What If? The MOBA games that never were…

It has been a hot moment since the last post here with various fever dream ideas of games and characters that are never to come to pass (remember James Sunderland in smash?) With Pokémon Unite still going from strength to strength despite its rampant targeting for microtransactions and pay to win mechanics and the recent dive into the state of MOBA games on consoles (check that out here) let us have a quick chat about what franchises could make for great games! It’s not quite the What If? you were expecting but it should be an enjoyable time regardless! I’ve tried to limit this to a few top tier ideas so hope you enjoy!
There are still reviews in progress be sure to check back for those in the coming weeks!

Yu-Gi-Oh!

A ridiculous amount of anime series would work in a MOBA game. Any series that has had a generic little minion in it, a set of strong main characters and is typically Shonen focused would fit the mould nicely. Dragon Ball could simply use Saibamen as minions, Naruto with basic generic ninjas from each realm and even MHA with various robots at generic enemies. What really fits the best would be Yu-Gi-Oh! With 8 anime series of protagonists to use and 2771 monster cards to chose from you’ve a huge amount of content already. You could even use the models from the lesser known 3D PS2 game Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses and save yourself a duel of a time.

Sonic The Hedgehog

With Mario having a successful spin-off series with Rabbids and Sonic already having many mobile only games, it makes sense to spin off Sonic into a MOBA game. The freedom fighters charge into battle for the good guys and badniks for the bad guys. Not only are there 100+ characters to play as but you could easily use staples from the franchise in the game. Using lamp posts as checkpoint towers, time attacks as a new challenge, chaos emerald effects and rings as exp for your characters. It’s worrying how easily this could be a microtransaction mess but given SEGA’s library it could be a new Heroes of the Storm with crossovers from other SEGA IPs. It would hopefully have a brighter future than HoS though.

Power Rangers Vs Transformers

Both series could easily have MOBA games on their own but it feels impossible to pick one over the other. The resulting game would have two mighty IPs battle for supremacy; The Power Rangers fighting with their Zords and combining for more power, mixing different series Zords to combine into different Megazords. The Transformers working together and their abilities to transform level up as they progress through the arena. The premise would be your classic VS wishywashy nonsense where the good guys and bad guys team up against a greater enemy that threatens both of them. If you don’t have a classic “you could just resolve this by talking” moment why bother having a VS game at all?

Disgaea

The hands off nature of the existing Disgaea RPG (check out that review here) would be a good platform to start and lend itself to a more relaxed MOBA similar to the likes of AFK Arena and the less intense mobile games of that genre. You would have your main characters all vying for control of each world and sending out monsters, prinnies and lower tiered characters to battle it out for you. Unlike usual MOBA games your main character could only move a small distance and has to construct stronger minions to get the advantage. Each time a kill occurs you would gain more power and be able to use this at the dark assembly for changes to the battlefield. A potentially devilish time sink.

Star Wars

Apparently in a galaxy not to far far away there was a Star Wars MOBA. It was called Star Wars: Force Arena and was shut down in 2019 largely losing players due to pay to win scaling. It’s strange that there hasn’t been more attempts given how many different Star Wars themed mobile games there are. If you take the setup of Battlefront where the majority of the fighters are resistance members or stormtroopers and throw in the hero characters as your main you’ve a mighty mix. Blasting through the battlefield and calling in airstrikes from iconic characters to turn the tide of battle. The force would be strong with this one if the greedy Empire could let the gameplay be the driving force for power.

Gundam

It’s wild how big the Gundam franchise is and yet there’s no MOBA game for it. Every action Gundam game has a minion class of robot and fighter that could easily fall in as the lane fillers. Each Gundam the player controls would get upgraded as a level up system and the battlefield would be changed drastically due to external events and encounters (that could easily be based on existing anime events) Playing SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays has reminded me of how iconic some Gundam series can be and it seems a shame they’ve slowly become more and more niche and restricted to Japan. We’re now at the point where Netflix can add all the original films and still a BBC sports reporter can call a massive Gundam statue a Gandem.

What series would you love to see as a MOBA? Let me know!

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