Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Movie Licensed Games with Moments that Don't Belong

When you hear the phrase "movie-licensed game" your first reaction is probably to cringe in revulsion.  Given the history of quick cash-ins that have been released in the past (and continue to be released to this day), your reaction would be pretty spot-on.  Countless times game developers have tried to expand on movie licenses by including areas, enemies, and boss battles that weren't in the films.  Sometimes it works, most times it doesn't.

With that in mind, today I want to take a look at some of the good and bad movie-licensed games that have been unleashed upon us.

The Good:

EA's Lord of the Rings Series - Multiplatform

Gandalf kicks the crap out of another EA hater.

Say what you will about Electronic Arts, but having them snag the license to the Lord of the Rings trilogy proved to be a great treat for gamers.  They didn't release a game based off of Fellowship of the Ring, but the other games which followed the plots of The Two Towers and Return of the King more than made up for it.  The games followed the movies fairly closely, allowing players to experience the major battles in the films, as well as some battles that weren't present.  The games are very well done and get your adrenaline flowing, so even when you encounter segments that aren't in the films you will be having too much fun dicing up Orcs to notice.

Jurassic Park - Sega Genesis

The T-Rex makes quite a few appearances.

Jurassic Park is a good example of what a game development team can do when they embrace a license and expand on its universe without wrecking it.  Most of the levels in the game aren't even areas that were featured in the movie, but there are some nods to the Jurassic Park novel, such as the river rafting level.   As you venture through a dinosaur-infested sewer system and power station, you really feel that these areas would have fit into the movie just fine, they are definitely plausible features of a prehistoric zoo gone wrong.

The Bad:

Terminator Salvation - Multiplatform

Prepare to be fighting these guys all the time.

I'll be honest here, I haven't seen the Terminator Salvation film; my experience with the Terminator movies begins with The Terminator and ends with Terminator 2.  However, I have played Salvation, and it's so bad that it deserves a mention here.  The game's biggest drawback is repetitiveness; you move from one post-apocalyptic city block to the next identical city block, fighting the same three enemy types over and over again.  In the film does John Connor end up defending a group of survivors in a subway station?  I have no idea, but I can say for sure that doing this in-game is boring as hell.

Rambo - NES

Is this Rambo or Arachnophobia?

I know this one has probably been done to death already, but seriously, did anybody on the development team even see the movie?  This game has Rambo trekking through the jungle fighting mostly wildlife, including implausible wildlife such as man-sized spiders.  Remember that bad-ass scene in the film when Rambo battled the evil birds?  Neither do I.

The Ugly: 

ET - Atari 2600

We all know this game, it's the holy grail of garbage.  The game that has almost nothing at all to do with the film.  The entirety of this game consists of controlling ET as he searches for pieces of telephones which are somehow found in gigantic sinkholes, because this all happened in the film, right?  To make the game even more infuriating, ET is also being pursued by scientists and government agents who threaten to capture him and take away the phone components you just spent half a day collecting.

And that about wraps it up, what movie-licensed games have you played that you found to be pretty good, or downright awful?


  1. It's interesting seeing this one, because I have a draft saved up on a game that missed something from a movie actually. I have had the thing for about 2 years now, and just never put it all together.

    It was about one movie, but two games...

    1. I hope you're able to finish the draft and post it! I'm curious now as to which game you were going to write about (I think your last line is a reference to the movie, but it's not clicking in my head at the moment).