Are movie adaptations of video-games ever a good idea?

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by shaunj66, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Yes, I love video game movies, even the bad ones!

    16 vote(s)
  2. They can be; if they respect the source material and lore

    88 vote(s)
  3. It ultimately depends on the script and quality of the film

    181 vote(s)
  4. Rarely, but they make for a fun popcorn flick!

    69 vote(s)
  5. No, video games should remain an interactive medium

    54 vote(s)
  1. Issac

    Issac I

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    Apr 10, 2004
    I would like to have video game movies made in a certain way: Not mimicking the game!

    I mean, make it a complementary movie to the franchise / video game. Have it set in the same universe, use the characters or whatever... but make a it a MOVIE.

    Max Payne, for example. Make it an action movie with the dark imagery and with the right "feeling"... but don't pretend it's a game. Make it a backstory that ties into the games, instead of recycling pieces of the story.
    Everyone who knows the brief backstory to the first game (I won't spoil it) knows that it's very effective... but WHY does it happen? Why him? Create a movie with that in depth backstory.

    Or Silent Hill. There's so much lore to use, that you can make a great movie out of it. Instead, they fucked it up (in my opinion) by throwing in a mishmash of a story based loosely on the first game, with monsters from the second game... and still bullshitting out a story that clashes with the real lore.
    Explore the worshipers, the rituals, the town, the evil that lurks... but don't throw in Pyramid Head for no reason. Don't throw in "Sexy Nurses" for no reason. ARGH!!! Missed. Freaking. Opportunity. at making a decent video game movie (and a decent horror movie).
    Veho likes this.
  2. Seliph

    Seliph Professional Orphan

    Jul 11, 2016
    United States
    Somewhere in Jugdral
    I'd watch a movie retelling of the Metal Gear Saga because they're already very cinematic but I don't think many games will do good as movies.
  3. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    Oct 11, 2011
    There where talks about a Bioshock film.
    I'd fucking love to see it.

    Movie adaptations of games can be quite amazing.
    If they do it properly that is.
  4. ToonGoomba

    ToonGoomba Sarcastic Super Star

    Oct 20, 2017
    United States
    North Carolina
    I remember watching the Super Mario Bros. movie when I was about 3-4 years old, and I thought I was watching an entirely different movie. That was NOT Mario. I remember watching the Super Show too, and I knew it was Mario, but it didn't seem like him. Now that we are in modern times with animated movies and upgraded technology, I want to be able to tell who Mario is in the new movie. Specifically the video game Mario we all know and love, but with lots of personality and emotions added in. And since this is a new Mario movie, I'd put it in the action/adventure genre. Not the kids/family/comedy genre.
  5. dimmidice

    dimmidice GBAtemp Addict

    Sep 12, 2009
    Dead or alive has a movie that completely flopped and is ridiculously bad in many ways. But i love that movie. Fighting games probably make for the best movies. They're not heavy on story so they can't butcher that. They're already visually pleasing and who doesn't like a good fight scene?

    Edit: Here have the trailer.

    Last edited by dimmidice, Feb 14, 2018
  6. Megadriver94

    Megadriver94 GBAtemp Regular

    Aug 11, 2017
    United States
    I think its not too different from adapting novels and comic books into movies. Personally, I'd like to see how a movie adaptation of SOMA would end up.
  7. Old

    Old GBAtemp Fan

    Mar 7, 2018
    United States
    Rarely a good idea. The transition/adaptation is always going to be tricky, regardless of script, acting quality, etc. (or lack of). It's always going to be difficult because video games are a far more interactive - and often very personal - experience.

    The first Silent Hill flick has decent enough visuals & you can see what they were going for in the atmosphere department, but I can't think of too many others that were even watchable, let alone good.
    There is an infamous Street Fighter scene in the film 'City Hunter' that is consistently amusing. Certainly better than that horrid 90s version with Van Damme, and as a 'bonus' we get Jackie in full drag as Chun-Li! :toot:


    AsPika2219 likes this.
  8. osaka35

    osaka35 Instructional Designer

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    Nov 20, 2009
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    Silent Hill
    Those who make video game movie tend to make the same mistakes as those who make sequels to movies: Most either stick to the same notes and it's utterly boring and pointless, or they do things in such a way that you're not sure they even played/watched the source material. It's hard to capture the personal experiences of a game, that lightning in a bottle, for the big screen.

    Wreck-it-ralph was great because it focused on video game tropes, rather than any specific game, and had very human and sincere themes. Plus it was written really well. Mortal Kombat stuck to the game as closely as possible, threw in some "neat" visuals, and it was atrocious (well, fun to laugh at anyway). terribly written, nothing human to connect with, and difficult to follow.

    I love silent hill. I love it. But I didn't like the movies overly much. I'm not sure if that's because I know the games so well, or if the acting/plot made my brain hurt (I said "but why though" a little too much during those movies). Why they couldn't have just gone with the "the town is a reflection of your own psyche" angle, I'll never know. Probably either couldn't think of a clever enough plot, or wanted to create a mass-appeal horror flick. But I digress.

    You make things happen in a video game, you personally drive the story forward (well, usually). That's a large part of the engagement. So to watch the characters you controlled move on their own...your brain can get disinterested. Course, on the other hand, people really like "let's play" videos (which I don't get), so maybe it's not a huge deal anyway.

