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The Dichotomy of Movie Tie-In Games

In recent years, many blockbuster movies have given rise to video games based on them.  While opinions on these tie-ins are usually mixed, there have been some that stand out from the others; either for being quite good, or EPICLY bad.  In this entry we will take a look at 2 games where for one the movie was bad with a passable game, the other is a cornerstone game with a horrible movie tie in.

A pre-adamantium Wolverine lunges at a mercenary soldier.

A pre-adamantium Wolverine lunges at a mercenary soldier.

The themes of these games seems to have been to fill in where the movies were either lacking, or to add exposition to characters where there was an opportunity.  2009’s ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ is a great example of this.  Published by Activision for the PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and PC, this title focused on expanding the backstory of Wolverine’s inclusion into, and subsequent escape from the Weapon X project.  It featured a large array of moves, a stealth aspect, and visceral & gory gameplay (in the ‘Uncaged’ version).  As Wolverine took damage, the player could see pieces of Wolverine’s skeleton start to show through, which would eventually heal over due to the character’s mutant healing factor.  The voice acting, good story, multiple collectibles, and stellar graphics made this one of the best movie tie-in games in memory.

Ryu faces off against Blanka in the home version of Street Fighter: The Movie

Ryu faces off against Blanka in the home version of Street Fighter: The Movie

The opposite of this concept is, unfortunately, also true.  Take 1995’s ‘Street Fighter: The Movie’ game for instance.  Created by Capcom and Incredible Technologies for the arcade, PS1, and Sega Saturn; this thing was, in no uncertain terms, terrible.  Using digitized images of the cast of the Jean-Claude Van Damme film of the same name, the game attempted to capitalize on the popularity of Capcom’s  predecessors, while following the storyline from the movie.  In the lackluster story mode, a player would assume the role of Guile (JCVD’s character), and fight their way through multiple characters from the film.  The game suffered from excessive slowdown, lackluster graphics, a skeletal storyline, and almost no replay value.  It has also been consistently ranked as one of the worst movie-based video games of all time.

It seems that movie tie-in games will always be a thing.  Whether you appreciate them for their gameplay, their stories, what they add to their respective canons, or even if you are not a fan, they remain a money-maker for the entertainment industry.  Those of us who appreciate them can only hope that quality in these games remains a priority in years to come.

What are some other games based on movies can you think of that were good or bad?  Tell us in the comments below.

About Doug T. (475 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, disabilities advocate, avowed geek, and serious foodie. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.
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