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Licensed games that deviated wildly from the source

SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
edited July 2009 in Games and Technology
We're all well aware of the paradigms and pains of license games: something big (usually a movie) is due for release and the studio's hoping for a game tie-in to make even more money, they hire either a third-rate no-name company or one with a ton of power behind its name to do the job, said devteam shovels out some half-assed product that's either a direct copy of the film or only deviates enough to give them some wiggle room around the source material, the game comes out at the same time as the film, tanks, and everybody's worse off.

But sometimes things are a bit different. Sometimes the developers are literal bottom-rung and have no idea what the fuck they're even dealing with, or simply don't care; sometimes they decide that since the game's probably going to tank anyway that they're going all-out with every idea they've had, fitting or not; and when all's said and done they wind up putting out a product that has almost nothing in common with the source save for a name and a few choice assets. And I wanna' know about these wierd-ass licensed-in-name-only titles, and I'm sure a few of you after thinking about it do to.

Probably the one big example of this that I myself know of would be Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie for the SNES. It's got all the basic fixin's of a Macross game: transforming jet fighters and the titular spaceship, missile/beam spam, the Zentraedi and their five or so types of canon mecha, and the cringingly overwhelming power of love. It's also got more noncanon shit than you can redirect an entire river at, from peons to gigantic boss mecha that look like something out of Gradias or R-Type to motherfucking fifty-foot-tall electrokinetic star children/lizardman hybrids. Of course, all of this noncanon shit is probably what made the game so fun in the first place, unlike that other Macross[/i] side-scrolling shooter that you can probably only find on one of those bootleg 100-in-1 carts.

Sorenson on
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    Serious_ScrubSerious_Scrub Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Goldeneye, by necessity, had to add a bunch of content to stretch a ~2 hour movie into a much longer game. Full levels were made from short scenes in the movie, or sometimes out of events that didn't even occur in the movie.
    Many NES era licensed games also tended to deviate quite a bit, although many of them weren't tied to any specific movie. While bad guys a the franchise remained bad guys, and good guys remained good guys, they didn't really try much harder than that to remain faithful to the source material, probably due to the fact that many western licenses were handled by Japanese Developers.
    For example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_%28Namco_video_game%29
    Darth Vader is the game's only boss, who transforms into different creatures in all but two of the stages.

    Serious_Scrub on
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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay is the one that immediately comes to mind. Great graphics, lots of fun gameplay, fun story and interesting use of the license that actually fit into the space of the film and even made them more awesome. I haven't gotten around to Dark Athena yet, but it looks like it's more of the same, with a reboot of Butcher Bay (which I don't own anymore, so I really need to get DA).

    And then there is Shogo: MAD. The game that is made to feel like a license but isn't and is awesome because of it. I'd set myself on fire for a new Shogo.

    Drake on
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    NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Warriors deviated slightly from the movie source, but only in establishing the background of everyone (Such as the Warriors previously meeting the Orphans) but the last 3rd of the game is pretty much straight from the film.

    For a more recent example, how about Wolverine? That one almost seems like the movie stuff was shoehorned into the game.

    Nocren on
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    El MuchoEl Mucho Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Does anyone remember the Pirates of the Caribbean game that came out in time for the first movie. It was made by Bethesda I believe?

    I am pretty sure it was an entirely different game up until the release of the movie at which point they put the Black Pearl in and changed the name.

    I remember the game was great but had nothing to do with the movie.

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    NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yeah, I think it was suppose to be Sea Dogs 2 or something like that.

    Oh, Aliens the arcade game. Keeping the setting (roughly), P1 is Ripley (with a smartgun) and P2 is Hicks (again with a smartgun) you right through the entire nest to get to Newt. Even riding on top of the APC for a bit before Newt's carried off by a flying alien.

    Nocren on
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    korodullinkorodullin What. SCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Nocren wrote: »
    Yeah, I think it was suppose to be Sea Dogs 2 or something like that.
    It was. On the back of my Tribunal disc case is an ad for Sea Dogs 2 "coming soon". Bloodmoon, which came out not terribly long after I got Tribunal, had instead an ad for PotC.

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    Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The Spider-Man movie games constantly add more to the story....but that is why I like them. More villians to beat up.

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    BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    El Mucho wrote: »
    Does anyone remember the Pirates of the Caribbean game that came out in time for the first movie. It was made by Bethesda I believe?

    I am pretty sure it was an entirely different game up until the release of the movie at which point they put the Black Pearl in and changed the name.

    I remember the game was great but had nothing to do with the movie.

    This is the damn game I was trying to think of when I read the OP.

