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Retro Gamer goes to the movies (it's a list feature)


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Hi there guys, we're doing a new list feature, but thought we'd do it a little differently.

We're looking at great film licences, so rather than asking you to name a list of games. We're putting up 12 categories and want your nominations for each one.

It has to be an actual game based on a film so no Batman Asylum, Fate of Atlantis etc

The categories are...

Best Film (overall best game)

Best Animation (best game based on cartoon)

Best Sound Design (sound effects)

Best Original Score (music)

Best Voicing Acting

Best Special effects (GRAPHICS!)

Best director (individual involved with a game)

Lifetime Achievement Award (consistency within the genre)

Best Technical Effects (best gameplay mechanics)

Best Set Pieces (part part of a game)

Best Screenplay (story)

Just put a nomination in for each game and then we can have winners and runners up :)

Best Foreign Language Film (import exclusive)

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Best Film: Die Hard Trilogy - okay, it had that god-awful Die Hard 1 stuff (which I still persisted with and was determined to get some enjoyment out of), but the Virtua Cop-style on-rails shooter and the timed driving sequences really helped to capture the atmosphere of the later films, and the silly dialogue and excess explosions help give it the feel of a mindless action game. The sequel seemed a bit more muted in comparison and lacked a lot of the fun of DHT1, but the original is still enjoyable today.

Best Animation: Toy Story - it's really tricky to pick between the various 16-bit Disney movie tie-ins, but the pre-rendered sprites felt completely at home in this 2D sidescroller, and the giant environments were fun to explore around. Okay, Woody's sprite is a bit big and at first you feel like you're bumping into things due to his size, but it doesn't hinder the gameplay too much. The use of sampled speech is also a welcome addition, even if it does sound a bit compressed when you revisit the game...

Best Sound Design: Aliens (Electric Dreams) - there were probably only about three or four sound effects that you heard when you played Aliens - your own motion tracker sensing an alien, another character's tracker going off, the gunfire, the static (was there static?) but Aliens on the C64 did more with less, and the result was a really suspenseful and atmospheric shooter. The sensor's increased rhythm as an alien approached whilst you were still looking for it is probably one of the scariest retrogaming memories of the 8-bit era.

Best Original Score: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (coin-op) - the game was little more than a scrolling fighter, and the movie itself was a bit random in hindsight, but back when Michael Jackson hype was actually a legit thing, playing the arcade game (or even the Mega Drive conversion) and hearing the likes of Smooth Criminal, Thriller and Another Part of Me playing in the background was just too good. The little ditties that played during MJ's smart-bomb attack were also a nice addition, even if they were just snippets of slight rearrangements...

Best Voice Acting: Ghostbusters (8-bit) :P

Best Special Effects: King Kong - this was a fun game in places and I never played enough of it before I was distracted by other titles, but the visuals impressed me quite a bit at the time. It wasn't necessarily super shiny or pretty but the washed out feel and the muted colours really helped build the whole atmosphere of the game. The mist and fog felt at home in a game like this, rather than simply being used to mask the draw distance or whatever, and the HUD-free viewpoint only made things more immersive.

Best Director: Not sure... whoever produced DHT I guess. Michael Arkin Dennis Gustafsson? ( http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/197123-die-hard-trilogy/credit )

Lifetime Achievement: EDIT: actually, yeah, Ocean Software. No matter how bizarre the plot or how varied the set-pieces, Ocean always managed to get a side-scrolling platformer or shooter out of it. Given that owners of 8-bit machines were more than happy to snap up the games, you can hardly blame Ocean for continuing to churn them out. Heck, some of them weren't that bad - we had the cartridge for Robocop 2 for the C64 and it was a pretty solid side-scroller. Not every licensed game was amazing, but it's not like they were on LJN's level or anything... :P

Best Technical Effects: Goldeneye 007 - that is, the N64 game - I haven't played the newer game yet. Anyway, in terms of gameplay, Goldeneye got most of the important things right. In a world of corridor shooters, gamers today might be a bit put off by the objective based exploration, but the guns felt great to use, the enemies reacted well to being shot, you never felt completely invincible and weren't compelled to blindly rush in, and the game was always keen to take you to new locations and keep changing the pace now and then

Best Set Pieces: Tron (1982) - with such limited technology at the time, Tron made a good effort at keeping the most memorable bits of the film intact in some way or another, rather than picking one scene and making a game out of it. I'm not sure if they can really be counted as set pieces, but it had the MCP attack, the light cycles, the IO tower and more... certainly enough to make it a more varied and well-rounded package than it would be if it just stuck to one scene from the film.

