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Yesterday's announcement that Paramount is bringing a game adaptation of Days of Thunder
, which received its theatrical release twenty years ago, to the PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade was a tad surprising. To say the least. What was especially amusing about the whole deal is that Days of Thunder actually got an NES game to call it own way back in 1990 and it was... well... actually it was pretty terrible.
But then I got to thinking, there must be a ton of movies from the glorious, halcyon days of the 1990s that didn't get a tie-in video game and deserve one now. So travel with me back to the grunge generation when The Simpsons
ruled TV, a Bush was in the White House and The Terminator
came back to theaters after a long absence (man, the 90s had a lot in common with the 2000s)...
Shameless calendar tie-in pick? Maybe. But Bill Murray's magnum opus would also make an excellent Sims
-style sandbox game. Phil's adventures in Punxsutawney over and over and over again (director Harold Ramis says he lived out the same day for ten years!) would give gamers plenty to do. Stealing cars, freaking out the locals, wooing Andie MacDowell, kidnapping that poor groundhog. This game could have it all. Just imagine what the Achievements/Trophies would be like.
The greatest movie of all time (seriously!) actually received a game adaptation on the PC, PSone and Saturn in 1997. However, it was a pretty slowmoving and lackluster shooter from Radical Entertainment (Prototype
) that is in need of an update. Just think, a new Independence Day game created by Namco Bandai's Ace Combat team with a few ground-based tank levels could be the alien-busting action adventure fans of ID4 have always wanted.
Mix one part Penn & Teller's Desert Bus
, two parts San Francisco Rush
(gotta have those big jumps) and sprinkle liberally with voiceovers from Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper and you could have a really great PSN/XBLA game. Get Sega's Sumo Digital team on it as they've proven time and again that they know how to make arcade racing games fun.
I believe Stewie Griffin said it best: "Imagine the nads on those guys!" Of course, he was referring to pioneers who made the trip along the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon, but the quote more than applies to people who drive into tornadoes for funsies
as well. Like Speed, a Twister game would have to be some crazy driving game that involved a lot of flying cows. And flying ladders. And flying, exploding tanker trucks. Basically, anything that shouldn't fly in real life should fly in this game.
Sam Fisher and Solid Snake wish they were as badass as Sean Connery was in The Rock. OK, Solid Snake wishes he were as badass as Kurt Russell is in anything, but that's only because ol' Kurt took down The Thing
(also an excellent movie-to-game adaptation). But The Rock has everything a good action game needs. High speed car chases, breaking into a prison no one has ever broken out of and Nicholas Cage icing a guy while singing "Rocket Man." OK, maybe The Rock has more
than everything a good action game needs.
Throw a group of people into a constantly shifting maze of cubes and tell them to figure out the complex clues needed to get out. How this hasn't already been turned into a game is a mystery to me. OK, so it's a low budget Canadian cult movie. It doesn't have to be a "Who killed Kennedy"-level mystery to be a mystery. Throw in online voice chat and a designated traitor like in the movie and you could have a seriously cool game that is actually worthy of the "survival horror" moniker.
There have actually been two games based on Starship Troopers, but neither one managed to capture the intensity of the movie or recreate the felling of being swarmed by hundreds of bugs with only a rifle and your wits. I don't really care if there's ever another Starship Troopers game because there's actually a perfect one out now for the Xbox 360 (albeit without the Starship Troopers name). That game is Earth Defense Force 2017
and if you haven't played it yet, you should. It's part of D3's Simple series, but don't let it's low budget fool you, it is fantastic.
"The balcony is closed..."
Do any of these movies really deserve a video game adaptation ten or even twenty years after they made their theatrical debuts? Probably not. But if something like Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game
can exist, then anything can be turned into a video game.