The Game: Legendary Playstation scrapper, boasting the satisfying innovation of attributing a specific button to each of your fighter’s limbs. Random button-bashing be damned, this is a fighting game with brains…
The Film From The Game: An East-meets-West buddy-cop extravaganza, recasting the excellently-named Marshall Law and Paul Phoenix as a pair of mismatched police officers charged with going undercover to infiltrate an illegal fighting competition.
Inspired By: It’d be in the same knockabout vein as Rush Hour , with the happy omission of Chris Tucker’s motor-mouthed buffoonery.
Key Scene: The moment at which Phoenix meets his new partner. “The name’s Law…Marshall Law.”
Super Mario Bros. 2
The Game: Always the odd-man-out in the Mario franchise, Super Mario Bros. 2 is the slightly barmy sequel to the original NES classic, with Mario and chums now boasting the ability to use root vegetables to their advantage, alongside their usual mushroom-quaffing antics. “Mario Madness!” screams the game’s tagline. Indeed.
The Film From The Game: A harrowing tale of drug addiction amongst the American underclass, as Italian immigrants Mario and Luigi attempt to hold down their jobs as plumbers whilst attempting to wean themselves off an array of mind-altering substances.
Inspired By: Think of it as Requiem For A Dream with moustaches.
Key Scene: In a neat reversal of tradition, Luigi meets a sticky end after chowing down a suspect-looking green and white mushroom…
Red Dead Redemption
The Game: Rockstar’s Western Odyssey is so beautifully epic it already looks as though it’s been plucked from the silver screen. You play John Marston, a former outlaw who a group of shadowy government types have got over a barrel. Do their bidding bringing order to the Old West, or kiss your wife and child goodbye…
The Film From The Game: Um, well it’d probably be a Western. In all seriousness, you could probably cobble together the games numerous lengthy cut-scenes and find yourself with a half-decent movie, so with Clint behind the camera and maybe Josh Brolin as Marston, this could be ripe for the Hollywood treatment.
Inspired By: Marston’s inability to leave his old lawless life behind carries more than a whiff of Unforgiven about it…
Key Scene: A cameo from Clint as grizzled old gunslinger Landon Ricketts.
The Game: As you might have guessed, this ‘80s classic casts the player as a newspaper delivery boy attempting to deliver to the houses on his subscription list whilst avoiding angry dogs, careless breakdancers and the odd tornado. Dull-sounding on paper (so to speak) but chronically addictive in practice. All together now…“Right in the mail!”
The Film From The Game: A teen slacker comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg as a wise-ass teen idling his way through the summer vacation via a mixture of sex, drugs and of course, his paper round.
Inspired By: The excellent Adventureland has already set the bar high for summer-job-based coming of age stories, but that film didn’t feature a boy on a bicycle trying to dodge the Grim Reaper…
Key Scene: Jesse makes a urine-based delivery to a recent subscription-canceller…
Duke Nukem 3D
The Game: A deliriously un-PC shoot-em-up (see the Japanese Geisha-club sequence for details) starring gravel-voiced badass Duke Nukem, who goes toe-to-toe with some nasty extra-terrestrial types when they start abducting women from earth. “Nobody steals our chicks and lives!” You tell ‘em Duke…
The Film From The Game: Rather than making a direct port of the game’s somewhat ludicrous storyline, we’d have the Duke as a boozey maverick cop dispensing his own brand of bloody justice on a ring of sex-traffickers.
Inspired By: Duke Nukem would be a heady mixture of Bad Lieutenant and Maniac Cop . Bruce Campbell for the Duke anyone?
Key Scene: Nukem emerges bleary-eyed from an all-night bar as he prepares to go to war. “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum…” he quips, “…and I’m all outta gum.”
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
The Game: One of the greatest games ever to grace the Nintendo 64, Ocarina Of Time is a sweeping adventure boasting swordplay, puzzles and even a spot of fishing. Oh and possibly the best horse-riding sequences ever developed…
The Film From The Game: The Kingdom of Hyrule is the perfect setting for a good old fashioned quest movie, as heroic scamp Link attempts to recover the all-powerful Triforce from the fiendish Ganondorf.
Inspired By: The Lord Of The Rings series, only with a bit less walking.
Key Scene: Link plays the Super Mario theme on his Ocarina in a nod to his Nintendo origins.
Streets Of Rage
The Game: A side-scrolling arcade beat-em-up in which you play a young cop charged with punching and kicking his way through a criminal kingpin’s seemingly endless army of goons.
The Film From The Game: A hard-boiled noir set in a dystopian future, where criminals run wild on the streets of New York as the police struggle to keep order. We follow 24-hours in the life of Tom Hardy’s bruising copper as he finds himself torn between upping sticks or staying and fighting…
Inspired By: This vision of the future would be similar to the world laid out in Robocop , but Hardy wouldn’t have a metal suit to fall back on.
Key Scene: Tom calls in some backup from his heavy-handed colleagues who turn up with a rocket-launcher in tow…
The Game: The granddaddy of computerised arse-kicking, Capcom’s multi-million selling brawler is still one of the most addictive of the many fight franchises on the market. HADOUUUUUUKEN!
