Launching a new console is a huge undertaking, and one fraught with risk to boot. There are many things that can hinder a new gaming console as it comes out of the gate. Maybe it’s under-powered like the Nintendo Wii was when it was released against the PS3 and Xbox 360. Or maybe it has technical issues much like the red ring of death. To my knowledge there is only one thing that can sink a console faster even than weak or buggy hardware, and that is a lack of good games to play.
Twelve years ago I discovered a PS2 platformer that would embed itself in my imagination for years to come. This game was called Psychonauts. Psychonauts follows Raz, a young boy who goes to camp with hopes of becoming the next mind bending superstar secret agent when hi-jinks ensue. Psychonauts was’t just an excellent platformer, it was also one of the funniest games I have ever played. Every cut-scene had hilarious dialog and every level had sight gags and wit, it was glorious. I have been hoping, nay, praying for a sequel since I initially beat the game for the first time. I am happy to say that after a long 13 year wait Psychonauts 2 will be coming back in 2018!
Hollywood isn’t exactly known for bringing new and fresh ideas to the silver screen these days. So far every comic book and Y.A novel has been ripe for the picking when it comes to adaptations for the box office and video games are no exception. The problem has been that most movies based on game franchises, for lack of a better word, suck. There are of course exceptions to the rule, Resident Evil was enjoyable, or at least the first one was. But for every Resident Evil Hollywood has churned out a host of bombs like Doom, House of the Dead, and all the R.E. sequels (seriously why do they keep making these!?). I have no idea if the Sonic the Hedgehog movie will be any good, if I had to guess I would say that it probably won’t be. If the movie is somehow successful it begs the question, what’s next? There are several game franchises that would translate incredibly well to the big screen, maybe Hollywood should take a look at these.
- Call of Duty: This is a franchise that would rake in millions at the box office! No matter which era the movie is set (WWII, Modern Warfare, Infinite Warfare) there is a good enough story for an action packed and gripping action movie. Just don’t let Michael Bay anywhere near this series and you have a gold mine!
- Heavy Rain: Like drama and intrigue? Heavy Rain has it in spades. This game could be turned into a modern film noir classic in the right hands. Under the creative eye of a director like David Fincher, Clint Eastwood, or Christopher Nolan this adaptation could be Oscar worthy!
- God of War: Why hasn’t this happened yet? Revenge, violence, sex, this movie has it all! I can see Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Justice League) playing the titular character Kratos. Go ahead and get Zack Snyder to direct if you have to, but this movie would put 300 to shame.
- Guitar Hero: Hear me out before you start trolling! Can you imagine a great rags to riches story in the vein of Rockstar? Or the hilarious meltdowns of This is Spinal Tap? I can! People love an underdog and success story and how can you get better than going from cover band to selling out Madison Square Garden. Not to mention all the drama and comedy in between.
You might notice a lack of RPG’s, well that’s on purpose. Games like Skyrim, Zelda, Final Fantasy, or my personal favorite Chrono Trigger are just too big and plot heavy to be done right on film. I don’t know if the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie will be any good, needless to say I have my doubts. The good news is that while the Hollywood industrial machine can’t and won’t be stopped, there is a ton of great source material available in the world of video games.
Telltale Games has been knocking episodic content out of the park since 2005, most notably with The Walking Dead series. With the most recent release of Batman: The Telltale Series and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy on the way in 2017, I wanted to pitch some ideas before a slew of superhero titles floods the market. So if any execs from Telltale are reading, I’ll accept a credit and 5% profit share.
- Stranger Things – This series is just screaming to be made into a video game. With a large cast of interesting characters and compelling story lines there is a treasure trove of content waiting to be explored. Finally, it would be creepy as Hell, and everyone can use a little creepiness in their lives.
- Prison Break – What’s more hardcore than being in prison? Escaping from prison! Granted this particular entry doesn’t really require the television show’s backing or name, it would just be a really cool setting. Imagine trying to decide if you should bribe a guard, or shank another inmate who might snitch. There are tons of avenues and themes available to work with. Just don’t drop the soap.
- Wet Hot American Summer – Okay, I can hear what you are saying but hear me out. You are at summer camp, your sole mission is to hook up with as many people as possible all while taking part in the ridiculous hi-jinks of the counselors. What would you do? How about take the speed boat for a spin, or help take down a satellite, or perform at the talent show all while navigating teenage hormones and drama. This game would write itself!
Whatever Telltale Games has in the works, even if it isn’t the obvious instant classics listed above. I’m sure that we as gamers are in for some quality good times.