Category Archives: Video Game Adaptations

New Trailer and Updates For Batman: Arkham Orgins

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The upcoming Batman prequel game, “Batman: Arkham Origins” has offered a few updates recently as its impending release looms closer. The game, which is being developed by  Warner Bros. Games Montreal features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline occurring several years before the events of the games “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Batman: Arkham City.”

Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains and assassins, the game showcases a young, raw, unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, witness identities being formed and key relationships being forged. Continue reading

How Will the ‘Need For Speed’ Video Game Franchise Influence the Movie?

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The venerable racing game franchise “Need for Speed” has kept up its high-octane momentum for the better part of two decades, and it’s now racing to the silver screen. Beginning with “Need for Speed” in 1994 to the recent “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” in 2012, the franchise has accrued a legion of fans over the years, a fact that no doubt contributed to the movie’s creation. Let’s take a look at how the video game franchise may have inspired the movie, which is set to open spring 2014. Continue reading

A World of Ice and Fire Comes To Android

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Just in time for the upcoming third season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the George R.R Martin of Game of Thrones fame has just released the Android version of the companion iOS app, A World of Ice and Fire.

This new Android version contains updated material that will soon be added to the current iOS version as well. This includes:

  • New Profiles for the Men of the Night’s Watch, Brotherhood Without Banners, and the Free Folk
  • 30 new illustrations for key places
  • The ability to search for characters by alias (so you can find Tyrion by searching for “The Imp”)
  • Further improvements to the anti-spoiler and map functionality

George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire already includes:

  • Anti-spoiler functionality that you can customize based on where you are in the book cycle to prevent you from seeing spoilers
  • 540+ character profiles with detailed historical bios, family and house information, book appearances, and corresponding actor roles
  • 380+ place profiles with descriptions for castles, towns, regions, geographical features and more
  • Fully interactive versions of all the official maps from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” Cycle.
  • Completely new text written specially for this app by Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson of Westeros.org – the premier fan site for the A Song of Ice and Fire cycle.

You can download the Android App or The iOS App and be prepared for the upcoming season beginning March 31, 2013.

Need For Speed Adaptation Adds Michael Keaton

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The popular racing game is now getting its own full length movie and DreamWorks has announced that Michael Keaton will be joining the project. The film adaptation has already cast Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Dominic Cooper, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Harrison Gilbertson and Scott ‘Kid Cudi’ Mescudi. Continue reading

Shadow of the Colossus Heading To The Big Screen

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Film adaptations of video games have often not fared well in the past. (I’m looking at you Alone in the Dark and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.) Whether it is due to alienation of the gamers or because the film got the “Hollywood treatment,” there have been few exceptions pleasing both fans of the video games and film goers alike. Now it seems the massively popular Playstation 2 game, Shadow of the Colossus, is set to head to the big screen in an attempt to adapt the 2005 action-adventure game published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

Seth Lockhead, the scribe who co-wrote the film Hanna, has been hired on to work on the screenplay for the film adaptation of Shadow of the Colossus. Josh Trank, most known for his film Chronicle, was hired in May 2012 to direct the project. The original script for the adaptation was written by Justin Marks in 2009 and will now be overseen for rewrites by Trank.

Shadow of the Colossus follows the character Wander as he enters a forbidden land. He must travel across the world while defeating sixteen massive beasts known as Colossi. His objective? Love, of course. Wander does the impossible to restore the life of a girl named Mono. What makes this game unique, especially for its time, is that unlike most action/adventure games  or RPG’s, Shadow of the Colossus has no towns or dungeons to explore, no characters to interact with or enemies to defeat other than the Colossi.

The game impressed players with its beautiful gameplay and immersive world partnered with the emotional punch of a storyline. It continues to receive wide critical acclaim with an average score of 91.56% at Game Rankings, and 8.7 by GameSpot, and IGN hailed the game as “an amazing experience” and “an absolute must-have title”, rating it 9.7/10.

Kevin Misher is producing. Misher Films’ Andy Berman and Kevin Chang are overseeing.

There is no word yet on who is in the works to star in the silver screen adaptation or a projected release date. Please make this a good one, Hollywood, please.

