Nintendo at E3 unveiled the long list of rosters in their upcoming ensemble hero brawler - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU) - one surprise reveal, was Ridley, an antagonist from the Metroid franchise.
The reveal came at the last minutes of the 25-minute SSBU presentation, in full-animated CGI-format. The clip showed Mega Man and Mario, sneaking in a wreckage of a spaceship, while tailing Samus Aran.
Something then swoops, impaling Mega Man in the chest (nothing new there, really). Mario and Samus continue onward, unaware. Then the thing swoops again, taking out Mario, crushing his skull. Take note, all of these supposed murder scenes were silhouetted in a red background. But the distinction cannot be more clear. Finally, Samus realizes what's happening, turns around, and finds Ridley, descending on the floor, and toys with Mario's cap.
What's interesting here is the presentation of it all. Samus, Mario, and Mega Man, exploring a ruined science fiction structure. It's very RPG-like. A Super Smash Bros. RPG sounds like a game just about anyone, especially Nintendo fans, would adore.
Normally, crossover games include heroes and villains punching one another. Like Final Fantasy Dissidia NT, Marvel vs Capcom, or the Shonen Jump games. As far as I'm aware of, there are only two crossover RPGs.
The first is Super Robot Wars, which uses all that space-time shenanigans to band heroes together from different universes to fight against villains who decided to band together. The game plays out like Fire Emblem, where you move one unit around, target an enemy using one of the mecha's signature attacks and watch the animation unfold.
The second crossover RPG I'm aware of is Namco X Capcom, where it uses characters from both companies to fight villains from the same companies. It's also a tactics-based RPG, but during attacks, instead of a single animation playing out, you can attack multiple times with different signature attacks on a single battle sequence.
Namco X Capcom later evolved into Project X Zone and Project X Zone 2. While Super Robot Wars has been sprawling multiple sequels in a yearly basis since '91. The problem with these two titles: Project X Zone requires to license majority of its characters. And Super Robot Wars needs to license every character and mecha. Both instances can be tricky.
For Nintendo, though. They own everything in the Smash Bros. realm. Mario? Nintendo. Donkey Kong? Nintendo. Samus Aran? Nintendo. Even Sonic the Hedgehog is now Nintendo's. Would it be too crazy or hopeful to expect Nintendo to bring to life an RPG game featuring most of their icons? Maybe in the Dragon Age-styled gameplay or in a tactics turned-based format?
Nintendo Switch exclusive Ubisoft game, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle seems to be the prototype of exactly that game. At E3, Nintendo announced a DLC that will star Donkey Kong, taking out the notorious, genius-level intellect, super evil Rabbids.
It sounds like a decent business model too, if you think about it. You can have your main characters, those that are most relevant, and those that fans want, and then later add more through the amiibo feature.
It sounds like a far off dream. But I'd be on the forefront if such a game becomes a reality.