The Big Question – Which Gaming Character Deserves Their Own Spin-Off?
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’? Well, we’re here to sweat the large stuff. The massive stuff. The humongous stuff. You might even say, The Big Stuff. That’s right, it’s time for TheGamer’s weekly Big Question, where we ask the question most other sites are too terrified to even think about.
This week, wouldn’t it be sort of neat if side characters had their own game? The answer – yes, but also if it happened I’d probably write an op-ed about how creativity in gaming is a dying art and that it’s just a soulless cash grab, because games journalists love to ruin everything because they have no heart. Anyway! Onto those big answers – gamers, let’s get sweaty.
Ann Takamaki, Persona
Stacey Henley, Editor-in-Chief
Since I have already written that Persona 5 would have been thematically stronger if Ann Takamaki was the protagonist, I’m going to go for Ann Takamaki. Persona 5 has an unfortunate habit of writing great female characters but then also giving them a scene where they discuss the sizes of their breasts. I’m not sure then if an Ann game would be a disaster, but there’s so much of Ann’s story that is still waiting to be told that I’m prepared to at least write a hypothetical 100 word entry on how it might maybe be okay.
James Troughton, Photo/News Editor
I’ve only finished Yakuza 0 admittedly but I would die for Nishiki. He’s handsome, loyal, and an absolute fashion icon. I’ve heard he’s not as likeable in the other games, but going solely off of 0, I know I’d kill to spend 30 hours exploring Tokyo with him, solving Yakuza mysteries and beating up baddies for my bud Kiryu. With Yakuza branching out more as per Judgment, spin-offs aren’t too far-fetched, and Nishiki feels like a no-brainer, even if it’s a prequel looking more at his upbringing with Kiryu and the Kazama family. I’d love to see how he became the adorable karaoke-loving goof that he is.
Vergil, Devil May Cry
Meg Pelliccio, Lead Guides Editor
I was a latecomer to the Devil May Cry series, only giving it a real chance when it came to Devil May Cry 5 and then backtracking over the others to make up for the lost time. I didn’t realise how much I would love the series, and more importantly, I didn’t realise quite how hard I’d simp for Vergil. While it’s easy to pick a favourite character and demand more screentime for them by way of a spin-off, I think a Vergil spin-off would make a lot of sense.
A potential spin-off could cover old ground, but from Vergil’s point of view, giving players a chance to go up against Dante and play as the more villainous son of Sparda. Alternatively, it could be a new entry as Vergil, set after the events of DMC 5, and possibly seeing him join up with the DMC crew, likely as a reluctant antihero. Either way, I just want more Vergil in my life.
Barenziah, The Elder Scrolls
Ryan Bamsey, Evergreen Editor
One of the most interesting characters in the Elder Scrolls mythos is Barenziah. She is infamously the subject of two series of in-game books, one salacious, one less-so, and is even a character you can meet and interact with in Daggerfall and Morrowind. She is important and her story is, above all else, entertaining to read. Both versions.
Something that the Elder Scrolls games struggle with is a sense of time passing. Obviously, open-world games rarely lend themselves to the notion of an epic tale that stretches over months or years – you get silly things like going from a nobody to the Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold within a week. A closer-knit narrative that follows one person as she discovers herself and rises to power would tell a more believable, compelling story in a world where that sort of thing is hidden away in missable books often neglected for flashy set pieces and an abundance of fetch quests. Barenziah would be the perfect subject of such a game – I envision a grid-based tactical RPG a la Final Fantasy Tactics, complete with political intrigue and a slowly-growing and shrinking retinue of followers and allies.
Mickey Mouse, Kingdom Hearts
George Foster, Lead News Editor
My all-time favourite gaming series is, as well-documented at TheGamer, Kingdom Hearts, a series that arguably has too many characters to focus on. Although I could be basic and say Riku or Roxas, I’m going to let the Disney kid in me out and suggest that we get a look at what Mickey Mouse gets up to when he’s not letting his friends suffer for a decade in the Realm of Darkness. The guy is a King and a Keyblade master, yet we hardly know anything about the adventures he’s been on, much less getting the chance to properly play and explore as him. Mods for Kingdom Hearts 3 have already proven how much potential Mickey has, so it’s just up to Square to unleash it.
Jack Marston, Red Dead Redemption
Lu-Hai Liang, News Editor
Red Dead Redemption is one of my top three favourite games of all time, and is a sequel, in terms of in-game timeline, to its much-lauded follow-up. I firmly stand on the side of John Marston as my preferred protagonist over Arthur Morgan, as I preferred the tragic, more sombre story that the game told – weaving itself closer to the fabric of its genre and particular theme: the dying West. Those who completed it will recall the unforgettable ending. How it finishes with a side mission that allows Marston’s son Jack to exact (a hollow) revenge. I’d be up for a spin-off or sequel that traces Jack’s journey. I imagine it would be a sad one, but I’m all for the melancholy. Perhaps it’ll be a tightly written 20-hour affair that shows the final vestige of the Old West and the last remnant of the Van der Linde Gang.
Varric, Dragon Age
Gabrielle Huston, Specialist
If you're a hardcore Dragon Age fan, you adore Varric. It's hard to say that's a hot take. You know what is a hot take? Making a hot Varric dating simulator.
There's no Dragon Age game where you get to romance a dwarf, and it's one of the series' major letdowns. What's the point of fantasy if I can't fall in love with a bearded man who smells like mead and lives underground? In all seriousness though, a Varric dating simulator would a) make all the fangirls happy, b) be really hilarious, not only because it's a goofy idea but also because Varric is super witty, and c) tide everyone over until Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. I rest my case.
Joshua Robertson, News Editor
I’m gonna follow James and choose a character from a Ryu Ga Gotoku title, but one from Yakuza spin-off series Judgment. Kaito was recently made playable in his own DLC earlier this year and it made me realize just how great a full game playing as Kaito would be. He’s funny, clever in his own way, and feels like it’s his duty to protect his loved ones. Basically, a perfect Yakuza protagonist.
The Kaito Files has whet my appetite for now, but it lacked a lot of the things I personally enjoy about the series, like side cases and fun minigames. I’d love to see Kaito’s character developed further in his own game or maybe even take over the Judgement series from Yagami. Kaito even has his own little family now, established at the end of his DLC, so the potential for a full game is there. Make it happen Ryu Ga Gotoku!
Ciri, The Witcher
Justin Reeve, News Editor
I’m a huge fan of The Witcher. I’ve actually played all three games in the series multiple times and so it should come as no surprise to learn that I’d like to see some spin-offs. This part is probably controversial, but I’m going to add that I’d like to see some spin-offs without Geralt. Who then should head up such a game? I would normally say Yennefer because I think that it would make for a great story, but I’m instead going to say Ciri on account of the almost infinite possibilities when it comes to both story and gameplay mechanics. I mean, with her ability to change dimensions, there could be some really interesting stuff going on. You could also have all sorts of political intrigue due to the fact that she just so happens to be a princess.
Duncan, Dragon Age
Rhiannon Bevan, News Editor
The Grey Wardens are the coolest faction in Dragon Age, but we barely spend any time with them. All bar two Ferelden wardens are wiped out at the beginning of Dragon Age: Origins, meaning you don’t really get to experience the camaraderie that comes with being part of a weird egalitarian death cult. If we have to pick one particular warden to follow in this spin-off however, look no further than Duncan. That man led a wild life before having it cut short in Origins, and following his earlier days would tie into the series quite nicely. From seeing Alistair’s birth to the rise of Loghain, Duncan experienced so much, and would be the perfect POV to follow in a Dragon Age prequel.
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