What is M.U.G.E.N. ? Some of you gamers who are new to the scene may ask that question, and I'll be happy to tell you. It's the most epic Dreammatch you'll ever see. Orignally a program ran in DOS, and soon developed for Windows. M.U.G.E.N. Allowed gamers from all over the world to take sprites from any video game, and turn them into competitors in an all-out, no-holds-barred, fighting game. Picture Marvel vs Capcom vs SNK vs Nintendo vs Namco vs DBZ vs Squaresoft vs - Infinity.
Add in customizable sprites, interchangable energy bar and super bar design formats, and the ability to add in your favorite stages and music to the fold and you have one of the most phenominal DIY fighters out there. Some speculate that M.U.G.E.N. 's influence could be felt in the later versus games like Violent Ken's appearacnce in SVC Chaos, as well as Shin Akuma/God Rugal's overpowered movesets in CVS2.
So the question that crosses lips many a time is "Why isn't this on Consoles?"
Well the answer is pretty simple; Licensing for this would be the equivilant of Hell on earth. Elecbyte would of had to get every company who people demanded character sprites for on board (which would work for Capcom considering they reuse sprites with reckless abandon anyways. as did SNK with a few exceptions). But enough of why it can't be done, let's talk about how it can be done.
1. We have the Technology
360 and PS3 owners have enough hard drive space to devote to storage, and sprites available for download are 2D and are usually small in file size. Most M.U.G.E.N. enthusiasts have character select screens that feature anyware between 50 characters to a thousand with room for more as they are downloaded. There would have to probably be some changes like a universal code for all characters to cut down on bad files and such, but i'm sure that could be worked out.
2. The rise of Original I.P.
I can say with certainty that not every company would be on board with the notion of making their characters available for M.U.G.E.N. So let's just throw that out of the window and make it developer's scene. Have people who are interested in creating characters for the program make them. Of course there will be the occasional Ryu knockoff, or the occasional Kyo, and Iori clone, but that's been the case in many B level fighters since the SNES days. This builds for potential for developers and artists to get their own characters out there, and possibly to gain popularity and notoriety within the console circuit. Just make sure that Kung Fu Man is still intact to serve as a defacto template.
3. If we have to pay, make it worth our while.
If people do want popular characters to be available for download there really isn't anything stating that Capcom, SNK playmore and any other company can't make character packs available through XBLA or PSN. add in new features and capibilities that fit outside of their current universes, or use new. or prototype characters to gauge if gamers would be interested in possibly seeing them in future games. The whole thing would be lucrative, and informational, and very advantageous to companies that might of been struggling in the past due to negative feedback. Think of it as a advanced Beta, and that money can go towards making a awesome 2D fighter one day.. right Ono?
As always these three factors are purely just things to consider. I think if Arc Systems Works would of considered M.U.G.E.N. as a template for 4 player mayhem they would of been able to make Guilty Gear Isuka a much more enjoyable game. ( seriously, Capcom's 2 on 1 mode for Alpha 3 would of been a good template to follow as well )
Well whether or not this happens the M.U.G.E.N. community will still thrive and continue to gain momentum. There are tons of videos like the one i posted on Youtube, as well as ready made mugen torrents, and fanmade games. Though I will still keep pushing for a scaled back version.
eh oh well.
Link'd - M.U.G.E.N. download
Link'd - MUGENATION
Link'd - MUGEN HISTORY
There are plenty more sites out there, these are the only ones that i could think of off the top of my head. be sure to check them out, and fair warning some of those links might not work.