The Film From The Game: A light-hearted rom-com in which bickering co-workers Ryu and Ken compete to win the heart of the new girl in the office, Chun Li. But are either of the pair really interested in her, or do their affections lie a little closer to home?
Inspired By: Gently amusing love-triangle antics are all present and correct in Ben Stiller’s Keeping The Faith , minus the homoerotic overtones of Ryu and Ken’s relationship…
Key Scene: A watercooler argument soon boils over into an exchange of roundhouse kicks.
Sonic The Hedgehog
The Game: Turbo-charged platform antics with the ring-obsessed hedgehog, and a cast of furry friends. Sega’s poster-boy Sonic might not have enjoyed Mario’s longevity, but he doesn’t half make the moustachioed one look slow…
The Film From The Game: We’d love to see a horror film starring the nightmarish Doctor Robotnik as the villain. The man looks like a cross between a mad professor and a sex-offender…we’ll have him up against a blue-haired detective famed for closing cases in record time (there’s your Sonic reference) in a lethal game of cat and mouse against the clock.
Inspired By: Something along the lines of Seven , except our Kevin Spacey will be a ginger-haired sexual deviant.
Key Scene: A blink-and-you-miss-it shot of some of our hero’s mail, in which his home address is revealed to be Green Hill. One for the fans there…
Age Of Empires
The Game: A historical point-and-click strategy game, in which the player guides and ancient civilisation through various ages of technological advancement, whilst kicking a hefty amount of arse along the way.
The Film From The Game: A whimsical historical fantasy, in which we see Tom Hanks as primitive man, whose descendants (all played by Hanks) go on to prove themselves great leaders of men throughout some of history’s most famous battles.
Inspired By: It’s entirely original, and in no way a complete rip-off of Forrest Gump .
Key Scene: Smarting from some heavy losses, Tom’s Iron Age general reacts badly when a subordinate attempts to console him with a philosophical, “life is like a box of chocolates…”
God Of War
The Game: Sony tackles Greek Mythology in this grisly adventure following the warrior Kratos in his attempts to stop scrap-happy God Ares from destroying the city of Athens.
The Film From The Game: An embittered Greek warrior, sick of seeing his comrades slain in battle, decides to wage war on the bloodthirsty God responsible. Cue an almighty war between mankind and the meddling gits from on high.
Inspired By: Clash Of The Titans was a load of old shite, and the template by which God Of War would know what to avoid. Namely, Sam Worthington.
Key Scene: Kratos wipes out a swarm of Ares’ minions, in a limb-hacking splatter-fest that earns the film a well-deserved R-rating.
The Secret Of Monkey Island
The Game: A quirky adventure game chronicling the misadventures of blundering dope Guybrush Threepwood as he endeavours to become a renowned pirate. An excellent marriage of absorbing gameplay and hearty belly-laughs.
The Film From The Game: A swashbuckling comedy-romp starring Seth Rogan as a hapless clown who dreams of a life of piracy, but finds himself biting off more than he can chew when he sails into confrontation with Vince Vaughn’s villainous sea-dog.
Inspired By: Think a frat-pack version of Pirates Of The Caribbean and you’re pretty much there.
Key Scene: A slapstick spectacular as Vaughn and Rogan go toe-to-toe in an orgy of inexpert sword-swinging.
The Game: Nintendo lifts its cast of loveable characters out of the platform arena and plonks them onto the racetrack in this seminal racing series. Lets-a-go!
The Film From The Game: Family-friendly sports drama in which The Hole ’s Nathan Gamble learns some important life-lessons about winning and losing when he competes in the junior go-karting championships.
Inspired By: It would be like Herbie: Fully Loaded , only better. If that’s possible…
Key Scene: Gamble is beaten into second place when his kart skids on a banana skin and is overtaken by a giant monkey.
Hogs Of War
The Game: This little-known, pun-tastic blaster is a turn-based strategy game in which your soldiers just happen to be pigs. Chuck in a wonderfully arch voiceover from Rik Mayall and you’ve got a ready-made cult classic.
The Film From The Game: Pixar turn their hand to the war movie, with two tribes of feuding porkers providing the narrative, er, meat.
Inspired By: Small Soldiers was a pretty excellent example of how the traditional war film could be adapted for a younger audience.
Key Scene: A tooling-up montage in which we see the two armies preparing for battle. Cue a barrage of dreadful puns as the pigs customise their helmets with slogans like “born to grill” and “the hogfather”.
Rainbow Six: Vegas
The Game: Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six franchise hits a high point with this Vegas-set combination of sneaking and shooting. The threat of the semi-realistic “instant death” that can occur when taking a bullet makes for a fairly nerve-shredding experience.
The Film From The Game: Bruce Willis has been carping on about doing another Die Hard , so why not have John McClane head off on holiday in Vegas, only to find that terrorists have taken over the tables…
Inspired By: It’s Ocean’s Eleven meets Die Hard ! Kind of…
Key Scene: A host of machinegun-toting Euro-baddies burst into the Bellagio just as John wins big on the roulette table. Naturally, he’s not best pleased…
The Game: A Doom -esque first-person shooter in which the player takes on swarms of pesky Nazis in an attempt to escape the eponymous Castle Wolfenstein.
