#1 Posted by ProlificShadow (399 posts) -

   One of the problems with movie video games is that they typically follow the same story as the film. The game devolopers just have to copy and paste the movie into game form. The only way they can save these games is by basing them in a different time than the movie and actually spending some time working on them. It's usually the same way with licensed games, and Arkham Asylum has proved my point. With strict deadlines and a story that was already handed to them, they don't have time to be creative or source material to explore.  I'm pulling for them, but everytime I see a movie video game I get a sick feeling in my stomach. What do you guys think? Can the movie-video game succeed? Will it ever succeed? It's looking dim for them. 

#2 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

I kinda agree. You either do the same plot at the film but less well, or you do a plot that you can only do because its insubstantial and will never be made into film, like a prequel or a lesser villain arc or something. My view is they should be treated as separate "worlds". Im fine with the game and movie starting the same, then just branching off in way different directions. Then the game can use story points that are most conducive to a good game and the movie can be a good movie, and you can enjoy both without treading the same ground.

#3 Posted by ProlificShadow (399 posts) -
@ryanwho: Exactly. They need to base them in the same world, but change the storyline. 
#4 Posted by JokerClown88 (1051 posts) -

The movie game can succeed.  Please view Spider-Man 2 The Movie: The Game, Peter Jackson Presents King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Goldeneye. The list goes on. 
#5 Posted by TheMustacheHero (6655 posts) -

What I always hated were those 3d animated movies that look good, look terrible in game form.

#6 Posted by dancingphlower (118 posts) -

Every year, crap like the Harry Potter games, GI Joe Rise of Cobra, Watchmen: The End is Nigh, Terminator Salvation, etc, gets released for the sole purpose of having a game tie-in to the movie. But people need to learn that some movies just don't need games. And if there is a demand for games based on movies, they should actually try and make them good. It's not impossible. Just look at The Two Towers, or Spider-Man 2, or Wolverine: Uncaged, or Goldeneye (among others).

#7 Posted by Babble (1270 posts) -
@dancingphlower said:
" Every year, crap like the Harry Potter games, GI Joe Rise of Cobra, Watchmen: The End is Nigh, Terminator Salvation, etc, gets released for the sole purpose of having a game tie-in to the movie. But people need to learn that some movies just don't need games. And if there is a demand for games based on movies, they should actually try and make them good. It's not impossible. Just look at The Two Towers, or Spider-Man 2, or Wolverine: Uncaged, or Goldeneye (among others). "
The second Harry Potter game was pretty good.
#8 Posted by ParanoidFreak (1461 posts) -
@TheMustacheHero said:
" What I always hated were those 3d animated movies that look good, look terrible in game form. "
Pixar movies always seem to have the worst games.
#9 Posted by nrain (1274 posts) -

Goldeneye is the proof that they can work.
#10 Posted by dancingphlower (118 posts) -
@Babble: The Chamber of Secrets? Man, that is one of the few games I truly regret buying. Awful (to me, anyway).
#11 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@nrain said:
" Goldeneye is the proof that they can work. "
The movie was really convoluted though and it sent Bond all over the place. Not every movie-game has the luxury of that.
#12 Posted by Babble (1270 posts) -
@dancingphlower said:
" @Babble: The Chamber of Secrets? Man, that is one of the few games I truly regret buying. Awful (to me, anyway). "
Which version did you get? IGN gave the Xbox an 8.7, and for a movie game I thought it was at least ok.
#13 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -

I think the biggest problem is the way movie studios view the games they license to developers. They have a very strict timeframe in which they want the game to release. They are seen as another piece of merchandise which puts them alongside lunchboxes, backpacks, and Halloween costumes. In actuality, the games are distinct works of art. Until the studios bankrolling them get the idea, we are stuck with mostly drivel.
 
In general, though, I agree that I don't want to rehash the movie's storyline through the course of the game unless the movie is not a recent release (see The Thing).

#14 Posted by dancingphlower (118 posts) -
@Babble: I bought the gamecube version. After playing Zelda, that game paled in comparison.
#15 Posted by Babble (1270 posts) -
@dancingphlower said:
" @Babble: I bought the gamecube version. After playing Zelda, that game paled in comparison. "
Ha, yeah when comparing the two I can see what you mean.
#16 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

they don't work because a lot of times the game is just thrown together. it is the reason why the games suck. the developers don't care to much about the game so they put it together. the game usually has bad controls and other things. if they plan on making a game based off a movie then they should make more time on it and change the story around.

