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.
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.
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).
" 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.
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).
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.
" 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.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.
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). "
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Uh... What's the name of this thread again? :)
" I'm not saying they don't work. They definitely have the potential to. But sadly most of the time they bomb. "
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.