games / Columns

The 8 Ball 11.27.12: Top 8 Games That Should Be Made Into Movies

November 27, 2012 | Posted by Marc Morrison

Welcome to another edition of The 8 Ball. A few people said in the comments they wanted to see the topic of Top 8 Games That Should Be Made Into Movies, so I am here to deliver on that request. It’s a good companion piece to last weeks “Movies into Games” article, so it should hopefully fit well. My choices will be a bit more into the unknown territory, but really, what else is new? I did think of a good chunk of the traditional game idea’s which will be lower down in the column, so any huge omissions might be in there. Or I didn’t think of it. Or I think it’s a horrible idea. Regardless, here are some of my picks, as well as a general idea of how the movie should be, and/or the director that could make it good.

8. Eternal Sonata


I’ve been talking with a friend who’s been replaying this game recently, and it’s made me appreciate how much I did like it. I don’t think any of the fictional characters would work very well in a movie setting, but I really like the idea of “Chopin on his deathbed going into his own mind on an adventure” is a fascinating idea. It’s essentially the Wizard of Oz plot, but might have less Munchkin’s and more slaying of bad guys. I could see someone like Guillermo del Toro directing this film, assuming he could be bothered to finish one of his 30 films in pre-production.

7. The Persona Games


I’d say Persona 3 or 4, since they are more well-known to people, but any of the Persona games could work. The basic concept of “normal high school students going into some dark world to fight monsters” could be interesting, provided they don’t make it entirely goofy and pandering. This would have the potential to go *massively* wrong, since some idiot film producer would think it’s going to be the next Twilight or Harry Potter, but I think it could work. It would just need to be serious about the premise of the story and go from there, but still have a sly wink and a nod to the audience. Plus, seeing Jack Frost would be great. My director pick would be Robert Rodriguez.

6. Alan Wake/The Darkness


I’m lumping both these games together because of their related concepts of darkness, corruption, etc. I could see an Alan Wake movie being a tense thriller where Alan fights of darkness-infused enemies as he tries to find his wife and solve what is going on in the town. While a Darkness movie (even if originally based on a comic, I don’t care) would be an action-oriented movie where Jackie has to get revenge on the mob boss that killed him, stay in control of himself, and to protect Jenny. I think Sam Raimi would be a good choice for either film idea, with him obviously having a grasp on more action films (Spider Man, Darkman) as well as having a good sense about horror films (Evil Dead, Drag Me to Hell). He could get Ikka Villi to be the titular Alan, due to his experience already in the role. Plus, he could probably rope Bruce Campbell into playing Barry from Alan Wake, which would be hysterical.

5. Bayonetta/Perfect Dark/Metroid


Once again, I’m grouping these three games together for their common elements, namely “Women doing a good job in their role”. The interesting thing is how sexualized each woman is in their own games, with Samus not being sexualized too much (until later on), Joanna Dark being somewhat sexualized (but still semi-believable) and finally Bayontta being completely over the top with her sexuality, but not in an exploitative fashion. I think a Bayonetta film would just be all action, a Perfect Dark film would be like a 007 film (obviously), and a Metroid film might be something like Alien. Ideally, in a Metroid film, Samus would never take her helmet off until the end, but that would likely never happen. Anyway, I could see someone like Paul Greengrass or Timur Bekmambetov doing something interesting.

4. Darksiders


While each Darksiders game has only primarily focused on one of the Four Horsemen, I could envision a film in which each Horseman is used in the war between Heaven & Hell. There’s plenty of good imagery within both games to be evocative of a movie, with the premise that its 100 years after the war started and that humanity has long been wiped out. Think of how the movie “Reign of Fire” looked, but a less stupid premise. I could see David Yates heading up a project like this, especially with his work in fantasy films already.

3. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron


This game has the classic hero’s journey story already baked in. It would just involve Enoch going from world to world as he kills the angelic lords in the service of God. I’m not 100% sure the look of the game could be translated into a movie form, but it would be an interesting experiment to try. Considering how outlandish the game is, the first impulse is to say Tim Burton should have a crack at it. However, he’s too quirky for his own good, and would likely just cast Johnny Depp as Enoch and Helena Bonham Carter as the leader of the Angels, and that would be dreadful. So I’d actually say J. J. Abrams would be a good choice for this project.

2. Psychonauts/Grim Fandango


Both games would be good fodder for a film adaptation. For Pyschonauts, it’s all about Raz’s journey into becoming an agent, his burgeoning romance with Lili and discovering who is removing the brains of the students. With Grim Fandango would be about Manny’s journey of chasing down Meche and tryng to stop the corruption that has befallen the land. No film could ever work as realistic films, so CGI would have to be the way to go. With that being said, the only two directors I’d be interested in are Brad Bird, or Rich Moore. I think either would have the respect for the source material and the capacity to do a good job.

1. Saints Row: The Third


Saints Row 3 has one of the craziest game stories to have ever really come out. And the story never stops for a minute, it’s all just complete nonsense, but in the most endearing way possible. From rescuing Zimos from the sex club, to Oleg running around naked, to the Decker’s Die mission, everything is ripe for making an adaption that would explode people’s minds while watching it. I’d love to see Brandon/Jason Trost (directors of the FP) do the film, or even Neveldine/Taylor (directors of Crank) do it, but I don’t see either pair being as out there for the film. The only way a Saints Row 3 movie could work is by giving it to Michael Bay, but ensuring that he is on acid for every day that the movie is being made. Bonus points if they get Natalie Lander (voice of Kinzie) to play the character in the movie.

Complainers Corner

I’m going to say that the games in this list either already have a movie based on them, someone is currently making one (or has previously tried and failed), or else the game just wouldn’t translate well into a movie. Anywho, here’s a short list of games I came up with: Metal Gear Solid, Assassin’s Creed, Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Uncharted, Dead Space, Halo, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, God of War, Gears of War, Red Dead (or any Rockstar game, INCLUDING Table Tennis), The Witcher 2, Castlevania.

The General Roundup

So I guess they did make a Wreck-It Ralph game, but the lack of any promotion or information about it, makes it moot. It’s not like Disney said “Hey, Wii version of Wreck-It Ralph is out!” The fact that they hid it says volumes about the quality of the title. Someone said a Buffy fighting game, but I was a fan of both original Buffy games on the Xbox. Those were actually pretty solid, the first more than the second, though.

What do you want the 8 Ball to be about next week?

Top 8 Mario Power Ups
Top 8 Original Gameboy Games
Top 8 Namco Games


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Marc Morrison
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