Monday 22 June 2009

Top 5 Movie Tie-In Games That Would Suck

It’s been a while since I did a Top 5 segment. You want another one, yeah? Cool, that’s largely what I’ve got planned. This week, I plan on addressing one of those key issues that affects many Emotionally Fourteen people at some point in their life: Seeing their favourite movie made into a computer game. Generally, the stigma associated with basing the idea of any media from some other media is usually met with immense scepticism.

Think about it: The main source of complaint in movie circles is “Oh, they’re turning Watchmen into a movie” or “Oh that Max Payne adaptation is going to suck!” Granted, they’re not always right – Watchmen was a good movie, and Max Payne didn’t suck THAT much. However, game tie-ins are also a subject of scorn, largely because they don’t often turn out very good. But think of it this way; It could always be worse.

Here then, are the Top 5 Movie Tie-In Games That Would Suck.


Say what you like about the endless nostalgic appeal of this children’s classic; the game would suck enormous balls. Incidentally, as an aside, did you notice that this film was nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD in 1982? George Lucas hasn’t even won an Academy Award, and he wrote the Star Wars Saga! It must have been a slow year, that’s all I’m saying.

See, the main gripe that gamers would have with this adaptation would be the timeframe. You’re playing as The Snowman, presumably (hopefully) and your goal is to…what? Take a young boy to see Santa Claus (spoilers) before the naturally occurring humidity and temperature levels reduce you to slush? Time-limit games work ok in things like Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask because the time limit serves only to add urgency to the player, but also gives the player a chance to jump forwards and backwards in time in order to trigger certain things. This game would suffer from being criminally short, and obviously the added pressure of reducing the lead character to a mushy water-based compound.

Besides which, you’d spend about 60% of the time walking in the air, with on-screen prompts to keep the people down below from believing their eyes. BORING!


See, I find myself in a quandary over this particular tie-in, and it mainly stems from the game play mechanic. Obviously, a similar dilemma is presented in the choice of character. If players are put in the role of Denzel’s character, Joe Miller, presumably you’re engaging in some sort of legal defence game, possibly in the style of the new CSI point-and-click adventure games, gathering evidence to use in the trial while simultaneously gradually reducing your “Homophobic Prejudice” meter.

However, if you’re placed in the role of Tom Hanks’ gay lawyer protagonist, the idea presumably is to shatter people’s stereotypes and preconceptions. Of course, you could always go to the other extreme and wear arse-less chaps around the office instead, see where that gets you.
On a slightly unrelated note, why is someone said to have “contracted” AIDS? Is it considered a service for hire? And why, oh why, did they decide to set it in the “City of Brotherly Love”? It just seems, I don’t know, too easy…


Remember the amount of food you had to eat in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? Remember how much you hated that part of an otherwise awesome game? I rest my fucking case.


See, I’ve agonised over this one time and time again, and it’s another scenario where I just can’t work out how the game would work. Would you play as a prisoner of the Nazi concentration camps, maybe style it a bit like The Great Escape but with help from a benefactor? See, that might actually work as a game, although depending on which character you played, the game may run into similar sort of timing issues as The Snowman: The Video Game.

Would you play as Schindler himself, perhaps in some sort of espionage game mixed with a management sim? That might be a bit more difficult, mixing Sim City and Splinter Cell, but I could certainly see them giving it a go. Would they just junk the idea of any sort of redemption altogether, put you in charge of the trains and make it like
Ticket to Ride?


I can honestly say with this one that I’d be in the camp that was completely against this game being made. Again, the main issue is that it’d be difficult to work out how the game would work. If you play as Kevin Spacey’s character, you end up playing a reverse Sims-style game where you go backwards on the career track. Having said that, using The Sims would probably be a decent framework for this game, as you could easily engineer him catching his wife cheating on him at the drive-thru window.

Apart from that though, your character would spend his time doing a mixture of weight-training, burger flipping and homosexual misunderstandings with the neighbour’s mentally unstable son, who’s secretly doinking your daughter anyway. Not that you will be able to ever explain that to Chris Cooper. Besides which, the ending, without giving too much away, surely makes the game somewhat redundant. Having said that, the game would make for one of the all-time great trophies:

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