    EDIT: How about Back to the Future 2/3 for the NES. At least 1 had the bullies and the basic story despite the bowling balls, clocks, bees, glass dudes and hula hoop girls. I seem to recall weird generic characters like zombies and snails and shit for 2/3 that had nothing to do with the movie.

    BladeX on
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    FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wasn't the GITS game for the PSX essentially a Tachikoma simulator?

    I'm pretty sure everyone who watched the movie/series wanted to bust shit up with the Major/Batou, but instead you got to pilot a tachikoma. AWESOME.

    Fiziks on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2021
    -

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    vader111vader111 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Fiziks wrote: »
    Wasn't the GITS game for the PSX essentially a Tachikoma simulator?

    I'm pretty sure everyone who watched the movie/series wanted to bust shit up with the Major/Batou, but instead you got to pilot a tachikoma. AWESOME.

    On the other hand, it was a pretty good game. It had enough GiTS-ness that I was willing to forgive the deviation, especially since tachikomas ROCK.

    As for my entry to this thread, I submit defunct French studio Cryo Interactive's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Sci-Fi novel Ubik. I actually own it, and have clocked it several times.

    The game is basically real-time tactics (think JA2, only not turn based) and while it does - sort of - follow the basic plot of the novel, they added in a ridiculous amount of combat and psychic abilities. I think Chip shoots about 3 people in the novel. In the game, he and his squaddies kill about a platoon's worth of Hollis goons.

    Also of note was an introduction in the novel written by the owner of Cryo Interactive (also lead producer of the game) who claimed to have known Dick personally (:winky:) and basically wrote a big spiel about how Dick would have loved this adaptation because it would have allowed readers to experience his themes and ideals in a whole new light etc.

    Fun game, though.

    vader111 on
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    AntimatterAntimatter Devo Was Right Gates of SteelRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    the Transformers DS games deviated greatly from the 2007 movie, introducing new characters with the ability to change alt modes, and different plot twists, locations, and character deaths.
    Oh yeah, no meatbags are shown, just vehicles.

    Antimatter on
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    XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    American McGee's Alice.

    Xagarath on
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    Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Don't call me Shirley... Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Yo%21_Noid_Cover.png

    I used to own this. :P

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    TI-83+TI-83+ Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    2vsj1bl.jpg

    is the first thing that comes to mind.

    I haven't played the game, but it is based on a movie that has basically nothing to do with the books except a few names (Jason Bourne etc) in common.

    TI-83+ on
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    FiziksFiziks Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    vader111 wrote: »
    Fiziks wrote: »
    Wasn't the GITS game for the PSX essentially a Tachikoma simulator?

    I'm pretty sure everyone who watched the movie/series wanted to bust shit up with the Major/Batou, but instead you got to pilot a tachikoma. AWESOME.

    On the other hand, it was a pretty good game. It had enough GiTS-ness that I was willing to forgive the deviation, especially since tachikomas ROCK.

    Yeah there's something magical about a tank with the voice of a 14 year-old girl.

    Fiziks on
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    LalaboxLalabox Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Shadowrun went and butchered the source material.

    Lalabox on
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    Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    All Civilization games post Civ2: Inclusion of questionable Civilizations.
    Hi America! Did you enjoy your medieval era?

    Kris_xK on
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    DaebunzDaebunz Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    Cool_spot_box_art.jpg

    Doesn't have a whole lot in common with drinking 7-Up.

    Neither did Spot Goes to Hollywood, but boy were those games some of the best I played when I was little.

    Daebunz on
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    ChanceChance Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I was playing through that Wanted: Weapons of Fate game for a review, and it seemed to me that the protagonist was even more of a little prick than he was in the movie. So I looked into it, and it turns out Wanted was originally a comic book - and the comic book was a totally different story than what we saw with Angelina Jolie.

    Instead of sticking to what was introduced in the movie or - a better choice - the phenomenally original comic book, the game tries to kind of squeeze both into one product. And, beyond being a pretty mediocre game, its narrative is bunk in the trunk.

    A real disappointment - and even more so after I read the source material.

    Chance on
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    MaceraMacera UGH GODDAMMIT STOP ENJOYING THINGSRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    HomeImprovementSNEScover.jpg

    Macera on
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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    All Civilization games post Civ2: Inclusion of questionable Civilizations.
    Hi America! Did you enjoy your medieval era?

    The Civ games are not licensed. More Civs equals more awesome. How does it feel to be so wrong?

    Drake on
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    StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    Does Dante's Inferno count as licensed? Either way, you could name the game something else and nobody would know the different. It's odd as to why they even bothered naming it after the work.