The Film From The Game: A grisly survival horror in which a crack team of Allied troops parachute in to Castle Wolfenstein, only to discover that Hitler is creating a race of zombies to bolster his forces…
Inspired By: Nazi zombies? We may have nicked this from Dead Snow …
Key Scene: A goose-stepping zombie gets a bayonet through the eye. Take that Fritz!
Super Smash TV
The Game: A frantic, nigh-impossible Mega Drive shooter in which players find themselves participating in a brutal gameshow (set in the distant future of 1999!) where they must shoot everything to stay alive. “Total Carnage…” screams the excitable host, “…I love it!”
The Film From The Game: An ultra-violent satire in which a bunch of reality-show wannabes find themselves forced to fight for their lives when they’re locked up in a complex with a bunch of murderers. If they kill their assailants, then they go free. But the same rules apply to the murderers. Who will come out on top?
Inspired By: Let’s see… Battle Royale, The Running Man, Dead Set …
Key Scene: Danny Dyer is dispatched in the opening minutes in gratuitously graphic style, getting audiences on side from the word go.
The Game: Nintendo takes full advantage of the new “NES Zapper” point-and-shoot gun, with this interminably dull exercise in clay-pigeon shooting. Tedious beyond measure.
The Film From The Game: Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro stoop to a new low with The Fockers’ Family Holiday , in which nobody’s favourite clan ship out to the country for a traditional hunting retreat. Cue mass hilarity as Stiller gets a backside full of buckshot every five minutes.
Inspired By: A remarkably similar scene in Wedding Crashers …
Key Scene: De Niro’s character hangs himself in the woods putting an end to the franchise for good. We wish.
The Game: This SNES racer was at one point the fastest kid on the block, boasting eye-ball melting graphics that made you feel as though you really were belting along at warp-speed. Then Wipeout came along and kind of pissed on its chips…
The Film From The Game: In the future, football, gridiron and basketball have all been shunted off the air in favour of F-Zero, an extreme form of racing in which death is common, but the prizes are huge. With his father lacking the money for a life-saving operation, a young rookie (Shia LaBeouf) must risk his life to compete for the ultimate prize- some cash to save his old man’s bacon.
Inspired By: The motivation might be different, but this sounds very much like Death Race . Coincidence, of course.
Key Scene: Shia shows his ruthless side by doing the old double-tap on the shoulder routine, ramming his opponent off the track and into an early grave.
The Game: All-conquering Russian puzzle game, in which all you have to do is manipulate different shapes into neat little lines. “All you have to do”…who are we kidding? It’s bloody brilliant!
The Film From The Game: Ryan Gosling plays an emotionally incompetent accountant, a socially challenged recluse whose mind can only process ideas of tangible logic, and whose thoughts fit together exclusively within the box. All that changes however when he meets a winsome young girl (Zooey Deschanel), who’s idealistic dreaming challenges his buttoned down way of life.
Inspired By: There’s a similar vibe going on between Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig in Greenberg .
Key Scene: “Don’t you enjoy video games?” asks Zoe. “They’re a waste of time” replies Ryan, flatly. Ironic, yeah?
Mike Tyson's Punchout
The Game: Ludicrously entertaining boxing game in which you play the vertically-challenged “Little Mac” on his quest for an ultimate showdown with Tyson himself.
The Film From The Game: Iron Mike plays a version of himself as a washed-up former legend, plagued by insecurities and prone to offering people out in various seedy bars. A penetrating study of life after glory, it nets MT his first Oscar. That’s right, we said “first”…
Inspired By: It would be a confessional subversion of a character we thought we knew, a la JCVD .
Key Scene: A bar-room brawl culminates in a boozed-up redneck biting Mike’s ear off. What goes around, eh Mikey?
The Game: A watershed moment for the God-sim genre, The Sims went beyond the usual city-building gubbins, and actually allowed the player to control every facet of the characters’ lives. Scarily immersive stuff.
The Film From The Game: The citizens of a bustling conurbation begin to suspect somebody is tinkering with their lives as they start to hear voices from above. Do they really possess free will, or are their lives actually out of their hands?
Inspired By: A similar dilemma is faced by Will Ferrell in the inventive Stranger Than Fiction .
Key Scene: One family smells a rat when one of their number dies, only to be instantly replaced by a tombstone.
The Game: A ridiculously simple game, and yet an incredibly addictive one, as the player controls a round, yellow chap who must dodge ghosts in order to fill up on lovely nutritious dots. Hmmm. It works better on the screen, honest!
The Film From The Game: An arthouse exploration of the absurd, starring Kevin James as a dot-guzzling sphere dogged by a throng of angry ghosts. What do you mean it doesn’t make any sense? Shut up.
Inspired By: Naked Lunch
Key Scene: Pacman snaps up a particularly big dot, briefly turning the tables on his spooky assailants. It’s a comment on how the human condition is ill-equipped to deal with its own mortality. Or something.