Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Extra Lives: Five Video Games That Should Never Be Movies
Most of these games are awesome, but none of them would make good movies. In no particular order:
The “Sonic the Hedgehog” series
Sonic the Hedgehog is a game that went from exciting 2D platforming to awkward 3D adventure games faster than you can say Sonic Adventures. This is not the primary reason why the Sonic games would make a bad movie property.
My primary concern is that it would be animated (likely CGI), and if any of the recent Sonic cartoons are any indication, Sega has no interest in really putting out a consistent quality product.
In fact, the only good Sonic cartoon was the Saturday Morning animated series that ran on ABC in the early 90s.
He is the fasting thing alive, and has a rocking Early 90’s intro song, but probably not going to get a movie anytime soon.
The “Legend of Zelda” series
I am a huge Legend of Zelda fanboy, and I’d love to see a good movie made about the series. But I don’t think it’s possible. Link is a character who doesn’t speak and acts as an audience-surrogate in the game. Making him talk would raise the question as to what Link’s character is. Which, if the 1980s is to be believed, recalls the catchphrase “Excuse me, Princess.”
In fact, any time Link has opened his mouth has led to bad times all around.
But, leaving Link mute would probably make the movie extremely difficult, if not impossible, to properly execute. This, on top of the what would likely be a live-action budget in the $50 million area, this has the potential for disaster written all over it.
Again, we have a mute protagonist. Discounting that, although the game is one of the best RPGs (possibly ever) and has some real depth of character and designs it would be long. I’ve seriously spent many many hours playing through Chrono Trigger, with New Game + and seeing all the endings it could take probably upwards of 40. I’d be concerned with what would have to be cut to preserve the epic story, with all its labyrinthine twists and turns.
And also, Magus would get a huge fanboy boost and probably be in way too much of the movie than he realistically deserves.
No offense to the Magus fanboys, but if there’s somebody who should get limited screentime in a Chrono Trigger movie, it would be this pale son-of-a-gun over here.
Mass Effect was one of my favorite games of recent memory. But it would make an awful movie, because part of the fun is investing in the Commander Shepherd you create (be s/he a badass spacer with a haunted past or a noble war hero,) and, as anyone who watched me play through the game knows, it’s really boring to watch somebody else’s vision of this character go through without any of that investment.
The Sims is fun to play, but, unless done right, it would be just be…people. Doing stuff. And maybe some aliens, zombies, vampires, werewolfs, robots, sasquatches, and witches (thank you expansion packs.) But even with that stuff, it can be a tad dreary unless you are micromanaging your own Sims.
But that doesn’t mean Sims machinima aren’t occasionally awesome:
So, these games are very fun, in general, but they should perhaps avoid making the jump to the big screen anytime soon.