    Sterica on
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    TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Brainiac 8 wrote: »
    Yo%21_Noid_Cover.png

    I used to own this. :P

    I found it on the extremely cheap and picked it up. Still have it floating around.

    Tamin on
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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Drake wrote: »
    Kris_xK wrote: »
    All Civilization games post Civ2: Inclusion of questionable Civilizations.
    Hi America! Did you enjoy your medieval era?

    The Civ games are not licensed. More Civs equals more awesome. How does it feel to be so wrong?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't America in all the Civ games.

    Axen on
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    LalaboxLalabox Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Chance wrote: »
    I was playing through that Wanted: Weapons of Fate game for a review, and it seemed to me that the protagonist was even more of a little prick than he was in the movie. So I looked into it, and it turns out Wanted was originally a comic book - and the comic book was a totally different story than what we saw with Angelina Jolie.

    Instead of sticking to what was introduced in the movie or - a better choice - the phenomenally original comic book, the game tries to kind of squeeze both into one product. And, beyond being a pretty mediocre game, its narrative is bunk in the trunk.

    A real disappointment - and even more so after I read the source material.

    The protagonist is such a gigantuan prick within the comic book. Words cannot express how much you just want him to die.

    Lalabox on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wanted was really not very good. Oh look we're so evil we hate ourselves hahah that's original lets go rape some people to forget about our angst.


    EDIT Ok that's not really fair, the premise was brilliant it's just that the whole thing fell apart under Wesley's rapid growth from nobody to superfacefucker

    Robman on
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    gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Superman 64. Nothing says 'superhero' like flying through hoops for hours.

    gtrmp on
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    LBD_NytetraynLBD_Nytetrayn TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Brainiac 8 wrote: »
    Yo%21_Noid_Cover.png

    I used to own this. :P

    Funny thing, that. It wasn't originally designed as a Noid game, but instead received a big graphic overhaul for the U.S. market.

    In any case... well, I wouldn't say that licensed games should often necessarily deviate from the source material, but I think some would be better if they weren't quite so beholden to it. Take Batman: Arkham Asylum, for example. Rather than drawing from any particular movie or cartoon or anything, it seems to be based on the mythos itself, allowing the developers to essentially create their vision and version of the Dark Knight.

    As I once posted elsewhere, for another example. This is following the news that Activision said they weren't interested in creating a Generation 1 TransFormers game, though they are apparently interested in making it a yearly franchise.
    Interestingly enough, Activision wants to make this a yearly franchise. What that entails for years where there isn't a movie, I don't know.

    But I think the TransFormers brand would sell well enough on its own, especially given how often the franchise reinvents itself.

    On that note, I would rather they take that and the cue from TMNT Smash-Up and Batman: Arkham Asylum and create a TransFormers game which isn't tied to any one specific story or brand of the franchise. i.e. create a version specific to the games (it would be nice to get some toys of said versions, too). Hasbro does this all the time, taking common and well-liked/known aspects of the overall mythos, and remixing it now and again.

    Optimus leads the Autobots, turns into a truck, Megatron leads the Decepticons, turns into... whatever, Starscream follows and turns into a jet, perhaps plotting to overthrow his leader. Kid-friendly yellow car = Bumblebee, and so on. And they're at war.

    And just build from that.

    Heck, the Armada game came sort of close-- other than designs and the barest aspects of the plot, it didn't resemble any other aspect of Armada much at all.

    Another thing about Armada: If memory serves, it came out well after that portion of the series had faded and everyone had moved on, so you had a good game based on what amounted to an "old" narrative, in that people were likely tired of it (if they even liked it to begin with), but it was still too fresh to even be "retro."

    On the other hand, had they built their own TransFormers from scratch-- their own Optimus, their own Megatron, etc.-- it could have held a sort of timeless quality, and would actually be the "video game TransFormers," rather than "iteration x of TransFormers in a video game."

    This one might be sort of out there for some readers here, but I think the Power Rangers would be another example. They usually have to rush a sub-par product out there while a particular iteration of the show is on the air and toys are on shelves, and probably don't get a lot of time to do anything.

    On the other hand, something not so attached to a particular concept of one season might be interesting. Personally, I'd love something like a Megazord/Monster battle game across various city and landscapes, sort of like the Godzilla monster games. Pick from the original Megazords and baddies, or newer ones. Cut loose. Sort of like that fighting game they had on the Super NES, but less Street Fighter-y.

    Then again, they did do that anniversary game a couple of years ago, Super Legends, I think. I heard it wasn't that good, and a lot of that had to do with suits tying their hands as to who they could/couldn't use, and wanted them to focus primarily on a certain iteration.

