Follow TV Tropes

Following

Dream Match Game

Go To

Jinpachi Mishima: By the way, old friend, didn't you die after beating Azazel last time?
Wang Jinrei: That's right. I did die. My awesome existence allowed me to cheat death and stand before you now.
Jinpachi: They were this close to killing off a no-name character like you. The only reason you're still here is because those wussy game developers didn't have the heart to go through with it. You'll never figure anything out until you start facing reality.
Wang: Hmph! That's a lot to say coming from a guy who turned into sand in my very hands that one time.

In a Fighting Game, it is rare to see two competitors go head-to-head without the use of superhuman skill. These fighters also have the miraculous ability to seemingly recover from even the most fatal of wounds. As such, Plotline Death tends to be rare in fighting games.

Sometimes, however, not even being Made of Iron can save characters from kicking the bucket for good, be it in the name of drama or just to ensure that the Big Bad can no longer carry out their evil plans.

This can be problematic, especially in long-running franchises, for fans. In fighting games, a good deal of a series' identity comes from the cast, as well as their fighting styles. Maybe there is a Final Boss who is so undeniably cool that they gained an extremely loyal fanbase and merits a playable spot on the roster. Maybe there is a really badass side character who has become an overnight hit with the fandom. Or maybe there is just a particular character that fans find really attractive. Either way, their exclusion may prove to be an unwise decision.

To remedy this, many series decide to write the ultimate love letter to their fans by bringing back the entire cast for one grand battle royale.

Usually, a Dream Match Game has no bearing on the main plotline of its series, as the next proper installment will disregard this one to pick up from where the preceding iteration left off. Despite this, it will still contain many nods to the series' mythos. Nostalgia Levels tend to pop up quite frequently in games like these, albeit sometimes in a new form. A Dream Match Game itself may have an Excuse Plot, rarely, but not too often, turning out to be a byproduct of one of the character's dreams or imagination. It may also be used as an opportunity for various What If? plots and to explore different paths the main story could have taken if characters had made different decisions.

Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny games are like this too, only instead of bringing back everyone in the series they bring characters from many series together.

See also Fake Crossover (a crossover that has no bearing on either series' plot).

Not at all related to Match Game, which is a Game Show.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Fighting Games 

    Other Video Games 
  • Warriors Orochi, Koei's Massive Multiplayer Crossover between Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. Yes, there is a plot, but it is really nothing more than a means to bring together a greater portion of both series' stables, even though they exist about a millennium apart. Warriors Orochi 3 ups the ante with Guest Fighters. And coincidentally for this trope's origins, including fighting game characters such as Sophitia, and Kasumi plus a handful of other Dead or Alive characters.
  • Similarly, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam does this with all the different Gundam franchises.
  • Hyrule Warriors, which does this with The Legend of Zelda. The scope of series representation here, however, is more limited compared to other Warriors games: outside of the recurring Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, and Impa (all of whom incorporate traits from various previous incarnations), only characters from Ocarine of Time (Sheik, Darunia, Ruto), Twilight Princess (Midna note , Agitha, Zant), and Skyward Sword (Fi, Ghirahim) are present, with the rest of the cast filled by Original Generation characters. A later DLC pack and the 3DS port, Hyrule Warriors Legends, rectified some of this with seven additional faces (Tingle, Young Link, Skull Kid, Tetra, King Daphnes, and Toon Link, plus a Distaff Counterpart of Link's named Linkle who is vaguely inspired by his Twilight Princess and Link's Crossbow Training self)—eight if Epona is counted, so time will tell if any other titles will see their day in the sun in-game. And they did, with the latter DLC adding Medli, Marin, Toon Zelda, Ravio, and Yuga, all but one coming from the handheld titles of the franchise.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is this trope applied to the series' usual Metroidvania shtick. The playable characters are Alucard, Soma Cruz, Jonathan Morris, Charlotte Aulin, and Shanoa, with DLC in the form of Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades, Richter Belmont, Maria Renard, 8-bit Simon Belmont, and Getsu Fuma. In other words, you have characters from 1476, 1691, 1792, the early 1800s, 1944, and 2035/2036, as well as Alucard (effectively immortal, but theorized to have been born in the 13th, 14th, or early 15th century), all interacting with one another. Bizarrely justified in that the events of the game take place within a cursed book called the Grimoire, where both Castlevania and the various heroes and villains across time have come to life.
  • Need for Speed is a car enthusiast's Dream Match Game. Where else does a gearhead get to see the rarest, most ultra-exclusive multimillion-dollar hypercars trade paint and battle for position?
  • In Forza, that's where. What can be better than seeing the rarest, most ultra-exclusive multimillion-dollar hypercars trade paint and battle for position? By making them the General Lee and Bandit, or slapping on your favorite motor sport team's colors, or competing with the James Bond cars, or take the cars from Need for Speed and have them go up against the ones from The Fast And The Furious, or Ridge Racer, heck Forza 6 actually did just that.
  • WWE's games occasionally added "Legend" characters to their rosters but the first straight example of a full "dream match" would probably be Legends of WrestleMania in 2009, which had a lineup of classic WWF characters to play as from the company's heydays as well as the ability to import present-day wrestlers from WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 (which is what vaults it into this territory). The first game to use this concept as an entirely standalone premise (not requiring the player have a copy of a different game to achieve this) would be WWE All Stars, although it was less of a wrestling game and more of an exaggerated fighting game. Nowadays everything is played straight in the core series (currently known as "WWE 2K") where not just legend wrestlers are on the roster but so too are classic venues and classic attires.
  • The NBA 2K series has been the mainstay of dream match sports titles that have seeped into other franchises such as John Madden Football where you can have the 72 Bucks, 96 Bulls, 99 Lakers, 80 Lakers, heck the actual Dream Team of your choice complete with throwback and old jerseys.
  • Ultimate Custom Night is this applied to the Five Nights at Freddy's series: almost all of the animatronics from the entire series return, most of which utilize the exact same mechanics as the games they debuted in, plus a few new faces to throw a curveball at even the toughest of FNAF veterans. It's telling that, in a series which has never had more than a dozen enemies per game, this one has over fifty.

Top