Film Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Film RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Red Dead Redemption 2 Could Be Taking Its Cues From These 8 Westerns Tue, 28 Aug 2018 12:47:01 -0400 Fenislav


Rockstar Games is known for getting their inspiration from movies and popular culture. Sometimes it’s the general outline of the entire main storyline (Red Dead Redemption and Wild Bunch), sometimes it’s the art, setting, and ambiance (GTA: Vice City and Scarface). The way they mix tropes and memes and create new ones in the process is always a joy to watch. If and how much they’ll draw upon any of the movies from this list in Red Dead Redemption 2 still remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome, we can’t wait to find that out when the game comes out on the 26th of October.

8. Django: Unchained (2012)

You might be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed in the western genre since the original Red Dead Redemption came out in 2010. In case you weren't paying attention to the other audiovisual medium, this happened: a groundbreaking spaghetti blaxploitation western written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.


Django: Unchained is at its core a universally relatable story of vengeance, love and freedom. As such, it is just an amazing movie, period, and anyone designing a narrative could benefit from analysing how Tarantino wrote it.


It’s also the first popular movie that depicted racial tensions in the Old West in a work of fiction meant mainly for entertainment.


Red Dead Redemption's producer and main writer for both games, Dan Houser, said back in 2009:


We didn’t fully represent era-appropriate racial attitudes because it’s too unpleasant to deal with, but we touch on those issues


The first game dodged this aspect of the Old West. In 2018 it’s safe to say that we’re ready to face at least some of that unpleasantness and that the general public appreciates inclusive stories that try to maturely approach all intricacies of their chosen setting.

7. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

This one’s pretty obvious, since we already know Red Dead Redemption 2 references The Assassination, at least in its trailer.


The legendary Jesse James (Brad Pitt) is followed by a starstruck fan, Robert Ford (Casey Affleck), who tries to join the James-Younger gang. Train robberies, a botched heist, infighting within the gang, conflicting loyalties and honor among thieves — there’s a lot in this movie that could inspire a story beat or two in RDR2’s depiction of the dissolution of the Van der Linde gang.


For now, at least the film's beautiful cinematography made it to the game's trailer, which leads me to believe Red Dead Redemption 2 may be the second game with movie-grade visual storytelling coming out this year.

6. Justified (2010–2015)

Neither a movie nor a western, Justified tells the story of Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) as his over-the-top Wild-West brand of justice gets him sent to his backwater home county of Harlan, Kentucky.


For many viewers, though, the real hero of Justified is Raylan's friend from the old days, Boyd Crowder. Played with equal parts ham and finesse by Walton Goggins, the sly, affable, entrepreneurial criminal displaying model Southern manners arguably steals the show from the second season onwards.


Even though Justified has a contemporary setting, it's so intent on depicting the rural US as the modern frontier, that it's a western in all but the appearances. Red Dead Redemption 2 would do well featuring a slightly larger-than-life magnificent bastard with Goggins' voice, no matter which side of the law he would occupy.

5. Unforgiven (1992)

It’s the last Clint Eastwood movie on this list, I promise! Stay with me though, cause this one’s a real diamond and a Best Picture Oscar winner.


Let’s face it, if Red Dead Redemption had one flaw, it was the way it dealt with morality. The game just doesn’t work well if we’re trying to make John Marston a bad guy. It even sent us to perform honorable genocide on a band of cattle thieves (quite literally rewarding us with Honor points for murder) in the name of the law as soon as its fourth story mission. Red Dead Redemption 2, on the other hand, is set to feature alternate approaches to conflicts and more interesting ways to be a bandit. It would be a waste if its story didn’t depict a complex society where good and evil are about more than the color of one’s hat.


Like The Missouri Breaks, Unforgiven makes sure your sympathies don’t completely agree with the legal delineation, though Gene Hackman is a very convincing and layered character as the movie’s sheriff. This film is also a deconstruction of iconic western tropes and features an absolutely badass portrayal of the outlaw archetype. Since we’ll be able to pick between good guy and bad guy lines in Red Dead Redemption 2, we can only hope they’re as powerful as the final dialogues of Unforgiven.

4. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

Eastwood’s directorial debut is a simpler and more straightforward vision of the outlaw life, that also has some pacing problems. The heart of the story, however — a chased man’s search for a semblance of family and home, is very much in line with what we’ve seen in the trailers for Red Dead Redemption 2 so far.


The movie's not perfect — its action scenes and dialogues are a bit stilted by today's standards. Eastwood's Confederate sympathies are probably at their strongest here, which harms the story by crudely drawing a very thick line between good and evil. It's a beloved classic, though, drawing upon as well as cementing many tropes of the genre.

3. Hang 'em High (1968)

One of the first revisionist westerns. It features Clint Eastwood as Jed Cooper, a man first wrongly accused of stealing cattle and lynched, then saved from near-death by a marshal and offered the chance to take vengeance with a badge in his hand.


Not only does the movie set up a grey morality from the very beginning, it proceeds to point out the hypocrisy of its lawful society, where a desire for vengeance, influence and a sense of belonging are passed off as longing for justice. 


Back when Rockstar was making the original game, Rob Wiethoff, the voice actor portraying John Marston said of the character’s past:


I think John made some decisions in his life that made him feel accepted. I don’t know if he knew that what he was doing was wrong or not. I don’t know if he cared until, one day, he realized he didn’t want that life anymore.


Those words aren’t exactly canon, but if Rockstar proceeds with that or a similar interpretation of Morgan’s and Marston’s actions in RDR2, they’re going to need to picture a society that pushed them into this life. A society as flawed as the one depicted in Hang ’Em High.

2. The Missouri Breaks (1976)

Speaking of bounty hunters, it takes a really unsavory character chasing after outlaws to make the audience sympathize with the gang instead of the law. Marlon Brando was just such a character as a regulator who hunts down Tom Logan’s (Jack Nicholson) jolly band of rustlers.


The Missouri Breaks matches the freedom vs order theme of the dying frontier that Red Dead Redemption 2 seems to be going for. Nicholson’s character is a semi-decent guy who just happens to be stealing horses from a land baron that has enough money to have him and his friends all killed. Plus, you can’t help but notice that he even looks a bit like both RDR protagonists. If the young John Marston had his own gang, this is how I’d picture it.


There's also the fact that Rockstar blogged about the real-life inspiration behind Brando's character back in the RDR days.

1. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

All signs point to Red Dead Redemption 2's main theme being gangs of the Old West. There’s plenty of inspiration the game could take from a movie about two bounty hunters infiltrating the gang of a ruthless, sociopathic murderer haunted by the sins of his past. Perhaps we’ll see Arthur Morgan and John Marston worming their way into a rival outfit that threatens the Van der Linde gang? Or maybe Dutch will ally them with another band that will turn out to be out of control due to its leader smoking opium to cope with his animalistic nature?


Red Dead Redemption is an open-world masterpiece and, arguably, the best story ever written by Rockstar. The development team took field trips to the Library of Congress to learn from history and watched countless western films to inform and inspire the journey of John Marston as he hunts down his former gangmates across the dying Old West of 1911.


