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Clear and Present Danger: Hollywood's Attack on Video Games

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April 24, 2006 1:05:34 PM

The seemingly endless flood of incredibly bad movies based on video games has been a painful ordeal, and it's hurting the video game industry more than you might think. The mediocre game adaptations and their creators are threatening to infect the very games that inspired them. TwitchGuru goes deep inside the threat from Hollywood, and issues a call to arms for gamers everywhere.
April 24, 2006 6:15:43 PM

Dont forget to credit Master Boll with creating a movie version of "Postal 2" as well.... I see it is on his IMDB page, labelled as being "in production" along with Far Cry.

I am a very big "B" movie fan - and can enjoy all the stinkers that fall into that broad category of "Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror" B-flicks...especially if they are based on video games as I am an avid gamer. I even somewhat enjoyed Resident Evil.... for both Milla and the slicey laser grid :D  ...all the while realizing the "B-ness" of the flick. There is a subtle charm to a good B-Movie.

However - I was quite disgusted after watching "House of the Dead". What a steaming pile. There was not even a attempt to give this movie a plot, or characters. I cant even go into detail on this one, it sucked worse than any movie I have ever seen ("Alone in the Dark" excluded as I couldn't actually finish watching that one).

I just watched BloodRayne last week. I am afraid I totally agree that Uwe Boll must be stopped. Granted, you can only take a movie about a half-vampire dressed like a cheap hooker so seriously (even a B movie)... but this was awful. They didnt even hire stunt/fight doubles for the action scenes.... picture a slightly drunk, very overweight Michael Madsen trying to look genuine swinging a big sword around LOL.
Also, what the hell were some of these actors thinking? Ben Kingsley?... I guess all that "Ghandi" money is used up. Michelle Rodriguez?... "Lost" not paying enough? Time to fire your agents.

As far as Doom goes....it was an acceptable B-Movie. Acting somewhere between bad and mediocre was compensated by having some recognizable names: The Rock, Karl Urban.......ummm......well 2 names anyways. Special effects and some nice action kept this one from being an unworthy B-Movie entry (the BFG effects were nice). I even enjoyed the corny "First Person Shooter" view sequence toward the end :wink:

Although there seem to be a few bad directors/producers butchering some of my favorite games -- I am afraid the worst offender HAS to be Uwe Boll. Films by the others can at least still be classified as a fun "B" movie. His are simply crap, and if a fan of crappy B-grade moviees thinks you suck.... You suck.
April 25, 2006 5:07:18 PM

Idunno, Rob, it feels to me like you may be overplaying your hand a bit with this one.

From your post above ...

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The seemingly endless flood of incredibly bad movies based on video games has been a painful ordeal, and it's hurting the video game industry more than you might think.


And from the article itself: "It may be an unfair case of guilt by association, but a lot more people than you think out there are making the "bad movies = bad games" connection."

The emphasis is mine, but these "more than you might think" comparisons are way too easy to make. Since I "might" think anything at all, chances are, you're right. :-P I'm looking for facts--financials, that kind of thing--and not finding them in the article. I DID find a great rundown of stinker video game films, which I enjoyed reading, don't get me wrong.

Here's a good test case: "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay." This game was universally acclaimed as far better than the movie that inspired it. Does anybody know the sales figures? (I don't, in case I'm not making that clear.) If somebody can show me that this GREAT game based on a BAD movie sold badly in spite of stellar reviews, then there's some merit to Rob's argument. If not, then I think the hypothesis here is overstated.
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April 25, 2006 7:26:18 PM

Fair enough, Red. You make a good point, though when I wrote the bad movies=bad games point, I was referring mostly to non-gamers who had little to know interest in games. If the movies based on these games are awful, they're certainly not going to inspire folks to pick up the controller and play the games.

