Editorials,  Movies/Entertainment

What’s With All the “So-So” Video Game Adaptations??

We’ve all played fantastic, fun and legendary video games in the past.  These are the types of games you still see made into t-shirts and still talk about them to your friends when you’re drunk…well I do anyway.

Certain games stick with you forever because of the quality of the game, the replay value and the hours you spent trying to beat it.  To me, Mario Brothers 3, Wing Commander 3, Max Payne, Doom, Resident Evil 2 all fit the bill for the above mentioned criteria.  Then years later, you hear rumblings and go…”What? They’re what??…a movie version of the classic game I grew up with???…Could you repeat that, I think I had something crazy in my ear…please tell me more…”. Then years pass and some rumblings turn to rumors, which turn into trailers which eventually turn to films…and what happens??  One word sums it up…FAIL.  You, me and all the other fans are disappointed because these iconic games have been diluted in the translation to the big screen.  Through the fault of no one person or identifiable circumstance, games just don’t carry over well.

As loyay as we fans are we sadly have to admit defeat in the horrible adaptations out there.  Mario Brothers, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, Wing Commander, Max Payne, Doom, Resident Evil (to mixed results), Spy Hunter (if ever), Tetris (not really but just wait, it may happen), the list goes on and on about beloved video games and their promising big screen debuts that just tank. I imagine its tough enough to make a movie about a premise, but when you’re premise is a video game with no dialogue to refer to, a video game adaptation seems like an insurmountable task.  So they make up dialogue and it is bad, or its OK but the plot is bad, or the plot is OK but the delivery is poor.  It seems like a leaky boat and no matter how many holes get fixed there’s always one or 2 more that sink you.

Looking at the track record of what’s been made, aside from Resident Evil (which I think is not great but getting better), films are not being made from the source material that has a shot at transferring well.  I heard they are trying to get Halo, God of War and Gears of War made.  I like hearing about Peter Jackson’s attachment to Halo.  He understands epic and can handle it well.  Whoever is in charge of green-lighting these rumored epic games has to realize that simple fact…these games are epic.  You can’t cram it into 90 minutes or expect to make just one movie.  Plan for the long haul and make it similar to Lord of the Rings…just some friendly fan-opinion advice.

Personally I  think Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Descent have great chances to me made into movies…Wolfenstein could work great since almost anything having to do with World War II and Nazis does well with fans and at the box office.  You throw in supernatural elements to it and you’ve got a double bonus.  Look at Raiders of the Lost Ark and Hellboy I and II and tell me I’m wrong.  Descent could also work because its got the isolation factor which worked in Castaway, then you combine it with menacing virus infected robots – its like Alien meets Transformers.  I could also even see Legend of Zelda being made.  Although the 8-bit game play doesn’t scream epic like the newer releases do, take a few pages from Orcana of Time and expand it.  It could take on a Lord of the Rings feel to it and work out fine.  That’s just my thoughts on the matter.

So are there any games out there you think would work better than what we’ve seen make the jump to the big screen?  Or should we just give up hope that a studio will finally deliver the goods?  Thoughts, opinions??