The original game’s narrative took cues most ostensibly from Wild Bunch and A Fistful of Dollars, with more than a hint of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in its finale. Red Dead Redemption 2 has a different story to tell, though, and it can draw upon the following westerns to shape the fate of its new protagonist, Arthur Morgan.

10 Things Filmmakers Can Learn from Video Game Cut Scenes Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Nick Lee

The art of cinema and the world of video games no longer stand as completely different mediums when it comes to the expression of complex and simplistic ideas. There are lessons in film that have transferred over to cut scenes, breaks in the action of a game where a movie moment fills in or progresses the details of a story.

Cut scenes can occur at the beginning, middle, or near the end of a game and by my estimation, a bad scene can signal a good time for a snack or a bathroom break for gamers. For directors of the next great cinematic moment, take some cues from these games who left a long-lasting impact on gamers everywhere.

Fallout and the Creation of Mantra

Fans of the acclaimed Fallout series will recognize the mantra of the series that "War, war never changes." There's been countless films about war itself, the effects of killing on the human psyche, and dystopian futures, but none can capture the art of the rise and fall of humanity quite like Bethesda. Fallout focuses on a world that was threatened by nuclear war during the 1950's Cold War but used nuclear energy for the advancement of mankind. This of course was all pushed to the edge as the ideals of overconsumption and greed plagued the world.

Moviemakers can often have characters repeat signature phrases, and trilogies can often call back to similar phrases. In the context of Fallout, the phrase is used to signal that regardless of the situation in any of the games in the series, one thing remains. What remains is the perils, strife, evils, and selfishness that got mankind to the place it is in. Greater commentary on the dangerous nature of these qualities would do well as a warning in movies for us all to heed.

Portal and How to Roll Credits

If you've wandered into any Marvel movie in the past several years you'll know that staying until the credits are completely over is now required. We all collectively know now that just because the credits begin to roll, doesn't mean it's actually over. Other movies have picked up this trend and are probably going to have us in movie theaters for just a few minutes more for the rest of our lives.

A great way filmmakers can take advantage of this captive audience time is to make them smile. Portal is a game where the player is constantly at odds with an evil robot mainframe named GlaDos (Who is reminiscent of Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.) The tone of the game is quite the contrary to this ending scene and performs a 180 in one of the most masterful ways in video games. A chance to do this might only come in more fantastical movies, but taking this to the big screen could be just as iconic, and hopefully catchy.

Kotor II: The Sith Lords Powerful Writing

Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords have arguably some of the best writing in video game history. The game sets up a world in which people begin to question the values of both the Jedi and of the Sith. Star Wars movies have yet to reach a critical, provoking moment anywhere near this, and Rouge One: A Star Wars Story only slightly came close in their depiction of what it means to rebel. Movies, not just Star Wars, can take cues from this cut scene as it incorporates so many elements all at once. In this one scene, the character's perceived objective comes crumbling down as the Jedi decides your fate like a kangaroo court.

Making the natural order, or those in authority actually turn out to be blinded by their own fears or misunderstandings is a lesson that can't be stressed enough. Just because an authority has done more good than harm does not make them infallible. Furthermore, Star Wars heading in a direction like this could take the idea that the force is parallel to religion and could take on the arguments we face here on Earth all the time.

Last of Us and Perfect Juxtaposition

The Last of Us provides some of the best storytelling in video games and does something movies can get right, but might often forget when it comes to stories about two rogues on a mission. Rather than just create bland pairings between our two antagonists storytellers should follow the great work of this game in character pairs. In this cut scene, we see the culmination of working together as main characters Joel and Ellie get into an argument over Ellie's future.

Those who make it to the end of the game will see the power of a relationship that develops over a short period of time. Last of Us does an amazing job of pairing the two through a number of ways. We see that Joel is the classic older, yet crotchety, guy who is experienced enough to survive tough spots. Meanwhile, Ellie is a young girl with some experience of her own, but is still discovering herself and what makes her so special.

Further, we see both characters face their fears and how those can get the best of them. For a game with scenes as good as this one it was tough to choose just one, but playing the game felt more like peeking into real lives than spectating a movie, so definitely take notes on this one.

Mass Effect and Culmination of Plans

For those who have played through the story arch combined with dynamic relationships that resulted in Mass Effect 3, you'll undoubtedly recognize this cut scene as the battle for Earth. The Battle, while a cool way to think of doing space battles for sci-fi movies speaks more to the art of culmination. Movie goers and gamers definitely have something in common when it comes to having to make us care about different groups of people in what we are watching.

The battle scene here was the work of three-game installments and countless devotion to the hours of gameplay, but this can be transferred over to movies as well. Future films will do well to take note that you don't actually have to end every sci-fi or war-type film with a final battle that solves every issue. Sometimes leaving cliffhangers and interesting threads for a future movie will bring fans along for a ride. By now we know that the bigger the blockbuster, the more likely there is to be a sequel or remake so why not let us have those moments of wonder as to where you'll take us next?

Homeworld and Haunting Introductions

Players of the Homeworld series will remember this iconic intro scene as one of the few that stays with you throughout all video game history. Movies and games have long since started introductions to desolate wastelands or futuristic movies with narration, but Homeworld moves the viewer to feel as if this was more real than sci-fi. When presenting narration, filmmakers can take heed from the design of Homeworld's intro by noting the voice-over, the choice of music and sound level throughout and overall tone for this intro.

This is how sci-fi is truly meant to start out, similar to the mention of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Homeworld utilizes spaces of silence and calming voices to create an eerie feeling. With a rise in space-type movies lately, hopefully, lessons from this game will be taken into consideration.

Final Fantasy VII and Character Development

In any story making your characters grow in some way or learn a lesson is a given. Whether it be done in a cheesy 80's way, or by having them be altered in a way they won't even understand yet, it has to be done. Final Fantasy is a series that has become iconic if for the cut scenes alone. One of the arguably greatest character interactions takes place in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and Zack in the seventh installment of the series.

Going a step further, the scene ties together the idea that Zack's memories are fading as the scene goes on due to the fact that he is dying while also trying his best to hold on to life. There are a litany of lessons in the Square Enix made cut scenes, but the most important is to be willing to build a character up even if he is going to die. Increasing movie tie-ins like Marvel's have a Jenga tower of characters that don't ever seem to go anywhere because we have no reason to believe they'd die.

Letting a character grow on the audience and then pulling them out of the fray is a powerful move that series like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead have done so well and continue to garner praise for it. A bonus lesson for this comes in the phrase if you love someone let it go, but in film, if you love a character it's okay to let them die

Batman: Arkham Knight and Winning

Few movies can do to an audience what the ending to Batman: Arkham Knight easily provided. From seamless transition between gameplay and cut scenes to the Batman overcoming all odds once again, this game carries on where future Batman movies might not. Throughout the game there are flashes of the Joker, Batman's eternal enemy, shows up and the fear that Batman is becoming just like him plays on his psyche until the very end.