Soul-Crushingly Bad Movies Inspired by Video Games

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Hollywood filmmakers are, to put it bluntly, a rather greedy and opportunistic lot. No trend, brand or character is immune from being brought to the big screen in an attempt to wring some profit out of movie-goers. Video games are no exception and the results over the years have been mixed. “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” was pretty good, and if you didn’t love the plot, at least you couldn’t disagree with Angelina Jolie’s wardrobe.

Unlike Tomb Raider, many games don’t have a compelling plot or enough characters to justify a film adaptation. But with the recent announcement of an Angry Birds movie in 2016, you might download games online today and see movie trailers once a large enough fan base is established. Angry Bird creator Rovio is financing the full-length animated movie themselves, so we may start seeing more gaming-related films being produced outside of the traditional studio system.

We’ve highlighted three of the worst movies made from video games. What do you think is the worst? Let us know in the comments!

TEKKEN

The Game:

The original game in the franchise was released in 1994 as an arcade game and eventually for home gaming on PlayStation. TEKKEN was one of the most popular hand-to-hand fighting games of the era, allowing players to choose from a wide variety of fighters. It gave rise to several sequels and is beloved by many a video game aficionado.

The Movie: Tekken (2010)

The film was produced in America and only theatrically released (with any minuscule amount of success) in Japan. Stateside, it was so poorly received that it was given a straight-to-video release. Even the producer of Tekken (the game) publicly bashed it, saying in a tweet from his @Harada_TEKKEN account, “That Hollywood movie is terrible.” Further derisive comments on Rottentomatoes.com include:

  • “…a limb-snapping effort of escapism surrounded by bland writing and sleepy performances.”
  • “The fight sequences – dreamlike and almost-spiritual in the original game – are relegated to UFC-style octagons, shot like shaky-cam snuff and soundtracked by Insane Clown Posse-wannabees. It’d be headache inducing if it weren’t so damn boring.”
  • “…You do not want to see Tekken the movie.”

BloodRayne

The Game:

Released by Terminal Reality in 2002, this game features a well-endowed, scantily clad female protagonist by the name of Rayne. She is a dhampir (half-vampire) intent on hunting down her vampire father and striking down any vampires she meets on the way. She joins the Brimstone society and works with them to vanquish the undead and prevent powerful occult relics from falling into the wrong hands.

The Movie: Bloodrayne (2005)

If you invoke the golden rule, you can’t say much about the film except for facts. So, here goes: Meat Loaf was in it. Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez and Billy Zane were also in it. The movie had a budget of $25 million and grossed almost $3.6 million, which leads us to believe it wasn’t well received.

Critical responses on Rottentomatoes.com were pretty forthright about how terrible the film was, saying things like:

  • “The fight scenes are the worst kind of editing-room cheating, meant to cover for actors who haven’t been trained to wield anything more intimidating than a cell phone.”
  • “Turgid drama and incompetently staged action sequences…”
  • “This is a movie that begs you not to watch it.”

Super Mario Brothers

The Game:

Back in the day when the original Nintendo console was king, everyone who was anyone had a copy of Mario Brothers. Mario and Luigi are some of the most recognizable video game characters in the world. Every platform ever sold by Nintendo features multiple game titles with these guys as featured players or stars. It must have seemed like a slam-dunk in Hollywood, bring the duo to the big screen.

The Movie: The Super Mario Brothers (1993)

Despite starring talented actors like Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis, this film is a flop. The world of Dinohattan is campy and the action is not compelling. We kind of wish they’d flushed this concept down the pipes.

Critical highlights on Rottentomatoes.com include these gems:

  • “Game over, man.”
  • “Super Mario Bros. is about as playful and challenging as an unplugged pinball machine.”
  • “They should have used cheat codes to make this a winner.”
  • “It will baffle kids, bore adolescents, and depress adults.”

Guest post written by Mark Sumner

A very busy film editor, Mark is glad that his film trivia is being put to some use and that he can use his writing abilities to supplement his artist’s income.

Game of Thrones: The Mobile Game Edition

If you are anxiously awaiting the new season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” you are not alone. However, there is a new mobile app that might help make the wait a little easier to bear. “A World of Ice and Fire” is a brand new iPhone and iPad app that helps fans of the book and television series keep track of the ever mounting list of characters, locations, and Houses throughout the series.