    Whatever clown said that Tommy, the Green/White/Red/Black Ranger shouldn't be playable should lose his job. Seriously, I hate to say that about anyone, but in a game like that, it's as stupid as stupid gets.

    Another example might be Dragon Ball Z. I'm so sick of the same arcs being rehashed over and over and over again. I'd love to see something more done with what's there, something that's not just readapting the anime.

    Come to think of it, I think there are some DBZ games that divert from the source a bit, as spoken of in the OP. Like the GBA games and that one sort of beat-em-up last generation...

    So, anyway, that's my thought on the subject. Hollywood tends to divert from the source material often, create its own version of whatever for movies or TV, for better or for worse. I wonder if more games shouldn't also do that, and if it might yield better, perhaps more imaginative games.

    LBD_Nytetrayn on
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    RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The opposite is even funnier. Super Mario Bros: the movie and the Resident Evil-movies are prime examples of deviating wildly from the source. Then again, how anybody thought a movie about a fat italian plumber eating mushrooms would be an easy thing to translate to the big screen is beyond me.

    RichardTauber on
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    StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited July 2009
    The opposite is even funnier. Super Mario Bros: the movie and the Resident Evil-movies are prime examples of deviating wildly from the source. Then again, how anybody thought a movie about a fat italian plumber eating mushrooms would be an easy thing to translate to the big screen is beyond me.
    It's easy (play up the rather shallow, cliched story for comedy), but would require the feature to be animated, which we apparently cannot have in Hollywood. Bring me the dude from Roger Rabbit and that guy who'll voice a freaky-looking sloth ten years from now!

    Sterica on
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    EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    The opposite is even funnier. Super Mario Bros: the movie and the Resident Evil-movies are prime examples of deviating wildly from the source. Then again, how anybody thought a movie about a fat italian plumber eating mushrooms would be an easy thing to translate to the big screen is beyond me.

    Though to be honest, anything Resident Evil these days merely has to have some undead or mutated humans and Umbrella, so the films aren't that far off.

    EvilBadman on
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    ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Shadowrun for the 360.

    ChewyWaffles on
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    KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Shadownrun was awesome.

    Kyougu on
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    RichardTauberRichardTauber Kvlt Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    EvilBadman wrote: »
    The opposite is even funnier. Super Mario Bros: the movie and the Resident Evil-movies are prime examples of deviating wildly from the source. Then again, how anybody thought a movie about a fat italian plumber eating mushrooms would be an easy thing to translate to the big screen is beyond me.

    Though to be honest, anything Resident Evil these days merely has to have some undead or mutated humans and Umbrella, so the films aren't that far off.

    Fair enough.

    RichardTauber on
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    LalaboxLalabox Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Shadownrun was awesome.

    Still deviated wildly from the source.

    Lalabox on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Lalabox wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Shadownrun was awesome.

    Still deviated wildly from the source.

    Which Shadowrun?

    Esh on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Esh wrote: »
    Lalabox wrote: »
    Kyougu wrote: »
    Shadownrun was awesome.

    Still deviated wildly from the source.

    Which Shadowrun?

    360/PC shooter, rather than the RPGs.

    Rook on
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    AlienCowThatMoosAlienCowThatMoos Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Chance wrote: »
    I was playing through that Wanted: Weapons of Fate game for a review, and it seemed to me that the protagonist was even more of a little prick than he was in the movie. So I looked into it, and it turns out Wanted was originally a comic book - and the comic book was a totally different story than what we saw with Angelina Jolie.

    Instead of sticking to what was introduced in the movie or - a better choice - the phenomenally original comic book, the game tries to kind of squeeze both into one product. And, beyond being a pretty mediocre game, its narrative is bunk in the trunk.

    A real disappointment - and even more so after I read the source material.

    I enjoyed the movie far more than the comic. Frankly the comic reminded me of a ten-year-old who just learned his first curse word so he screams it at everyone over and over with no attempt at subtlety or cleverness. It pissed away a fantastic premise.

    That said, what the hell happened with the movie? What's the point of buying an obscure license with little to no fan-base if you're just going to go make your own movie about assassins anyway?

    AlienCowThatMoos on
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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Macera wrote: »
    HomeImprovementSNEScover.jpg

    This.

    My god.

    I rented this back in the day. I didn't really know what to expect, but it definitely wasn't what I got.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi1db8od64k

    Although to be fair I'm not sure how they could make a game out of this period.

    It's like making Everybody Loves Raymond the Videogame.

    maximumzero on
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