Unfortunately, video game companies aren’t always able to identify what movies viewers would want to insert themselves into. While super hero and action movies lend themselves nicely to the gaming world, let’s not forget the movies that really didn’t need games, but for one reason or another got them anyway. The blessing of movie based video games that gave us Spider-Man 2 can also be the curse that gave us Austin Power’s Pinball.
Finally, a game that allows me to play as Richard Dreyfuss! I’ve been waiting for this ever since they canceled the Mr. Holland’s Opus game for Sega Saturn. Wait, I don’t get to play as Rich at all? Unfortunately, in Jaws: Unleashed you take control of the finned nightmare that stalks the film’s protagonists. With open ended game play (not very exciting when you realize most of it is empty water), this game is basically Ecco the Dolphin with teeth. Not surprisingly, the game actually was developed by the Echo people, essentially making it exactly that. Just because Jaws is considered the first summer blockbuster doesn’t mean it had to get a game like every other one. I’m still holding out for a Deep Blue Sea spin off myself.
9. The Godfather
Something just doesn’t feel right about making a game out of one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of an old-timey gangster game. In fact, it’s great potential for an awesome game. Everyone loves riddling a wiseguy in a pin-striped suit with bullets from a tommy gun. But why drag The Godfather into it? You’re just setting yourself up for failure when you tie a game to something so revered. But I suppose EA made the studio an offer they couldn’t refuse.
The gaming world is populated with hundreds of games about war. However, unlike the plethora of games about World War II, it’s not quite as easy to glorify our action in Vietnam. That’s why the development of a game based on Oliver Stone’s Platoon, which focuses heavily on the horrors of the Vietnam war, is so puzzling. The game mostly carries the Platoon title in name alone, not allowing you to do much else besides shoot enemies in the jungle. Not once do you get to rape villagers, do heroin, burn down villages or frag your own officers.
7. Reservoir Dogs
When Quentin Tarantino made Reservoir Dogs, he purposefully left out the scenes you would expect out of a crime movie. Instead of the diamond robbery itself, he focused on the paranoia and interactions that lead up to and spun out of it. That makes a Reservoir Dogs game seem a little silly. Sure they have guns, but about 60% of the movie is people talking in one tiny warehouse. The game chooses to let you play through the aspects of the movie that you never got to see, leaving you with a rather stale crime game about guys in black suits. The only redemption would have been a Dance Dance Revolution style level of Mr. Blonde dancing to “Stuck in the Middle With You” while cutting a cop’s ear off.
6. Wayne’s World
The only way you could possibly defend this game is to say that out of SNL based movies, Wayne’s World deserved a game the most. Talk about damning with faint praise. The movie is about two slackers who sit on their couch and do a public access TV show from a basement. Fine concept for a comedy film, but it doesn’t exactly lend itself to exciting gaming. The player runs around as Wayne in bizarre stages, shooting lasers from your guitar and avoiding such “non-rockin” items as bagpipes and accordions. Still, better than a game of The Ladies Man.
5. Fight Club
There’s something almost poetically ironic about a movie so focused on anti-commercialism and social anarchy becoming the basis for an unoriginal fighting game. Although the fight club is only one element of the film, the creators of this game chose to focus entirely on that and distill the movie down to a simple one-on-one fighting game. Then, in a potent instance of adding insult to injury, completing the whole game unlocks Limp Bizkit lead “singer” Fred Durst as a playable character. However, you could look at the bright side. That means you get to punch Fred Durst in the face whenever you want to.
4. Street Fighter: The Movie
Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game is a game based on a movie based on the game Street Fighter. Instead of cartoon characters fighting each other, now slightly more realistic characters based on the actors in the movie who are supposed to look like the cartoon characters fight each other. There is no reason for this to exist.
3. The Da Vinci Code
It may be a slight mistake to base a video game on a movie where the action packed climax comes in the form of Tom Hanks spinning dials on a tiny puzzle tube. Instead of just focusing on making it a puzzle game, there is actually car chases, stealth and combat as well. Because really, when you think of The Da Vinci Code, you think of action. Not to mention that the fun of a puzzle/mystery game is unraveling the truth of the game yourself, which is impossible when you’ve already read the book and seen the movie. Mystery solved at that point. As far as Tom Hanks movies go, a Philadelphia game might be more fun.
2. Little Nicky
When you look at a list of Adam Sandler movies, it’s possible to see how games could be spun out of them. A Happy Gilmore golfing game perhaps? How about a Waterboy football game? Nope, the movie they decided to immortalize as a game was Little Nicky, a forgettable movie by Adam Sandler standards, and that’s saying something. Besides walking around New York fighting demons and eating Popeye’s chicken, the game features wonderful mini games such as shoving a pineapple up Hitler’s ass (shown above). When a game has to make a whole mini-game based on that gag you know it’s in trouble.
1. Napoleon Dynamite
We all remember a few years ago when Napoleon fever hit the world. Every kind of product imaginable had Jon Heder’s awkward face plastered on it and you couldn’t go three feet without hearing someone quoting it. So it’s really not a shock that some enterprising young game creator pushed ahead a Napoleon game. But that doesn’t make it right. From such activities as tetherball, feeding a llama and dancing that famous dance, you can play through the life of Napoleon with all the excitement and gusto you saw in the film. As in not very much at all.