The concept of a fanservice game has been done quite a bit since the first games of the “genre,” such as Fighters Megamix and Super Smash Brothers (I’m talking about company fanservice here, not breasts and puns!) and while it has not been perfected, we have gotten some great games recently. Also recently, we have seen Sony release a brawler, to join Nintendo, who has set the precedent with their aforementioned Smash series. Though Sega is not one of the bigger players anymore in the console world, could they still release a fanservice brawler? With the success of the All-Stars Racing games, I would think that it would indeed be lucrative if they released a fanservice brawler, but which characters would they pick? Which locations and items too? I will answer those questions with a series of top 10s, that will tell you just who I think would be perfect to fill these roles. I will be excluding anything, anyone or anyplace from the Sonic the Hedgehog Universe, as its obvious and easy to just choose what you would want from that series; and anyways, you and I both know that if Sega were to do a fanservice brawler, it would be almost half Sonic anyways!

Items can be few or many, large or small, easy to use or challenging to say the least. Power Stone truly perfected the Brawler weapon system in my opinion, by having weapon, after weapon, after item, after more items. While almost anything in Power Stone could be picked up and used, certain items were more useful than others, especially the ones harder to get. For this list, I am going to look at 10 pieces of Sega's past that would fit superbly as items in a brawler, not to mention the weapons are for fighting, the defensive items are for defense and the quirky are just... quirky. How the items would be utilised, I am not sure yet, as Sega could go the SSB route (destroy a crate or barrel from Virtua Cop), the Power Stone route (have treasure chests pop up everywhere) or their own route (destroy the capsules from Sonic Adventure/Sega All-Stars). Time to get creative and make some items!

It seems that Zombie media has been massive the last couple of years (just like vampire media), culminating in the Walking Dead television series and the accompanying games/comics/etc. However, zombie video games really began to take off around 1996, when Biohazard/Resident Evil was first released and this franchise got its start as well (despite the fact that zombie games existed for over ten years at this point, with such titles as Evil Dead, Sweet Home and Zombies Ate My Neighbours having been released in this decade). While Resident Evil was an action-adventure title, the House of the Dead was a rail-shooter and both were quite challenging and creepy, with the most creepy accompaniment of each game being found in the enemies, specifically, the zombies.

A zombie as a weapon in a mascot fighter could work in a bunch of ways; for starters, it could be used as a cat or panther is used in Power Stone 2: simple touch the creature with your character and the zombie can wreak havoc on any nearby enemies, attempting to protect you in the process. Another method would be to pick up a sentient zombie and then throw it at an enemy, whereby it could begin to attack and bite said enemy, draining quite a bit of health. The type of zombie that could be used could really be anything from the House of the Dead Series, I simply feel that the above axe-wielding zombies are too iconic and actually quite practical, to be left off. Zombies as a weapon? You betcha!

Other choices from the House of the Dead Franchise:
The Magician (as a weapon)
Various animals (as weapons)
Zeal/Hangedman (as a weapon)

"Just testing an old adage: Unlucky at cards...": Every boss in games 1-4 of the series, is named after a Major Arcana trump in Tarot cards (Hierophant, Tower, the Fool, etc.).

(It's hard to see, but that red thing with a silver/white attachment that Pepper is holding is the sword)

Clockwork Knight was a "B-level," platformer for the Sega Saturn, that really was better than what it was marketed as; it's a very good game, though it isn't the best thing ever. While the sequel introduced new aspects and a ton of improvements over this title, it still was not as big a series as it could have been and as such, it hasn't been included in any compilations nor has it been released on DL services for the big consoles. Pepper too is a humourous and fun character (mind you, the entire cast is) and he would've been perfect for a mascot fighter himself, but sadly he missed my cut. One thing from the game that did make the cut however, was his trust weapon, the key.

Though not an actual sword, nor is it called that, the key is basically a sword of sorts that Pepper uses to attack his foes with. Aside from simple jabs and swipes, repeated pressing of attack button will cause the key to twirl of sorts, causing it to be much more powerful (think of the barbarian's powerful mace attack in Blades of Vengeance). Included in a mascot brawler, the same techniques and abilities could be placed in the game as well, as you could be able to attack with the key normally, but repeated button mashing will cause it to spin and have the same effect. The twirling effect will also add a lot of strategy never before seen in a brawler, as there have been few (any?) weapons like it, thus making the key a worthy addition to any brawler.

Other choices from the Clockwork Knight Franchise:
Springs (as weapons)
Cards (as health or stat boosts)
Barobaro (as a weapon)

The name game: Though he is referred to always as simply "Pepper," Pepper's full name is actually Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau III.

