Top Five | Movie tie-ins that didn’t suck
The movies that inspired these entries might have had a better hit ratio, but some movie to games tie-ins have been so bad they’re considered a crime against God (or a deity of your choosing). But fear not gentle reader, Infinite Robots has gathered together our top five best tie-in titles to restore your faith in the cross-platform licence. And yes, Goldeneye 007 is in there. Obviously.
#5 Batman Returns (Sega Mega CD)
Remember when consoles just played games? Back in the day, when the cartridge was king and the potential of 16-bits blew our minds, the Caped Crusader entered the gaming pantheon with the 1992 tie-in to Tim Burton’s sequel Batman Returns. With multiple versions released across the then current gen of consoles, handhelds and the PC, the Sega Mega CD version was considered to be the best iteration.
Built on the gameplay principles perfected by Streets of Rage a year earlier, Batman Returns really nailed the visual atheistic that made the superhero sequel one of the best Batman movies pre-Nolan. The game also included a couple of great driving sections, and the capacity of the fledgling Mega CD format allowed for some high-quality tunes that stepped beyond the chip-tunes of other platforms.
#4 Die Hard Trilogy (PlayStation)
Released a year after the third Die Hard movie (Die Hard with a Vengeance – like you didn’t know), Die Hard Trilogy was essentially three different games in one. Developed in the UK by Probe Entertainment (who were like a good version of Eurocom), Die Hard Trilogy consisted of an over-the-shoulder shooter, a Time Crisis-style arcade shoot-em-up and a slightly clunky taxi-based racer. The PlayStation version was by far the best (the Sega Saturn version was beyond dire) and it still stands as one of that platforms best ever releases.
The level of quality did spike between the three parts, but the first section based on the original Die Hard movie is still ridiculous fun. Memorable bits include the super cheesy voice-overs (“Die, Cowboy!”, “NYPD! Hey! This isn’t even my jurisdiction!”) and a set of cheats that could make plants scream if shot or send enemies floating to heaven if you killed them. Racing to find a bomb-filled lift has never been so fun.
#3 X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
The movie may have incurred the collected wrath of the comic book and cinematic world, but the game that released alongside it pretty much inspired the exact opposite reaction. With a healing factor and near-indestructible adamantium claws, X-Men Origins: Wolverine finally captured the bezerker-filled rage of ol’ Logan.With a loose storyline that explored events in and beyond the movies narrative, the game let players leap into battle with an XP system that allowed for upgrades and extra moves that made chaining kills an endless torrent of fun.
Mr Howlett would take real-time damage, so you could slash your way around each area with your ribcage poking out (if you were that way inclined). With a number of voice-overs from the movie’s cast (including Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber), the whole experience is, by far, the best Wolverine game yet.
#2 Spider-Man 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game-Cube)
Spider-Man games, much like Batman ones, have had a history of entries ranging from the timeless to the turd-like, but the Treyarch-developed versions of Spider-Man 2 were a definite high-note for the web-slinger. While it did tie-in into the Sam Raimi-helmed sequel, the game took more cues from the comics, with a plethora of side missions and collectable content. The game also featured an open-world Manhatten to explore, which finally realised Spider-Man’s potential to web-swing around the city in 3D glory. Spider-Man 2 also proved Treyarch were a truly talented studio outside of the FPS genre.
With Hero Points (that was essentially a stripped-down XP system) and the ability to climb the highest of skyscrapers, Spider-Man 2 would offer the best web-swinging physics out there until Beenox released The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. Spider-Man may have had the most game outings of any superhero, but Spider-Man 2 is up there with the best.
#1 Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64)
Goldeneye 007 in a movie tie-in list? The shock! The horror! Well, it might be the obvious choice, but Goldeneye 007 would serve as a lone highlight to the many bad James Bond games that preceded and followed it. And, being released two years late (and two years after the movie’s cinematic release), Goldeneye 007 is barely a proper tie-in, but it’s still a milestone in the FPS genre and a real saving grace for Nintendo’s 64 platform.
The increased horsepower of the Nintendo 64 allowed developer Rare to step outside their comfort zone and craft a 3D experience that perfectly encapsulated the deadly skills of 007. The introduction of silenced weapons added a new depth of stealth to the mix, but when the action got hairy, Goldeneye 007 was a high-octane and brutal as any other FPS title on the market. It also came with a gold controller (in a special edition of the console). A GOLD CONTROLLER, for Pete’s sake!
Those are just some of the best tie-in games out there, but which ones would be in your top five? Get commenting and keep it infinite!