As for The Chronicles of Riddick, the movie did $57.7 million in America, which is a lot of money, but ultimately it was considered to be a disappointment because the budget was over $100 million. It wasn't a bad film, and I certainly won't compare that movie to House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark. But I have to dig very deep to find a negative review of Escape from Butcher Bay, and since it's an Xbox Platinum hit, I figure it's done pretty well. I'm note sure about the PC version, but I'm sure I can find the figures somewhere.
April 25, 2006 11:35:35 PM

Well, for much of the gaming industry's history, one can't say that some of the things were un-meritted, suhc as the Super Mario Bros. Movie. After all, game adaptations of films were pretty sucky as well; I've played through tons of them, such as Willow, The Lord of the Rings (SNES adaptation) The Lion King, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and perhaps the worst of them all, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Granted, the Star Wars/Super Star Wars titles weren't THAT bad, though I must say, the originals for the NES weren't all that good, either.

It really wasn't until a certain fateful FPS, which to this day still retains the honor of the best-selling title in its genre, debuted in 1997, that it became apparent that video games COULD be based off of movies and not suck. That game, for those who never picked up a controller before the 21st century, was GoldenEye 007.

Since then, we HAVE had more and more films adapted into games that have been good, ranging from Pirates of the Carribean to The Lord of the Rings. (note that in many cases, I consider it an adaptation of the movie, and not the book, if the game is CLEARLY based off of the movie's interpretation)
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Fair enough, Red. You make a good point, though when I wrote the bad movies=bad games point, I was referring mostly to non-gamers who had little to know interest in games. If the movies based on these games are awful, they're certainly not going to inspire folks to pick up the controller and play the games.

As for The Chronicles of Riddick, the movie did $57.7 million in America, which is a lot of money, but ultimately it was considered to be a disappointment because the budget was over $100 million. It wasn't a bad film, and I certainly won't compare that movie to House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark. But I have to dig very deep to find a negative review of Escape from Butcher Bay, and since it's an Xbox Platinum hit, I figure it's done pretty well. I'm note sure about the PC version, but I'm sure I can find the figures somewhere.

Indeed, the point of scaring away potential new gamers is quite serious. I'm actually starting to turn around in my thinking on game studios being able to sue movie studios over making such stinkers...

As for Riddick, the PC version may not have sold 1 million copies, but it did well enough to be accepted as a standard PC gaming benchmark, used at other sites, not just THG.
April 26, 2006 3:41:08 PM

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That game, for those who never picked up a controller before the 21st century, was GoldenEye 007.


Damn that was a good game :) 
April 26, 2006 3:41:51 PM

AKKKKK 2X post sorry
April 26, 2006 4:13:53 PM

Here, here. GoldenEye is a classic and still entirely playable today nearly 10 years later (in fact, I still play it on my N-64 from time to time). One could argue that it was the first good movie adapation game and ultimately restarted the trend.
April 26, 2006 6:41:58 PM

Funny you should all mention it, I was playing Goldeneye on an N-64 only a few weeks ago...
April 27, 2006 1:13:24 AM

NottheKing hit the nail on the head. It was ANZAC day here in Australia on Tuesday where we remember soldiers from WW1 and our motto is "Lest we forget".

Only a few years ago I read an article on Star Trek: Away Team stating the reverse "no good videogames come from movies or TV" (GoldenEye was an exception to the rule). The C64, NES, Genesis, SNES had some appalling movie crossovers - I still have nightmares about playing "The Labyrinth" on tape drive on the C64. The list is almost endless - Short Circuit, Mad Max, E.T., etc, etc, etc...

The revolution will come (no pun intended) when movie makers realise like game makers did that a good movie makes more money than a crap one. It seems logical but it's tempting to go half arsed and attempt to make a quick million than invest in making a whole lot more.

Lest we forget - a lot of crappy movie tie-in games.
April 27, 2006 11:33:19 AM

Hopefully Halo will be decent with Peter Jackson producing it. I want to see a movie trilogy based on Warcraft, directed by Peter Jackson, with a LOTR feel to it :D 
April 28, 2006 6:18:37 AM

Blade runner isn't bad.
April 28, 2006 8:38:55 AM

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It really wasn't until a certain fateful FPS, which to this day still retains the honor of the best-selling title in its genre, debuted in 1997, that it became apparent that video games COULD be based off of movies and not suck. That game, for those who never picked up a controller before the 21st century, was GoldenEye 007.


