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Feb 06 2014

7 Titles That Could be Improved by Putting a ‘Z’ In Their Name

This article in a nutshell, and a badass image.

This article in a nutshell, and a badass image.

Whenever I think of using a Z in the title of any video game, I can only think of two things: Powering up over the course of several episodes and zombies. Because I can’t personally see a martial artist alien monkey-man get turned undead, I think it’s better to separate these two and not let the hoary legions spam energy blasts. So, since we’re getting a new Z game that involves shooting aliens with ill-defined lasers, I figured I would look over seven franchises that would benefit from this illustrious addition to their title. I can wholly guarantee, within the scope of this article, an immediate change in design perspective and gameplay, and perhaps even doubling of their original market share. Let your wildest game-designing dreams be realized with old anime and the living dead!

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Bratz’ Z

In terms of lifeless husks meant to shill money, I haven't seen better candidates.

In terms of lifeless husks meant to shill money, I haven’t seen better candidates.

This isn’t your child’s Monster High, that’s for sure. These highly fashionable pop stars and fashion models now thirst for the brains and fashion accessories of the living! You’ll be the peppiest shambler in the apocalypse. Hang out with your friends at the mall and get ready to siege the prom as the only Prom Queen left, but watch out for those pesky survivors and their guns!

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Call of Duty Z

So, World War 2 with even more property damage? I'm sold.

So, World War 2 with even more property damage? I’m sold.

When war threatens the peace of mankind within or from outside the borders of our planet, the common soldier simply won’t do. Sure, you could give away your position in an ambush by screaming, but what can enemy soldiers do against high-speed martial arts and laser blasts? The series is already known for making the player feel like a killing machine anyway, so why not go all the way? And when you’re out in the trenches of World War II, making talk with your buddy in the thick of it when a scream erupts from across No Mans Land and then your friend is engulfed in an all consuming blast of non-specific energy, you’ll know you’re needed to win this war. Fighting the Nazis, for the good of the earth.

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Mega Man Z

GAME. OVER.

GAME. OVER.

Since Capcom has already made it abundantly clear that they wish to make Megaman as anime as possible, I feel we need to go with the zombie approach here. What would robotic zombies be? Old-style robotics, of course! Doctor Wily needed to look to the past and create Robot Masters representing the most terrifying pieces of machinery from the past centuries. Be on the lookout for 90’s-Era-Printerman, whose grind-whirring shriek as the paper feeds through him is the source of his might.  If that’s not a challenge, for you, why not try Atariman with his pixellated shots and erratic movements! Old-school gaming in more ways than one, and you don’t even have to burn the bodies afterwards.

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The Walking Dead Z

It has enough characters for a Shonen anime, anyway.

It does have enough characters for a typical Shonen anime..

When the team comes to Woodbury, and shit starts to hit the fan with death and devastation from the lumbering hordes, the only thing I can muster to relate is the intense and deadly rivalry between Rick and the Governor. So why shouldn’t these killing machines take it one step further with high-speed martial arts? You even have a swordswoman with a perfectly good katana that would just love cleaving zombies in half while speed lines fly around behind her.

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Avatar The Last Airbender Z

 

Hey, Fire Nation? We're sorry about everything.

Hey, Fire Nation? We’re sorry about everything.

Am I the only one who thinks that undead benders who could weave the four elements to kill the living would be awesome? There’s enough good reasons for it to exist: The dark energies of the spirit would could infect mankind, or something like that. So the Avatar can’t do it alone: He’ll need his friends, and a whole bunch of soldiers to keep ‘em off. And for once, the Firebenders have the most important job!

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Halo  Z

Haloid: This whole idea in a nutshell, with guest star Samus!

Haloid: This whole idea in a nutshell, with guest star Samus!

When the Master Chief decides to kick something’s ass, it stays kicked. If you have never seen the Haloid web animation, I would highly suggest watching it. All you would need is to add more laser blasts and screaming for it to work. What also works is the idea of the Flood being threatening to Earth’s mightiest forces of human advancement and modern technology. Your planet needs you, Spartan. Team up with your rival and alien friend while all other characters become less and less important. Cortana will just starting bringing digital Senzu Beans halfway through.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization Z

He knew. He always does.

He knew. He always does.

And you thought Ghandi was nuking everyone for fun? He knew what was coming, and Nuclear Theory’s scruples aside, it gave him the chance for humanity’s last peace. Now, all barbarians have turned into zombie hordes. Protect yourself well, or you’ll lose whole swaths of your population to the airborne virus. Survival matters first as you search for new technologies and weapons, taking care to lose no one to sickness and preventing morale loss despite all the mass corpse burning. The worst part would be that defeated civilizations do not simply die, but live on. We will all live in fear of Zombie Attila, mark my words.

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