    Guess it comes down to plot, competence, and a deep understanding of the source material.
    Last edited by osaka35, Mar 11, 2018
  9. Condarkness_XY

    Condarkness_XY GBAtemp Regular

    Apr 23, 2018
    United States
    Where I want to be
    If the movie doesn't suck, I'll change my mind, but in all honesty I not trust Hollywood producers to give a damn enough to make a video game movie any good.
  10. Glyptofane

    Glyptofane Death Dealer

    Feb 12, 2009
    United States
    Anime adaptations of video games are one thing and usually not good either. I quite enjoyed the Ace Attorney anime though. As for live action, I don't believe I've ever seen one that wasn't a christless abomination.
  11. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein There's hope for a Xenosaga port.

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    Jun 29, 2007
    I got scared of its weird clunky ending running animation and ran away from it. Perhaps I should give it another chance.
  12. Dreamhigh1708

    Dreamhigh1708 Member

    Nov 14, 2017
    I actually enjoyed the Ace Attorney live action haha... It's a bit cheesy and not super high budget but they really tried to be as close to the original work as possible, and I enjoyed it for that... I wouldn't say it's outstanding but well, good enough haha

    I answered that it depends on the script and the overall movie production... which I believe is true... there MUST be a way to make it nice... But true enough, it's not easy to find a good adaptation... Assassin's Creed I HATED, forced myself to the end but it hurt to watch... I find Resident Evil entertaining and the action scenes are not that bad, but I haven't played the games... I've heard they're really different from the movies, is it true ?
  13. Mr. Elementle

    Mr. Elementle GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 30, 2014
    United States
    I mean they can be good as long as the film maker understands what made the game good, another big thing in my opinion is to not just retell the game, have a story set in the same world as the game, (Not some weird alt timeline semi retelling bullshit like silent hill and resident evil did)

    the dead rising movies are pretty good because they're just dumb zombie movies, they know what dead rising is about and they tell a story in the same universe and keep the same tone. The Professor layton movie is one of my favorite movies ever made (Seriously it is a genuinely amazing movie) because it understands why professor layton kept you intrigued in the plot, so even though you weren't solving puzzles it still felt like you were watching the plot of a game unfold.

    and as much as i know people hate on FNaF i am genuinely excited for the five nights at freddie's movie since the best part of that game is the hidden lore and writing (Even the books were good like better the games imo) so a FNaF movie directed by chris columbus with Scott advising should turn out pretty good (As long as there's no executive meddling to fuck it up)
  14. Gon Freecss

    Gon Freecss Telegram Advocate

    Nov 14, 2013
    Resident Evil and prince of Persia, yes!
  15. Song of storms

    Song of storms GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jul 18, 2018
    Wreck-it Ralph was good.
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I would disagree on two counts.
    1) I found it fairly dull and predictable
    2) Other than a few cameos and nods the whole thing was an original property.
  17. Gojira-san

    Gojira-san Member

    Jul 27, 2018
    Gojiro House
    It's depend on quality of the film.
  18. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Maniac

    Jul 26, 2006
    United States
    Most movies are somewhere between mediocre and terrible. The same with video games, really. I think the real question is if one can make a movie adaption of a video game with drama and character development that works well. There's very few video games that I think really would fit that mold. So, you're left making most as either non-serious, campy movies or simply playing out a mediocre recreation of a video game. The rest just tends to be terrible.
  19. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    There are several problems with adapting games (games that aren't interactive movies to begin with {Until Dawn, Detroit: Become Human and so on}) into movies.

    The main draw of a video game is the gameplay (duh), which takes up the majority of a game's duration. In contrast, only about 20% of any given movie is taken up by the genre mechanic (action in action movies, staring at puzzles in "puzzle" movies (think The Da Vinci Code), running from rolling boulders and jumping chasms in action adventure movies, actual sports matches in sport movies, and so on). So from the very get-go you drastically reduce the source material's main appeal, and you're left with... the story, and here you open a whole other can of worms.

    The first issue is that most game stories are awful.

    No, really. They are terrible. Not all by a long shot, but most of them are. They are Sy-Fy-Original-Movie, Straight-To-TV level awful. Games make up for it with gameplay, the in-game story is just a framing device to (loosely) connect missions/levels/stages, and isn't as important, but usually it's a terrible convoluted naive fanfic-level mess. People And if the storyline is long enough it becomes a soap opera on top of everything else. A game can have deep lore and a great setup and a satisfying ending, but everything between the opening cutscene and the end credits is a convoluted pile of WTF.

    Some games basically don't have a story at all. "There's this bunch of stuff and you have to explode it. Good luck." You have to expand this into a complete screenplay somehow. Good luck.

    On the other end there are games with too much content. Games are long (30+ hours), they can fit a ton of plot and content, and there is absolutely no way to cram all that into 90 minutes of movie time, so you have to get rid of 90% of the stuff and maybe mention some of it in passing or give nods to it in the background scenery. Remember how much books lose in adaptation to movies, now imagine that times ten.

    Games have dozens of levels/missions. A standard movie structure allows for two "missions". Choose wisely.

    And then there's video game logic.

    You inevitably have to change something, and the problem is that no matter what you change a (large) portion of the game's fans will hate you, and you are gambling on being able to draw in non-fans and regular moviegoers based on . And if you don't change anything, the movie will be a horrible mess for one or more of the above reasons.