The House of the Dead has had many spinoffs and variations throughout time, with one of the more popular spinoffs being EX, starring Zobio and Zobiko (who also made an appearance in Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing) and one of the better variations being this game, Sega Golden Gun. In Golden Gun, you take the role of two teens who are out on a date (pretty sure they're actually dating, but that's irrelevant) and everything goes haywire, House of the Dead style; creatures rise from the dead, statues come alive and try to kill you, mummies and other artifacts from the museum come alive and attack you, it is FAR from pleasant. The game is a different type of rail shooter in that the gun is completely automatic and reloads automatically; this may make you think that the game is too easy, but let me tell you, it's a very tricky game if you aren't an arcade, rail-shooter regular.

Now, while Sega has had a ton of guns in their many games throughout time (from Alien Storm and Alien Syndrome, to the Virtua Cop, Operation G.H.O.S.T. and House of the Dead guns, to Binary Domain's lovely arsenal), the Golden Gun is a bit special in my mind, mainly because it is fully automatic, looks awesome and doesn't require a reload. These points (aside from the look, of course) also make for an uncommon but not super-different weapon than in past brawlers, as you could just hold down the attack button and shoot anywhere on-screen with a slight reloading delay. Of course, with there not being a long-time between reloads or a bullet limit, another limit would have to be imposed, such as a time limit and limiting the amount of possible opportunities it could show up. These attributes make the Golden Gun a unique weapon and a nice addition, especially if its implementation is accurate.

Other choices from the Sega Golden Gun game:
Vials (for health regeneration)

Based on a true story... Kind of: The three bosses and one midboss in the game, are all based on real or mythical figures from ancient Chinese history. They include Zhang Jiao (leader of the Yellow Turban rebels during the Han Dynasty), Gao Qin (an advisor during the Qing Dynasty that was considered evil and ruthless), Da Ji (one of the concubines of King Zhou of Shang) and the Monkey King (a character in a Chinese novel). Each figure (aside from the Monkey King) was a leading cause in the downfall of their respective dynasties.

The Hang-On series is one of Yu Suzuki's earliest and greatest achievements, especially considering what he was able to achieve back in 1985 with the legendary arcade cabinet; but what else would you expect from the man that brought us the most realistic racer ever (at the time) in the triple-monitored Ferrari F355 Challenge? The sequel Super Hang-On was an improvement in every facet and the home versions' "Original," mode was easily one of the best and most fun racing modes in any racing game prior to Super Hang-On, as you could race rivals in a series of runs to determine the sponsors you get and the mechanics you can afford, culminating with the best bike you could ever have.

Power Stone 2 has shown that riding weapons are indeed possible, as the super-fun scooter is one of the most sought after weapons in Adventure Mode, thus the bikes from the Hang-On series could fit in just as well. Just to think; it appears, the character hops on and you ride around, hitting your opponents and/or crushing obstacles to reveal more items or unlock more of the playing field. Like the Golden Gun, due to not having many constraints in terms of parameters, a time limit would probably be the best enforcer of the length of time you can drive the bike for. The only real decision now, is which bike from the series would you choose? I personally prefer Super Hang-On's white bike, however Hang-On's red bike is nice as well. What is your preference?

Other choices from the Hang-On franchise:
Bird-Bird birds (as weapons, or creatures that bring you health)
Cibie lights (as weapons)

"I've got more versions than a Chinese cart!": Super Hang-On is arguably one of the three most ported Sega games ever, excluding compilation titles (otherwise Sonic 1 would win that), with 11 ports.

Altered Beast is a crazy game that's big on style, a bit twisted and certainly a ton of fun, despite is shallowness and very quick playtime. Also ported to a ton of consoles (15, even more than Super Hang-On!), it's a game that is highly beloved and nostalgic for millions of gamers worldwide, particularly those that began their gaming lives on the Genesis or in the Arcade. Created by Makoto Uchida (the man responsible for the Golden Axe and Dynamite Deka series, among others), Altered Beast has a Roman Centurion (played by you), summoned by Zeus (wait, what?) to rescue his daughter Athena who was captured by Neff. A lot going on, a lot of enemies and difficulty abounds in Altered Beast, but when you pick up the blue spirit balls that come available once you destroy the blue wolves, you "Power Up!" and eventually turn into a beast, which makes things awesome.

The spirit balls' inclusion in the game would be essentially to puff you up and make you larger, basically Sega's version of a mushroom. Of course, when one is, "puffed up," they will be stronger, have farther reach and will probably be more durable; these same effects would take place in game, if a character were to pick one up. While I think actually transforming into one of the beasts would be a bit overkill, its possible that it could play out that way as well, turning your character into a Shang Tsung of sorts after he/she picks up the third spirit ball; the fact that the spirit balls are not a specific and exact weapon make for a ton of possibilities.