Huh? *scratching head* What about X-Wing and Tie Fighter on the PC? They probably don't have the same sales figures as an N64 title since PC gaming was a relatively small market, but both were excellent titles. Dark Forces was a decent FPS based in the Star Wars universe. I pumped a lot of quarters into Star Wars - The Arcade Game and Return of the Jedi in the arcades during the 80's.

While the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arcade game wasn't that great, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine wasn't too bad of an adventure game from LucasArts.

Although not really a movie property, Star Trek - Judgement Rites and Star Trek 25th Anniversary were actually quite good. I found the console versions a bit lacking as was the case most of the time when games were released on both the PC and a console.

But Rob's point is well taken...there have been some good games based on movies and lately that situation seems to be improving. However, there haven't been any truly spectacular movies based on video games. Super Mario Bros. was a laughable 80's film and quickly dismissed...very campy and not intended to be otherwise. I didn't like the Wing Commander movie (I actually thought the movies from WCIV and WC: Prophecy were better) although I thought the animated series was decent. By the way, did anyone ever see the Mutant League animated series based on the EA sports titles for the Genesis? Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were silly bad. I actually liked Resident Evil (but not Apocalypse...awww...that's so sad...the big mean ugly monster has feelings and is just a victim of corporate greed like all the people it slaughtered...'No dear...I'm not crying...I've got something in my eye...snif snif') and Tomb Raider (the first more than the second). Doom was disappointing, but watchable. We needed slightly more reason to care. Silent Hill looks promising.

And the one that I think you forgot which I really liked, but I don't know how closely it follows any of the games because I've never played them: Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within. I actually own that DVD. It's still the only animated feature that attempts to have realistic humans as the main characters, and I thought they did well. The story is a bit too environmental preach-y for me, and there's a definite anime-type flavor to the story (not a fan of anime, the style or the over-the-top storytelling methods), but I like the movie...enough to buy it and showcase it on my home theater.

Obviously, I'm not doing very well in withholding my dollars from Hollywood, but in my defense, I've only seen those movies on DVD or TV...never paid theater admission to see one.

Where I disagree is that it's hurting our industry...non-gamers probably don't even realize that Silent Hill is a video game...very few non-gamers would recognize Doom or Wing Commander or Resident Evil as video games. Most people realize Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were popular arcade games (especially with the notoriety surrounding Mortal Kombat), but those games were always mass consumption anyway. I don't exactly tout either franchise as being standouts in the video game industry...revolutionary?...perhaps...best of the genre...uh uh.

I'm not sure those movies were really intended to be commercials for the video games. MK and RE are still very active series. Doom and Tomb Raider are somewhat active, but I'm not sure the movies would put off non-gamers from buying Doom III or the recently released Tomb Raider. Non-gamers probably wouldn't buy them anyway. Most non- (if they're trying to get into the hobby) or casual gamers will buy either what their friends recommend, what the store clerk recommends, or what everyone else is buying.

Myst and the Sims sat on top of the video game charts for way too long...but it was self-perpetuating. People just wanted to buy the most popular (ie best selling game) game.

And I'm not sure non- and casual gamers are as finicky about their game purchases as gamers...look at how well those Deer Hunt and Paintball games sold. Gaming review sites and mags trashed 'em, but that didn't stop Cabela's Deer Hunt from becoming a huge hit...who was buying that one? That's where you have to ask yourself if a large influx of non-gamers into the hobby is more detrimental to the industry than bad movies? Why take the time to make a game like Half-Life 2 when you can put out Deer Hunt and make a lot more money? Maybe bad video game based movies are doing us a favor by keeping casual gamers away.

Extrapolate the original argument to movies based on books or comic books...some people will say that comic book based movies are OK (with the exception of the Hulk and Elektra), but most people that love the book that a movie is based on will find fault with the movie. LotR trilogy was a great set of movies (I liked them enough to buy them). The visuals were fantastic. But some parts of the movies still annoyed me...the whole Aragon/Arwen love story was an appendix in the books...the love story of the books was Faramir/Eowen which was almost completely neglected in the movie. I never got that sense of sheer hopelessness when Sam and Frodo were crossing the plains of Gorgoroth in the movie as I did reading the book.

