One of the biggest breakout titles of this year has been Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. Publisher Dotemu has not only taken players back to a bygone era of gaming, but it has also put its own modern spin on it that makes it fit in perfectly with 2022's other titles. We really shouldn't be surprised by this. We've seen Dotemu pull off this kind of magic act before, most recently with 2020's Streets of Rage 4. They're totally capable of reviving a franchise. In fact, they've become experts at it.
That's why Shacknews is looking at a few other dormant arcade franchises and wondering if Dotemu can bring them back to life, too. Here are a few games and series that we'd love to see the publisher behind Shredder's Revenge and Streets of Rage 4 focus on next.
Arcade revivals are a blast, especially when played with three other friends. However, one of the reasons why Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge turned heads at Summer Game Fest was because Dotemu and Tribute Games went the extra mile and offered six-player action. That's something that hasn't been seen since the old days of the X-Men arcade game. Speaking of Marvel's mutants, maybe that should be Dotemu's next frontier.
Here's a fun fact about the X-Men arcade game. It was originally based on an old 80s animated pilot called Pryde of the X-Men and was definitely a product of its time. However, a potential reboot should perhaps explore a different X-Men era. Fortunately for everyone involved, Disney just so happens to be on the verge of reviving the 90s X-Men animated series, so the idea of bringing the X-Men back to an arcade brawler is a very timely one.
Would an X-Men arcade game for a new generation prove as memorable as the original? In some ways, no. You can't really recapture the spontaneous magic of "I am Magneto, Master of Magnet" or "X-Chicken." Having said that, it would absolutely stand out as its own thing, allowing Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Beast, Rogue, and Gambit to all fight simultaneously against Sentinels, Magneto's Brotherhood, and Apocalypse's Horsemen. It's a total layup of an idea and it's one that I hope Dotemu has considered pitching to Disney.
As we said on the E6 edition of the Shacknews Dump, "You're welcome, Disney."
-Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
Konami's take on The Simpsons is easily in the arcade hall of fame. Much like the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this was an incredible use of the license to make a colorful and fantastic beat-em-up. That said, there's another good reason why we need a Simpsons brawler refresh... The show is still going and there has been so much more to happen since the arcade game launched.
If Dotemu and its developing partners have proven to be masters of anything, it's utilizing thick-lored properties and making dense levels full of awesome references and easter eggs with them. In fact, given how packed Streets of Rage 4 and TMNT: Shredder's Revenge were with references to their respective franchises, Dotemu is one of the few I would trust to cleverly utilize a franchise as packed and long-lived as The Simpsons in a new beat-em-up.
-TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor
We've seen what Dotemu is capable of putting together with a gritty street-based brawler. Streets of Rage 4 practically put them on the map, in terms of a publisher putting out old-school revivals. Chances are, if you're an older player who played a lot of Streets of Rage back in the day, you also played a lot of Final Fight, Capcom's arcade brawling counterpart.
What's funny about the current state of Final Fight is that we've seen a lot of the series lore unfold over the course of Street Fighter 5. The main characters have had a lot of character progression, as have various supporting cast members. We've watched Cody become mayor, Lucia patrol the Metro City streets, Abigail run a chop shop, Poison and Hugo take on the pro wrestling circuit, and so much more all within the confines of the Street Fighter games. We haven't really had a proper Final Fight to advance this story and this series. From the looks of it, it doesn't look like Capcom's about to make a new one of these anytime soon.
If that's the case, why not let Dotemu try? See what they can do with the series? See if they can pit new mayor Cody and his friends against either a resurgent Mad Gear gang or an entirely new threat? I'd love to see what Dotemu not only brings to the story, but also how they can push the formula forward.
-Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
Golden Axe is the blueprint for the fantasy-fiction brawler. You can argue that there have been better ones, and I might agree depending on which you pick, but Golden Axe is just plain iconic and deserves all the love in the world for establishing a Conan-like beat-em-up where there wasn't previously anything of the sort. And in that way, it also deserves quite a full-fledged reboot because, currently, the last Golden Axe game to have happened was a steaming pile.
We can't let this legendary franchise go out on the notes set in the atrocity that was Golden Axe: Beast Rider. Put this franchise in Dotemu's capable hands and let them go wild. We'll get the refreshed battle against Death Adder that this legendary series deserves.
-TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor
There's a whole generation of players out there that have never been tasked with saving the President. They simply don't know if they are bad enough dudes to save a President. This is a failure of modern society on a broader systemic scale, but Dotemu could save the United States with a reimagining of this classic beat-em-up game. The only real question is if they are a bad enough publisher to revive Bad Dudes?
-Asif Khan, Shacknews Luminary
Alien vs. Predator
While the Alien vs. Predator movies leave a lot to be desired, the video game adaptations were decent arcade fun. You'll be hard-pressed to find cooler film creatures than the Xenomorph and the Predator, which made them excellent picks for Capcom's 1994 brawler. With how long that franchise has been dormant, it's a perfect opportunity for Dotemu to work its magic and revitalize it with a modern twist. We already know that they're masters at beat 'em ups. Hand them two of the most valuable horror/action IP and watch the magic happen.
-Donovan Erskine, News Editor
Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystera
Back in the day Capcom took a swing at combining its arcade brawlers with the world of Dungeons & Dragons. The end result was two solid entries in the forms of Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and its sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara. These games were unique in that they attempted to marry several aspects of the classic Table-Top RPG with the hack-and-slash action of brawlers like Final Fight. And it actually worked! The end result was an action-packed duo of games that you could just punch your way through as you leveled up your fighter or cast spells as a magical Elf on your way to glory.
The item/inventory system was fairly unique for a beat-em-up series as well and players could stock up on everything from throwing daggers to magic potions. There were even points where players' would choose their own path, which meant multiple playthroughs to see everything. Could you imagine what the teams at Dotemu and Tribute could do with a franchise like D&D and such a unique blueprint of games to draw from? It would definitely add some mechanics we haven’t seen these devs take a swing at. And it would also be great to see them try their hand at a fantasy setting. A new Dungeons & Dragons arcade beat-em-up would most likely roll a natural 20 and be a critical hit!
-Blake Morse, Co-EIC
Those are our picks for Dotemu's next potential revival project following the acclaimed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. What would you like to see the publisher take on next? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.
Shack Staff posted a new article, 7 beat 'em up classics we want Dotemu to revive
I agree with this list. My friends and I were talking about this after TMNT, one I'd like to see that wasn't there is Golden Axe.
So far, I like TMNT but I think I like the feel of Streets of Rage 4 better.
Just feels more visceral and connected maybe? TMNT is faster but I don't "feel" the hits as much.
I love this list. Great memories, those 4 player arcade machines were something special.
All of these would be fantastic
Simpsons got me thinking a FUTURAMA beat-em-up would be fun.
I think Leela and Bender would be the only potentially competent fighters in canon.
But so many would be fun. Zoidberg? Zapp Brannigan?