged by most Japanese players (I think it's just Gamerbee, and he's Taiwanese) and MKX wasn't even released there. It has no headspace in Japan.

EDIT: It's like a Japanese person asking if there will be a big Western game crossover with Under Night In-Birth. Most people would have no clue wtf that was.
 

JayEH

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Dec 3, 2013
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A full game wouldn't work. I'd be happy enough with a NRS guest character in a SF game though.
 

Elixist

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Apr 6, 2010
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cutscenes and single player mode nrs

capcom for gameplay, with some input from nrs, i'd be down
 

tapedeck

Do I win a prize for talking about my penis on the Internet???
Oct 8, 2005
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I read the entire OP, you put in an honest effort.

That said.....No.
 

EYEL1NER

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I love Capcom fighters and like MK well-enough but I can't say I've ever wanted this. I'm fine with it never happening.
 

Sheroking

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Feb 10, 2012
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It'd either not play like a Street Fighter game or not play like a Mortal Kombat game. The differences are even larger than Tekken.
 
Aug 8, 2012
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No,


Mostly you'd have a hard time fighting a play style between the two, and I doubt Capcom wants you seeing scorpion ripping off Ryu's head.

Both of those are addressed in the OP.

Like, geez, I don't really care about either franchises and even I read the OP.
 

Garlador

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Mar 31, 2015
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No,

Mostly you'd have a hard time fighting a play style between the two, and I doubt Capcom wants you seeing scorpion ripping off Ryu's head.

I really don't want to see Chun-li or Cammy get butchered by fatalities.

No one wants to see Scorpion rip Chun-Li's head off...but at the same time, no one wants to see Scorpion not rip Chun-Li's head off.

It's the same problem Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe had. MK is just too inherently violent a series to really do big crossovers with other brands.

C'mon, guys. I address this. The game wouldn't have Chun-li's head ripped off.

When MK fought DC, Scorpion didn't rip off Wonder Woman's head. That's the middle ground, and for all the whining about it, the game was still popular and sold a lot of copies.

It's not like Chun-li is untouchable either.
Chun-li vs Vega is more savage than any fight I've seen in a Mortal Kombat film adaptation.


SF characters with NRS style inputs and animation...

Why would you wish this on me?
I wouldn't. I said Capcom should handle animation duties.


DC vs Marvel has a better chance of happening, and that will never happen.
Well, I DO have this in my comic collection:

Not gonna happen. I'd play it if it were entirely designed by Capcom, don't get me wrong. But the game isn't even acknowledged by most Japanese players (I think it's just Gamerbee, and he's Taiwanese) and MKX wasn't even released there. It has no headspace in Japan.

EDIT: It's like a Japanese person asking if there will be a big Western game crossover with Under Night In-Birth. Most people would have no clue wtf that was.
I'm Japanese. It's got a following there, even if it's not massive. There's still a few Japanese Mortal Kombat sites and blogs I follow.
 

TreIII

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I just don't see how such a thing could work that would make both sides of the aisle happy. Even CvS didn't do the best of jobs, depending on who you ask, and Capcom and SNK have much more in common.
 

Strangelove77

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Mar 12, 2015
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I hope it never happens. It's too 90s.

If there's ever any kind of collaboration between the two, then I hope that Capcom takes care of the gameplay and NR designs the story, graphics, gameplay modes, unlockables and overall content. Pretty much everything. Capcom can make good gameplay, but they can't make a good overall game anymore it seems. NR can do both, but Capcom gameplay is my personal favorite.

Also, neutered fatalities are lame.
 

Pizza

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Apr 21, 2014
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Heck
img10.deviantart.net
I'd be so down

Don't let capcom make it. SFV is bad. If y'all think sub zero with banana hair is cool then idk

Make MK characters a bit more strong and use <- to block. I honestly don't think it'd be that hard! Drop a couple MK fighters into MUGEN against SF3 guys and it's goofy and obviously not a AAA game but it's mechanically sound.

I want MK x SF and absolutely not SF x MK

Hell this is even the perfect time to do it with raiden trying to conquer other dimensions to keep earthrealm "safe"

Make the street fighter cast participate in mortal kombat to save their dimension
 

Dre3001

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Better chance of MK vs Killer Instinct happening if we are going by creator statements
 
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If only Capcom makes the gameplay and both Netherrealm and Capcom collaboratively decorate and create their own studio characters in their best form. Let Capcom balance the gameplay and the fluidity all out, while letting&#8203; Netherrealm create the outrageous special and finishing moves.

But yes, it's about time. I don't care how much it sucks.
 

Ploid 3.0

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Naaah, MK would need something more to enter a fight with Street Fighter. They make too much money for this.
 

gfdoom

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But the game isn't even acknowledged by most Japanese players (I think it's just Gamerbee, and he's Taiwanese) and MKX wasn't even released there. It has no headspace in Japan.

I think its irrelevant if Japan is not into the MK games. MKXL has seen sales that SFV could only dream of. And Honestly it would be Street Fighter that would benefit from the cross over more than anything (in terms of sales).
 

Usobuko

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Feb 3, 2013
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A 2x-3x more popular franchise tying up with a niche Japanese ones?

NetherRealm should get 70% of the profits overall should it happen.

I think its irrelevant if Japan is not into the MK games. MKXL has seen sales that SFV could only dream of. And Honestly it would be Street Fighter that would benefit from the cross over more than anything (in terms of sales).

Street Fighter won't benefit from this exposure. Everyone knows what SF is, they just don't seem willing to pony up money for it over Mortal Kombat.
 

Sub_Level

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Only if all of the Third Strike cast is included, because otherwise Street Fighter has a boring and ugly roster in my opinion.
 

MAtgS

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What if they just stick to villainous characters on the SF side? Would Evil Ryu be more inclined to do a fatality than the normal version?