Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Wish List (6/24/09)

In the last few years, we've started to see some solid movie tie-in games with original stories, like Ghostbusters: The Video Game, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and The Force Unleashed.  Each of these games feature some level of involvement from the original filmmakers or cast.  Ghostbusters might not be perfect, but it's a great starting point for a new era of tie-in games that deliver fan service without needing to rely on it to deliver an enjoyable experience.

Here's a list of ten games that could be remade or continued with the involvement of the original filmmakers and a solid game studio.

1) Escape from New York (Remake): Man, this one could be sweet - a sandbox shooter starring Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken in the ruins of New York City. Most of the movie's characters would have to be recast - due to people's annoying habit of dying, especially the elderly - but hand this property over to Rockstar or Volition, keep John Carpenter involved, and you would have one heck of a game, full of a dark, sardonic humor and an almost infinite supply of badass.

2) Sean Connery in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Remake): Connery has already lent his voice to one Bond game, a remake of From Russia with Love. It was a fun but forgettable game - and Connery's age and lack of enthusiasm made for an odd performance. Still, I'd love for him to get a crack at a remake of OHMSS.

For those not familiar with that movie, it's one of the better Bond stories with the dubious honor of being the only Bond movie to star George Lazenby as the title character. To put it nicely, Lazenby isn't a great actor - though he did bring an atypical amount of earnestness to Bond, which actually helped the film.

The popular consensus is that substituting Connery for Lazenby would have made a better film. I don't agree with that, but it'd still be interesting to see what Connery would've done with the material.

A video game remake is the only optional now available to Bond fans.

3) They Live (Remake and Sequel): To be fair, I'm a huge fanboy of Carpenter's work in the 80's (there's one more Carpenter film coming on the list), but the satire found in this movie is as relevant today as it was during the Reagan era. And it's just a kickass movie.

Personally, I'd like to see the first half of a They Live game retell the movie's story, with the ending changed so that Roddy Piper and Keith David live, so the second half could be comprised of new material. This one lends itself to co-op more than most games on this list, which is a big bonus. But they'd have to keep Piper and David's wrestling scene in - and make it even longer than it was in the movie, if such a thing is possible.

4) Mark Hamill in a Star Wars game (Sequel): Seriously, why the hell hasn't this happened? The man makes his living off of voice work these days, Lucasrts is a prominent developer/publisher, and there's a wealth of expanded universe material that already exists featuring Luke Skywalker. Hand the reins of the franchise back to Raven Software, write a good story, and get Hamill involved. A game where you play as Luke Skywalker, with Mark Hamill back in the role...that would make some serious bank.

5) Tron (Sequel): True, there was a damn good Tron game, a sequel to the movie, released in 2003 - but who the hell wanted to play as Bruce Boxleitner's son? Get Jeff Bridges back, so we can play as Flynn.

Also, get Wendy Carlos back. I need new Tron music.

End of line.

6) Big Trouble in Little China (Sequel): Do I need to say more?

A rare game that would actually demand quick time events - because, baby, it's all in the reflexes.

7) Sigourney Weaver in an Aliens game (Sequel): Mrs. Weaver has already turned this one down, but I think there's potential here, if done right. First off, before anything else, hire a good writer. Or better yet, get Valve (an impossibility, I know) involved. Very few studios are better at telling interactive stories - and they could make one helluva story and game.

The Alien series should have ended with Aliens. But Alien 3 and Resurrection exist and neither film ended the franchise on a satisfactory note (to be fair, I dig Resurrection more than most). And don't even get me started on the AvP films. Could an Aliens game starring Weaver get the franchise back on track? I don't know.

But I do know that the franchise has been dicked around enough now that a little more dicking isn't going to hurt. There's nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

8) The Monster Squad (Sequel): Set it in the present day with the original characters as adults, hire the original actors, and keep that film's balance of wit and filth. Could be fun. Oh, and make sure there's an achievement for kicking Wolfman in the nards.

9) Firefly (Sequel) - Only if Joss Whedon or Tim Minear writes the script. As much as I love Serenity (I hold it on almost the same level as The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and The Wrath of Khan), it was not a satisfying introduction or ending to the Firefly story.

I'd still prefer another movie over a game...but I'd play the hell out of a Firefly game.

10) Adam West and Burt Ward in a Batman game (Sequel/Remake): That's a weird one, I know. But there was no shortage of fisticuffs and cheesey dialog on that show, which would translate well to a game. Get someone funny to write the script, a decent developer to make the game, and recast the villains (all of whom I think are deceased) with some current comic performers (Patton Oswalt as Oswald Cobblepot), and this one could be a sleeper hit.

Adam West isn't getting any younger, people.

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