Other choices from Altered Beast:
Any of the various creatures (as weapons)
Chicken leg (as health, as a weapon)

A sequel hidden from North America: I remember reading in a gaming magazine back in early 2005 that a new Altered Beast title was going to be released that year for the PS2. After years of thinking it was cancelled, Project Altered Beast was actually released in only Japan and Europe, to terrible reviews (though the one review here on Gamefaqs is positive). That probably had a hand in cancelling the North American localisation...

Streets of Rage was Sega's answer to Final Fight, in more ways than one (between look, interface style and level design, there were a ton of similarities) and it was the only true "Sega vs. Nintendo," (as the full Final Fight series was only released on Nintendo consoles) battle that I sided with the Nintendo games, albeit with Final Fight CD being my favourite port of any game in the series, but I digress. The game was fresh to those who started with Sega as it was a similar experience to Golden Axe, but obviously much more modern and with hand-to-hand combat. Weapons could also be picked up however and it was here where the pipe was first seen, as the wreak havoc, destroyer of all weapons... whose title switched to the katana in the second game. The pipe is the only weapon (along with the knife) to appear in each title in the series, thus it is much beloved.

The pipe would fit in any scenario in a console brawler, as it is not too different than a sword or an axe. Not much else however could be done, other than simply hacking away, swinging away or bashing in the skull of your fellow brawler, as that's what pipes are best for! (that and passing water through a system, of course) Any weapon from the game could be in this spot (see the section below), however nothing is more iconic than the pipe and it would be a welcome addition to any brawler.

Other choices from the Streets of Rage series:
Knife (as a weapon)
Katana (as a weapon)
Bottle (as a weapon)
Chicken (as health)

Some good tunes: Streets of Rage is known, among other things, as having a superb soundtrack, composed entirely by Yuzo Koshiro, who is the famed composer behind Falcom's Ys series, the "Oasis," series and of course, Shenmue.

(Though its hard to see, that bunch of yellow in the bottom-left corner is a can)

Jet Set Radio hit the video game world in the year 2000, bring its own blend of style, music and a different plot to everyone's Dreamcast. Being the first big and well-known cel-shaded game ever created (it was predated by Fear Effect, for the Playstation, though this game was not marketed as being a cel-shaded game, nor was it as well-known as Jet Set Radio), Jet Set Radio created a lot of buzz around the gaming community, especially those who lap up gorgeous graphics. The point of the game was to collect spray cans and tag each location as quickly as possible, to rack up a huge score and high ranking. What do you use to make all the graffiti? Why spray paint of course!

Spray cans could make for a whole different array of uses in a mascot brawler; for starters, one could use it to spray other enemies, thus causing them damage (ala what you can do to Captain Onishima in Jet Set Radio) or, for a more Capcom-like approach, one could use the spray cans to heal (ala a first aid spray from the Resident Evil series), though this latter method would not make them spray cans full of paint, rather of healing goodness! Having each spray can picked up be worth about 5 sprays would seem fair, maybe with a boost to 10 for Combo (as he is a character from the game). Yet again, a wide array of possibilities exist.

Other choices from the Jet Set Radio Series
Pots (as a weapon)
The Jet Set Radio logo (known as Graffiti Soul, as a health or score boost)
Rollerblades (as an item to speed you up or as a weapon)

I can do it too!: Jet Set Radio has a ton of graffiti in-game (one in each size, per character, as well as unlockable ones), however one can also create their own graffiti to use in-game, via the tedious graffiti maker.

Shinobi made its first appearance on the Sega Master System and in arcades, as a side scrolling platformer/beat 'em up hybrid that had superb graphics, a great soundtrack and innovative game play. Being one of the early flagship titles for Sega once the Genesis hit, three sequels to the first game were released on the console within the next 4 years, each improving on the previous one. While a sword is used in the series, two other weapons would also be implemented. The first are your various ninja skills that you posses, ranging from fire to lightning while the other are your shurikens.

The shuriken, not ninja star, is a secondary weapon used by those who would carry a sword (ninjas or samurai), though it is arguably the main weapon in the Shinobi series. Its implementation into a console brawler would be the same as how it would be used in the original series, as a throwing device (though any tactical work would probably be out the window). While similar to other ranged weapons such as guns and arrows, the shuriken changes up the norm somewhat, as the character possessing it would be able to throw it based on their strength (Dan Marshall should be able to throw it much farther than Alys Brangwin). Keep in mind also that the shuriken can also be used at close range to stab and slash, thus a gameplay feature to use it in that fashion could also be explored.

Other choices from the Shinobi franchise:
Ninja techniques (as weapons)
Power icons (as stat/item boosters)

Better as time goes on: All of the Shinobi titles are considered good games, however each subsequent game improved on the previous one, culminating with Shinobi III, which many consider to be one of the ten best Genesis games ever.