#17 Posted by raidingkvatch (1152 posts) -
@raddevon said:
" I think the biggest problem is the way movie studios view the games they license to developers. They have a very strict timeframe in which they want the game to release. They are seen as another piece of merchandise which puts them alongside lunchboxes, backpacks, and Halloween costumes. In actuality, the games are distinct works of art. Until the studios bankrolling them get the idea, we are stuck with mostly drivel.
 
In general, though, I agree that I don't want to rehash the movie's storyline through the course of the game unless the movie is not a recent release (see The Thing). "
The studios bankrolling them won't get the idea until they stop making money, and a lot of the time the people who buy them are more casual gamers who don't have the same standards as people in the GiantBomb community and will therefore continue to purchase movie tie-ins because they haven't played anything (or at least not as much) better.
#18 Posted by Demo (263 posts) -

Alien on the ZX Spectrum/C64/CPC was the best movie to game adaptation because even though the outcome of the story is entirely up to you and it only starts after the birth of the alien via any crew member, the pacing, items, character reactions and mood created by sound effects and silence is unsettling, all this in 1984.
 
Other games which are excellent:
Batman Returns (SNES);
Alien 3 (SNES).
 
The Terminator for Mega CD doesn't look bad also.
 
I do think nowadays most adaptations are bad, mainly because they're handled by less talented studios, and that more attention is put trying to make the game exactly like the movie. 3D doesn't help either with inexperienced/untalented teams.

#19 Posted by carlthenimrod (1594 posts) -

The original Batman for NES was great and it was based on the Tim Burton movie.

#20 Posted by Suicrat (3764 posts) -
@ProlificShadow: Ducktales, Aladdin, a couple of the Mickey Mouse games on SNES (one of which was published by Sony oddly enough), and a few examples littered here and there throughout video game history have been great licensed games. These games were good because they were fun to play, and there's nothing about the story of a game that has to prevent it from being fun to play.
#21 Posted by raddevon (437 posts) -
@raidingkvatch said:
The studios bankrolling them won't get the idea until they stop making money, and a lot of the time the people who buy them are more casual gamers who don't have the same standards as people in the GiantBomb community and will therefore continue to purchase movie tie-ins because they haven't played anything (or at least not as much) better. "
This is sad but true.
#22 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1328 posts) -

Alot of the LoTR games are great

#23 Posted by lizardspike (154 posts) -

I quite liked Terminator 3: The Redemption I thought it's story was better than the actual film it's based on. I'm not saying the game doesn't have its faults but it was fun all the same.

#24 Posted by ProlificShadow (399 posts) -

I'm not saying they don't work. They definitely have the potential to. But sadly most of the time they bomb. 

#25 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -
@nrain said:
" Goldeneye is the proof that they can work. "
But Goldeneye was released almost a year after the movie, maybe that is the reason why I turned out to be so good.
#26 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

When the company isn't just trying to milk the a successful movie franchise or new movie release, then it's possible a good movie game could be made.
 
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, Goldeneye, The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers... all examples of games based on movies being done right. There's more too, but unfortunately most of the time movie based games are poorly made to make a quick buck.

#27 Posted by Maxszy (2064 posts) -

I don't think the game follow the same story as the movie is much of a downfall.
 
The problem is that requirements these studios put on the game studios. Such as requiring it to be released around the same time as the movie. Many time that causes a screwed up and minimal development cycle. Also their budgets for the game are (I believe) quite small in comparison to normal AAA games, so they can't do what they want. 
 
There movie games that have worked in the past. TheGreatGuero named a few great ones like Butcher Bay and Goldeneye. I think it just comes down to the fact that the movie company just has to actually care about the game. If they do, it may turn out alright. Most of the time though, they just don't.

#28 Posted by PenguinDust (12493 posts) -

I think it can help if the movie source material isn't terribly deep to begin with.  While not officially licensed games, titles based off the settings visualized in the Mad Max and Death Race 2000 have been fun and I think a game centered on those specific movie franchises could be fun as well.  They're basically chase movies so their isn't a lot of heavy plot to bog down the game play.  
 
But, beyond that, I think games work better when they are part of the movie's universe without following the storyline.  Aliens vs Predator was a good example of two different movies that combined to make one kick ass game years before Hollywood ever shot a frame of film for the title.   But the worlds envisioned in the movies were so tantalizing that they provided a recognizable setting for the player to explore. 

#29 Posted by hermes (1415 posts) -

Because games based on movies have to be released at the same time as the movie to maximize sales. If you combine that with the fact that the production time for a movie is shorter that the one on a game, you get a game that is scrapped of features and polish at the minimum to fit the schedule, and the results are mediocre at best. 
 
