When people look back over the games released in 2018, what will come to mind? What will they notice most about the roster we enjoyed? Will it be the number of open-world titles available? Will Red Dead Redemption 2 conquer everything? Or, will it be how often certain games bled into others. I’m referring to the proliferation of crossovers. 2018 was full of games that either were full-on mashups or simply dabbled in bringing some characters into others. Even Red Dead Redemption 2, which I mentioned earlier, bled into Grand Theft Auto Online with the inclusion of a Stone Hatchet, which could be earned through and event there and brought into the other game after its release.
It is a big year for games to team up. Especially if they are fighters. After all, 2018 was the year two major crossover games appeared. First, there was BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. This was the Arc System Works fighter that brought in characters from BlazBlue, RWBY, Persona 4 Arena, and Under Night In-Birth. Free and paid DLC has pumped up the cast with people from all four series, and an unknown fifth series is being teased as a new addition.
We also have 2018 ending with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate bringing Super Smash Bros. to the Nintendo Switch. This is a big deal, because it has it all. Every single fighter is being brought back, including Metal Gear Solid’s Snake. Bomberman is making his debut as an Assist Trophy. We even have Metroid’s Ridley as a playable character. It is an insane crossover, the likes of which few have ever seen.
Those are just the two major cross-over fighters. There have been smaller ones showing up in 2018 too. Nicalis has Blade Strangers for the PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. This brings in people from Code of Princess, Shovel Knight, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, and Umihara Kawase to fight it out. We also can’t forget SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. This is the fighter that brings in women from all sorts of SNK fighting games. Granted, it now contains much of the cast from The King of Fighters XIV, but originally some of these characters came from games like Fatal Fury or Dragon Gal. Both are examples of more subdued and niche games bringing lots of familiar faces together.
But even if you do not count the huge crossover events, there are smaller ones to keep in mind. Tekken 7 has two very goofy ones in 2018. One was Noctis, the lead character from Final Fantasy XV, showing up to fight. The other is Negan from The Walking Dead, also popping up out of nowhere for the brawl. SoulCalibur VI is going to invite a little magic into its live with Geralt. The Witcher character is appearing there. It even seems to be canon! Maybe the weirdest thing of all was learning Street Fighter’s Ryu is now a Power Ranger. In the Power Rangers: Legacy Wars mobile game, he becomes the Ryu Ranger. He’ll even fill that role in a short movie online, later in 2018.
So many properties are getting jumbled up in the best possible way in 2018. We have major fighters, like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, making their debut. Smaller conglomerations, like Blade Strangers and SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy are just as welcome. Some fighters introduced one or two major cameos, like Tekken 7's Negan or SoulCalibur VI's Geralt. And hey, at the very least, we met the Ryu Ranger Power Ranger and got a Red Dead Redemption 2 weapon in GTA Online. All in all, it has been a good year.