It’s no secret that once something in one medium is a success, the remake, adaptation or expansion into another medium is bound to be horrible. For example, take the movie Doom. As a game it was an unholy addiction. Once it was rebuilt by screenwriters and condensed into 90ish minutes, the result was an abomination.
Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, such as the book to film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, The Shawshank Redemption or Die Hard. Yes I said Die Hard.
The problem I have is with movies taking over the world of video games, and to a lesser extent, comic books and anime.
Have you honestly ever walked into your local video games emporium and become COD: Black Ops excited about a movie adaptation or companion? I doubt it.
Can you remember the Matrix game? The first film comes out and cinemagoers are blown away. The second movie was released simultaneously with the game, Enter The Matrix, with an anime collection about a month later. It was horrible.
The game cost millions of dollars to make and was designed to be a side story to the film, enhancing the Matrix experience, opening fans to new information and allowing them to be something bigger than the film could deliver. The result was a rushed game with two main characters that no one wanted to play as, culminating in aggravated fans who wanted to play as Neo.
After a couple of years a sequel was produced, named The Path of Neo. This game was made for fans but is still a sterling example of taking a success from one medium and creating a disappointment in another.
In my opinion, the best game adaptations are those in the Lego series. Mainly concerning themselves with larger franchises such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, these games are ridiculously entertaining for fans of both Lego and the original franchise.
While each game is essentially the same as the previous, I’ve been consistently entertained with Lego’s take on some of history’s biggest films and characters. The simplicity of each game, the mini-games within, pop culture references and light humour are a winning combination.
My favourite of the games is the Star Wars Saga and I honestly believe it is the only way Jar Jar will ever come close to being cool, although he is still pretty pointless in the game – something that was adapted perfectly!
The success of Lego Star Wars stems directly from its simple nature – it combines two childhood favourites in a way that keeps the spirit of the movie alive AND allows you to relive the creativity of Lego.
Game adaptations can go the other way too, with many hit games rising from the small screen into cinemas everywhere. While I’m willing to bet you won’t jump at the next opportunity to buy a movie game, I’m also willing to bet you would think twice before standing in line to see a movie adaption of a game.
Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros, Resident Evil, Halo Legends and Double Dragon are all horrible atrocities, clearly made to suck the life out of phenomenal games. Well, Double Dragon wasn’t a phenomenal game but it was big in the 80’s. As for Halo Legends, again we saw more animated shorts inspired by the game, but it was still drawn out and boring.
Also, when I found out Universal are releasing a Halo film in 2012, I literally dropped my ice cream. I’m scared at what 3D, misguided adventure they’ll have planned for our beloved Master Chief. Microsoft has already made $9 million selling the script (www.imdb.com) and I guarantee Rooster Teeth will not be a creative force behind any part of the finished product.
Although, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by Prince of Persia; mainly because it cost me $1 and the only memory I have of the 1989 game is run, jump, fall in spike pit, die, repeat.
Have you been pleasantly surprised by an adaptation? Will you be playing/watching/reading one this week?