Welcome to Boss Fight Friday, a weekly video game hot stove where the writers of Game Savvy give their take on video games and where you, the reader, get to start the weekend off right. Last week we discussed our E3 Predictions and more E3 content, you can check out our previews for Nintendo, Bethesda and Xbox. With Sony announcing a ton of new movie projects, today we thought it would be a good idea to discuss video game movies and television shows. Enjoy!
Q1: Sony seems to be turning everything the own into a movie or television series. What’s a game you’d like to see as a tv show or movie and why?
Tyler: I’d personally love to see BioShock turned into a television series. I think the setting of Rapture and Columbia are outstanding and the storylines have enough mystery to keep audiences guessing. Not to mention the action and the characters. So a BioShock TV series would get my vote.
Em: I would love to see a TV series for Assassin’s Creed. They could get into the history and character development more than they were able to in the movie. It also spans a lot of history so each season could focus on a different time period.
Bri: I’d love a Pixar-style Mega Man film! Complete with cheesy dialogue and all.
Nathan: For a movie just like everyone else I would love to see a live God of War movie and as for TV it would be cool to see Spyro in his own series in the same style as the remake. Kinda like how Sonic Boom came out.
Dennis: If we’re just talking Sony owned IPs then I’d go for Resistance. It’s not a series I really care for, but if you give it a Jericho vibe in addition to what Resistance is, then you got something special right there as TV Series.
Nana: I would like to see Final Fantasy get another attempt at a movie.
Steven: A metal gear solid series could be awesome, but only if Kojima was behind it.
Q2: With Uncharted and Halo and even the Witcher getting their own movies and television shows, which one are you most excited for?
Tyler: I personally can’t wait for The Witcher series. With GOT’s timely demise, I’m now searching for my fantasy fix and there’s seemingly no option better than The Witcher. After playing The Witcher 3 and now reading through the books, my Witcher level of hypeness has grown to an uncontrollable level. I’m just curious about show quality. Is it going to be HBO quality or more like a weekly CW thing? Only time will tell.
Em: Definitely most excited for The Witcher, though that’s mostly because it is a fantasy style game and that’s my go to genre for television.
Bri: I think The Witcher television show has the most potential to succeed with fans. But I’m not terribly excited for any of those titles.
Nathan: Though I didn’t play much of The Witcher I’m familiar with the concept and with Game of Thrones out of the way I can see that becoming a successful series.
Dennis: With the process of elimination and as someone who has never played Witcher or Halo, probably Uncharted.
Nana: Witcher, because it has both things from the books and the games.
Steven: The Witcher has the most interesting setting and its Henry Cavill, I’d watch that dude do anything.
Q3: What do you think is the best tv show or movie based on a video game?
Tyler: There are just so little that do a good job that it makes it pretty easy to choose. For me it has to be the original Mortal Kombat. It’s just such a classic when it comes to video games in other media and does a really great job of capturing what made Mortal Kombat the game, special. Tomb Raider is also a close runner up. Edit: I TOTALLY forgot about all things Pokemon. That’s one series that went from game to other media seamlessly. That’s probably the best one.
Em: For TV I love the recent animated Castlevania. For movies I think Tomb Raider is probably my favourite (the newest one) for how it captured the feel of the game.
Bri: Detective Pikachu does a lot right. It sticks to the plot and hardly steers off course. It’s witty, and the writing is decent (even if a bit cheesy at times).
Nathan: The Castlevania anime was by far one of my most favorite ideas to this date. I liked the story they portrayed with the teaming up of Alucard, and the art style in general. Besides you got to love a character that likes to make boats out of everything.
Dennis: In recent memory, it has to be … nothing other than the Netflix Castlevania anime series. They took a series I love, gave it more context and improved on it in some aspects. It’s a way better attempt at making Castlevania relevant than Konami has tried with the series in recent efforts on the game side.
Nana: Castlevania, especially Season 2.
Steven: There was a Donkey Kong cartoon that I watched when I was younger I remember it being pretty good. I don’t go into movies like that expecting it to stick to the source material, they’re just good popcorn movies.
Q4: Why do you think most movie makers fail at bringing video games to life on both the big screen and small screen?
Tyler: I just don’t think movie makers are good at capturing the original appeal of the games they’re working on. When you look at a game like the Legend Of Zelda or Halo, the writing really focuses on the characters surrounding the main character rather than the main character themselves. That’s because those games make you really feel like you’re the hero of the story which is the essential experience. It’s difficult to make the audience the hero in a movie or television show. Assassin’s Creed was a good example of how the movie makers didn’t capture the main appeal of Assassin’s Creed which is exploring different time periods, and they spent may too much time on all of the boring stuff.
Bri: I think it’s hard to adapt a video game into a movie because the studios aren’t aware of what fans want and fail to do proper research. The other thing is that these movies fail to bring in what makes video games great: Interactivity. A lot of them just seem doomed from the start.
Em: I talked about this in detail in my Video Games in Other Media article, but I think it’s because they go for the flashy high stakes story rather than taking time to develop characters well and explain the backstories. It’s either a poor homage to the game, or too campy without developing a real story.
Nathan: I think by trying to add the appeal that we as gamers know and love movie companies think that it will be a success. What they fail in is that not everyone shares the same ideology. Stories are watered down on a limited budget, actors/actresses are trying to portray as someone a lot different than the original characters, and so on and so forth. Animated media like Wreck It Ralph works great because of the sense of wonder and many tie ins the movie has.
Dennis: When you take the interactive aspect of video games out of a series while trying to make it for TV and movies, it will always feel like a water downed version in my mind. It’s still the question for the filmmakers on how to adapt this video game for any screen in a way that respects what came before it without completely ignoring it, while also catering to the needs to the movie studios. It’s a tricky balance that is really hard to manage because a good or great example of that balance is very rare, it does happen like with Detective Pikachu for instance, but I think TV/movie adaptions for video games still have a long way to go.
Nana: I think the problem comes in the idea that Hollywood makes things that always grounded in reality, and doesn’t let WTF concepts exist. Japan I think is better at this.
Steven: It’s a different way of consuming media, video games are a hands on experience where as watching a movie is just that, watching, you have no control of the characters unlike a game.