Science has yet to isolate and identify the strain of the gene that makes game developers and fans alike to think that a game based on a movie based on a game is a good idea, but we know it exists. How? Because every couple of years this bizarre phenomenon pops up. It isn’t even really a trend in gaming since over the years you can count the total number of times telephone has been played with a game-related intellectual property on one hand. The thumb on this mutated hand flicks out with Battleship: The Video Game (which has been met with skeptical scorn), which was inspired by the Battleship film (which has been met with derisive eye rolls so violent literally half of America has gone blind). But it’s not the only time developers have tried to make a game out of what was originally a game and somehow failed miserably.
5) Battleship: The Video Game
There are so many questions to ask about Battleship: Why is it being turned into a movie? Why is Liam Neeson in it? Why does the film involve aliens? Will there be a prequel? Actually, the biggest WTF question is reserved for the game incarnation – which was developed by Double Helix, who made Silent Hill: Homecoming – because it’s a FPS with hulking space marines. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up, even though some people at Double Helix did. What’s cute is that in a series of developer interviews, Double Helix thinks that making an FPS involving aliens is actually original in 2012. Oh, and there’s more than a whiff of hubris, too. Art Director Bob Donatucci has said the game’s depiction of “heroic action” is on par with that displayed in the movie and also by the navy. Double Helix, you just sunk my battleship. By which I mean my sense of reality and faith in humanity.
4) Double Dragon
Be honest. Did you even know there was a Double Dragon movie? Rotten Tomatoes gives it a zero percent, which means if you have a pulse you probably won’t like it. So, no surprise that its ultra-rare Neo Geo game was similarly buried (it was also put out for PlayStation). Released in March 1995, the game transformed the beat-’em-up into an out-and-out fighting game. Billy Lee and Jimmy Lee get a letter from their old martial arts instructor informing them of the wanton violence and crime taking part in their hometown. So, they vow to end the violence the only way they know how: with more violence. It’s a positive message for the kids, though those same kids will likely be too confused by the game to accept it: for one, series damsel Marian is now a gang leader. That shouldn’t stop you from tracking it down, though, as it’s actually one of the better games on this dubious list. Good luck finding it, though! It’s available on PSN for PSP, though many say it’s the inferior version. Also, neither version have Andy Dick, though the movie does, so both game versions are also arguably inferior.
3) Spy Hunter: Nowhere To Run
If you thought Battleship’s lineage was redoggulous, consider that of this 2006 Xbox, Windows, and PlayStation 2 game. Spyhunter started as an arcade game in 1983, it got a sequel in 1987 (which was widely considered to be the worst sequel of all time), and then, as Hollywood is wont to do, it started drafting up a film adaptation in 2003. It’s clear to see why: Enthusiasm for the series was at a roiling point two decades after the game came out, so why not give it a shot? Instead, the film was prisoned in development hell and never saw the light of day. What did was this game, which featured Dwayne Johnson as the protagonist. He was slated to star in the film but is no longer affiliated with the project. The game was blasted by critics, earning a 51 on Metacritic. Maybe it would have fared better had the movie came out to give it proper context? Or maybe it was because you got out of the damn car and wandered around on foot, too, which has nothing to do with Spy Hunter at all?
2) Dragonball: Evolution
Once upon a time Hollyweird took notice of the hugely successful Japanese manga series Dragonball. It would be generous to say writer-director James Wong had been on a winning streak (Black Christmas, Final Destination 3, and the Crispin Glover-starring Willard were his three previous flicks), but still, he was given a chance to take the long-running anime and manga into the live-action film arena. The movie did poorly; the game did awfully. You can’t even play as Mr.Popo! As YouTube user emericask8r130 put it, “this sucks dragonballs.” Burn.
1) Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game
Imagine Street Fighter if it were served up with Mortal Kombat-like presentation, and you’ve pretty much got this game. With a greater emphasis on juggling and the new ability to cancel any special move with another special move – including projectiles – this game has always felt less like an homage to the Street Fighter legacy and more like an alternate-world dimension iteration. That would explain why even there aren’t people lining up to play it in Akihabara arcades. The game is seemingly in every arcade in Japan, but no one wants to play it. That’s not meant as a dig against the game, merely a statement of fact.