December 13, 2003

Article at Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine

Only in Japan: Dream Mix TV World Fighters

Less entertaining than Optimus Prime vs. Barbie might seem.

If you think only American companies can shamelessly rip off one another -- you're wrong. And Hudson is determined to prove it. Enter its newest game, Dream Mix TV World Fighters. 

You know the Super Smash Bros. series of on Nintendo consoles? It's like that, except it takes advantage of Hudson's close relationship with Konami and Takara to chuck their characters in to the (dream) mix, which is a good thing, given how bare Hudson's character lineup is. Momotaro (of the long-running railroad board game, now in its 12th incarnation) may be a Japanese household name, but beyond Bomberman, the rest of Hudson's characters, like Master Higgins of the execrable Adventure Island series, are marked more by the vague "oh yeah, I remeber him!" factor.

Konami brought the big hitters in with a character from its ultrapopular super-deformed baseball games and a random Belmont from Castlevania, forcing Takara to dig deep for its lineup. Since there isn't much at Takara to begin with, it cheated a bit by exploiting its toy line to unleash Optimus Prime (cue "ooh!") and a Japanese Barbie to battle such freaks as the kid from Beyblade.

Naturally, all that madness can't be wrapped in a traditional fighting game, so to enable four-player battles and NOT totally rip off Smah Bros., Hudson came up with the charasoul system. You have to literally beat the charasouls out of your opponents and collect them. It's an interesting system, and it makes for a chaotic game as players scramble to pick up power-ups and charasouls and beat the living bejesus out of everyone else.

The only problem is that Hudson forgot to rip off the "fun" from Smash Bros., so the chaos is less frantic and more annoying. Dream Mix will not be making it to the United States, so if you're looking to beat the Beyblades out of that kid (they're just spinning tops! Get over it!) ... sorry.

Dream (Secret) Cast

Like Smash Bros., Dream Mix also has a roster of hidden characters. Here's who we'd like to see: 
Contra Dude
 (Contra): I'd pick the Arnie clone over the Sly clone and then unleash a seemingly endless stream of bullets. Then I'd grab the flamethrower. Oh snap. 
 (Kato-chan & Ken-chan): This Japanese pseudocelebrity has his own PC Engine game, which features a lot of flatulence and death by turd. 
Vic Viper
 (Gradius): This makes absolutely no sense from any point of view, and thus is absolutely perfect. Remember the Daytona car in Fighter's Megamix? Exactly. 
Solid Snake
 (MGS): Grab neck. Snap neck. Repeat until stage is won. Smoke cigarette.,2053,1490503,00.asp