The problem will always lie in the fact that we spend hours invested in a book or a video game. We become attached to the story and the characters because we spend a lot of time with them. If the game is really good, we actually feel like a part of it. It would be difficult for a movie based on a game (which typically means action/sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre) to capture you like that. We will always find those movies a little bit wanting...it's a different form of entertainment.

I agree that Hollywood isn't assigning the most talented screenplay writers and directors to those projects. But why would the talented people want to create a film in an already defined universe with already defined characters? I would think they would prefer to flex their artistic muscles on more original projects.

Part of the chastisement should go to the intellectual copyright owners of the video game properties. Who at id watched over the Doom movie? But then Doom was never about story anyway...the older gamers may have fond memories of Doom and Doom 2, but it wasn't because of the story. At least Duke Nukem told us we were trying to save Earth's chicks from the aliens, and had some great one liners. Doom was never a story driven game and Doom III isn't either...they're just technological showpieces...I'm surprised they could get two hours of plot into a movie.

The Marvel comic properties seem to have done well as movies for the most part because it seems like Marvel was involved. Marvel had to protect their X-Men and Spiderman franchise, and they were decent quality movies with stories based on the well written comics.

Rob, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ignore the call to arms, but if you set up an online petition, I'll beg Blizzard to make a CGI movie in their Warcraft universe a la Final Fantasy.
April 28, 2006 10:54:52 AM

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Blade runner isn't bad.

Isn't bad? It's bloody brilliant...
April 29, 2006 3:10:32 PM

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Blade runner isn't bad.

Isn't bad? It's bloody brilliant...

qft. Both movie, and the game which followed, were fantastic.
May 3, 2006 1:29:20 PM

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The seemingly endless flood of incredibly bad movies based on video games has been a painful ordeal, and it's hurting the video game industry more than you might think.


Don’t really agree after watching the wing-commander movie recently (Not the best of movies but I like it) I started hunting for space combat sims. Was disappointed by the results but that’s a different story…………………..
May 3, 2006 1:31:21 PM

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A. i'll wait for the this is a crap article and why is it on toms, it has nothing to do with hardware remark


Can’t you let a dead dog lie 8O ????? Man some people need to chill out :twisted: .
My peeve was with the software that was reviewed.
May 4, 2006 6:11:29 PM

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Huh? *scratching head* What about X-Wing and Tie Fighter on the PC? They probably don't have the same sales figures as an N64 title since PC gaming was a relatively small market, but both were excellent titles. Dark Forces was a decent FPS based in the Star Wars universe. I pumped a lot of quarters into Star Wars - The Arcade Game and Return of the Jedi in the arcades during the 80's.

While I haven't played any of the arcade games, I do happen to have most of the entire 90's collection, as well as a few 80's, Star Wars games sitting in the hallowed areas of my gaming center(centre). I haven't forgotten them. (I'm primarilly missing some games from the Rebel Assault and Rogue Squadron series)

However, I kinda discount them, primarily because most of the games weren't based off of a movie, only a franchise; there was a lot more to that franchise than just the original trilogy, so it would've been just as silly to say "a graphic novel based on the movies," for instance. This applies to what are largely regarded as the best Star Wars titles, Dark Forces, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight.

One can make a somewhat stronger argument in favor of the actual Star Wars/Super Star Wars titles, and indeed, they weren't really bad games at all. However, once you removed the movie license, they lost part of what made them shine; in my opinion, at least, such games were merely decent action games, rather than truly great ones.

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While the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom arcade game wasn't that great, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine wasn't too bad of an adventure game from LucasArts.

Although not really a movie property, Star Trek - Judgement Rites and Star Trek 25th Anniversary were actually quite good. I found the console versions a bit lacking as was the case most of the time when games were released on both the PC and a console.

