In the intersecting worlds of video games and movies, it’s often the game that makes its way to the big screen. Recent titles like The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Pokemon Detective Pikachu prove that this formula is undoubtedly a success. But it wasn’t so long ago that the reverse was considered a gaming staple – the video game tie-in.

RELATED: The Worst Movie-Based Games (According To Metacritic)

Tie-in games were seen by many producers as a quick and easy way to cash in on a film’s popularity. Given the right funding and development, they could be better than the movies themselves. But an overwhelming majority gave the practice a bad reputation. But, whether for good or bad, some tie-ins deviated quite far from the mood of their original source material.



5 Back To The Future

Back to the Future movie and 1989 video game

A sci-fi movie rife for adaption, Back to the Future tells the now-famous story of an 80s all-American teenager named Marty McFly becoming stranded in the past due to a time-traveling mishap. Now living in the 50s, Marty’s actions accidentally prevent his parents from falling in love. Hijinks ensue as he is forced to reconcile them to ensure his own existence still comes to be.

Given its comedic narrative, setting, and impressive special effects, it would make sense for this film to become an exciting sci-fi adventure for gamers. But for players of the 1989 video game adaptation, this, unfortunately, didn’t come to pass. This Back to the Futuregame involved players controlling Marty through various platformer levels and collecting clocks. Sure, it may be time-related at the very least, but it’s a far cry from the fun-filled tone of the movie.

4 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 video game and movie

Releasing in an era dominated by split-movie finales, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was undeniably a box office success that still suffered from a lack of resolution. It covers the drearier first half of the narrative in the final Harry Potter book and has sometimes been described as the camping trip from hell in movie form.

RELATED: The Best Harry Potter Games Of All Time

As such, any game developer would have a hard time making this into a decent game. But EA missed the mark by taking this magic-infused storyline and turning it into a third-person shooter. Extra damage is dealt out for headshots, and some spells even aim like snipers. Rather than evading the Death Eaters as they do in the movie, the main trio instead hunts them down in nearly every level.

3 Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown

Shrek movie and Fairy Tale Freakdown game

One of the most culturally influential movies of the 00s is Shrek, which tells the story of its titular ogre going on a quest to rescue a princess. However, this fantasy-filled classic is more of a parody of classic fairy tales than a faithful retelling. Its crass yet witty humor, many iconic pop culture references, and surprisingly heartfelt message are what make Shrek an enduring success.

In a complete pivot, a tie-in action fighting game based on the film was released in the same year. Titled Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown, the game was intended to be a parody of WWE’s SmackDown but instead plays similarly to other tournament fighting games like Mortal Kombat. Though the game’s premise keeps with the irreverent mood of the movie, the actual execution does not. The game lacks a clear narrative, strategy, or any kind of variety and has been described as a “handheld misery” by critics.

2 Hulk

Hulk video game and 2003 movie

As everyone’s favorite muscular green giant, The Hulk has appeared in many movies since the 80s. But one particular anomaly was the 2003 film Hulk. Where previous appearances had always leaned heavily into Hulk’s preference for smashing and action, this film delivered a more verbose and soulful exploration of the story. Unfortunately, many fans and critics felt that it departed too much from the usual comic book adaptation style.

RELATED: The Incredible Hulk Video Game Tier List

Perhaps as a way to respond to this, the video game version of Hulkreturned to the Marvel character’s “smash now think later” roots and gave players the opportunity to carve a path of destruction through each level. Though some slower scenes do feature Bruce Banner in human form, much of the game is an indulgently dumb rampage of action that would make The Hulk proud.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial movie and atari video game

Almost any film that Steven Spielberg got his hands on in the 70s and 80s was bound to be a success, but none more so than the family sci-fi classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. tells the story of a sweet-natured alien stranded alone on Earth, who becomes friends with a boy named Elliott despite their many differences. Full of heart, imagination, and the wondrous nature of childhood, E.T. is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.

It may come as a surprise, then, that its video adaptation is one of the worst commercial failures in gaming history. There are many things that led to E.T.’s lackluster performance. Its development was rushed to meet holiday deadlines, its difficulty level was too high for the movie’s young audience, and its developer Atari grossly overestimated their sales. But what makes the game such a decided disappointment is its hollow storyline. Where the movie is all heart and magic, the game is merely monotonous, vague, and a blatant money grab.

MORE: Action Movies That Should Get Video Game Adaptations

#Game #Adaptations #Changed #Movies #Tone

Categorized in: