Hey everybody! Some of you might know me from my "Game of The Week" blog I write every Tuesday. I decided to do something different here: a semi-regular series of "Top Ten" articles.
Basically, it'll be a Top Ten of whatever category I can think of. Obviously mostly gaming, but who knows, perhaps I'll do something else one day. I'll try to get these out on Fridays, so look for it!
And for my first one, I picked a challenging category: the dreaded movie-based game.
Yes, they are, for the most part, terrible. Some are unbelievably bad, like they shouldn't even exist bad.
But every so often, one comes along where, it's not only playable, it's sometimes even enjoyable. And today, I'll try to name ten of them. And obviously, I can't name every game here, or that game you remember. But I'll try.
Also note that this list is separate from my Game of The Week. A game listed here can still appear as a Game of The Week someday :)
Without further ado...
10. The Lord of The Rings Trilogy (PS2, Xbox, GC, PC)
So, these days, a series of games not only based on three hugely successful films, but ALSO developed by EA would send gamers running for the hills. But they nailed it way back in 2001-2003 with this Trilogy. (I'm counting the set as one game here) They did an amazing job capturing the feel of the films, while combining that feel with a solid gameplay engine. And Co-op to boot. And who doesn't want to be Aragorn?
9. Aladdin (SNES)
Ah, Capcom. Back before you baffled your fans with stupid decisions, you used to make games based on licensed property. And they made a solid platformer with Aladdin, based, of course, on the Disney hit. It was a refreshing change of pace due to Aladdin having no real weapons to speak of, unless you actually count the apples. I don't. Further adding to the games greatness was the music and art, directly lifted from the movie. It's a quality game, of decent length and a just-right challenge.
8: The Super Star Wars Series (SNES)
I know, I know. Some of you can't stand these games. Keep in mind, these were released in that weird period between 1983 and 1997. In other words, there was basically no Star Wars in that period of time, apart from books of wildly varying quality. And try the games again if you get the chance; they're solid, even if they take more than a few liberties with the property.
7. Die Hard Trilogy (PS1)
Despite the title, this is actually one game. Or rather, three-in-one. Die Hard Trilogy, based on the classic wrong-guy-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time trilogy of action movies, cast you in the role of undershirt-sporting tough cop John McClane. As McClane, you play through Die Hard as a third-person shooter, Die Hard 2 as a first-person rail shooter, and Die Hard With A Vengeance as a driving game. Sadly, the game hasn't aged as well as most others on this list, but back in the day, it was a riot.
6: The Bourne Conspiracy (PS3, Xbox 360)
Published a whopping six years after the movie it's based on premiered, The Bourne Conspiracy (based on The Bourne Identity) cast players as amnesic super-assassin Jason Bourne. Mostly following the events of the first film, with flashback levels thrown in for good measure, TBC is one of the few games based on a movie that makes you feel like the main character. Basically, you pull off fancy gun acrobatics and gut wrenching martial arts moves, all which are facilitated by surprisingly solid controls and mechanics.
5: Rocky (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Apart from a remarkable lack of staircase climbing, this game was almost fanatical in its reverence for its source material. Featuring around 30 fighters, all of whom appeared or were even just mentioned in the Rocky saga, you'd play as the Italian Stallion throughout all five movies, from the memorable first fight against Apollo Creed, to the ho-hum street fight with Tommy Gunn. Just try not to get pumped when you pop in the disc and "Gonna Fly Now" starts blaring from your speakers.
4: The Matrix: Path of Neo (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Based of course on the hit films/special effects piece/head trip, Path of Neo finally let you play as The One himself, after a misstep a few years earlier. Another game that truly made you feel like who you were supposed to feel like, Path of Neo featured bullet-dodging, bullet-stopping, and even the memorable 100 Agent Smith fight from The Matrix Reloaded. It's an absolute blast to play. And the revised ending has to be seen to be believed.
3: Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game Of The Movie (Various)
Phew. That title's a mouthful. It's almost longer than the game itself (BWAH-HA-HA-HA!). Nonetheless, PJKKTOGOTM is a great atmospheric FPS where you play as Jack (Adrien Brody) as he sets out on Skull Island to rescue the kidnapped Ann Darrow from the misunderstood clutches of The 8th Wonder of The World himself, King Kong. The game did a tremendous job of capturing the look and feel of the film, as well as creating a sense of immersion due to the lack of HUD. Not to mention the ability to play as Kong during fights against the dinosaurs that roam Skull Island. Unfortunately, it's over before you know it, as the game is short even by movie-game standards.
2: Spider Man 2 (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
For the first time in video game history, you truly could do whatever a spider can. Spider Man 2 broke free from the usual traditions of movie-based games, offering a large, virtual Manhattan to swing around. Spidey's webs would actually attach to buildings as he swung, and, if you could master the admittedly controller-intensive mechanics of swinging and web-shooting, there'd be nothing you couldn't do. The end result was an unparalleled sense of freedom that most games of today struggle to match.
1: Goldeneye (N64)
Could there really be any other? Goldeneye was-is-a landmark. It's the birth of the modern shooter. First, there's the extremely well designed campaign, in which you play as that superest of super spies, James Bond himself, and mostly follow an expanded version of the events in the movie. You crawl through vents, decode door locks, hack computers, use your handy laser-watch, and, of course shoot a &$%#load of bullets along the way.
And then there's the multiplayer. THE multiplayer. Upon which all multiplayer games would be judged for years to come. Offering an impressive selection of maps, weapon sets, and modes, Goldeneye fans look back fondly a the time when we'd sit around the TV, watching our little screen, yelling at other players for looking at our screen, laying remote mines (and proximity, but never timed-boo!), complaining about the Klobb, and laughing at the player who ended up ranked "Most Cowardly." Online games are the thing now, yes, but nothing today can match the good times had by all playing Goldeneye with friends into the wee hours of the morning.
And that's it for my first Top Ten! I'm sure you can come up with games that should be on this list! Hit the Comments!
Thanks to Wikipedia for the images.