Well, I do agree that Infernal Machine was pretty good, though I must also note, it came out AFTER GoldenEye. (1999, wasn't it?) And unless I was mistaken, it wasn't made after a movie, but again, made after the franchise in general.

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But Rob's point is well taken...there have been some good games based on movies and lately that situation seems to be improving. However, there haven't been any truly spectacular movies based on video games. Super Mario Bros. was a laughable 80's film and quickly dismissed...very campy and not intended to be otherwise. I didn't like the Wing Commander movie (I actually thought the movies from WCIV and WC: Prophecy were better) although I thought the animated series was decent. By the way, did anyone ever see the Mutant League animated series based on the EA sports titles for the Genesis? Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were silly bad. I actually liked Resident Evil (but not Apocalypse...awww...that's so sad...the big mean ugly monster has feelings and is just a victim of corporate greed like all the people it slaughtered...'No dear...I'm not crying...I've got something in my eye...snif snif') and Tomb Raider (the first more than the second). Doom was disappointing, but watchable. We needed slightly more reason to care. Silent Hill looks promising.

And the one that I think you forgot which I really liked, but I don't know how closely it follows any of the games because I've never played them: Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within. I actually own that DVD. It's still the only animated feature that attempts to have realistic humans as the main characters, and I thought they did well. The story is a bit too environmental preach-y for me, and there's a definite anime-type flavor to the story (not a fan of anime, the style or the over-the-top storytelling methods), but I like the movie...enough to buy it and showcase it on my home theater.

Well, that's an interesting one to pick... As it happens, Final Fantasy, as the movie, had absolutely zero to do with the games, aside, perhaps, form the fact that there's a "Dr. Cid" character, (every FF game since the Japanese III has had a technologically-adept "Cid" character, though the form has always been different) and the planet it takes place on is referred to as "Earth."

That seems to be part of the problem; even if it was good (reviews were mixed, and while some liked it, many found it poor in quality) the only thing Final Fantasy about it was that it used the franchise to attempt to sell more tickets/DVDs.

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Obviously, I'm not doing very well in withholding my dollars from Hollywood, but in my defense, I've only seen those movies on DVD or TV...never paid theater admission to see one.

Where I disagree is that it's hurting our industry...non-gamers probably don't even realize that Silent Hill is a video game...very few non-gamers would recognize Doom or Wing Commander or Resident Evil as video games. Most people realize Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were popular arcade games (especially with the notoriety surrounding Mortal Kombat), but those games were always mass consumption anyway. I don't exactly tout either franchise as being standouts in the video game industry...revolutionary?...perhaps...best of the genre...uh uh.

I'm not sure those movies were really intended to be commercials for the video games. MK and RE are still very active series. Doom and Tomb Raider are somewhat active, but I'm not sure the movies would put off non-gamers from buying Doom III or the recently released Tomb Raider. Non-gamers probably wouldn't buy them anyway. Most non- (if they're trying to get into the hobby) or casual gamers will buy either what their friends recommend, what the store clerk recommends, or what everyone else is buying.

Myst and the Sims sat on top of the video game charts for way too long...but it was self-perpetuating. People just wanted to buy the most popular (ie best selling game) game.

Well, this is where it comes to be that you have to ask what the point of a movie spun-off of a video game is; to Hollywood, as the problem has been shown, it's clear that the purpose is for them to make a quick buck using somebody else's franchise.

However, a truly successful movie should be one that not simply uses the name, but also keeps to the story, but may be willing to part with it in places where the medium truly calls for something different. But most important of all, the movie needs to maintain the same feel and theme as the game, or whatever the source material may be.

If done properly, the movie should cast a good light on the source matieral, and bring it back to the front of people's minds. With luck, the movie-goers who aren't the shallowest will become intrigued by the movie's source, and the movie will succeed in actually breathing some more life into the series.

As for the Myst series, I do believe it actually never made it to 1 million copies; it merely retained its "best-selling PC game" title for most of the 90's because PC gaming was largely dormant then. (heck, Doom actually only sold some 300,000 copies!) It was clearly knocked from its spot by Jedi Knight, and then Half-Life and StarCraft. I might be a bit off on that, though.