The scenes above are the ending cinematic and gameplay, but speak to a tip that movies can pick up on. The relationship between the movie's hero and villain has to be one that goes both ways to truly make an impact. In Batman: Arkham Knight it isn't just Joker's hate for Batman, but it's their mutual animosity towards the other that fosters it further.

Great villains need more than a simple motif of wanting to conquer or destroy the world, they need a reason to keep fighting their enemy and even show their own fears to make them more real. So when a hero finally overcomes a well-polished antagonist, it leads us to the next lesson.

Master Chief and Bad Ass Delivery

The lesson here is to always allow your extreme, over the top and badass characters be just that. Even when they have times that show emotion or remorse for their situation, letting them have fun and just live up to their abilities can't be overstated unless it's beyond the possibilities their universe sets on them. Out of the many cut scenes of the Halo series, this one has got to be the most exemplary of what it means to be the hero -- "Return the Sender" from Halo 2.

Master Chief, the iconic-suited hero of the series is always the hero. Regardless of focus, he is used as the best asset of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command. A prime example of the respect that should be shown for characters like this occurs in Halo 4 as the main antagonist transforms from calling Master Chief "human" to "warrior" by the end of the game. So when you have a character who's earned their scars and could reasonably be the one-man army, it's okay to let them sometimes.

Kingdom Hearts and Musicality

Square Enix knows how to tell a story, but they certainly perfected the music of this one. The Kingdom Hearts series follows young hero Sora as he tries to make it back home to his friends with the help of iconic Disney characters like Donald Duck and Goofy. The focus filmmakers can take are the uses of theme music as a sense of tying the story together. The series uses an instrumental song called Dearly Beloved from the beginning and in the end screen, but the final scene showing Sora nearly reunited with his friend utilizes the recurring intro song titled "Simple and Clean."

The theme of the series, most recognized in numerous trailers, constantly reminds players of the game. It's a masterful job of bringing back the theme with different reprises and remixes that make it iconic in video game history. When making a film, certain theme songs will forever be associated with a character or film. One that does this as a means of tying together the film with a great piece of music is Inception that focuses on the world of dreams in relation to effects on reality, just like Kingdom Hearts. Who knows, maybe Sora's had a totem the whole time.

Honorable Mentions

There's just too many great cut scenes in video games not to mention these, so here's a quick list of additional reading for study


The Uncharted series is known for taking its' inspiration from the big screen for cut scenes, so what lesson could you possibly learn from them? Well, what the series does better than any other is instill a James Bond sense of danger in scenarios that make sense for the character. Nathan Drake, the protagonist, doesn't ever stray from the idea that he wants one last ride or adventure then he's hanging it all up. The fourth installment does the best job in recapturing that childlike adventure he has by literally flashing back to his childhood. Movie characters need that passion about whatever it is their doing, and the audience will enjoy finding the little quirks they may identify with.


There's nothing like being first, and being original is harder these days than ever. The tip to be taken from the legend of gaming is that sometimes silent little moments can progress the story in ways that might seem silly but ultimately get their point across.


Overall, video games can teach the film industry a lot with character development and the use of literary techniques as they are inspired by the art of film itself. The greatest films of all time incorporate different aspects like those listed above, but don't have to use all at the same time to work either. Each above can be used in its own unique ways to tie together a story with real feeling and emotions behind it.

Characters exist on screen from planning and writing, but they will stay there if they aren't given real breath and emotion that the audience can connect with. Icons don't become that way by accident, and getting back to the simple lessons of storytelling can achieve that all over again.

New Assassin's Creed Trailer Reveals More Plot for Divergent Movie Adaptation Tue, 18 Oct 2016 07:26:33 -0400 Lydia M

Another trailer for Assassin's Creed was released today, and it shows us more of the plot line for the movie rendition of the long-running AC game series -- along with a preview of the cast that will be joining Michael Fassbender. 

In this film adaptation, Fassbender won't be portraying Desmond Miles nor Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. As we've already seen, the movie rendition of Assassin's Creed will not reflect the same plotline of its Ubisoft namesake.

In the movie version, Callum Lynch (Fassbender) is imprisoned, then rescued from his execution by Abstergo Industries. He is then forced to become a member of the Animus Project to relive the experiences of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha, during the age of the Spanish Inquisition. 

During the film's pre-production in 2014, Fassbender made the following comment about the decision to use a different protagonist and storyline:

"You know, we absolutely want to respect the game...but we also want to bring new elements to it and perhaps our own version of things that already exist in the game. "

The teaser (which you can watch above) showcases a wider look at the 'prison' portrayal of the members of Abstergo Industries, along with how Fassbender's character reacts to the knowledge of his ancestry and how Abstergo plans to utilize it.

Assassin's Creed will be released in theaters December 21st, and will also star Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Michael K. Williams.

Tetris movie to be made as...a trilogy?!? Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:50:49 -0400 Anthony Pelone

When the Tetris movie was announced two years ago, gamers weren't sure what to think. How could a puzzle game about falling blocks possibly be adapted into film -- let alone a compelling one? Well, things just got a lot weirder: producer Larry Kasanoff revealed to Empire that the film is to be the first of a trilogy.

A trilogy of Tetris movies? How is that possible? Kasanoff wouldn't let any plot details slip, as he wants the movie to be a surprise. But the reason why is surprisingly simple: the story the filmmakers conceived is so big that it can't fit into one film.

How that'll apply to Tetris is anyone's guess, but Kasanoff did confirm one thing: it won't revolve around walking Tetris blocks. In one of his Empire comments, he stated:

“We’re not going to have blocks with feet running around the movie. But it’s great that people think so. It sets the bar rather low!”

Aside from a sci-fi focus, the rest of the film's story remains a mystery, as does everything else about it. While casting is currently underway, filming is set to start next year, and a release date hasn't yet been decided.

Do you think a Tetris film trilogy could possibly be successful? Let us know in the comments below!

Nintendo is re-entering the film industry Sun, 15 May 2016 18:01:06 -0400 David Fisher

You didn't read the header wrong. Nintendo is once again entering the movie business! In a news report in the Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, Kimishima Tatsumi - president of Nintendo - confirmed that the company is without a doubt entering the movie market.

According to the article, Nintendo will be working with multiple production companies from around the world. However, unlike previous failed attempts at entering this market, Nintendo is looking to be more involved with the works in a hands-on way.

While Kimishima did not state what Nintendo IPs will be getting a dose of movie magic, Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda are in the lead as prospective films. What we do know is that Nintendo is looking to release the first of these feature-length movies in less than three years.

If Nintendo of Japan does take a firmer grip of these future films, it's possible these films won't be as cringeworthy as the Super Mario Brothers (1993) live-action film, or The Legend of Zelda cartoon that aired in the late 80s. Considering the success of the Star Fox Zero anime short they did only a month ago, let's hope this is the case.

