The videogame industry has a history with movie tie-ins. If there’s one thing that many of us can agree on, it’s that a good movie does not equate to a good game. However, over the years there have been several exceptions to this widely accepted rule. Here, The Game Reviews will list just a few of the good film tie-ins.
The Lion King – SNES, Sega Genesis
While the game was released on a myriad of home computers and consoles, the Genesis and Super Nintendo versions are arguably the best ones. What was most unusual about this tie-in, was the sheer insane difficulty of it all – based on a family movie, it spawned a game that gave many a player nightmares. Regardless, it stands as perhaps one of the best film-to-game adaptations ever – note to developers; don’t cut corners and be lazy when making a film game, try and achieve at least this level of greatness.
Die Hard Trilogy – PlayStation, Windows, Saturn
Many will have fond memories of this title – it sold incredibly well and deservedly so. It’s obvious that Probe put a lot of effort into its development. Packing three games in one, it featured a third-person shooter (The original movie) in which you were John McClane, killing terrorists and disarming bombs. The second game was an on-rails first person shooter with some great levels and cool set-pieces that followed the movie extremely well – one that springs to mind is the grenades being chucked through the plane windscreen. The third game was perhaps the least accessible, but still very fun – a driving game where you had to reach various checkpoints around New York City in order to disarm bombs laid by Simon. Overall, this was a very addictive and very rewarding package that was excellent value for money and it’s easy to see why so many people were proud to own a copy of it – if you see it in a store second-hand, don’t ask questions, just buy it.
Spider-Man 2 – PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, PC
Again, this game was released on pretty much all the current hardware for the time, but this version stood above the rest as a beacon of good design – forget the inferior sequel, Spider-Man 3, this is the best in the series. Improvements were made to the web-swinging system; in this title, you actually had to be near a building to attach a web to it, which made for more creative use of angles and trajectory. It had its flaws (don’t even ask about the side missions), but ultimately, it was fun and that’s what counts. The biggest plus point for the game was that it was free-roaming, which really put you in the shoes of everyone’s favourite red and blue webslinger.
GoldenEye 007 – Nintendo 64
How could we not mention this? A title that many, if not all gamers will be familiar with – it may have aged poorly but at the time, this game was considered the pinnacle of splitscreen multiplayer. Getting four people together and having a match is still fun to this day, and the inclusion of four controller ports on the console made this superior to anything the PlayStation could throw back at it. The amount of settings available was, at the time, mind-boggling and really gave the multiplayer side of the game an edge. Also featured was a great campaign mode that followed the plot of the movie closely and although later single-player Bond games may have surpassed it, this stands as a great example of how memorable movie tie-ins can be.
Well, there you have it. Four great movie tie-ins of gaming’s yesteryears – if you see any of these in a bargain bin or a retro shop, I highly suggest you pick them out and make a quick purchase – you won’t be disappointed. Let this be a lesson to all developers tasked with bringing a movie to home consoles; don’t rush it to make a quick buck – give gamers something they’ll enjoy and remember fondly.