As for The Sims, as I'll comment below, it may be that the figures for the game are over-stated, and at least StarCraft, if not Half-Life or even other PC games have out-sold it. After all, aside from their sports series, EA has little else to actually go on; every other genre's titles tend to bomb, so it's reasonable for the company seen as the "leader" to milk any great success for all that they can.

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The Marvel comic properties seem to have done well as movies for the most part because it seems like Marvel was involved. Marvel had to protect their X-Men and Spiderman franchise, and they were decent quality movies with stories based on the well written comics.

Rob, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ignore the call to arms, but if you set up an online petition, I'll beg Blizzard to make a CGI movie in their Warcraft universe a la Final Fantasy.

Indeed, I think that heavy involvement from the franchise creator has almost always been what keeps it true. When it was the original products, the true ones, that were popular, it's of critical importance to keep any spin-offs as close to this norm as possible. Unfortunately, Hollywood monkeys rarely have the brains to see that story and theme do matter, as we've witnessed from the endless background of "vehichles" made for some "famous star" or other. That really only ever worked for one movie (Titanic) and it's quite clear that any movie that simply puts itself out and assuming that people will dump tons on it because it's using a big name, and has "star" names in it, are always set up for a nasty fall.

As for Blizzard's games, that's something that remains to be seen. I would note that StarCraft, widely regarded as the most-successful PC game ever, (most The Sims sales figures include separate expansion packs, so actual numbers are hard to find; it is believed "only" 6 million stand-alone copies were sold) has spawned a fairly successful spin-off community, with a lot of fiction books written.

However, Blizzard likely knows that, being one of the few companies that have really never missed the spot with a game, any movie that they wouldn't be embarrased of using their name will require a LOT of work, and likely why we haven't seen one yet; the obvious solution is to keep the company's lead developers as the producers of the movie, and have strong influence over the director, but oddly enough, Hollywood loathes such an idea.
May 5, 2006 7:08:00 PM

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The seemingly endless flood of incredibly bad movies based on video games has been a painful ordeal, and it's hurting the video game industry more than you might think.


Don’t really agree after watching the wing-commander movie recently (Not the best of movies but I like it) I started hunting for space combat sims. Was disappointed by the results but that’s a different story…………………..

You didn't like Freespace or I-War? 8O
May 10, 2006 2:56:00 PM

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You didn't like Freespace or I-War? 8O


When I meant that I was disappointed I meant the lack of choice(read: dead genre) Not those 2 games in question. I mean once I play those my joystick will be gathering dust again. :( 
May 10, 2006 4:39:26 PM

Well, in the last few years I've played:

Freespace
Freespace 2
I:War
I:War Defiance
I:War 2
Hardwar
X: Beyond the Frontier
Xtension
X2 - The threat
X3 Reunion

There's also been other titles that I didn't play, like Freelancer.

Whilst this isn't a HUGE number of games (it works out as about 1 1/2 per year), it is worth noting that they were all good.
RTS is a genre that churns out 1 1/2 games a month, but most of them are rubbish, or just derivatives of each other.

Personally, I'd much prefer there to be a smaller number of consistently good games, than a huge number of mainly poor ones. For one thing, it would save you having to read reviews everytime you're tempted to purchase a game!
May 12, 2006 10:23:21 AM

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Well, in the last few years I've played:

Freespace
Freespace 2
I:War
I:War Defiance
I:War 2
Hardwar
X: Beyond the Frontier
Xtension
X2 - The threat
X3 Reunion



Well as to my knowledge except for the X series all the others are dead (no other expansion in the works). And the X series is not really my cup of tea.
Please correct me if I’m wrong about the others not being developed. I would be really (honestly) glad if you do. :) 

P.S. What is “Hardwar”? Never heard of it b4.
May 12, 2006 11:11:56 AM

As far as I know, I-War and Freespace are "dead" and no new games are in development. But, if you've not played them I'd still recommend them. The graphics are a little dated, but eye-candy isn't everything.

