Over the years, we’ve seen many film adaptations of beloved games come and go.
In 2016, we had WarCraft, which did well but wasn’t quite what every fan had hoped for. Meanwhile, the new Assassin’s Creed movie has received mixed reviews, and doesn’t look set to break the trend for flawed adaptations as some hoped it might.
It’s strange to see just how difficult translating video games to the big screen appears to be. Even stranger, though, is when developers are tasked with building games based on the films based on the games that spawned the idea for the movie in the first place…. it’s usually a weird cycle of disappointment and confusion.
Never played any of these oddities? Don’t worry – we’ve taken a cheeky little look at three of the strangest below, for your reading pleasure …
Street Fighter: The Movie
As anyone who’s ever sat through the spectacle that is Street Fighter: The Movie will know, it has more than its fair share of flaws.
Now, to be fair, shifting the dynamic, kinetic action of Street Fighter II into a passive medium can’t have been easy. While the first animated movie did a fantastic job, something went seriously wrong with the live-action take – and so we had M. Bison as a panto villain and the Muscles from Brussels as the all-American Guile.
Anyway, the film came with all the merchandise you’d expect – including a game in coin-op and home-console flavours. You’d think that anyone excited by the film would just dive into the Street Fighter game they already had, but someone decided to release a far, far inferior version instead.
Street Fighter: The Movie features digitised sprites based on Van Damme and other cast-members, which gives it an odd Mortal Kombat vibe. The coin-op version didn’t quite play like Street Fighter II either, putting a greater emphasis on air-based attacks and juggling.
The home-console edition, though, featured a fighting system closer to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which meant it played more like the game fans loved but looked and sounded like the disappointing film instead.
Unsurprisingly, Street Fighter: The Movie received weak reviews and is generally remembered as something of a damp squib. To say the least.
The Double Dragon movie is still something of a mystery to many of us. The Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., and Mortal Kombat adaptations were huge in the 90s, but Double Dragon seemed to through the net.
Needless to say, it’s not classed as one of the best cinematic takes on a video game, though it does feature the great Robert Patrick as its villain. Awesome comic-book and TV writer Paul Dini also had a hand in the story.
Still, enough of the film – what of the game tie-in?
This was released for the Neo Geo and the PlayStation, and bizarrely took the form of a straight fighting game rather than a beat-em-up in the traditional Double Dragon mould. It features character designs and environments pulled from the movie, but given a slightly more cartoonish look.
One novel aspect of the game was the control scheme. Rather than having dedicated punch and kick buttons, Double Dragon instead has four attacks with their own degrees of strength, and the moves they performed varied based on the player’s on-screen position.
Still, despite a little innovation, the game remains about as beloved as the film it’s based on.
Street Fighter II MOVIE (AKA The Interactive Movie)
Street Fighter II: Animated Movie’s still awesome, more than 20 years after its release. Featuring all the characters we love, gorgeous animation, exhilarating brawls, and none of the live-action film’s overt campiness, the animated film is a blast.
Rather than re-skinning the then-current game to resemble the movie’s style, or something along those lines, this tie-in game is actually a weird interactive film. It was only released in Japan, for the PlayStation in 1995 and the Sega Saturn a few months later.
You basically play as one of M. Bison’s surveillance cyborgs, tasked with observing the fighting styles of the world’s best brawlers.
This basically involves watching clips from the film, and a few fresh ones, which helps to increase the cyborg’s own abilities. At the close of the game, you get to fight Ryu in the standard Street Fighter II style, using the skills you’ve picked up.
It’s not the most exciting game ever made, but … well, it’s always nice seeing the film’s best bits again. Of course, you could actually just watch the full movie instead.
Have you played any of these weird games based on movies based on games? Let us know!.