Although the app uses the book for references rather than the television series, fans of the “Game of Thrones” should have no trouble using the app.

The app is free, but without buying content the app only gives basic information on some characters and places. for $1.99, you can gain access to more information about the characters for the first book  and $0.99 for each subsequent novel or $4.99 for everything in the app. The $4.99 purchase saves $1 over buying the pack individually. After buying the “InfoPacks” users can tell the app where they read to in the series so they can avoid any spoilers.

The app seems to be most helpful to those reading the series as the ever growing character list can get confusing as well as the different Houses and the locations of Essos and Westeros.  The maps will help readers find where the characters are in relation to one another, which is especially useful when war breaks out in the realm.

A World of Ice and Fire is currently available for iPhone and iPad, though Mashable says versions of the app are coming for Android and Nook tablets sometime in the future.

The Walking Dead

Gamers Get ‘The Walking Dead’ Beginning Dec. 4

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Gamers rejoice! If zombie carnage is what you desire, then get ready to live the apocalypse on a console system near you. The Walking Dead has been a comic book turned much-applauded AMC network television series, and now it is also a video game. Don’t forget to arm yourself!

Telltale Games is the company you can thank for putting you into those shoes of the survivors. They have already been offering game play based on The Walking Dead in a series of chapters over the course of the past few months. Now Telltale Games has announced that the complete epic adventure will be officially released for purchase on December 4. That is, if you aren’t one of the hard-core gamers who already bought it on Steam.

If you have heard the name Telltale Games before, then there’s a good chance that’s because you have experience with their Back to the Future game. That one has a big fan base, but has not been your more traditional release. This time around, there will be an actual disc to buy; however, and said disk will be available for purchase at real brick-and-mortar stores. This disk will be a collection of all previously released game chapters and you can choose from versions tailored to Xbox 360 and PS3 starting this December if you live in the USA.

So far, Telltale has released five episodes of The Walking Dead game. You start off as the character Lee Everett. Fans of the show know he’s the convicted criminal, whose life has new meaning now that he can fight in the war against the undead. That chance at redemption is personified by Clementine, a small girl who Lee has a chance to fight to keep among the living. Her storyline takes up much of the first chapter of the game.

If you are familiar with the show’s time line, then it will interest you to know that the game begins in the early days of the plague. You’ll encounter characters you know and love BEFORE they ever headed to Atlanta to join Rick Grimes. Speaking of those early days, those are also the subject of the new web series called Cold Storage, which begins October first. You won’t be waiting long! In fact, the series itself returns October 14th, kicking off-season three during the spookiest time of year.

Telltale Games is known for wonderfully quirky graphics. The environments work especially well for material based upon comic books in my opinion. There’s a sketch illustration quality to the lines and color. If you don’t want to wait and buy your disk of The Walking Dead game in whole format, venture over to Telltale’s official website, where Episode Three, “Long Road Ahead” is available now. The company also offers a Law & Order themed game, as well as one based up Jurassic Park! If for some reason you don’t dig Steam, game purchase is also available via the TTG Store, Origin and Amazon PC Downloads.

On the PlayStation Network in North America Episode Three sells for $4.99. On Xbox Live Arcade you can get is for 400 MS Points as a DLC within the original The Walking Dead XBLA release.

A Majority of Walking Dead Players Try To Do The Right Thing

It seems The Walking Dead video game from Telltale games is proving to be just as much a social commentary as it is a captivating video game. Players are, as a majority, trying to do the right thing.

“Not even a zombie apocalypse can stop people from being intrinsically good,” said video game publisher and developer Telltale Games.

Similar to several popular games out right now, player choices are an important aspect of Telltale’s episodic adventure game. The game, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, tasks players with making difficult (and morally ambiguous) decisions that affect the outcome of the story. However, according to new statistics revealed after the The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved For Help was released, most people try to make the “right” choice even if it means endangering themselves or others.