Hardwar was a semi-space game (it was set in the atmosphere around a moon, so it was only semi-3D). Great fun to play, but the storyline was too short. Also, combat was pretty easy once you got a decent ship, so probably not your cup of tea either. It was more of an Elite/X game than a Freespace game. But the intro video and in-game videos were great and spawned many catch phrases between me and my mates. Highlight was the game's lead developer playing a bent copper. Classic.
May 13, 2006 1:37:46 AM

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However, I kinda discount them, primarily because most of the games weren't based off of a movie, only a franchise; there was a lot more to that franchise than just the original trilogy, so it would've been just as silly to say "a graphic novel based on the movies," for instance. This applies to what are largely regarded as the best Star Wars titles, Dark Forces, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight.


Not sure I entirely follow that logic. I never watched Goldeneye, but I loved the game. Maybe the game does follow the movie story by using some of the environments from the movie...but I would think that's about all. Of course, I only ever played it multiplayer so I have no idea what the Goldeneye 007 story on the N64 was.

In each of the Star Wars games mentioned (and you got all the top ones on my list...except that I feel you should substitute X-Wing: Alliance for XvT...you got to fly a Millenium Falcon type craft in Alliance), the ships, enemies, weapons, and some of the the cameo appearances are plucked straight from the movies. I never got into all the books and comics that existed outside the movies, but I could still recognize the sets in Dark Forces II, all the run-of-the-mill enemies in Dark Forces and all the ships (except that super TIE ship) in Tie Fighter.

There was also the Empire Strikes Back title for the Atari 2600 which was decent fun, but very repetitive. It was released shortly after the movie. The E.T. 2600 game was poo-poo (excuse the profanity), and I think, single-handedly killed the console market until Nintendo ressurrected it. There were a lot of disappointed kids with that E.T. game.

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Well, I do agree that Infernal Machine was pretty good, though I must also note, it came out AFTER GoldenEye. (1999, wasn't it?) And unless I was mistaken, it wasn't made after a movie, but again, made after the franchise in general.


You are correct. I spit out the wrong Indiana Jones game. I meant to write 'Fate of Atlantis' which was a LucasArts SCUMM game released in 1992. A very good game, but again, it was not based directly on a movie...just the characters, time period and style of a movie (or movies).

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That seems to be part of the problem; even if it was good (reviews were mixed, and while some liked it, many found it poor in quality) the only thing Final Fantasy about it was that it used the franchise to attempt to sell more tickets/DVDs.


Reviews don't have much of an impact on my opinions. I likes what I likes.

I still think the original Star Wars trilogy was much better than the most recent trilogy despite better special effects and a name brand cast in the later movies.

And critical reviews sometimes just don't get it...all the critics panned Titanic initially. Audiences, however, loved it, and then the dang movie won an Oscar for best picture, and a landslide of other Oscars. Reviews really missed the boat there.

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Well, this is where it comes to be that you have to ask what the point of a movie spun-off of a video game is; to Hollywood, as the problem has been shown, it's clear that the purpose is for them to make a quick buck using somebody else's franchise.


Amen to that...but I (unlike Rob) actually think it's flattering that Hollywood is finally taking note of gamers and the gaming industry as not only viable entertainment, but highly successful entertainment. I personally think, that at some point, more people will be playing games (or whatever they evolve into) than watching movies. Video gaming has come a long way in three decades.

And although, generally, the movies based on video games miss the mark, they're not the worst movies out there (and I'm not talking about 'B' movies either). I think Hollywood tries (maybe not hard enough), but not every movie is going to get the budget/production value of a Braveheart or Titanic or Lord of the Rings or Matrix.

Hollywood never intended the video game based movies to be runaway blockbusters or artistic tour de forces...as with any business, they just wanted to make a profit (which, I think, was one of Rob's original points...it just doesn't anger me like it angers him).

The movies are decently entertaining, but it will take a company like Blizzard, who regulates their properties very closely (like you said...to preserve their reputation...but I remember a Blizzard that released Blackthorne and Superman...well done games but not earth-shaking games like Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo) and is very passionate about video games, to introduce high quality video game based movies to the industry.

