The Top 7... Geek movies that should never become games

2 - Kill Bill

Having brought the heist, crime-drama and blaxploitation genres into the modern era by adding car-trunk POV shots and discussions of obscure TV shows, Quentin Tarantino turned his attention to proving a truth known by geeks and stoners alike: shitty kung-fu movies rule. Unsure whether to take the Kill Bill flicks as exceptionally good pap or uncommonly entertaining cinema, audiences rejoiced regardless – none more so than geeks and stoners.

Seems like a great idea because: Having given the gaming world Reservoir Dogs – “Acceptable,” we gushed – the only way is up for Tarantino-based games. If any Tarantino movie was worth interactive reinvention, it'd be one in which dialogue was unusually sparse and there were more swords than skinny black ties.

But actually: Stop and think about the pivotal action scenes of Kill Bill. With the exception of the legendary Crazy Eights battle, they're either one-on-one scraps between Uma Thurman and a well-cast guest star, or Thurman performing game-unfriendly feats like moving a toe or one-inch-punching her way out of a coffin. If that sends your mind to the logical place - “that's easy, just do it as a one-on-one fighter with QTE bonus sequences!” - ask yourself: does that actually sound like a game you'd want to play? Maybe that's why it was cancelled.

Instead, try: Try pretending Red Steel had been hyped as a curiously male-centric Kill Bill adaptation/expansion instead of a system-defining Wii blockbuster. See if your interpretation of Red Steel, in this context, is at least marginally less crushingly disappointing. We’d suggest the vastly superior sequel, but it’s all Western instead of modern-day ninja ballet.

1 - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Wrath of Khan succeeded where many would say even JJ Abrams' Star Trek reboot didn't: pleasing the crowds with its well-drawn action and characters, while satisfying hardcore Trek nerds with its devotion to the franchise's universe and backstory. It's still held up as the template for Trek films – which means, for certain sectors of the populace, the template for all films, period.

Above: Interplay's 25th Anniversary game could finally be due for improvement 

Seems like a great idea because: There's never been a truly classic Star Trek videogame, which should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Maybe designers' problems with the franchise are the same ones solved by Khan's filmmakers: game producers could take their cue from the movie by starting out with a kick-ass crowd-pleaser, then working backwards to make sure there's plenty of fan-friendly nods to canon.

Above: Or just graft Ricardo Montalban's head onto Ivy Valentine's body and call it a day 

But actually: The film works because it's a small-but-pivotal episode in a massive larger universe. Would Khan be a space-combat game? A third-person adventure? An RPG? Would it hew closely to the film's structure, only letting you do each of those things briefly then moving onto another mode? Or would it expand each section with token-collecting stretches of filler, negating the movie's self-contained formula? It's hard to know which is the less palatable option, and the opportunity for disaster is so great that it’s best to just let Kirk, Kahn and those creepy ear bugs stay on the silver screen.

Instead, try: If you're really desperate, there's always the Wrath of Khan Game Watch – it does feature two whole game modes, after all. There's also a Star Trek Legacy mod that recreates the space-combat bits of the movie. Or you could just relive the movie's single greatest moment at its very own website.

Nov 22, 2010

Top 7… Failed franchises we know how to fix
The best part is, Rocksteady ended up making our perfectly predicted Batman game


10 classic films that would be great games
We scour the history of cinema for unexploited gems


If games were more like their film adaptations
Film taking from games is annoying, but pray it never comes full circle


Top 7


  • aperson789 - November 22, 2010 10:19 p.m.

  • Haikufrenzy - November 22, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    There was a shovelware PC Princess Bride game. I didn't play it myself but I remember seeing ads for it on other websites.
  • JADENkOTOR - November 22, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    When there is a poor video game adaptation of a movie, it in no way diminishes the integrity of the movie, just itself. Why you think this would hurt the reputation certain movies I just don't understand. Anyway I agree that a lot of these wouldn't make for good games especially Hackers... that made for one of the most boring movies of all time even though I did like it when I was going through my dial up computer phase in the mid 90's. Turning this into a game would be dreadful. I used to want Kill Bill to be made into a game until WET came out and ruined the entire thought of this happening... I do think that if put in the right hands it may be able to work though. and The Dark Knight is way overrated... Christian Bale is terrible.(except in American Psycho and maybe Harsh Times but thats pushing it)
  • KnightDehumidifier - November 22, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    Where is my Short Circuit 2 video game? You can engage in free-roaming as Johnny 5 on the streets of New York City, joining the Los Noches gang and piloting RC planes into criminals. Supply a soundtrack from Bear McCreary, hand it off to Naughty Dog to develop and bring back that British guy who portrayed an Indian in the original film, and we're good to go. Also 32-player multiplayer modes and make it for me. Sincerly, KnightDehumidifier age 8 1/2
  • OneEyedGoon - November 22, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    Twin Peaks FTW
  • CH3BURASHKA - November 22, 2010 11:38 p.m.

