So it’s come to this. This is definitely a topic that I have been meaning to touch on lately. I also want to touch on the Def Jam games, but this piece won’t be a review or retrospective on them, though I may make some references about them. No, this is more about the rumors that have been circulating for a while about a possible new Def Jam fighting game in the near future. Keep this in mind, these are rumors based on speculation, so I don’t know if there is any fact to them. But I will state my viewpoint on this.
The Def Jam games are definitely held in high regard and even so to this day, at least when talking about “Def Jam Vendetta” and “Def Jam Fight For NY.” A lot of people like to pretend that “Def Jam ICON” didn’t happen. Personally, I never played that game, but I will touch more on that later. But when talking about “Vendetta” and “Fight For NY,” they were definitely praised when they both came out and even when discussing them now, they still get the same praise. I know that we are far removed from those days as the two games came out in the early-to-mid-2000s, especially when nearing two decades since their releases.
Now these rumors have been going on as far back as sometime in the early or mid-2010s, because I recall seeing some video in either 2014 or 2015 that talked about a new Def Jam game in the works. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the video, but I will show a video that HipHopDX had posted rather recently about the rumors surrounding the potential new Def Jam fighting game.
If I find the video on the earlier rumors, I will do another post on that, but in the meantime, I will discuss my views on this. In my personal opinion, I would not mind, if actually would love to see a new Def Jam fighting game if, and only if it was done by the same developers that did “Def Jam Vendetta” and “Def Jam Fight For NY.” Hell, maybe Yuke’s, the people that did the WWE games even dating as far back as the first Smackdown game could do it, I would not mind that at all. That is if they could implement their wrestling style into more of a street-fighting style. Yes, I am aware that they did the UFC games from 2009 to the early-2010s, but I never played them, so I don’t know. I may have to see how they did with mixed martial arts in those games.
As for anything else, well, even though I have been a hip-hop fan for as long as I can remember, I really wonder at this point who would be put in the game. When looking at the Def Jam games from the 2000s, it really does date those games. For example, “Def Jam Vendetta” had the likes of DMX, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Capone, N.O.R.E., etc. When “Def Jam Fight For NY” came out the following year, there was a bigger roster with not just rappers signed to Def Jam at the time, but also ones who weren’t on the label but managed to get in, like Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Xzibit, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, etc. Hell, there were even non-rappers in it like Danny Trejo, Carmen Electra, Henry Rollins, Omar Epps, Kimora Lee (though I can speculate that she was in it because she was married to Russell Simmons at the time), among others. This is not even getting into the fact that both games had original/fictional characters in them.
But regarding the potential roster, I am not sure what to say about that. I am mostly unfamiliar with a lot of the current acts, or at least the acts that have been relevant the past few years, especially when talking about the hot acts from the 2010s to now. Sure, I could see the likes of J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, etc. If it was up to me, I probably would try doing the scenario from the second game with the “crew warfare” theme and have Black Hippy fight Odd Future, as well as Roc Nation. Maybe even bring back the character of D-Mob from the first two games, as long as it doesn’t follow the style of “Def Jam ICON” with its use of adding music to the fighting, and also the storyline involving building a label, which didn’t relate to the fighting.
All I could say is that I would be all for it if the game was done right. Even if the game was to have current rap acts, I wouldn’t mind it if the gameplay was solid and had a good theme and feel to it. I could even tell you that even when playing “Fight For NY,” though I wasn’t a big fan of Sean Paul or Bone Crusher, at least at that time, I didn’t mind playing as them because it wasn’t about their music but rather about their fighting styles in the games (though I will say that Bone Crusher’s special move was hilarious looking back, as well as his pre-match quote). I wouldn’t mind it either if it was just a remake of the first two games. Sure, I still have the two games for PS2 even to this day, but I would love to see how the developers could improve on the graphics. If this game does happen, I would just want a good game, that’s all.
In the meantime, I think I will cover something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while. I think it’s time to do a couple of reviews/retrospectives on the two Def Jam games from the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox era. Maybe I should also cover what could possibly the precursor to those games that came out a few years prior, “Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style.” Maybe I should also do something that I never thought I would play, let alone cover, “Def Jam ICON.” I shall see. Stay tuned.