Why is it so hard to make a good adaption of a video game into a movie or a TV show? Never before has a videogame spinoff been successful, but to be honest, it’s not hard to imagine why. The whole enjoyment of videogames comes from playing them yourself and getting yourself out of situations and watching it doesn’t give you that same rush of excitement. In fact most of these movies have been one of three things, just okay (like “Lora Croft Tomb Rader”), terrible (like “Doom” and "Hitman") or downright, piss offal (like "Pokémon the First Movie" and "Alone in the Dark"). However while every video game adaption has been a failure there are still a few that really aren’t that bad. They may not be masterpieces of film but never the less are descent, nostalgic and defiantly rank in the category of good. So I’m just going to view some video game spinoffs, (in no particular list or order) that all have their flaws but are still worth giving a look.
Let’s first look at some kids TV show spinoffs of videogames. Well, there were plenty of bad ones that I grew up with including “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”, “The Super Mario Brothers Super Show”, “Captain N”, ”The Adventures of Link” and the later seasons of “Pokémon”. No, seriously why did Pokemon have so many different seasons. I suppose for the time it was a descent show but 14 seasons and still running is ridicules. If that wasn’t enough, there are also 15 animated Pokémon movies and 5 of them were released in theaters. Really, out off all those amazing animated Batman movies, only 1 was released in the cinema but Pokémon had 5. Now to be fare, the second film “Pokémon 2000” wasn’t that bad. It’s not something I’d show to my children but it did excite me as a kid, the animation was great, the villain was fun, there was an actual effort put into the story, the action was thrilling, best of all was the sensational music. The score ranges from fast paced and exhilarating to calm and soothing. Even the end credits are worth sitting through just for the music. I would actually recommend pulling up some of this music on You-Tube” and that’s saying something.
Another show that I remember enjoying as a kid was "Sonic the Hedgehog" (the second Sonic the Hedgehog show) and it was surprisingly descent. It’s not one of the greatest shows I grew up with but it is admirable for taking a video game that was about nothing and then turning it into something with substance. It had a subtle environmental massage, the animation was cool and dark, the characters were nicely thought out and the theme song was unforgettable. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s one of the all time greatest openings to a children’s T.V. show, it absolutely rocked. Like I said, not one of the best animated shows from my youth but at the very least I would put it in the category of good.
Now let’s look at some of the live action video game spin offs. I didn’t love the “Lora Croft Tomb Rader” films but they weren’t terrible, the second film “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” is worth a rent. The action is alright and the premise of someone looking for an artifact that holds the secret to the creation of life is an interesting concept and Angelina Jolie is great in the leading role. Neither of these films are that amazing but they made for entertaining adventure films.
Now I don’t care who you are, but I really like “Mortal Kombat”. This is a fun, fun movie and it doesn’t take an expert critic to tell you that this film is bad but never the less there’s nothing boring and you get plenty of enjoyment from it. The visual effects and set design’s have so much charm to them and it returns you to that feeling of a child playing video games or going to Disney Land, it’s a very strong otherworldly atmosphere. You may think that all comes from seeing it at a young age but I was a sophomore in high school when I saw this. The characters are nothing special but they do keep the film going. Sonya is my favorite, a chick who can kick ass and still look really hot in skin tight outfits. The action is great, it may not be big time exciting but the duals do keep you very entertained and there is some great choreography combined with appropriately cheesy visual effects. Once again like several other films on this list, the music is the best thing about it. The score get’s you all hyped up for action and it combines these cool musical notes with sounds that you would hear on game boy or Super Nintendo, it’s absolutely brilliant. So if you find yourself bored and can’t think of the right film to watch, turn your brain off and enjoy “Mortal Kombat”, its good mindless fun. Just don’t see the sequel “Mortal Kombat Annihilation”, it sucked.
My favorite video game spinoff would have to be “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within”. This film broke the boundaries to how much ass an animated film can kick and it raised the bar for how believable animation can look. This is a film that really transports you to another world and you really get cot up with the situations at hand as well as the characters involved. The music was soft and emotional and the action was just a spectacle. One of the highlights of this film was the characters, in “Mortal Kombat” and “Pokémon 2000”, the characters were nothing great but they kept the film going. This film gave us real characters that you get emotionally attached with and you really want to see what happens to them after words. The whole look of this film is just awesome, not just with detail but it looks almost like live action. Once the credits roll, you feel like you just returned from a fun adventure in space. Now like I said in the opening, every video game adaption has met with bad results and unfortunately this film is no exception but I still I insist that some video game adaption’s are fun and of all of them “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” shouldn’t just be regarded as the most competent but as a genuinely good film.
So will we ever get a successful video game spinoff, well maybe they should just be left as video games but I would to like to imagine that someday there will be a successful video game spinoff.