    You brought up Alan Wake, but not Deadly Premonition? They came out within months of each other, and looked incredibly similar. You guys even did an article comparing the two! As for Princess Bride, I hadn't seen it until earlier this year. It had been so built up, so put-on-a-pedestal-ey by others that I was slightly disappointed. It was a quality, well-rounded story, but I found it kind of underwhelming. Sometimes a straight-forward story is all you need, but from the way people talked about it, I was expecting some kind of crazy-ass twist. I'm rifling through my memories thinking of "nerd" movies that seem like good game potential that would really be shit, and no other fits better, in my opinion, than "Dark City". I saw it two years ago and was fucking blown away - I fell in love with that movie. As a game, depending on the story (are you Murdoch, or a citizen in Murdoch's new world?) there's plenty to do. Ever since seeing it, I've wanted to know more about John, about the City, about the Strangers, but that's just my id talking. There's plenty of evidence that adding to a story will sooner or later fuck the whole thing up, and dilute the meaning of the first story in the process. I'm now content with letting go of such childish desires. Another of my favorite movies (in this case, a mini-series) is "The 10th Kingdom". Once again, I want to see and experience more of the story, but it simply wouldn't work as a game.
  • MrTwinbee - November 22, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    I gotta admit I was a bit miffed about the omission of Deadly Premonition when talking about Twin Peaks. The coffee, deer head, music etc are all heavily referenced in what is one of the best games of this generation. The bits when you drive around and Agent York starts to talk about his favourite films are awesome too. reCAPCHA: "Ruchest concern" Sounds like some weird charity.
  • juicenpancakes - November 23, 2010 12:16 a.m.

    Reading a single entry about Serenity has made me pop in my Firefly Blu-ray. I anticipate having the series completed by the end of the week, followed by a week of sadness that it will never again return.
  • Overlord153 - November 23, 2010 1:12 a.m.

    No wonder people hack the leaderboards in games if they get that kind of action!!!
  • Yeager1122 - November 23, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    Ive actually seen Darkman III: Die, Darkman, Die! sooooooooooooo much better then dark knight obvisiouly.
  • batmanboy11 - November 23, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    Great list. Also, lol at "Hailed as “the best comic-book movie ever” by people who haven't seen Darkman III: Die, Darkman, Die!,". (Although in all honestly I like Scott Pilgrim more than TDK)
  • soopermoose - November 23, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    Yeah I agree with the others about Twin Peaks and Deadly Premonitions, seriously the game is practically an indirect sequel to the TV series.
  • Eliath - November 23, 2010 2 a.m.

    @juicenpancakes It's hard for me to hear or read Serenity or Firefly without immediately watching the series over again. It's then hard for me not to watch it again as soon as I finish. I will, however, resist this time due to the extremely large amount of games that I need to play. Also... Willow, Robin Hood: Men in Tights (and other Mel Brooks movies), Krull, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Fifth Element, and The Ewok Adventure.
  • Valntyne - November 23, 2010 2:27 a.m.

  • Sevej - November 23, 2010 3:19 a.m.

    awesome game watch...
  • Doctalen - November 23, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    I would like to point it, its Crazy *Eighty*-Eight battle not "Crazy Eights battle". Even with slang, you gotta give them some honor by using their correct name.
  • BlackElement17 - November 23, 2010 3:25 a.m.

    It's going to be at least a day before before I stop thinking about a princess bride game.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - November 23, 2010 3:27 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if there was a wrath of khan game, but in the scene where the guy yells "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!", there was a prompt to mash X? :P
  • NightCrawler_358 - November 23, 2010 3:45 a.m.

  • ChipTheExecutioner - November 23, 2010 4:59 a.m.

    I was expecting "Akira" and "Neon Genesis Evangelion" to make the list but hey, you put on the princess bride so I have no complaints ReCAPTCHA: wearat season? what the hell are wearats?

Showing 1-20 of 38 comments

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