Fantasy Zone is one of two games (the other being Konami's TwinBee) that helped establish the "Cute-'em-Up," genre; side-scrolling shooters that were filled with light, pastel colours and lighthearted music. Taking the role of Opa-Opa, a sentient ship, you must destroy all bases on the level before tackling the final boss of the level and boy are they tricky! The games were highly popular, though Opa-Opa himself is easily the talk of the town from this franchise, as he has been featured in a ton of games since his first appearance, not to mention the fact that he was Sega's unofficial mascot before Alex Kidd was named the first, official one. Another iconic piece of the Fantasy Zone series has appeared in a lot of other games, from Shenmue to Zillion.

The 16T bomb (known as "Heavy Bomb" in the games, as you can see from the image) is a dull, grey, anvil-looking thing that Opa-Opa can drop on unsuspecting enemies below. Its implementation into a console brawler would be a bit tricky, though useful in my opinion, as characters could simply throw it at other characters or they could pick it up, aim where they want it to land, then throw it straight into the air, waiting for it to come crashing down on their opponent's head. It's a bit farfetched to use it in this manner, however one cannot deny the iconic status and visibility of the 16T bomb in Sega titles.

Other choices from the Fantasy Zone franchise:
Engines (as a stat boost)
7-way shot (as a weapon)
Special boots (as armour/protective equipment)

Yes, he's alive in there: Opa-Opa is a sentient spaceship, however he is a living spaceship, complete with a height (14.9 inches) and a gender (male).

You all saw this coming!

I have played many games in my life, nearly one thousand titles I'd have to think at this point, however the first game I had ever played in my life, was Golden Axe on the Genesis. Set in the times and circa of a Conan the Barbarian/Red Sonja-like world, three heroes (in the first two titles) set out to avenge their friend Alex and their own family members that were killed by Death Adder. Death Adder kills everyone in his path, due to his obsession with the Golden Axe, a legendary weapon that he feels he must posses.

Makoto Uchida was also the creator of this series, which spawned 2 sequels on the Genesis, another in the arcades only (sadly, titled Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder), some Master System and Game Gear titles, as well as two spinoff titles; Golden Axe: the Duel, a 1 on 1 fighter eerily similar to Capcom's most famous and Golden Axe: Beast Rider, a game where amazon Tyris Flare stars. Aside from Revenge of Death Adder and the Duel, few received the consensus critical acclaim that the first tile did.

Now, for the golden axe itself! Like any sword, bat, pipe, knife or even sickle, the axe is meant to be wielded, preferably with two hands (unless it is created for one arm use). It does not have to be a common weapon in a mascot brawler, though it will be an important one, one that can take away a lot of health and possibly other things as well, depending on what would be programmed. An interesting way of utilisation would be how The Duel uses Golden Axe: as its own character outright, though that would probably not mesh well with the mechanics of a console brawler. As well, like the other items in the list, if there are any characters from the series that would be in the game, they could possibly receive an attack boost or enjoy a longer period of time with the weapon, as it will assuredly be kept in character's hands only on a time limit. It's gold, it's got great power, it's the most iconic item here, the golden axe deserves its spot in a console brawler and thensome!

Other choices from the Golden Axe Franchise:
Meat (as health)
Pot (as a stat boost or as a weapon)
Tyris' Longsword (as a weapon)
Ax's Broadsword (as a weapon)
Chicken leg (as a weapon)
Dragon (as a weapon)

Port authority: In the arcade versions of Golden Axe, Gilius Thunderhead utilises the titular axe as his weapon, though in the ported versions, his axe is no longer gold but silver. No reason is given.

There you have it! 10 possible items that could be found in a Sega console brawler. Though the majority of them are weapons, any other suggestion from the franchises of the above-listed games would count and fit in, just as well. Honourable mentions are in order and they are as follows:

Iced Tea and Roadkill- Comix Zone (Gen): Iced tea could be used as a healing item, while Roadkill could be used as an item to grab you a special item or weapon, as his use in Comix Zone is to find you extra items.

The Phoenix Mirror- Shenmue series (Multi): The Phoenix Mirror could be used to open a rift that provides chaos in the form of a fighting dragon or phoenix, causing damage to everyone on-screen or as an item that will help the character find health, riches, etc.

Lagi- Panzer Dragoon series (Multi): Lagi could be used simply like any other creature; to attack and destroy! Nothing else, really.

Racket- Virtua Tennis series (Multi): The racket could also be played straight as just a regular weapon, used to smack the living hell out of your opponents.

Now that items have been taken care of, the next list, coming to you all next week, will be about the possible locations that would be in said mascot fighter. Levels and setting can make or break a fanservice title, thus the choices that will be made will be bang on indeed! Questions, comments or praise? head on over to the top 10 board and let's have a chat. Peace!

List by Truck_1_0_1_ (08/18/2014)

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