What Nintendo IPs would you like to see Nintendo bring to the silver screen? Do you think this is a bad move by Nintendo? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Why are most game movies so bad? Wed, 11 May 2016 03:30:00 -0400 StratGamer48

Ratchet & Clank released in theaters a few weeks ago on April 29, 2016. The film was inspired by the famous PlayStation game Ratchet & Clank. Like previous video game movies, Ratchet & Clank received a lot of negative feedback from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, only 18% of critics gave it a positive review, with a average rating of 4.1/10. On Metacritic, it is rated as 31/100 by critics. 

Scene in Ratchet & Clank

Besides movie critics, the news media showed little mercy when it came to rating Ratchet & Clank:

Watching the generic computer-animated Ratchet & Clank, you’re flooded with reminders of familiar characters.

-- Andy Webster,·New York Times

Like “Norm of the North” and “The Nut Job,” “Ratchet & Clank” will, in all likelihood, make the under-10 crowd laugh — and everyone else cringe.

--Sandie Angulo Chen,·Washington Post

Besides Ratchet and Clank, video games movies have always been marketed as films with bad plots. In 2007, Hitman was released as a Thriller and it only had 14% of positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and 35/100 on Metacritic. Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time and Tomb Raider are considered some of the best video game movies, and even they only have 50/100 and 33/100 in Metacritic.

Scene of Prince of Persia

So why are video game movies bad?

There are quite a few reasons.

1. Time Limitations

According to Howlongtobeat, it takes more than 12 hours just to go throughHitman's main story. This excludes the miscellaneous trial and error process and going full completionist. In movies, the director will need to cut that long storyline into a film around 90 minutes. Of course, a lot of details will be lost after shortening.

2. Game developing priority

During game development, developers will prioritize implementing the game's mechanic before working on graphics, sound, and storyline. This is common in big-budget game development. After developers have their levels made, they will write a storyline and setting that fit the level and bosses.

3.  Players are the main character

"With video games, the player is really the star of the movie, directing the actors, deciding what plotline to follow--and most importantly for most games, whom to shoot down to get to the next level. When this aspect of the game is missing, viewers no longer feel like part of the action. A time may soon come when video games are played by audiences in movie theaters. But until that time, movies will never be able to replicate the gaming experience."

-- Wheeler Winston Dixon, Film Studies Professor of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Like what Professor Dixon said, the player is the main character of the game, and what happens in the game is related to the player. While playing the game, player is the one that are making decision. But in movie, the actor is following a script which written by the director. And that script, as we mentioned previously, is already a really condensed version of the game.

In conclusion, video game plots may be good, but they're meant to be played by players -- it allows us get into the plot better than watching a movie. Lastly, it is hard for films to cover all details of the main story plot in 1-2 hours. 

Top 5 Worst Game to Film Adaptations Thu, 17 Mar 2016 07:20:01 -0400 EdWade

Over the years, we've had some disastrous game-to-movie adaptations. But what are the worst? You may be thinking all of them, and you wouldn't be far off! But considering the franchise as a whole, which have been the most damaging?  

  1. Resident Evil

The game was a huge success and has turned into a mass franchise. The films unfortunately haven’t followed suit. Resident Evil and then Resident Evil: Apocalypse weren’t half bad. But then after that, things just got embarrassing. Based on the famous zombie outbreak caused by Umbrella, it is hard to believe that we have had five films produced! No doubt another one will come churning out soon.

  1. Silent Hill

The game was originally released in 1991 by Konami and was a Japanese horror. Since then two movies have spawned and unlike the game, have given no justice to the original terror and quality. Understanding just what the hell is going on in the first Silent Hill film is a challenge, however, some of the creeps and scares make up for it. Despite Silent Hill: Revelation having a strong cast that was just as painstakingly bad. The game hasn't been able to last the ages and was cancelled last year.

  1. Hitman

Possibly a controversial choice, but the original Hitman film just seemed to lack so much of the character and intensity that the game has. Starring Timothy Olyphant, it simply has too much of an "origin story". However, I do feel as though Olyphant captures what a Hitman would be like, even though he perhaps doesn’t stick to the similarities of the games character. The action that goes along with it is all good and proper but lacks real likenesses to the game. Hitman: Agent 47 isn’t even a sequel, but a reboot and it doesn’t really do that. However, Hitman is the game which has had the most outlays because of it, and even got a casino game.

  1. Far Cry

In my opinion, the best game on the list. But once again a film simply is not doing it any justice. With the recent release of Far Cry: Primal, we can at least appreciate that the movie didn’t do any harm to the gaming franchise. Director Uwe Boller (Who must give up game-to-movie adaptations) made this film far too much about the human mutants running around and ruined a natural, compelling story.

  1. Max Payne

It held so much promise. With Mark Wahlberg at the helm, it could have been heading in the right direction. He seemed like the perfect actor to take on the role of a gritty detective fighting for the revenge of his family and would certainly have suited the distinct action of the film. Instead, we got drug addled hallucinations of Norse warriors with a plot that only really made sense halfway through!

The list could go on, with some game-to-movie adaptations just about making it as a half descent film. Prince of Persia springs to mind. But let us hope that eventually we get a top quality one. Our hope rests on Assassin's Creed.

Assassin's Creed movie has finished filming Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:26:20 -0500 BlackTideTV

For a lot of the gaming community it may come as a surprise that an Assassin's Creed movie was even in the works, but it has - as of January 15th - finished filming.

What this hopefully means for fans is that a trailer is not far from our grasp. 

The Michael Fassbender-led film will be set in the same universe as the games but will focus on a new pair of protagonists: Callum Lynch, and his 15th-century Spanish ancestor. It will be interesting to see how the movie will portray the Templar order in the future and the how they will hop back and forth between past and present. The inclusion of an animus could confuse the casual movie goer.

Assassin's Creed fans will likely take to the theaters to see a mind-numbing action flick with assassins running this way and templars running that way. People will likely be disappointed with it as most game or book based movies never live up to their predecessors. The games have all the extra time to explain things, and leave it up to the player to edge on the story. It's unclear how smoothly a film could go.

Of course, we'll have to wait for a trailer before we can make any firm conclusions. The Assassin's Creed movie is set for a holiday release on December 21st, 2016.

Transparency: Games are not movies, but they are close Mon, 12 Oct 2015 04:27:21 -0400 Larry Everett

The emotional rollercoaster that everyone who has ever played Mass Effect (or nearly any BioWare game since) directly compares to the pacing of a great feature film. And when you think about, why wouldn’t a game like that be developed like a feature film? Look at the elements. You have a plot, a script, actors, a director, and special effects. It’s a visual medium and projected on a video screen. They are comparable, right?

Unfortunately, movies and video games cannot be compared on the same level. Not only is the audience different, but fundamentally, the way the audience consumes the entertainment is different. That's not to say that there aren't things that are similar or that some skills aren't transferable, but the differences outweigh the similarities. Let's break down a timeline of making a movie versus making a game.

