It’s almost the default expectation that licensed games will suck. Movie and book-based games are often targeted for a video game adaptation because the source material is so good, which in turn means that there are high expectations to live up to. So, when a licensed game is good, we tend to take extra notice. Alien: Isolation is getting great reviews, and is the “follow-up” to Aliens: Colonial Marines, so the only way for that series to go was up. Middle-Earth: Shadow of  Mordor is also getting great reviews, and it’s been a while since we’ve had a good Lord of the Rings game.

What other licensed games have done their source material justice?

Thursday, 7:16 pm – Albert

Hello! I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks since my gaming rig has met the demise of its hard drive. I believe it is a sign that I need to get an SSD card right away and start feeling the power of a fast computer again.

On the topic — Awesome list Gavin! The one that really stands out for me is Die Hard! I know that’s random but I remember only fond memories of all the Die Hard games I played from FPS to Top Down action. Those were good. I had a small chance of playing Shadows of Mordor before my HD conked out but I really enjoyed it. It’s quite combat heavy and the lore seems fine. I have never been a huge LOTR fan anyways but seems like a decent story and finely tuned gaming mechanics. Since I only have a laptop i’ve been playing Hotline Miami. HOLY SHIT this game. It’s not what I expected at all. It’s fast paced and you will die. A LOT. Like… a lot of times. But the times that you can run into a room, punch two guys. Jump on one and smash his head against the floor then watch the other dude get up and go for a weapon before you kick his face into the wall and then take his gun to blast through windows to kill another three goons is EPIC. So much gore. So many weapons. So many deaths. Great stuff. It’s also requires minimal performance so a great game for laptops.

Anyways, i’m open to hear what I should do with my PC. 1tb SSD or 500g SSD + 1tb HDD …

Tuesday, 10:15 am – Gavin

Last week, I listed off a few that “overcame the shadow” of their source materials:

  • Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
  • Goldeneye (obviously)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum and City
  • Knights of the Old Republic, and, to a lesser extent, Battlefront II

I also mentioned a few that did their source material justice.

  • The Lion King
  • Aladdin
  • T2: The Arcade Game
  • The Hanna-Barbera games
  • Ren & Stimpy: Veediots!

After having some time to think about it, I’d toss in a few more:

  • Star Wars games (X-Wing, Shadows of the Empire, The Old Republic)
  • Almost all of the Lego games
  • Spiderman 2
  • Alien vs Predator (PC, not Jaguar)
  • Spiderman vs Venom: MAXIMUM CARNAGE
  • Def Jam: Fight for New York (dammit, this totally counts)
  • Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza.  Die Hard has had several video game incarnations over the years, and none of them have gone desperately well (including the woeful Die Hard Trilogy, which was three different styles of games for each of the three entries – 3rd person shooter for 1, on-rails à la Virtua Cop for 2, and racing game for 3, and the hilariously awful-fun Die Hard Arcade for the Saturn).  However, Nakatomi Plaza did remarkable justice in trying to (somewhat) follow the plot of Die Hard.  They even secured Reginald Veljohnson to do the voice of Sgt. Al Powell!  The biggest criticism was that enemies were complete bullet sponges and were incredibly difficult, but I have to say that I was impressed at how they took a movie, added in some fluff like an escort mission and a sewer section (in a movie that takes place in a skyscraper!) and generally followed the flow of the movie.
  • Disney Infinity and Marvel Avengers (admittedly I haven’t played these, but I’ve heard good things about them)

I also heard great things about The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Warriors.  I haven’t seen their source material though, let alone played the games.

There are probably dozens more, just not any that I can think of right now.

Alien: Isolation is currently rocking a 79 at Metacritic.  I’ve heard that it slows down a bit too much in some areas and gets very repetitive, but generally, it’s highly enjoyable if you’re a fan of Alien, which you should be, if you have any taste in movies at all.  I imagine that this will be something like Spec Ops: The Line for some people – a movie that doesn’t tear it up critically or commercially, but those who like it will talk about it incessantly as the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Speaking of which, sorry for that.

I did start up The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD on the weekend, and holy hell is it ever gorgeous.  The cel-shading looks incredible and the facial expressions are hilarious.  The landscapes are marvelous and the music is exactly what you’d expect.  I’m midway through the first dungeon right now, which is basically one giant forced-stealth section.  I didn’t have a ton of time to experiment, so I look forward to getting back to it.  Combat is satisfying and movement is obscenely smooth.  It’s like a child’s painting, with enormous swaths of single colour blocks, like water just being one shade.  Hopefully you have a chance to experience it – it’s quite incredible, and between the facial expressions and dialogue, it’s remarkably funny

Link’s many expressions for not having time to put up with your shit

Monday, 9:43 am – Ricky

Hello. I will talk about all the awesome games I’ve been playing, I promise.