Video Game Companies, much like Comic Book Companies before them, have in the past decade found the value of combining and crossing over some of their biggest series, bringing in fans from both franchises. With Solid Snake confirmed to appear in the Wii's upcoming Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and many other "Guest Characters" rumored and wanted among fans, it's time to take a look at other past joint ventures by Video Game Giants.

There is always excitement and trouble for the citizens of Maxis' SimCity. Starting as one of the most popular PC games, it would later be ported to the SNES. Players take the role of SimCity's Mayor and construct a city that will either thrive or collapse into decay. The SNES version added new features, most notably the new Disaster: Bowser, King of the Koopas. The villain of Nintendo's Super Mario series would show up on the outskirts of the city, and rampage and demolish every building in his way, utterly eliminating all of the player's hard work. This was one of the more early crossovers, a precursor for things to come.

Wario and Bomberman come face to face in Hudson's Wario Blast for Gameboy. Playing like most Bomberman games, players have the additional choice of playing as Bomberman and fighting many Warios, or playing as Wario and fighting many Bombermen. Each character fights in 8 worlds, separated into 4 levels, and each world ends with a boss. There was also a versus mode (Via Super Game Boy) to go head to head with another player.

Heroes and worlds merge together in Namco's Namco x Capcom. Players take control as main characters Arisu Reiji and Xiaomu and fight strategy-RPG like battles with the aid of various characters from both companies' games. Some these allies include Jin Kazama, KOS-MOS, Klonoa, Roll Caskett, Regina, and Demitri Maximoff. The characters are restricted to fighting in pairs, and when they come in contact with the enemy the game switches into a more action oriented mode, using timing to perform attacks, combos, and defend. Unfortunately this game hasnít be released in North America, so it's only a rare jewel among importers.

She might not be Master Chief, but this female Spartan sure packs a punch in Tecmo's Dead or Alive 4. Furthering their dedication to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Team Ninja barrows a character with features from Bungie Studio's Halo Universe, clad in full Spartan armor and sporting various moves with references from the Halo games. Though she's not available from the start, she's an unlockable character and even brings with her a battle arena of Nassau Station. Don't expect her to be playing Volley Ball any time soon, though.

Among the already diverse cast, Dream Factoryís Ehrgeiz features characters from Squaresoftís popular Final Fantasy 7, including protagonists Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie Kisaragi, antagonist Sephiroth, and even the NPC Zack. There was even two stages featuring songs from FF7, and an ending movie showing various CG clips from the game. Ehrgiez combines elements from both wrestling and fighting games. Players fight one on one in 3D environments, with the added ability to use weapons, and pick up items. The game also includes mini games, such as racing while fighting, battle Othello, and events at the beach. There is also a dungeon mode where players can fight monsters with various items and weapons.

Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei games are always occur in dark worlds filled with monsters and demons, so what better hunting grounds for Capcom's Devil May Cry hero, Dante? Hired to hunt down fiends and devils loose in an apocalyptic Japan, Dante soon makes the Protagonist his next target. He even carries some of the weapons and performs some of the moves featured in Devil May Cry 2. At first he starts as a strong reoccurring enemy, always on the main character's heels, but if one plays his cards right he might be able to join forces with Dante and play as him...For a price of course...

Boktai and the Mega Man Battle Network games had a few cameos here and there, but the biggest one came in the final games released in the United States: A literal crossover. Capcom and Konami's games could be played against each other via GBA multiplayer adaptors. The player using Boktai would take control of Django, and the one using Battle Network would control Mega Man. Instead of fighting each other directly, both are trying to destroy Shademan in their respective game. However, each player could control what attacks the other player's Shademan used by hitting their own Shademan with the corresponding moves. This crossover battle wasn't just for fun, as the winner of the match could unlock items that resembled items from his opponentís game.

Metal Gear Solid is already a very surreal series, but goes even further by teaming up with the monkeys from Ape Escape to create two of the strangest mini games: Sanke vs Monkey in Metal Gear Solid 3, and Mesal Gear Solid in Ape Escape 3. In Snake vs Monkey, Solid Snake is ordered by Roy Campbell to catch and capture Ape Escape Monkeys that are loose in the jungles. Snake can make use of some of his normal arsenal such as Stun Grenades and Thermal Goggles. In Mesal Gear Solid, players take the role of Pipo Snake and must use stealth skills to save Solid Snake from an army of monkeys. Both mini games are spoofs that poke fun at the games, especially the much more serious and dark Metal Gear Solid.

Soul Calibur 2 added a new twist to the simple cameo by having different "Guest Characters" in each of its console releases. Tekken's Heihachi Mishima on the PlayStation 2 version, Todd McFarlane's Spawn on the Xbox Version, and Nintendo's Link in the GameCube version. While Heihachi was already Namco's character, and Spawn was being licensed for his own game, Link was a true surprise cameo who featured his theme and voice from the Legend of Zelda series. Each character had their own move sets, "Destined Battle" (Pre-final boss fights), and endings. Though Link's presence made the GameCube version the most popular, some players who owned two or all three of the consoles found themselves buying multiple copies of Soul Calibur 2 just to try out the other Guest Characters.

Among one of the biggest debates in the Arcade Circuit is "What's better: Street Fighter or King of The Fighters?" While at first only heavily argued, in 2000 fans could finally take the debate to the arcade with Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000. Though it was developed by Capcom, it featured many of SNK's most popular fighters. Players could now form matches among leading heroes Ryu and Kyo, beauties Chun Li and Mai, or even villains such as M Bison and Geese. Each player could form a team from 1 to 4 characters and choose from "Grooves" to make each team more similar to the rules of either Capcom or SNK. It spawned another sequel by Capcom, Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001, which added new gameplay features and a more diverse cast; and SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, which was SNK's take on this ultimate match up.

Well, that about raps things up. Thanks for reading. You might have liked it, be annoyed that your favorites weren't included, or were highly offended and demand a refund. Well, to each their own. I look forward to new cross company games. What could be in store for the future? Diablo in Pokemon? Dance Dance Elder Scrolls Damacy? We'll just have to wait and see...

List by Fragnarok (02/20/2007)

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