I don’t think it’s any secret that most licensed video games never live up to their full potential. Unfortunately, because of this fact, the licensed good games are buried under the bad games like the fabled E.T game buried in that sink hole some place around Mexico. Every year video game companies try to ride the coat tail of some mega movie with a cheaply made product hoping that the name of the movie will be enough to generate sales instead of putting time and energy into the project and releasing something they can be proud of. Luckily for us, not every company has this hap hazard approach to the art of video game writing and design. We have trudged through the waste that is licensed games to produce our 6 favorite video games based on movies…that are actually good!
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
The Lord of the Rings universe is still being tapped for any further juice that may be produced. We have seen multiple books, movies and yes, video games based on the Tolkien lore. Most of the video games however fail to live up to the hype and are tossed out of the ring. When Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was released in 2014 I had very little confidence that the game would be anything more, but a flimsy story sugar coated with Orcs and Hobbits. When I finally decided to give the game a try, I was thankfully proven wrong from the start of the game. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (MESM) is an open world RPG with a stand-alone story taking place between the events of The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring stories. In the game the player takes control of a ranger who bonds with a wraith Elf so they can work their way through the Orc army and avenge the deaths of those they love. The bet part of this game is the creative combat system that Monolith productions implemented in the game known as the “Nemesis System”. The Nemesis System tracks any Uruk you come in contact with and if they defeat you in battle they will advance in their army and become a stronger foe. The game is beautiful, the combat system is terrific, but the story could have a little more texture to it I feel. Overall, this is one of the best games based on a movie.
The 90’s were home to some of the best platformer video games ever made. Aladdin proudly took his seat at the table of greats alongside Donkey Kong and Mario in 1994. Now, there are some debates on which version of the game was better, the SNES version or the SEGA version. I have always been a Nintendo kid, but I have to side on the SEGA version for this one. In the SEGA version you are given a sword for close combat and in the SNES, no sword is given. Some say that Aladdin never really used a sword in the movie, so this does not matter, however when you are playing the game, it does matter. The other thing that SEGA has going for it is the story itself follows the movie better than the SNES. Aladdin is a diamond in the rough, and this is why it is number two on our list.
It would be a hard task to take on to try and make a video game based on one of the most loved film franchises ever to be made. When the Godfather video game was released in 2006, I was hesitant to pick it up and try it. At the time I was working at a movie rental store so was able to take it home one weekend for free, and I am glad I did. I played the game for two days straight, so much so that at one point my then girlfriend, now wife, was having dreams about the “puppet men”. The game is an open world action game (think GTA but more restrained) that is set in 1945 and follows a non-cannon character, Aldo, who is climbing the ranks in the Corleone family. The game was highly received and was nominated for many awards including “Best Game Based on a Movie or TV Show”. I loved playing this game and that is why it has earned its place in this family as number three on our list.
The Lion King
I am sure some of you were upset that I had included Disney’s Aladdin and not The Lion King. It would be a shame to leave this game off of the list. The Lion King was released in 1994 and is a side scrolling platformer game where the player controls Simba (unless it is the bonus game with Timon and Pumba). The game follows the significate events of the film and has a beautiful color pallet and soundtrack that has stood the test of time. The Lion King was highly received selling over 4.5 million copies and included in the switch duo game alongside Disney’s Aladdin. This game could not wait to be king and was crowned number four on our list.
Who didn’t dream of being the friendly neighborhood spiderman when they were growing up? Swinging into action and taking down the bad guys always sounded like a good time. In 2004, thanks to Activision, we got to feel what it was like to dawn the costume and be led by our spidey senses. In this open world action-adventure game, the player controls Spider-man in a third person view with the goal of swinging through NY, stopping crime and completing missions. Players and critics alike loved this game, and it received an 8.8 out of 10 from IGN. Spider-Man 2 slings its way into the number five spot on our list.
Rockstar games is no slouch when it comes to making great games so it’s no surprise that they would show up on this list. The Warriors is a beat ‘em up game that was released in 2005 and loosely follows the same story line as the movie, it even has many of the songs from the film inserted into the soundtrack. The game allows the player to control one of several members of the Warriors per mission and can switch characters once in the home base or “hub. It does include some other aspects other than just brawling like graffiti. Because of the great association with the film, the Steller gameplay and the ability to listen to some great tunes, Warriors came out to play at number six on our list.
Written exclusively for our company by Jacob Ruble
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