John Murphy takes a look into the landfill that is movie tie-in games
I have been playing games for a long time, and in that time I’ve discovered there isn’t anything more pitiful than being based on a movie, at least as far as gaming is concerned. It’s hard to find a game based on a movie that did well, but they do exist and are occasionally beloved by the more niche players. The vast majority of us would never admit to liking a movie tie-in game, yet we sometimes love those franchises. I’ll mention a few good titles as well as a few bad ones, just to pretend to be neutral.
Starting off with GoldenEye 007 (1997) on the N64, this game changed the landscape for FPS titles and without it you all wouldn’t be playing Call of Duty. While it was superb, there has not been another Bond game to even come close to it..
Any movie tie-in that is lucky enough to be picked up by the LEGO company is guaranteed to make money. I personally love every single one of these and will play them until I am 90, as long as they keep making them. Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and the Marvel and DC games are all stellar work and such fun.
While the actual movie is about as fun as grating your nipples, I don’t think anyone ever asked for this
Moving on to the less good games, how about Street Fighter? I don’t mean the great game that inspired a horrendous movie with Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia. For some godforsaken reason, someone decided they should make a game based on the movie that is based on a game. You read that right. Street Fighter: the movie (1995) was released on PS1 and Sega Saturn. With watching the actual movie is about as fun as grating off one’s own nipples, I don’t think anyone ever asked for a game of it, too. Perhaps it was developed to torture spies, who knows?
we are going to have to make a special mention for ET (1982) for the Atari which had a development time of five weeks
Of course, we are going to have to make a special mention of ET (1982) for the Atari 2600, which had a development time of five weeks. This lump of Christmas coal essentially bankrupted Atari and was one of the causes of the North American video game crash in ’83. It has a single musical track for the entire game. Your mission is to search for invisible codes to power up ET, but there is no clear explanation that this is what you are supposed to do. Almost all copies of this poorly-selling game ended up in a landfill in New Mexico, until someone uncovered this pollution in 2014.
It would take a whole book at least to cover every loathsome detail of every disappointing cash grab of a tie-in, so instead we will have to hope that we see another good Bond game, and beg that they don’t make another Assassin’s Creed movie. Someone should stop these execs from believing in their terrible ideas, we can but hope.