(Warning: The rest of this article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead) 

87 percent of players, when faced with the crossbow-weildling woman, chose to wait rather than shoot her dead. The majority (85 percent of players) then decided to chop off high-school teacher David’s leg to save him from approaching walkers, and most also chose to spare the life of demented dairy farmer Andy St. John (80 percent of players).

Telltale Games senior director of marketing Richard Iggo analyzed these statistics and said,

“Some of the stats we’ve seen coming back from player decisions have created a perception that even in dire times – and when faced with no-win situations where each decision is morally grey – the majority of people will try to do the ‘right’ thing if they can, even if there’s really no ‘right’ decision to be made,” Iggo told GamesBeat. ”It’s fascinating because even when we offer players a decision where the apparently darker option might make sense from a purely logical point of view, they’ll often try to choose the ‘higher’ ground at personal cost even if that means being put in danger or having a relationship with another character suffer because of it.”

Iggo also noted that the game’s engines track every decision players make. Statistics for the larger story-changing choices are displayed at the end of each episode, while the video trailers offer a more in-depth look into smaller, more subtle choices that help shape series protagonist Lee Everett’s personality.

“One of my favorites is where we see people stop punching Andy St. John,” Iggo said. “If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know that we’re almost up to 1.5 million punches on Andy. In that scene, you wail away on him until you see a wide-angle shot of the other survivors watching you including the impressionable Clementine. The camera then cuts back to a first person perspective, and you can continue to strike, but what we see is that most people stop. They realize that they’re being watched and that people are forming an opinion of them right there, and most people don’t want to be seen as a monster even in light of what the St. John family did. Most people take the higher ground, get up, walk away, and leave Andy to his fate.”

One choice, that wasn’t covered in the statistics trailer, invovles a small moment early on in Episode 2. Players must pass out four pieces of food among ten very hungry survivors. Unsurprisingly, the children — Clementine and Duck — were the most picked, followed by Mark. But it’s the fourth pick, the hard-as-nails curmudgeon Larry, that most surprised Telltale.

Iggo had a theory on why players chose they way they did.

“People chose to feed the guy that had been nothing but trouble since they met him, but I guess they felt sorry for him or his daughter Lilly. Or maybe they hoped that, by feeding him, he might tone down his aggression towards them and perhaps not reveal to the group what he knows about [Lee’s] past,” said Iggo.

However, players will never know if their kindness mattered to Larry as he meets his maker at the end of Episode 2. And if thought that was shocking, you haven’t seen anything yet.

“In terms of absolute heartbreak in the episodes we’ve seen so far, [Episode 3: Long Road Ahead] takes the crown. You’re really going to have your morals tested right from the opening scenes of the episode, and since the bulk of people who play the game seem to make decisions based on what they would actually do in the situations presented to them, this episode is going to hold up a very dark mirror for a lot of people.”

Whether player’s good actions are a result of their naturally kind hearts or they’re desire as gamer’s to get the best ending possible, it is still nice to see that during the apocalypse we may have some kind survivors at least.

Walking Dead Game Now Available on iOS

Fans of the “Walking Dead” series can now experience the apocalypse on the go; the first episode of the critically acclaimed video game based on the comic book series has finally been released for iOS download.

Walking Dead: The Game (not to be confused with the app that allows you to read the comic series) follows Lee Everett, an original character created for the game, through his adventures in a world overrun by zombies.

The game was developed by Telltale Games, who previously developed games based on other hits shows like “CSI” and “Law & Order.” Uncharacteristic of other games in the zombie genre, the game is not action-based, but rather focuses on the stories and the characters.

Series regulars (and fan favorites) like Glenn and Hershel Greene will also make cameo appearances in the video game.

This allows fans of the series something else to be emotionally invested in while we count down the days till October 14, when Season 3 premieres.

As for what took Telltale so long to reach iOS gamers, according to http://www.idigitaltimes.com, “Telltale has taken the time to integrate their new interface design into the iOS version of their Walking Dead game. In other words, the company took the extra time to make sure the iOS version had a more intuitive experience by seamlessly blending the game’s actions into the environment.”

Walking Dead: The Game episode one, “A New Day,” is now supported on the following iOS devices: iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and 4th Generation iPods and above.

Four more episodes are planned to be released in the coming months.