Planning phase

When planning a movie, you start with a script, and many times that’s all you really need. No more real planning is necessary. Many films can get started with the production side of things as soon as the first draft of the script is done. Funny enough, many film shootings can start before the script dialogue is polished. On the gaming side, the bare minimum is a well functioning engine. Some games don’t need to have a script at all. It can just be an interesting mechanic that propels the player to keep going.

We shouldn’t take edge cases as the normal, but that should give an indication of where games start and where movies start. When you get into a more complicated movie or a more complicated game, the lines get a little blurred. However, the planning phase for games does require more thought as to how the player will interact with this world. Movies don’t have to consider that at all, because they're a purely visual experience.

There are some things that games and movies share in the planning phase that should be noted. Both have scripts, for example. In a storytelling game like The Walking Dead by Telltale, the script will be about the size of an entire season of The Walking Dead television show. There will also be storyboards. Both movies and games are visual experiences, and storyboards help illustrate the production’s overall aesthetic. There are many other jobs that overlap, like concept artists and directors. All of these contibutors start their jobs way before the first frame of content is ever created.

Production phase

When actually creating a game and a movie, there are many differences, clearly, but let’s focus on the things that are similar. Indie video games, like indie movies, are forced to forego some of the standard production practices, so for the purposes of this article, let’s focus on AAA games and large studio film productions. Both games and movies hire actors, set designers, directors, effects artists, and motion-capture production crews. But despite film and game studios hiring all of the same people, their jobs are so different between the two that they really can’t be compared.

To illustrate the point, let’s take a look at an actor’s job from the perspective of a movie set.

Actors are usually flown out to a location, where they shoot for a number of weeks - assuming that the movie takes place in a single location. Many times, the schedule will require that the film is shot out of order, but that’s usually divided scene by scene. In a video game, it’s not uncommon for one piece of dialogue to be recorded one day, then the other parts to be recorded weeks or months later. Scenes may not be completed all at once.

This leads into the primary difference between actors in a video game versus those in a movie: the performance is different. Although vocal inflection and performance is important in a film, it’s the only thing that really matters in a video game. We do have son mo-cap performances in video games, but they are not advanced enough to capture the nuances of facial expression and body language like film does. Maybe someday, we will get there, but as of right now, we can’t. That's why stellar vocal performances are so much more important.

There are many other aspects that are obviously different, but I think the last one I’d like to hit on is where the actors fit into the production schedule, in general. Many times in video games, the final vocal performances are not added in until last. I have been in a number of betas where the only voice-over is some intern at the game studio cold reading the script. For any film, this would be unacceptable. Even animated films bring in the voice actors in very early on.

Post production and release phase

The bottom line for video games is the player’s interactive experience. The purpose behind every video game should be the involvement of the audience. A video game is not a spectator experience. You are there; you are the main character. The story is about you. Even in a game like the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt where everyone is Geralt, the story is fundamentally yours, the player's.

When viewing or reviewing a video game, understand that there are comparisons that can be drawn between movies and video games, but even in those comparisons, it’s still apples and pears. They might look very similar, but you have to compare the flavors separately.

I know I didn’t hit on everything, and people certainly have a difference of opinions on this subject. I’d like to read your comments below.

The most popular use of VR may not be video games Mon, 05 Oct 2015 03:41:46 -0400 Destini Islands

Perhaps this may be a strange point of view for a virtual reality gaming enthusiast, but I have a strong belief that VR isn't going to take off with games.

Instead, VR will begin with 360-degree videos. Virtual reality film already has dedicated websites, downloadable trailers, and companies who specialize in it. It's the perfect medium - different enough to be innovative, but not so different that it's terrifying to technophobes. It's amazing how enthusiasts have already dedicated their livelihoods to a medium that isn't even available yet to the common public.

Games are, of course, a prime, lucrative form of entertainment. It's a huge industry that has respect from investors and producers. But the medium itself is still new, commonly misunderstood, and not respected as highly as older media like film. When you throw virtual reality into that mix, you're going deeper down a niche rabbit hole that even many hardcore gamers are wary of. Video games are experiences talked about with friends, but virtual reality as we know it now is something that is far too expensive and personal to be a popular talking point.

"It's amazing how enthusiasts have already dedicated their livelihoods to a medium that isn't even available yet to the common public."

When I talked about my experience with virtual reality, what I really wanted to say was how my mind was blown. Trying to communicate my experience was difficult and unrelatable to those who never tried it.

The most popular use of VR may not be video games, but film. For now, I think VR is most accessible, with 360-degree videomaking. And it will take off the more media companies embrace it. A great start comes from PBS, the educational and very respected media production house. PBS has released their own 360-degree video as an add-on for their TV series Gorongosa Park that is set in Mozambique, Africa. Titled "GORONGOSA PARK: Rebirth of Paradise VR," the video lets people rotate the camera wherever they please as the video plays. It's beautiful, unique, and easy to use.

The video is reminiscent of my VR experience and lets me "visit some of the diverse ecosystems," just as the video's description states. People don't need a VR machine to experience the video, so it's an amazing lead-in for the curious and skeptical. These videos push the limits of accessibility. By working seamlessly on YouTube, it opens up options to the open public.

Talking about virtual reality has been stressful for me, but only because I have such high expectations for it. I've always been a bit of a dreamer, loving the concept of digitally "leaving" the world. It's been everywhere where fantasy reigns: Speculative fiction, science fiction, games, anime, television, film, and all in-between. In fact, I was so absorbed with the specific idea of leaving that I never considered exploring the world I'm already in. 360-degree video equipment only costs a few thousand dollars to obtain, making it accessible to film production houses. It's probably the reason there are already dedicated websites and companies.

"In fact, I was so absorbed with the specific idea of leaving that I never considered exploring the world I'm already in."

For these reasons, I'm optimistic that we will get to the point where talking about virtual reality is as commonplace as talking about general gameplay. eSports is heading in that direction as it picks up steam, which was also a topic that used to be foreign to gamers. It's completely realistic to imagine the future of North America as one that resembles South Korea, where eSports is a mainstream activity and not having fiber optic cables is blasphemy. While the world embraces the outpouring of technological advancements, it also isn't too far-fetched to believe virtual reality could become mainstream enough to be bundled like controllers for a console.

But for now, even with the projections of VR adoption, I think it's completely rational to assume the most popular use of these VR machines will not be for gaming. For a nice list of 360-degree videos that include the two I included here, check out this article.

Have you enjoyed 360-degree video? Are you a documentary fan? Let me know what you think about the future of VR below.

9 games to look forward to in September Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:41:50 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

After almost three decades of innovation, hard work, and success, the story of the greatest stealth series of all time will finally be complete.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be the final chapter of the Metal Gear series pioneered by gaming visionary Hideo Kojima, linking all the games into one cohesive story. As Punished "Venom" Snake, also known as Big Boss, players will traverse through Afghanistan and the Angola-Zaire border in the first open world Metal Gear on a mission to exact revenge on those that wronged him.


