3 Film-Based Games You Might Have Missed

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC 3 Film-Based Games You Might Have Missed

Video games based on popular films are typically hit-or-miss. They sometimes manage to spin cinematic characters and concepts into really enjoyable experiences, and other times they play like animated trailers for the films. And then there are the ones that are so different it’s hardly worth associating them with the cinema at all. But because there are just so many of these games overall, it’s easy to miss out on the good ones by mistake.

To help you avoid that, I wanted to write a little bit about three film-based games you might have missed, each of which is surprisingly enjoyable.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

There’s a very strong argument that you can make, and which I have made, that X-Men Origins: Wolverine might be the worst film among all of the movies that have been based on Marvel comics. It’s just a mess of a project, set up to fail by a clunky, cliché-ridden script and seemingly determined to bastardise X-Men characters and concepts throughout its duration. It may actually be the worst film Hugh Jackman has done in the 21st century.

And yet, unpredictably, everything bad about this film was reversed in the accompanying video game that was released in 2009 for Windows and all the major consoles. IGN gave the game a 7.8 (specifically for Xbox 360), citing its extensive gameplay and awesome combat mechanics as reasons for the strong review. Ultimately, the game is actually a pretty incredible achievement given the challenges it faced. Of course there was the hurdle of shaking off the name of the miserable film, but there’s also the fact that Wolverine has been part of a countless lineup of video games. He appeared prominently in older Xbox and Marvel vs. Capcom arcade games, he headlines a number of X-Men-based online casino games, and is now involved in more modern games making use of large collections of Marvel heroes. Even among all those examples, this one stands out most. It’s a gory, adventurous, beautiful exhibition of all the things we love most about Wolverine.

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

Everything I have to say about this game is pretty similar to the situation that surrounds X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The key difference is that The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is not based specifically on either of Marvel’s relatively useless attempts at kicking off a standalone Hulk franchise (OK, the Ed Norton one wasn’t completely horrible). Rather, it’s just a superhero action game that came out in 2005 for Nintendo Gamecube, Xbox 360, and PS2.


The Hulk also didn’t quite have the extensive gaming history to contend with that Wolverine did, though the character does have a pretty strong presence in some of the same modern arenas. Naturally, the Hulk shows up in collaborative Marvel hero games, and he’s also used in the same fashion Wolverine often appears in casino gaming. Gala Casino describes “The Incredible Hulk” slot machine as “one in which you get to SMASH things to win bonuses,” using the bashing power of the Hulk to intrigue potential players. The graphics in this one are actually surprisingly good, though the game still doesn’t involve much in the way of adventurous Hulk smashing.

And that’s where The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction comes into play. This game’s developers appear to have been delightfully aware of everything that makes the Hulk fun, which of course means that playing the game means bashing your way through the city with reckless abandon. In fact, as one review at Metacritic put it, “bounding building to building across cities and leaving huge craters in your wake is more addictive than gambling.”

Fast & Furious: Legacy

There are surely bigger and better film-based video games that I could have included on this list, but part of the point of singling out Fast & Furious: Legacy is to signify that not all app games based on movies are useless (as I once assumed). Basically, this is a big-time mobile racing game that makes use of characters, cars, locations, and even specific missions that will be familiar to fans of the Fast & Furious film franchise. It’s mostly focused on the street racing, which means that some of the additional action that’s been injected into the series is missing. However, it’s still a pretty thorough video game accompaniment to the series.

An article in Forbes argued that a major Fast & Furious game could compete with the Grand Theft Auto games, and I get the point. Given the aforementioned non-driving action that’s become part of the franchise, a full-on street racing/crime/shoot-em-up game could be designed without straying too far from what the movies have shown us. But in the meantime, the Legacy app is almost guaranteed to surprise you through its size and quality.

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