Best Screenplay: N/A - I skip cutscenes too often and most movie tie-ins just have you walking through the sets rather than trying to narrate the story as well.

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Here's some I can think of...

Best Film: Goldeneye 007 - nuff said

Best voice acting: yeah, I agree with Ghostbusters. Bwaaaa ha ha ha haaaa ha haaaaa

Best music: Scarface, The World is Yours (is that retro enough?). You can play Giorgio Moroder!!! Nice.

Best special FX: Robocop 3 (Amiga). So much better than the movie. Really ahead of its time.

Lifetime Achievement award: Ocean. Their TV licences were turd, but the movie licences were a mark of quality. Batman, Robocop, Hudson Hawk, Untouchables, Short Circuit, Cobra, Rambo. Highlander. Cough... Well, by far the majority were great


Best Director: Gary Bracey. Come on - give him the award. He'll probably even have a photo taken for it! Retro hero!

Best Set Piece: Goldeneye 007. The dam level. Expanded on the Bond intro and made it a really memorable level. Even now I can hear the music in my head as you swoop into the back of Bond's head.

Best Foreign Language: Hmmmm... how about that Spanish version of The Name of The Rose. Maybe not quite official... but it was good.

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Best Film - GoldenEye 007

Best Animation - Aladdin

Best Sound Design - Alien 3 (SNES)

Best Original Score - Robocop

Best Voicing Acting - Ghostbusters

Best Special effects - GoldenEye 007

Best director - John Ritman (for Batman on Speccy)

Lifetime Achievement Award - Alien vs Predator

Best Technical Effects - Toy Story (MD/SNES)

Best Set Pieces - Shooting a napping guard on the toilet in GoldenEye. Does that count?

Best Screenplay - Alien 3 (SNES)

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What I can think of off the top of my head. Yeah, I nominate some in more than one category...
Best Film (overall best game): Star Wars Arcade. The definitive game of the film.
Best Animation: Aladdin (Megadrive). Honorable mentions to Lilo and Stitch (GBA version, Digital Eclipse), and (Tim Burton's) Alice In Wonderland (DS).
Best Sound Design (sound effects).
Best Original Score (music)
Best Voic[e] Acting
Best Special effects (GRAPHICS!): Bladerunner (Westwood Associates) - for the time, the engine was astonishing; and it put you right into future LA, the world of a Bladerunner.
Best director (individual involved with a game)
Lifetime Achievement Award (consistency within the genre): Ocean.

Best Set Pieces: Star Wars Arcade - puts you in an X-Wing, flying down the service trench in the Death Star, and you can use the Force!

Best Screenplay (story): Another shout for Bladerunner - unlike most other film adaptations, this was all about the story. Or rather, stories, with 13 possible endings. And the story fitted perfectly into the Bladerunner setting - overlapping with the main plot of the movie in a perfectly natural fashion.
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Best Film (overall best game) Robocop (arcade, DataEast)
Best Animation (best game based on cartoon)
Best Sound Design (sound effects) Bladerunner
Best Original Score (music)
Best Voicing Acting Kung Fu Panda
Best Special effects (GRAPHICS!)
Best director (individual involved with a game) Dennis Gustafsson Die Hard Trilogy
Lifetime Achievement Award OCEAN
Best Technical Effects (best gameplay mechanics) The Simpson Hit and Run
Best Set Pieces (part part of a game) Quantum of Solace (Opera sniper)
Best Screenplay (story) Beowulf

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Yeah, I thought about Simpsons games for the cartoon bit, but discounted them as not really a movie licence. I also discounted a bunch of Star Wars games like Rogue Leader, Jedi Knight or KOTOR because they were a little bit more removed from the original movies.

You could argue the same for Bladerunner, I guess, although that was a specific movie licence that was handled in a unique manner.

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Good point. The Aliens movie tie-in on the speccy was one I considered for best mechanics; it nailed the feeling of being the squad commander down, with you watching helplessly through your marines' helmet cams as the Aliens closed in...

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Totally agree with Goldeneye as best film, and Ocean for lifetime achievement

First game I thought of though was Batman The Movie. I know it was part of one of the Amiga pack bundles, so there will be loads of people that had the chance to enjoy that game. Really well executed tie in with the film.

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