Besides the usual sneaking elements, The Phantom Pain includes a host of new features to complement its whole new game world, namely, intelligent AI companions and enemies, real-time day-and-night cycles, and a fully customizable Mother Base utilizing the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. Multiplayer will also make a return to Metal Gear with two brand new online modes, so players needn't worry about what to do after they're done with The Phantom Pain's highly-sophisticated single-player.


V will come to Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on September 1st.

Mad Max

Cars, guns, and a whole lot of action - a storied film franchise will be making the transition to video games, but unlike other movie games, this one looks like it's going to be an epic of apocalyptic proportions.


From the masterminds of the Just Cause series, Avalanche Studios, Mad Max puts players in the shoes of franchise protagonist Max Rockatansky in search of the car he lost, the Interceptor, and to build the car of his dreams, the Magnum Opus. Through canyons, caves, and deserts, Max must survive by scavenging for resources such as food, water, and fuel before War Boys take them away first.


Max's car can be customized as well as his weapons, while friendly relationships can be formed with strongholds to garner new quests and rewards, and lower the threat level of each region. With radical vehicular combat, dangerous environmental hazards, and a tense expansive story, players will be in for an exhilarating experience in the open world of the wasteland. 


Get Mad on Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 1st.

Tearaway Unfolded

One of the best games ever on the PlayStation Vita will finally be making the big leap to console, with the creators of LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule, reinventing their award-winning platformer for the current generation.


Tearaway Unfolded is an expanded retelling of the original Tearaway story that puts players on a quest to help atoi, the messenger, deliver an important message. Through a vibrant papercraft world filled with colorful drawings and doodles, the magical adventure of Tearaway has been reimagined for the TV.


The power of wind can be unleashed in-game by swiping on the DualShock 4's touch pad, and the power of light can be activated by shining the DualShock 4's light bar. Stuff hurled out of the TV can be thrown back in to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, while the mobile companion app lets players customize the wild papery world of Tearaway Unfolded.


Adventure Unfolded on PlayStation 4 on September 8th.

Super Mario Maker

After 30 years of making side-scrolling platformers about an Italian plumber, Nintendo is finally letting go of the reins and leaving the controls to the fans.


Super Mario Maker gives fans the tools to create their very own Super Mario levels and bring their imaginations into reality using only the Wii U GamePad. Enemies, obstacles, blocks, and more can be combined by dragging and dropping them together, with more parts becoming available the next day after spending 5 minutes creating a course.


Sound effects and animations can be edited in all the classic environments, and Amiibos can be scanned to add special elements to courses. With a Course World filled with player creations, creators, and challenges, Super Mario fans will be treated with a plethora of crazy iterations of their favorite Nintendo series.


Become the greatest Super Mario Maker on Wii U on September 11th.

Forza Motorsport 6

It's been ten years since the first Forza Motorsport came out on the original Xbox and changed the racing genre forever. To celebrate, Turn 10 Studios looks to do the same again with the sixth instalment in their critically-acclaimed franchise.


Forza Motorsport 6 will be a wetter, darker, and more realistic affair as rain and night will finally be able to affect cars during a race, all in glorious 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. More than 70 hours of gameplay will be present in the new career mode called "Stories of Motorsport", along with unlockable Showcase events that relive the greatest moments in motorsport history.


Split-screen racing will also return to Forza, and feature 24 cars on track in a single race, ensuring a jam-packed experience both online and offline. With over 450 intricately designer cars to collect, customize, and race across 26 world-famous tracks, Forza Motorsport 6 will surely be an all-consuming experience for racing fans.


Take over Motorsport on Xbox One on September 15th.

Blood Bowl 2

Craving for a video game that combines American football with a fantasy boardgame? Well, Blood Bowl 2 might just be the one.


The sequel to Cyanide Studios' 2009 Blood Bowl, Blood Bowl 2 brings the humor and brutality of the original adaptation into a new graphics engine that fully realizes the character-driven world of Blood Bowl 2 with new cameras and animations.


The all-new single-player story campaign puts players in charge of leading the human race back to glory, while the revamped multiplayer mode lets players create, manage, and develop their own teams comprised of eight races from the Warhammer world. With the ability to upgrade stadiums, customize jerseys, and transfer players, Blood Bowl 2 is a turn-based strategy game with countless possibilities.


Reap Blood on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 22nd.


As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it's only fitting to pass the darkness with some new-found horror.


From Frictional Games, the creators of the highly-acclaimed Amnesia and Penumbra horror series, SOMA is a first-person sci-fi survival horror game that takes place underwater. In a remote research facility, machines have begun to become human, and alien entities have begun to disrupt the peace.


Players have to find out what happened to the abandoned facility, and find a way out, without weapons, and without help. Through a futuristic setting, disturbing truths about technology and human nature await to be discovered.


Escape SOMA alive on Windows, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 4 on September 22nd.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

After more than a decade, the sequel to the greatest skateboarding game series of all time has finally arrived.


The tenth installment in the Tony Hawk's series and the first main entry since 2007, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 brings it back to where it all began. Classic gameplay with signature Pro Skater moves mixed with extended trick combinations is brought to life in over 80 unique missions across 8 different environments.


As a pro or personalized skater, players can shred pavements online with up to 20 people at once, and build and share their very own skateparks using over 250 obstacles for endless creativity. With new items like power-ups and projectiles, leveling up to be the best pro skater around will be a fresh and entertaining experience.


Go Pro on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 29th, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 10th.

LEGO Dimensions

Developer TT Games is back once again with another instalment in their successful LEGO series, but this time they're pulling out all the stops with what is undoubtedly the biggest LEGO game to date.


LEGO Dimensions bring the colorful worlds of 14 fan-favorite brands such as DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, and The LEGO Movie together in a LEGO Multiverse threated by an evil mastermind. Starting out in the world of Oz with Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle, players will have to traverse the 14 different Adventure Worlds in order to save their friends and their universes from oblivion.


LEGO Dimensions also marks LEGO's first foray into the toys-to-life arena, with physical minifigures, vehicles, and gadgets available for purchase to be unlocked in-game. Up to seven toys can be dropped onto the LEGO Toy Pad included in the Starter Pack into the game, providing an action-packed experience regardless of whether players choose to play solo or co-op.


Travel through multiple Dimensions on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 from September 27th.


Arise for the Fall


The hustle and bustle of the summer has finally come to a close, and the time has come to settle in for colder winds.


But while we have to say goodbye to sunny beaches, crowded festivals, and smoky barbecues, we can now say hi to the most exciting, congested, but ultimately fun time of the year for video games: the fall.


To start us off on the wonderful gaming journey towards the end of the year, here are 9 games coming to a platform near you in the cool, refreshing month of September.

Reasons that video game films can be a good thing Sat, 25 Jul 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Sam Yoo

There has been a marked increase in the number of upcoming film adaptations of video games such as Warcraft, The Last of Us, Devil May Cry, and Mass Effect.  While some people are excited, quite a lot of fans of the games are experiencing the usual dread of how much the film adaptations will fail to be as good as the source material (which is absolutely fair).

