If there is one thing that is well known amongst gamers, it is that video games based on movies are usually terrible. In fact, some are downright shameful (i.e. E.T., Star Wars: Obi Wan, Enter the Matrix etc.) and even go so far as to make the movie experience less enjoyable. However, there are some great movie licensed video games out there that deserve a great amount of recognition.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:
First off, nerdy people LOVE the Lord of the Rings novels; secondly, those same nerds probably love video games. So EA really did the nerd (and by extension, geek, dweeb and goober) community some solid literary justice by making The Two Towers into a good video game. EA managed to put in a fair amount of footage from the movies into the game as well as making the characters match their real life counterparts. It was almost seamless how the real footage would melt into the in game CG to give gamers the chance to really become part of Middle Earth. In addition to the graphics and movie footage, the game also has its fill of action and gamers could choose to play as Aragorn, Gimli or Legolas. Each character has their own specifications for fighting, which added depth to game play. For instance, playing as Legolas will mean fast arrow shooting for range combat, while playing as Gimli means close quarters combat that Legolas might have trouble with. These variants, although small, added to the fun factor of the game and also pushed for gamers to replay the levels. Plus, you get to fight in Helms Deep; one of the coolest battles in motion picture history.
Set in the early nineties, this game picks up where the movies left off: with proton packs and comedy goodness. Ghostbusters the video game furthers the hilarious adventures of Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston and their fight against paranormal activity. Now that the Ghostbusters are in the good graces of the city of New York, it’s time to have another crazy ghost filled adventure. Not only does this game feature the voices of the original cast members (including the hilarious Bill Murray), it also acts as a continuation to the original films. With dozens of references including the painting of Vigo, talk about Gozer and an Xbox achievement for sliding down the fire pole in the station: this game will offer plenty of trips down memory lane with each punch line. And to top it all off, the game is solid! No jerky controls, no awkward movement with the proton streams and no lame storyline. Ghostbusters is the game that is so pleasing, that it might have been a good compromise in lieu of a sequel…but fans will probably still want a Ghostbusters sequel. This can be a very good place holder until then.
No Saturday Night Fever dancing out of Peter Parker in this game, no, Spiderman 2 the video game offers a GTA version of story. Yes, instead of being a straight forward level to level game, players could web swing around NY in search of criminals while in between story lines. The ‘sandbox’ style of gaming was pretty impressive in terms of designing. It was extremely rewarding to be able to swing from the tallest buildings then land in a back alley to stop a robbery, or land on top of a car in the middle of a high speed chase. Spiderman 2 the game also has the voice work of Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina and good old Bruce (don’t call him Ash) Campbell to add to list of perks, especially since Alfred Molina doesn’t seem the type to lend his voice to a video game. In addition an expansive world and great voice acting, this game also has some of the best encounters will Spiderman villains this side of Maximum Carnage, since it also featured the Shocker, the Rhino and Mysterio (the entire Mysterio both hilarious and cool, since it led the web head to a battle around the Statue of Liberty).
So the next time you say that all movie licensed games are terrible, re-examine that thought and look beyond the shameless movie tie-ins. Don’t be pulled into buying the crappy Street Fighter movie game (which ironically was a game based on a movie based on a game) and instead take the time to find a good movie based video game; cause they are out there. And some of them are pretty darn good.