Shrek 2 vs The Incredibles
I hope I haven’t made it a secret that I prefer Pixar films, because this match-up takes me back to an instance where Dreamworks went out of its way to piss fanboys off. Shrek 2 had done very well over the summer of 2004. Not only did it break the box office record set by Finding Nemo the previous year (for a domestically released animated film,) Dreamworks decided to move the home video release event date from Tuesday to an unprecedented Friday. Why? To steal as much thunder from The Incredibles opening weekend as possible.
The fact that Shrek 2 didn’t do it for me is personal thing, as is the fact that Incredibles is my favorite of the Pixar films. But Dreamworks forcing families to choose one or the other, as if making half a billion dollars entitled it to eliminate animation coexistence, was such a deliberately underhanded maneuver that I’ve only just recently stopped caring about…. Oh God, the games! Right, this is about the games... Both are insipid platformers hastily cobbled together to dupe children out of money and remain an insult to the medium. Happy?
“Seems to take for granted that because it is aimed squarely at kids, it doesn't have to bother being very good. That's a shame.” - Cory Casciato, GamersHell
“That it's over in a few short hours (whatever your abilities) and that everything's very contrived and undemanding is, in fact, rather the point.” – Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer
Cars vs Over the Hedge
You can tell a lot about a studio based on their “worst” film. So while Cars is Pixar’s least critically beloved movie, it was incredibly profitable, remains a merchandising powerhouse and has a sequel in the works for 2011. Now compare that to Over the Hedge, a movie most people forget exists even though it’s based on a fifteen-year-old comic strip that is still being produced. Thus, in 2006, Pixar reclaimed the (bad, movie licensed) gaming crown, and Cars would even go on to become the #2 best-selling game of 2006 in the US… seriously!
“…Cars is a likable little racing adventure. The gameplay is nothing outstanding, but it's fun enough while it lasts…” – Mr. Mikel Reparaz, GamesRadar
Over the Hedge
“Ugh... another sad movie tie-in bleeds fun out of our lives.” - Gabe Graziani, GamesRadar
Ratatouille vs Bee Movie
A colossal battle between little critters in a big world?! Nah, just the standard deception built to last as long as the movie’s media blitz. FACT: GamesRadar has the lowest score for Bee Movie Game in the history of Metacritic. So, in an arcane bit of hindsight that’ll never be revisited following the end of this sentence, that pretty much makes us heroes!
“Ratatouille - the latest Pixar anthropomorphic animal flick - bucks this trend and offers a solid platformer that doesn’t feel like Disney’s trying to rape your wallet.” – Shane Patterson, GamesRadar
“Don't force us to play the minigames to expand the already-uninspiring campaign. It's sloppy game design, and it drags Bee Movie Game even further into the mud.” – Andrew Hayward, GamesRadar
Wall-E vs Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda is the odd Dreamworks duckling, in that it’s actually a really good movie. Great, even! Of course, Wall-E was a way better movie… although, that didn’t save the game based off of it from playing like interactive ass. Sadder still, the PS2 version scored about 15 points higher than its console counterparts, making Wall-E one of the lowest rated Pixar games ever, despite being based on Pixar’s highest meta-scoring movie. Kung Fu Panda, on the other hand, performed so well it got a game sequel, and Microsoft even saw fit to showcase it as a pack-in with family-friendly Xbox 360 console bundles. Sorry Pixar, looks like being the first game to license a Hello Dolly song can only get you so far…
Kung Fu Panda
“If the film didn’t exist, the game would still stand alone as a long-lasting shiny romp.” – Jem Roberts, Xbox World 360