As Nick Kairit, writer for Hardcore Gamer, says in his article on Why Video Game Film Adaptations Should Cease To Exist:

It’s difficult to capture the heart and soul of a 10-12 hour game and condense it to a 2 hour film, but then why even try?

With titles like The Last of Us pushing the cinematic experience, video game film adaptations have been rendered obsolete. 

However, there are still reasons that video game films can have a positive influence.

Film adaptations of video games are more accessible.

People who don't/can't play video games can still be interested in them.  There are a lot of games that are interactive narrative experiences, with rich stories that are compelling in and of themselves, such as The Last of Us, as Kairit pointed out.

However, not everyone has the money to make the financial investment in a console, or they have only one and thus are missing out on the games that are on other platforms.  Other people don’t have the time for it in their daily lives, restricted by their lifestyle, their job, etc. 

There are also people who aren't good at them, or at the very least don’t enjoy playing certain genres (e.g. FPS games, etc).

Comedian Dara O'Brian sums this problem up rather well:

I love video games for this reason over all other art form. They do a thing that no other art form does, right. No other art form does.

You cannot be bad at watching a movie. You cannot be bad at listening to an album. But you can be bad at playing a video game, and the video game will punish you, and deny you access to the rest of the video game. 

Many of these difficulties are why Let’s Play videos are so popular.  They allow viewers to experience games vicariously, free of charge without owning either the console or the game, without having to play it.  It becomes a leisurely viewing experience instead of a struggle (which not everyone is up for).

However, video games are designed to be experienced as games (naturally).  In a good game, the emphasis is healthily placed on gameplay aspects, with plot and cutscenes distributed evenly throughout.  

For instance, The Last of Us is a rich and incredibly cinematic game, but it is still designed primarily to be a gaming experience (specifically a survival horror game).  

If you are a viewer, you will either have to watch through around 18 hours of a Let's Play series to get the full experience (which works for some people and not others), or you could simply watch all the cutscenes, but you would definitely miss out on important aspects of the experience.

A film adaptation is meant to be a translation of the game.  Oftentimes fans are not happy with how this translation is carried out and it frequently does not do the source material justice.  However, it can still bring the experience of a game to an audience that otherwise might not have been able to access. 

Watching the film might even convince some previously uninterested people to purchase the game, which brings up the more business oriented benefits.

A film adaptation will raise awareness of the game.

While currently video games are no longer considered a niche market like they were in the past, film has been a central part of pop culture for far longer and is still more accessible to all audiences.  The advertisement campaigns for the film adaptation alone will get the name of the game out there.  

Of course, if the film is bad, it will not reflect well on the game, but bad films in general are a thing to be avoided since they benefit exactly no one.  'Bad' in this case meaning a commerical/box office failure.  The critical reception of the film is somewhat less important than the audience's enjoyment levels.  Even if the film adaptation is not good quality cinema, if it is entertaining, the video game franchise will benefit.


I have often been frustrated with adaptations of books/games/comics that are important to me, so I sympathize completely with the concerns of fans of the upcoming video game films.  I don't want to discount the value of the potential that they have though.  What do you think?

NBA 2K16 Officially A Spike Lee Project Sun, 07 Jun 2015 15:45:38 -0400 WesleyG

Take-Two Interactive announced on Friday that film director Spike Lee will be writing and directing this year's MyCAREER mode in the upcoming edition of the NBA 2K franchise.

Film directors don't tend to fair well making the transition to video games, but it's hard to argue that Spike Lee isn't uniquely suited to write a story for a game about basketball. He directed the 1998 film He Got Game that centered around the sport (even starring a young Ray Allen, who would go on to become a ten time NBA All-Star) and is a constant presence courtside when the New York Knicks are playing at home.

According to Spike Lee, the partnership with NBA 2K16 is an opportunity to challenge himself.

"Partnering with legendary 2K and Visual Concepts is one of the most unique challenges I've had in filmmaking, and allows me to push the boundaries of innovative storytelling. My hope is fans will feel even more connected to the world of basketball in NBA 2K16."

Take-Two Interactive also took the opportunity to reveal the three different covers that will release with the game, each one including a different NBA All-Star. The covers, featuring Houston Rockets' James Harden, Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, and New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, all have images that detail key moments of their careers to highlight the focus on Spike Lee's MyCAREER mode. You can view the covers for yourself here.

There are no details yet on what we'll see in the MyCAREER mode other than it will be "paralleling Curry, Harden and Davis' path to stardom" and it will feature both "on and off court drama." NBA 2K16 will be released September 29th.

Texas Film and Video Game Lobbyists Argue a Funding Cut Sat, 30 May 2015 08:36:31 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

Film and video game companies in Texas will have to tighten their belts for the next two years, as support from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program will be cut down to about a third of the program's current funding.

House and Senate negotiators reached a two-year budget deal last week that will cut $63 million from the incentive program, leaving the film and video game industries with only $32 million to share amongst themselves.

Since 2008, the program has given $150 million in incentives to production companies that hire Texas workers to develop film, television, commercial, or video game projects in the state, which in turn has generated spending of more than $1 billion, according to the Texas Film Commission. 

In March, film lobbyists pushed to separate the funding for film and video game incentives, which lead to arguments about the differences between the two industries. Video game lobbyists objected to the split, citing that the film groups intended to cut them out of the budget completely. Without a general agreement from both sides, and with less support from politicians, the program ended up with the same amount of money it received in 2011.

After such a measly conclusion to the conflicting negotiations, film industry lobbyist Lawrence Collins had a rather bleak outlook on the industry, saying that "film and television in Texas will disappear."

BANDAI NAMCO and Sony Pictures Partner to Make a Pixels Mobile Game Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:34:35 -0400 Jessa Rittenhouse

Sony Pictures Entertainment has partnered with BANDAI NAMCO to bring their highly-anticipated, live-action film Pixels to your mobile devices - in the form of a tower-defense-style mobile game.

Pixels is an action-comedy in which aliens misinterpret a message of peace that includes footage of popular retro-arcade style games, viewing them as a threat of war. In answer, they send machines to attack Earth in the form of many of those same arcade characters - PAC-MAN, Q-Bert, and Frogger just to name a few.

Did you ever expect to see PAC-MAN as the villain? In the new movie and mobile game Pixels, even some of gaming's most beloved arcade heroes are dangerous invaders.

In the first 24 hours following the initial release of the film's trailer it received 34.3 million views worldwide - making it Sony's #1 trailer launch of all time.

With a film all about instantly-recognizable classic arcade game characters, naturally there has to be a game that includes them all. As Sony Pictures Vice President of Consumer Products Mark Caplan said in the game's press-release:

"Pixels wouldn't be possible without the enduring power of historic gaming figures like PAC-MAN, and we're proud to team up with BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment to bring that joy back to the medium that inspired it with this new game."

In the tower-defense mobile game, players take on the role of the film's heroes, the Arcaders, and defend Earth against the aliens - popular BANDAI NAMCO characters that will be coming together in one game for the first time in their long history.

The mobile game is to be released in advance of the film, which is slated for a July 24 box office debut.

