Tuesday, 23 April 2013

T - Tie-In Titles! 5 up & 5 up of Movie Tie-in's

Ever since the late 70's, movies have been making the transition from celluloid to microchip to get the most out of a popular new character or theatrical release. A few of these make the journey with esteem creating some rather fine games in the process. However, more often than not, movie video games are rushed out bodge-jobs, using ill-designed graphics, game engines and weak audio. The reason? Well, the film producers want the game to be available while their new flick is still fresh, maximising sales. on the other hand, some are just crap re-used games with famous characters and movie scenes tacked on. Here is my 5 up and 5 down of movie video games. Prepare to cringe at the worst 5, they are truly terrible crimes against video gaming!

Top 5 Best Tie-In Video Games

Oi! Stop throwing balls at me, I'm dusting for cobwebs
#5 Batman the Movie - Whatever 8 or 16-bit platform you played this on, it was just great. Platforming game at it's heart with a bit and racing and flying chucked in for good measure, it delivers the thrills of being Mr Bats by being very playable, good looks, in theme with the film and challenging at the same time. Batman seems to have the luck with video games, as many of his titles are good efforts to say the least and this is one of the very best. Holy-Video-game Batman!

#4 Alien 3 - This is clearly a bit of a cheat the moment you start playing, as it's really a game about the second Alien film, just set in the locale of the third film. This is a good thing however, because the film from which it shares its title, well, sucked a bit. The second Alien film is revered as the best, so taking the cues from the weapons and motion trackers, this game follows suit to good effect. Tons of pleasing references to the films, creepy in parts, lots to do in the missions and some rather spiffing animation of Ripley al-a Flashback style. Get away from her you Bitch!

#3 Super Star Wars - HARD! TOO HARD! That's what many people whined about when this hit the Super NES, but my was is a fine quality Star Wars platformer, eclipsing many previous Star Wars titles before. The reason? The themeing is just bang on the blaster button; the sounds, the characters and monsters, machines and ships and so on. It's all here for the Star Wars crazy, and even a great introduction to a person not familiar with the films. Yes, it is very difficult and unforgiving, but the graphics, gameplay and audio is all top notch. The force is with this one.

#2 Robocop - Again, it's taking the major elements of the movie that make games like this a winner, as long as you put good gameplay in the damn thing. Lucky, ol' robo-rozzer had no problems here with a very entertaining run n' gun romp. It's a shooting fest of course, but the pace feels just right. Add to this the faithful moves of Murphy, the tons of bad guy bodies that rack up and the appearance of ED-209, it's a fondly remembered film tie-in. It's sequel took a more platform approach, and that was pretty great too. Drop it!

Hang on, my shoelace is untied!
#1 Goldeneye - Some argue that this was one of the most important FPS's to grace a console, and I'm not one to argue. I have issues with FPS's at the best of times, so this was a breath of fresh smoky bunker air. With innovative features such as realistic physics, excellent character depictions, smooth frame rate and animations, functional camera angles.. the list goes on. The graphics in particular were stunning, with aftermath effects of gunfire, walls which retained damage from weapons, and the assisting audio was also faultless classic Bond. I think it is actually better than the film in many respects, even though Brosnan's first outing as 007 was rather nifty. Oh, and I forgot about the trendsetting split-screen deathmatch mode, something only seen before on PC's. A truly golden movie video game.

Top 5 Worst Tie-In Video Games

#5 Friday the 13th - It doesn't really come as a surprise that a game based off a laughable horror film franchise is bad, but this is not just bad, it's as dull as watching the films credits roll. Ok, it has the basic plot points of the films, well, the ones at Camp Crystal, and the concept does have promise but it's just so sooo repetitive. Endless paths to walk down, repeatedly killing zombies and now and then, fighting Jason. He doesn't make things any more interesting either, having a repeated move set that becomes simple to beat after about 5 minutes practice. Even a looped 6 seconds of background music adds to the tedium. Crap, just like the films!

#4 The Fifth Element - A great film turned into a shockingly poor game which is really an embarrassment for the PlayStation. Using the, erm, elements of the film, you can play as Korban and LeeLoo and laugh at the terrible models that they have been given. Shoddy outlines and glitchy colouring, bad lighting and poor collision detection is obvious, but it has stupid physics and level design, and utter awful fixed camera angles to really deal the bad game strike. All this together makes it pretty unplayable, and that's without the SFX which falls out of sync constantly providing yet more irritation. Yes, some parts of the story are faithful, but mostly it's all much a hacked together load of tosh. 

#3 Superman 64 - A contender for one of the most terrible 3D roaming platform games, there is absolutely nothing super about this. It's Superman, that's good I suppose, but in almost every department this game is seriously knackered. Responses are about a quick as a snail stuck in tar, the sound is jerky with repeated effects, and it's nigh on impossible to get the blue boy scout to pick anything up, or throw it where you want. It's all just random as hell. But the main reason why this is so bad, it's that it is full to the brim of glitches. Every wall, room and static item is dodgy, the enemies are dodgy, the whole thing is just a big glitchy mess wearing blue tights. A joke of a game, much like...

#2 Street Fighter:The Movie:The Game - That's right, you read it correctly. Take an awesome, highly successful and groundbreaking beat 'em up, turn it into a terrible live action movie that just sucks balls, and then, turn this back into a video game! Genius! I just don't know what they were thinking of. Suffice to say, this plays and looks like a hacked version of Pitfighter and Rise of the Robots rolled into one big pile of excrement; with the collision detection of the Titanic's birds-nest sailor. I won't waste any more words about this, just play ANY proper Street Fighter game, they are all better than this insult to the franchise. 

Alien phone-boxes were a cramped design, ET rang to complain
#1 ET: The Extra Terrestrial - Um, yes, Any gamer will instantly nod and say. 'Yup!' One of the earliest movie game tie-in's, this seemed to set the formula for all future bad movie games. Rushed out so quickly to keep with the release of the film that it's devoid of any actual gameplay, it's was one of the worst games on the Atari 2600, by a long way. Even worse than the also rushed terrible port of Pacman. SFX is minimal to say the least, the visuals are as basic as the 2600 could have done, but principally, there just doesn't seem to be any goal, reason or life to the game. In fact, calling it a game at all is an over statement. There you have it, worst film tie-in ever. Look out for this in the Z blog post...

Annnnd Cut! That's the tie-in's all tied up, a selection of titles at each end of the quality measure. Generally the rule of thumb is that movie video games are drivel, so it's a surprise when a good one comes along. Seems like a good idea to trust Batman. Tomorrow it's back to a top 10, but adding a new twist to my A to Z challenge, it's a little different. On the morrow, we look at my top 10 Un-played games, based off the reviews of a certain neat game website... no prizes for guessing.


1 comment:

  1. Haha, don't think you even needed to write anything about E.T. being #1. One of the key causes of the gaming crash of the 80s.

    And Goldeneye definitely deserves #1 best. One of the many classics Rare made back in the N64 days. Shame they don't make much like it on the 360 now >_<