Think about most of the "above average" games based on movies, and you will see that they did not fit the schedule release date.
#30 Posted by JacobForrest (307 posts) -

There are two categories of movie licensed games: movie tie-ins, which are usually created with respect for the source material and the intent of making a good game, and movie cash-ins, which are basically just shallow, sub-par games similar to what the OP described looking to make quick profits and nothing more.  
 
Movie games can succeed. It's all about how the developer approaches it -- and that pretty much applies to every game ever made.

#31 Posted by Artemis_D (817 posts) -
@ProlificShadow:   They can and have worked.  The problem with movie games that don't work is the fact that these games are pretty much just made as a quick cash in.  They release them along side the films, and studios that know nothing about game development are constantly poking their noses in where they don't belong.  That's what I think ruins a movie licensed game.  A great video game takes time, effort and a passion for the source material.  Developers never get the opportunity to experience any of that, and therefore kills any hope for the title being decent.
 
Also, I wouldn't consider Arkham Asylum a movie game.  It's just a Batman game, that really doesn't have a thing to do with any of the films.  Hell, the storyline is ripped from the pages of books, if I'm not mistaken.
#32 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

I don't believe that the problem with video game adaptations of movies is simply to do with the fact that the stor has already been told. Of course if you have seen a movie and then immediately go out and get the video game of it, you're going to be going through the same story for the second time and nothing is ever as good the second time round. However, think of a movie you've watched more than once, it didn't suddenly turn to crap the second time you watched it, in fact if the movie was well done it will have been a very enjoyable experience the second time round and surely when this story is told using a different storytelling medium it should seem even fresher. The problem with storytelling in video games is that an attempt to properly adapt and fit the story around the other elements of the game is never made and the story is sloppily thrown in as if having the basic structure of the movie story or making occassional poorly-done references to it is any substitute for the real thing. 
 
As we all know however, story and the presentation of that story is just part of what makes up a video game. The real problem lies in that the average movie-creators see the video game as a little more than a novelty, a cheap addition to go alongside the action figures and special prizes in McDonalds happy meals. Poor movie-game adaptations continue to exist because people know they can give some software studio a small budget and limited amount of time for development and whatever the quality of the crap they churn out there will always be some people out there who liked the movie and no matter how bad the game is will still purchase it. I believe that good movie-video game adaptations can exist and my example of this would be Goldeneye back on the N64, but the very large number of video games based on movies are bound to be rubbish, there's just not enough incentive for better games to be made. Maybe one day we'll see another truly awesome movie-video game adaptation but I wouldn't call Arkham Asylum that game, it's just a game in its own right and I think we may still have a long time to wait before we see a movie video game of any great quality.

Moderator
#33 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3963 posts) -

Most of them suck to the extreme.  Although I like the different take on The Watchmen game, not following the movie but using a prequel. It's sort of interesting, but a little mindless, which is OK.  King Kong sucked!  I played through it in its entirety & hated every minute of it. Whoever said that game could be finished quickly, in 5 hours, deserves to be shot.
 
I hope they will continue to use The Watchmen IP for more games in the future. It's dead in the comic world, dead at the movies, but perhaps in video games, it can live on.

#34 Posted by ShaunassNZ (2128 posts) -

Yes! I say to everyone that's like "hey the new Transformer 2 game is out it's better than GTA IV" i always say games based on movies fail, they are just built of a homo engine that's been modified!

#35 Posted by TheMathlete (323 posts) -

Movie games have the opportunity to succeed, just like any game.  It all depends on the creativity and persistence of the developer to create something other than a movie "cash-in".  Time constraints are also a big issue.  It's probably more than that, but that is just what I think.
#36 Posted by TheMathlete (323 posts) -

Riddick and spiderman 2 are two great games to think of.
#37 Edited by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -
@ProlificShadow said:

" I'm not saying they don't work. They definitely have the potential to. But sadly most of the time they bomb.  "

Uh... What's the name of this thread again? :)
 
I remember someone from Grin saying in an interview with GB (think it was when they had one of the guys on the bombcast actually) that they would try to avoid the trap of following the movie too closely when they made a licensed game so they could have freedom to make a plot they can build a decent game around. Seems like a solid philosophy but I guess it didn't save them from closure.
#38 Posted by Damian (1538 posts) -

The only reason they don't work is because they're not good games. Captain obvious just smacked me for saying that. But any other thing is just a hurdle to overcome, not a show-stopper. 

#39 Posted by ProlificShadow (399 posts) -
@SuperfluousMoniker: Point taken. Let me revise that. "Why Games Based On Movies Are In The Hole From The Start".
#40 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

Games based on movies suck 9/10 times because they are made to such a short deadline. I'm sure the developers of the Terminator Salvation and GI Joe games are cabable of much more. Probably not the holy grail of gaming but not something that bad.