Battletoads in Shovel Knight and other retro classics invading modern games
It's pretty clear by this point that Microsoft and Rare are ramping up for something Battletoads-related this year. The combination of Rare's 30th anniversary, Phil Spencer's ongoing interest in T-shirt based teasing and, now, the introduction of the Combat Amphibians in the Xbox One edition of Yacht Club Games' retro love letter, Shovel Knight all point to something warty on the horizon. But if we're now cross-pollinating new games with old games simply to sell other potential new games, this opens up many doors. I dug deep into the recesses of my mind, sparking up the old frontal lobe to perform what well-paid marketing men would call "putting a retro reference in a new game for chuckles and yuks".
A Space Invader in Alien: Isolation
What scares a human? A Xenomorph. But what scares a Xenomorph? An even more terrifying alien. Throw one of games' classic villains into Creative Assembly's horrifying fight-or-flight simulator and you have yourself a food chain. We want to see something unpleasant slicing through the Alien's stomach for once - in this case, a massive pixel.
A Space Invader in Gears of War
Everyone knows the Locust are just big copiers. You know who else despoiled humanity with relentless ordnance? These guys. Let us saw off an antenna or two and relive the old days. For extra poignancy, we could find out that one of the COG soldiers accidentally has fallen in dangerous love with a Space Invader and, heartbreakingly, now has a musclebound hybrid child who can only walk sideways.
A Space Invader in Far Cry 4
Look, it's not as if Far Cry wasn't cuckoo-bananas already. This is a series where you go on more dangerous trips than Bear Grylls. What's more ridiculous - that you regularly appear in Shangri-La and can control an albino tiger, or that you can pick up a '70s extraterrestrial and start pinging death rays out of its square head? The defense rests.
The Oliver Twins in Killer Instinct
Everyone knows that the retro innovators and creators of Dizzy the egg are slavering maniacs when they're riled up. Word is, they once performed a flawless recreation of the Dudley Death Drop on Nolan Bushnell when he made fun of the Spectrum. Between creating 'Spongebob's Surf and Skate Roadtrip' and the official Puss in Boots game, they were probably going on exotic hunts and only using their fists to kill endangered tigers. Let's get them in here.
A Space Invader in Scalebound
This one's actually a bit of a scoop. If you freezeframe the brilliant first trailer for Platinum's upcoming Xbox One exclusive, you can see a haughty-looking man riding one of Taito's creations in the background. Easter Egg or massive hint? You decide.