Are you excited to see Pixels or play the mobile game? Do you have fond memories of these characters from your childhood, or are these retro-games just the stuff of legend to you? Chat about it with us in the comments!

Spielberg Lined Up For 'Ready Player One' Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:03:42 -0400 Nutronic

As far as video games and film are concerned, the two haven’t always seen eye to eye. Whether it’s great movies making terrible games, terrible movies spawning from great games or even the refusal of one medium to accept the other as art; it just hasn’t been a good relationship. However, books have seemed to enjoy a happy medium between the two for years and may provide a great way to bring the together.

Ready Player One, is a book about gaming. Pure and simple, it is about the experience of being a gamer and the communities, lore, nostalgia etc. that go along with it. Attaching a director like Spielberg really pushes the idea that this won’t be a half-hearted attempt to cash-in on The New York Times’ best seller. That being said, the film will be handled by Warner Bros who have proven they are very willing to gut material of it’s more fantastical elements in favor of “grittiness” and “realism”. Thankfully Ready Player One is  a science fiction piece set within a VR world which of course doesn’t usually get more fantastical than that.

For those who do not know, Ready Player One is set in the year 2044 where most people spend their time playing OASIS; a vast digital Utopia. The Plot centers around Wade Watts as he and many others attempt to find Easter Eggs in the many worlds within as clues left behind by the game’s creator. The fruits of this labor are a promise by OASIS's creator to see the game and his estate owned given to the one who finds it.

Steven Curtesy of

Already holding the hallmark of a great mystery story along with many favorable story elements. The book made film promises to work on several levels for Spielberg if you look at his previous works. Given his affinity for spectacular sci-fi worlds and action adventure, Ready Player One seems to fit firmly in his realm of expertise.

Having already placed six-figures on securing the rights, Warner Bros’ acquisition of Spielberg could be seen as placing a security upon their investment. If nothing else, Ready Player One will either be a spectacular masterpiece or a beautifully crafted failure; something in-between doesn’t quite seem to be in the cards.

Fan Creates Epic Star Wars: Tie Fighter Fan Film Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:05:21 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Just in time for the re-release of Star Wars: Tie Fighter Special Edition on, Star Wars fan and artist Paul Johnson's has created a spellbinding fan film. Created over the past four years, using both traditional and rotoscope animation, it is just amazing to see in action. Johnson not only took inspiration from the game's setting, but implemented every internal element and visual he could from the original Tie Fighter game.

The attention to detail goes beyond that, re-incorporating all the right sound effects from the games as well, and all sorts of little details only a true Star Wars fan would catch. Everything is in its right place, from the Interdictor Star Destroyer to Auberesh text displaying on each pilot's HUD. The fighter craft behave just right, the characters are all wearing the right uniforms, the interior environments are just like in the films, and detailed destruction... the amount of love and care here is astounding. To go along with the film, Johnson has also created poster art:

Johnson also has posted multiple behind the scenes slides, including character biographies and moments where he points out some of the insane details in this thing. You can also listen to the music, composed by Zakir Rahman, on SoundCloud.

Enjoy the film? Wish there was a Star Wars: Tie Fighter remaster in the works? Share your thoughts below in comments!

Live Action Zelda Series on Netflix May Not be Happening Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:14:17 -0400 Ryan Mayle

Not too long ago The Wall Street Journal posted an article about Nintendo partnering up with Netflix to bring a live-action Zelda series to the online streaming platform. This news caused a huge eruption of excitement and skepticism across the internet. While many were excited, quite a few brought up the questions such as, "Who would they cast?" and "Link never speaks, how would a writer narrate his character?"

Well, it looks like Time might have taken the idea of a Zelda series coming to Netflix off the table. In a recent article published they talked to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, who had a comment on the subject:

"As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information."

This statement can pretty much confirm that Netflix won't be hosting the next Zelda show or film. However, this does leave the opportunity open that they could be working on something with someone to bring one of their IPs to a new format.

Lionsgate Forms Partnership with Telltale Games Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:24:35 -0500 Jessa Rittenhouse

Lionsgate has recently invested heavily in the highly-acclaimed game developer and publisher Telltale games as part of Lionsgate's continuing efforts to diversify its content business. Both companies announced the partnership, and have stated that as part of the investment, Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer will join Telltale's board of directors.

So why would Lionsgate, a company famous primarily for its films, be interested in a company like Telltale? Put simply, Telltale has a track record of producing hit storytelling games, and their most popular titles have brought hit televisions series Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead into the medium of games.

Telltale Games has a history of bringing hit television series to the world of video games - a track record that Lionsgate hopes to benefit from.

As Lionsgate CEO Feltheimer put it:

Telltale is one of the premier storytellers in the gaming world today. Their leadership in narrative-driven episodic games, together with our investment and the potential opportunities created by our premium content expertise, will continue to strengthen their ability to offer exciting new avenues of storytelling to their next generation audiences across a broad range of platforms.

This new partnership allows them to expand their brand beyond the silverscreen and television, but Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner explains that Telltale stands a lot to gain from this business relationship, as well. In addition to having access to a wealth of new potential stories to tell in their games, it also opens up the possibility of bringing some of their popular games to episodic television.

How do you feel about this new partnership? Can we expect great things to come from Lionsgate and Telltale? What games would you like to see brought to television? Let us know in the comments below!

Miyamoto Thinks Other Game Companies Are Boring Wed, 12 Nov 2014 06:01:44 -0500 Adam Koziol

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, the veteran game designer Shigeru Miyamoto complained about the current trends followed by other gaming companies. He pointed out how the same games are appearing on every system and described it as boring.

However, he did admit that what these other companies are doing makes business sense. Although Nintendo posted an unexpected 215 million yen profit in the last quarter, the publisher has been struggling financially for the past couple of years. Miyamoto seems unconcerned by this fact and is much more focused on the creative side. When asked what separates his company from the competition, he replied:

''At Nintendo, we want an environment where game creators can collaborate and think of ideas for games that could never have happened before.''

What makes this interview interesting is that Miyamoto is not speaking with a video game journalist. He talked to Robbie Collin, the Daily Telegraph's film critic. Collin was in Tokyo to speak with Miaymoto about his work on the three Pikmin short movies. The Super Mario creator is infamous for his opposition to the link between films and video games. The fact that many gaming companies try to sell their products with the word 'cinematic' is something he despises.

He bemoans the fact that many young designers want to be recognised, want to create stories that will touch people's hearts. For Miyamoto, it should be the experience that is touching.  He says that in film, the creator and the director are the same person; but in video games he believes that it is the player who is the director.

When Collin asks Miyamoto what the video game industry can learn from films, he seems mildly horrified at the thought. He is firm in his belief that there is nothing video games can learn from movies. Games can make players feel like a part of their world, a unique experience which cannot be replicated by movies or literature, he explains.

Do you think that Miyamoto is right? Are too many developers 'boring'? What, if anything, do you think video games can learn from the film industry? Join in the discussion below and let me know what your thoughts are.