I also think it's a mistake to do live action films at this point for gamers...that's why I mentioned Final Fantasy. Look at the cutscenes from Warcraft III...expand those into a movie. Gamers would eat it up (look at the BF1942 and Halo 2 'movies' being made by fans), and you might even catch some non-gamers in the net who would respect the quality of the animation and the story-telling.

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But most important of all, the movie needs to maintain the same feel and theme as the game, or whatever the source material may be.


I actually think Wing Commander, Doom and the first Resident Evil do a pretty good job of that, but the movies are still not as beloved as the game series. The difficulty is that we were those characters when playing the game. That just doesn't translate. You can capture the mood and style of the game, but without the instant involvement of a game, it still feels like it's lacking to us gamers who remember the first time we were attacked by those invisible two legged bull thingy-s in Doom. Take that away or the ability to cut your friend in half with a chainsaw, and Doom loses a lot of its appeal.

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However, Blizzard likely knows that, being one of the few companies that have really never missed the spot with a game, any movie that they wouldn't be embarrased of using their name will require a LOT of work, and likely why we haven't seen one yet; the obvious solution is to keep the company's lead developers as the producers of the movie, and have strong influence over the director, but oddly enough, Hollywood loathes such an idea.


I don't pretend to understand the business of Hollywood, but I would be loathe to invest a lot of money into a project being run by what I perceived as amateurs (Hollywood let Chris Roberts try...did you ever watch the WCIII or WCIV movies?...they were the best video footage in games at the time, but they were still fairly bad compared to mainstream movies).

Because good movies are so good, and we don't notice the acting, and the directing, and the cinematography, I think sometimes, we feel it would be really easy to act in a movie or direct a movie. I think Hollywood knows better, and are reluctant to part with a lot of capital on unknowns. That's why the independent film market exists. Maybe a video game based indy film from Blizzard first...that would upset all the artsy-fartsy people at Cannes or Sundance...or who knows? They might love it.
May 29, 2006 3:24:01 AM

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It really wasn't until a certain fateful FPS, which to this day still retains the honor of the best-selling title in its genre, debuted in 1997, that it became apparent that video games COULD be based off of movies and not suck. That game, for those who never picked up a controller before the 21st century, was GoldenEye 007.



Hell yeah, that game kicks über ass. Isn't Nintendo releasing all of their back catalogue for download on the :cry:  Wii? :cry: 

Also, some insight for people who bitch that movies based on video games suck because they aren't like the game; the reason why they aren't like the game is because they aren't games! Of course liberties have to be taken with the movie. The sooner you realise that the sooner you can enjoy the movie...unless Uwe Boll directed it.

I found DOOM to be pretty good 'cos I wasn't expecting much. There were heaps of libeties taken with the movie (why is there a squad? DOOM is all about being a one-man army. And where were the cacodemons?), but as a movie I found it to be 2 hours of the entertainment equaivalent of fast food (you know it's not good for you but you just don't care). Also, what other movie has tried a first person sequence? (besides the occasional "just waking up with blurry eyes" sequence seen often elsewhere).
May 30, 2006 11:24:08 PM

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as for first person sequence, saving private ryan has some excellent ones. the bit where you see tom hanks running up the beach with the camera shaking all over the place is great. it aint a game based movie unless you count dod :) 


Ah yes, I forgot about that. 'twas good, wasn't it?
June 2, 2006 12:21:37 AM

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It really wasn't until a certain fateful FPS, which to this day still retains the honor of the best-selling title in its genre, debuted in 1997, that it became apparent that video games COULD be based off of movies and not suck. That game, for those who never picked up a controller before the 21st century, was GoldenEye 007.



Hell yeah, that game kicks über ass. Isn't Nintendo releasing all of their back catalogue for download on the :cry:  Wii? :cry: 

Hear hear!! I miss Goldeneye. And Rare before MS bought them.
Hmmm does nintendo have the rights to release goldeneye on Wii?
!