Player 1 vs the @rcade – Spinoffs
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Welcome to our brand new series, ‘Player 1 versus the @rcade’, where each piece will feature a gamer or geek who thinks that they have what it takes to bring down the @rcade machine. By picking a topic of their choice, the Player 1 issues a challenge to the @rcade that only you can resolve.
Read both articles by the combatants and then vote for whichever one you agree with, you have the final say.
Topic: What’s worse, Video Games based on Movies or Movies based on Video Games?
Player 1 and our first challenger is Ian Finnerty, a well-known DJ on the Dublin scene, Ian is also an established movie critic. He considers himself a serious music geek and is also a big fan of the Doctor Who series and demands that Dr. Donna (Catherine Tate) makes a glorious return to the series!
The @rcade is more than some all knowing heartless gaming machine that won’t accept any coins below a €1 – it enjoys long walks on the beach as well as fine dining and touring the French countryside!
Player 1 – Films based on Video Games are worse
First things first, I am a gaming newb. Aside from my occasional stint in World of Warcraft’s Azeroth, I know very little of gaming and the gaming multi-verse. So I’m going out on a limb here at the @rcade and say that gaming, in my opinion, remains a niche market. I say this not to criticize or belittle, merely to state that games have not (yet) penetrated the public sphere in the way other mass medias have – for example movies. That said, every so often, a video game comes along that captures the attention of your Joe Regular (aka me); games like Tomb Raider, Super Mario Bros, Resident Evil, all become household names in households that are often without a DS, PS, PC, XBOX etc. Hollywood being Hollywood, there is always an executive with dollar signs in their eyes willing to turn this triumph of gaming into a movie, only to run into inescapable truth: movies based on video games suck.
So why is it that movies based on video games suck so absolutely? Well let’s look back at one of the first examples of a video game turned movie: Super Mario Brothers. Despite the fact that Super Mario Bros. is one of the greatest games of all-time, it, as a movie, has a completely ridiculous premise! Two plumbers saving a princess in an action adventure movie? Not even casting Bob Hoskins as Mario, Dennis Hopper as King Koopa and even John Leguizamo as Luigi could save this plot-less wonder. And Super Mario Brothers is by no means the only video game movie to have lost the plot. Take Tomb Raider. You would think a movie starring a super hottie playing an even more super fictional super hottie would divert you from the lack of story in the film, but not even all the tissue packed down Angelina Jolie’s bra could pad this flick out into a decent effort.
The list of plot-less, pointless adaptations continues with so many others: Max Payne, Bloodrayne, Double Dragon, Resident Evil, Alone in the Dark et al. This is not to say that these titles do not work as games, for a game by definition is about interactivity. You, the gamer, experience and potentially form part of the plot as you advance through the game. Conversely, movie goers look for the writer/direct to passively take them under their wing and tell them their story. Plot – especially in Hollywood terms – remains central. Until this is acknowledged within Hollywood video game movies – and I certainly hope it is when it comes to my beloved WoW movie – I stand by my statement: movies based on video games suck!
the @rcade – Video Games based on Films are worse
You pay for your ticket, you decide to indulge in some popcorn, you take your seat and for the next two hours your skin tingles with absolute joy and satisfaction, you’ve just watch a fantastic movie! BUT WAIT… you’ve just found out that they are releasing a video game based on the movie… that’s the best news ever, after all the movie had such awesome effects and was so good that getting the chance to immerse yourself in the action of the movie in a video game sounds like you’ve died and gone to heaven – and if you were unfortunate enough to pay €59.99 for the terrible game then you may wish you had!
This isn’t a new phenomenon, they’ve been making video games based on movies for years now, classic movies such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters and even the Blues Brothers have almost been dragged down into ruin by their video game counterparts. This has nothing to do with their graphics or the outdated consoles we were playing them on – it’s just very difficult to translate the impact a movie has an audience into a similar impact a video game can have on a player, and these games lost that magic somewhere along the line.
Enter the Matrix, a multi-console release in 2003; the game was made in an effort to plot out the events that happened between the first Matrix movie and the second movie in the series. It did a fantastic job at filling us all in on what happened but unfortunately the sloppy controls, horrible graphics and awkward combat system meant most of us couldn’t be bothered playing it all the way to the end. It was an obvious rush job and not so fans could learn of the intricate plotlines running throughout the Matrix trilogy but so the producers could maximise profit!
Aside from the quick buzz of exhilaration you get from being able to play your favourite character from the movie (which doesn’t last long when you realise how crap the game really is), there are no redeeming features to these games and to prove a point we now bring you the worst game based on a movie that ever existed… Street Fighter: The Movie, the game! That’s right… they actually made a game based on that awful movie which is based on a great game series. (If you are saying to yourself you never heard of the game… count yourself lucky).
Street Fighter: The Movie was released for both the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1995 and it follows the ‘plot’ of the movie of the same name. You can choose to play as Guile (no one ever picks Guile) and work your way through the plot of the movie or you can just go for the old school tournament mode. Similar to the first Mortal Kombat game in appearance, the original cast were used to model their digital equivalent. Now everyone knows the Street Fighter movie is terrible but you don’t know how awful it really is when you translate it into a video game – favourite moves and combos now look terribly sloppy and feel sluggish.
Unfortunately Enter the Matrix and Street Fighter: The Movie are only two of dozens of games based on movies suffering from development rush – don’t believe us then check out every game based on the recent Marvel movies. All of these games are so badly thrown together that they look and play as if the developers spend their time playing better video games and the night before release took some caffeine pills, had major panic attacks and just threw them together and crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.
If you are going to do something, then do it right, and in the case of video games based on movies just don’t do them at all because as we’ve seen video games based on movies truly suck!
Now you, the public, can decide – who is right?
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If you think you’ve got what it takes to challenge the @rcade, then submit your idea to: firstname.lastname@example.org