As you may well have known, recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying Yakuza Like a Dragon. What I may not have told you was, while playing the game, I realised how much I enjoyed it and wondered why the series hadn’t made this transition long ago as it just seemed to fit the genre in a way I never thought it would.
After playing and enjoying Yakuza Like a Dragon, it got me thinking more about what other franchises should make this jump. I thought to myself, it wasn’t just Yakuza that transitioned well, but even game series like Gears and Mario have successfully made the transition to turn-based games. It got me thinking what other games could make this transitional jump, whether in the mainline series or as a spinoff?
When I thought about it, I realized there were so many franchises that would work, but some just seemed to fit the genre a tad more than others. I was gobsmacked as to why they have never been made as turn-based games. So, instead of just thinking of what games should have made this transition, I started to think about what movies, comics, and TV shows had games that I thought were in the wrong genre and better suited to turn-based games.
Now I know turn-based games aren’t to everyone’s liking, but you wouldn’t be on this site if you didn’t like turn-based games and with that out the way, here are five franchises I believe need the turn-based treatment and how it should be done.
Stranger Things is a supernatural Netflix series set in the 80s following a group of teenagers trying to find out what happened to their friend, Will. In the series, the characters meet a teenage girl named Eleven that has powers, enter another dimension called The Upsidedown and more. Without spoiling too much of the series, the characters are enriched with 80s culture, including being D&D fans.
From what I know, Stranger Things has had two games released, the downside; neither were turn-based RPGs, and for a series that was going of nostalgia and old-school, I was amazed it wasn’t. But what makes Stranger Things the perfect series for an old-school turn-based RPG. Easy, besides the series being filled with 80s pop culture references and the four teenage protagonists being outcasts, they also happen to like D&D, one of the first RPGs around which is turn-based making it the course of action for a game. Not to mention that the group always travels in a party of four, another staple of the genre; each of the four roughly fits an RPG archetype, aka Eleven–mage; I could go on, but you get the point.
Suppose there was ever a series that fit this genre more than it would be Stranger Things. I know the likeliness of getting a new game in the series is nigh, but it is disappointing that it wasn’t a turn-based game.
One of my favourite comics and TV shows growing up was the X-men. The X-men follows a team of mutants with unique powers that strive for acceptance among humans. In the entire series, one of the main points is a group of four to six (sometimes more) X-men at any time go on missions all around the world, helping mutants and humans alike from the enemy.
The X-men have had a lot of games, that’s a fact, but one genre of game they haven’t been in yet is an X-com type game. I know there is a game coming out called Midnight Suns, which I am excited for, but the fact is there are only two X-men (maybe three) in that game which to me is a sin; sure, there may be more, but in my personal preference an X-men game would have been better and here’s why.
In Xcom, players choose a team of four to six soldiers to take on a mission somewhere around the world in a ship; in the X-men, Professor Xavier sends four to six X-men to travel around the world in a jet known as the Blackbird to do missions. In X-com, not every mission is successful, nor does everyone come back alive; In the X-men, it is the same deal as not all missions are successful, nor does everyone come back alive. Do you see the similarities? I know what you are thinking, but technically in the comics and even referenced in the movies, there are thousands of mutants with different and even similar powers that could easily be used in the game. Instead of just using main X-men, players could have an endless pool of mutants, adding endless customisation for the mutants you recruit.
Once again, I know Midnight Suns is a thing, but I prefer the X-men to the wider Marvel Universe, and it would also give the developers more freedom to create their unique characters for the game.
Alien Vs Predator
Alien Vs Predator is based on a series of movies owned by FOX Studios and through an Easter Egg in Predator 2, created a franchise that would later join up in comics and games to eventually a film (less said about the awful sequel). Either way, the two Alien fractions would go to war against each other.
Like the X-men, both Aliens and Predators have had a range of games in a range of different genres, but one genre neither series has had the chance to enter are turn-based war games. Yes, there was an Alien Vs Predator Total War-like game about tenish years ago, but nothing like Advance Wars, which would also fit the Alien Vs Predator Mythos and allow the player to play through three campaigns and also give a violent spin to an Advance Wars type game.
What would make Alien Vs Predator Unique to most Advance Wars clones is that the game would always have three fractions fighting amongst each other, and instead of just trying to beat one group or capture one group’s defences, players would have to obtain both. Like Advance Wars, players could build bases, summon more soldiers, vehicles and more.
It is a wonder why no one has thought of making an Alien Vs Predator game like Advance Wars as it would work out so well, and they could even add hero characters from the movies, comics or games as a fun bonus for all fractions. Honestly, I could see this happening through an indie developer if anyone needs some ideas.
Legend of Zelda
If you happen to know me, then you know one of my favourite series of games are the Legend of Zelda games. The Legend of Zelda games follows a hero named Link, who, in most of the games, is the prophecy who will eventually save the world and save Princess Zelda. I know this isn’t the best summary of the series, but this is, in short, a rough basic premise.
I am amazed it hasn’t been done yet because it just fits the genre so perfectly, especially as a turn-based RPG. How would a Zelda RPG work, you ask? Same way as a Dynasty Warriors game, it just will work. In all seriousness, I assume it could go two ways, either as a hero RPG and multiple Link’s meet up in a multiverse type game or, better yet, it could be the next game in the series. Instead of Link going alone on his adventure, he has Zelda accompanying him and a few other characters for an adventure of a lifetime. Just imagine a game like that, Link is the warrior, Zelda is a Mage, and when she turns into Shiek, she’s a thief/rogue, and they could recruit enemies in their fight against Ganondorf.
Out of all the games I have put on this list, I see this as the most likely happening as it is only a matter of time before Nintendo tries something new with the Zelda series, plus it worked with Mario, so why not?
This one is a weird one, but after seeing Yakuza Like a Dragon do it with great effect, I feel like the next logical choice would be to see a game series like Mortal Kombat try it out; plus, it has a somewhat interesting story compared to most fighters that might just work for a turn-based game.
Why Mortal Kombat compared to other fighters? The simple answer is, ever since they started expanding on the universe and adding lore to the game, I feel like it would make for the perfect RPG game. Players could explore the world of Mortal Kombat with the four mains from Earthrealm in a fighting RPG in the same vein as Yakuza Like a Dragon. Hey, if they made games like Shalon Monks, Special Forces and more in different genres to a fighting game, then what’s stopping them from doing a turn-based fighting RPG? Personally, I would love to see it and battle some of those giant enemies seen in the background of fights. We all know Ed Boon would tease the crap out of this just to tease the fans, but either way, it could be fun.
I see it working, but I am unsure if Mortal Kombat fans would be into it, but I would love to see Ed Boon tease something like this to put them in a frenzy.
These are five games I would like to see make the turn to turn-based, but there are so many other franchises that could work out so well; what are some franchises that you think would make the perfect turn-based game? Let us know in the comments below.