I have been thinking about spin-offs/non-main series games and crossover games lately mostly due to my love of Pokémon Conquest (a Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition crossover). What is your favorite spin-Off or crossover game? Is there one you like more than the series from which it came?
Kingdom Hearts is the one that immediately comes to mind. Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix is the best one in the series, but my heart will always belong to the original KH1.
EDIT: Hold Up I just remembered that Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure is a game that exists. It’s a skateboarding game featuring worlds and characters from Tarzan, The Lion King, and Toy Story. It uses the same game engine as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. It’s essentially Kingdom Hearts except with Tony Hawk instead of Final Fantasy, and way worse music. Here’s a personal favorite of mine, Play Like Us by Lil’ Romeo.
My favorite spin off is Metal Gear Rising and it bums me out that I’ll likely never see a sequel to that thing.
Some days I think Metal Gear Rising is the best game platinum has made. Bayonetta is certainly a deeper and more refined action game, but Metal Gear Rising has more unique mechanics and ideas, and it all comes together so well that it almost justifies the existence of MGS4.
I’m a pretty big fan of the entire MGS series, but Rising is the thing I find myself wanting to replay the most out of all of them.
It would be hard for me to pick between all of them. MGS2,3,5 and Rising all have incredible replay value. 2 might be my vote just because the controls are so tight and it’s short enough that I could play through it in 1 or 2 sessions if I skip the story bits.
#GamingShaming myself here, but I’ve never played any of the mainline Final Fantasy games for more than five minutes! Not a single one stood out to me in a way that made me want to keep playing.
But something about the world in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance always captivated me and made me want to keep playing back when it came out. The experience of playing it captured me so much that when I think of the Final Fantasy series, I think of Tactics Advance before anything else!
That reminds me of another spin off! I uh. I’m in the same boat as you in having never completed a mainline FF game. You know what I have played and enjoyed despite its massive flaws? FF7: Dirge of Cerberus. The spin off third person shooter starring Vincent. I kind of un-ironically like a lot of what it does. Or at least I did at the time.
Oh my god, that is only FF game I’ve ever finished, too! I remember vividly renting it from Blockbuster and playing it all the way through.
I played a TON of Clash Of Heroes, the puzzle game spin-off of Heroes of Might and Magic (which is itself a strategy-RPG series spin-off of CRPG series Might and Magic).
I also think that One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is mechanically a better Warriors/Musou game than even most of the core DW games (that I’ve played, at least).
I ended up getting WAY into Fire Emblem Heroes. I’m not normally one for mobile games, and I’d largely dismissed Heroes as another cash grab, but it sank its teeth into me anyway! I found it surprisingly deep, and that it sidesteps a lot of the pit-falls that make most mobile RPGs so awful. I’d even say it’s a considerably better game than the last main-line Fire Emblem (Shadows of Valentia), although I guess you could say that was spin-off too!
I’ve done most of what the game has to offer, so I don’t play anymore. I can easily see myself getting back into it once there’s been a ton of updates though!
I hadn’t played much Pokemon until relatively recently, but I loved Pokemon Snap on the N64. I took my memory card to Blockbuster so I could print out stickers of the pictures I took of Mew.
Also, the multiplayer from Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was WAY better than it should have been. I really didn’t keep track of the series after ACIII, so I don’t know if they kept evolving that formula. But while not a “Spin-Off” or “Crossover”, I wanted to give that multiplayer mode a shout out.
Oh and Portal. Yeah, Half-Life and Half-Life 2 were a couple of the most influential games of all time. But I would rather play Portal or Portal 2 any day of the week. No contest.
To add to the Pokemon train—the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are excellent dungeon-crawling rogue-lites where you get to play as a Pokemon with an adapted battle system from the main games. They also have phenomenal soundtracks and some really nice art design, and somehow for a Pokemon game the writing is surprisingly compelling. I don’t think I’ve ever really teared up playing a game, but the end of Explorers of Time got me pretty close.
Sonic Spinball is awesome. It has some performance issues that I would like to see improved, but the core concept is super solid and a lot of fun.
The Project X Zone games remain the Crossover Kings for me. And another shout for Metal Gear Rising in the spin-off corner here.
As someone who didn’t play Persona 3 or 4, and has never touched an Etrian Odyssey game, Persona Q was a real hit for me. Extremely anime RPGs are definitely in my wheelhouse (hi, Bravely Default and Pokemon), but Q is just that little bit more hardcore than the stuff I normally play. It just comes across as really earnest, even if bizarre and a little prone to some of anime’s less fun tendencies too. People talk about Persona sequels / spin offs a lot, but I’d love a Q 2 (Persona R ?), especially if it brought along the demon capturing aspect of 5.
Oooh good question.
I don’t know how strictly we’re defining “spin-off” here, but I’d like to confer a bit of praise on the oft-maligned Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Two things that’ve always really impressed me (by always I mean the one time I played through it) were the hookblade and bomb making mechanics. The hookblade is such a convenient way to get around and probably should’ve been in the series from the get go, but at least they got there I guess. Bomb making was so intriguing because it let you design your own weapons, which games aren’t really crazy about doing. You could choose the shell material and components of the bombs which would modify damage and special effects (like, ya know, smoke or whatever). It was really something else.
Again playing a little fast and loose with the spin-off thing, but now in relation to the SMT series: Digital Devil Saga is one of the most interesting JRPGs I’ve ever played (I’ve never beaten it. I always get far enough in that I have to restart because I’ve lost the thread). It’s set in such a dreary world, and the design of the characters and the demons that you can transform into is amazing. So many mouths all over the place. Oh yeah, the hook with this one is that you can eat your opponents? Don’t worry about it…
Apparently I like when games have tactical card game spin offs because Metal Gear Ac!d 2 and PSO episode 3 both stand out.
I forgot about the AC!D games! I love those!