Lost in transla on

GAX (Malaysia) - - GAX / SPINOFF - By

There has never been a good video game movie, pe­riod. Save for the Res­i­dent Evil fran­chise, which went on to spawn SIX movies (with a pos­si­ble re­boot on the on a video game since Su­per Mario Bros. de­feated, < in­sert neg­a­tive emo­tion here> – or all of the above.

but it is of­ten the sum of many el­e­ments. Some movies suc­ceed in cap­tur­ing the spirit of the game, but of­ten miss out on the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion or story pro­gres­sion, re­sult­ing in one-di­men­sional char­ac­ters that no­body cares for and pa­per-thin plot de­vices. Then, there are those that over­load the sto­ry­telling in an at­tempt to over its sim­plic­ity that fans have come to love.

All in all, the con­ver­sion to the sil­ver screen has never been quite as suc­cess­ful for video games, com­pared with books. Games, par­tic­u­larly, pose a chal­lenge for with not only trans­lat­ing cutscenes into por­trayed to au­di­ences. Even if you splice all of the ma­jor story por­tions to­gether, most ti­tles don’t have much to stretch the new con­tent.

And if there are games that are jam­packed with story con­tent, how does one then neatly pack­age it into a di­gestible all of El­der Scrolls V: Skyrim or Dragon Age: Ori­gins into a fan­tasy epic that doesn’t re­quire it to be a tril­ogy; some­thing has got man­age to put the most im­por­tant parts in, how are fans go­ing to re­act when their

It could also be a ques­tion of how game gen­res are trans­lated to the sil­ver screen: how does one make a movie out Su­per Mario Bros., Tekken, and Doom are any in­di­ca­tion, no one’s been able to crack that prob­lem of turn­ing a play set­ting into a nar­ra­tive that movie-go­ers can fully ap­pre­ci­ate.

Per­haps it’s the per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence gamers feel that is miss­ing from the whole pack­age. When play­ers are in con­trol of the char­ac­ters, they’re mak­ing the choices of how the game pans out – whether they live or die, emerge vic­to­ri­ous with the best The al­lure of most video games is the depth of the per­son­al­iza­tion play­ers can im­part into the plot through their play styles. While most games are lin­ear, one’s ap­proach that per­haps, when th­ese char­ac­ters are brought to life in the movies, they ap­pear for­eign and un­fa­mil­iar to those who live and breathe the source ma­te­rial.

Un­der­stand­ing its mytholo­gies helps bring those worlds to life, but sadly, very play a game be­fore they em­bark on the project. Un­like books, video games don’t and ac­tors in­ter­pret a game based on what they’ve read, re­searched, and heard from others, the out­come is likely to be a mess of ev­ery­thing. De­spite pack­ing a few easter eggs that only hard­core fans will ap­pre­ci­ate, you can ex­pect th­ese movies to en­rage the rest, who will go “DID YOU EVEN PLAY THE a story blun­der.

That said, that has never stopped Hol­ly­wood (and a few select di­rec­tors) from knock­ing on the doors of de­vel­op­ers for an op­por­tu­nity to port a pop­u­lar video game to the big screen, cash­ing in on the most pop­u­lar fran­chises. While some hold the rights to their IPs strongly, like Bliz­zard for in­stance (but take a look at War­craft, and we know how that turned out), it just makes pos­si­bil­i­ties of a video game movie.

stu­dios to ap­proach the adap­ta­tion of video games the way they do with comic books: by putting the peo­ple who have played the games in charge of telling the story the way it is meant to be told. Pro­duc­ing movies about video games is a lot more about smart writ­ing and un­der­stand­ing its lore than it is about pan­der­ing to the fans. Let’s hope Tomb Raider, which drops next year, is go­ing to have more grit and spirit than

About Sam (@sharmineishak) Sharmine Ishak is a retro gam­ing geek tr ying to sur­vive a mod­ern world of video games that are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­pli­cated. An en­ter­tain­ment junkie, he has a gi­gan­tic back­log of gam­ing ti­tles to tackle, which be­gins...

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