In this article, the author discussed a number of game franchises that they personally would like to see adapted to film.
While the article was kind of a fun read, I found myself disagreeing with some of the selections listed.
Metal Gear and Halo felt like poor (but inevitable…) choices for films, given that both have sprawling canon that is far too dense for feature film; and both have a feel and presentation style that is already film-like in the first place.
If Avatar: The Last Airbender is an indication of the shit storm that can crop up when one tries to cram too much into 2 hours, I don’t wanna’ know what would happen if someone tried to do the same with a Metal Gear game…
At the same time, Portal struck me as a weird; somewhat fanboy-ish choice, given that the game has no real narrative; not to mention the gameplay mechanics are very much a novelty that is more fun to experience rather than watch.
Then again, I’m among the minority of people that didn’t really get much out of Portal, so I might be biased on that one…
Nitpicking aside, as I pondered on this topic; I found myself coming up with my own ideas of game series that I think could be fun in movie form.
That being said, while I can’t call them my “top” 5, being as they’re really the only ones I came up with; here are 5 choices/concepts for games that I felt should be movies:
#5. Saturday Night Slam Masters
Saturday Night Slam Masters may not have been the best of games, however it’s core concept and brilliant character designs (courtesy of Tetsuo Hara of Hokuto No Ken fame) made it a favorite of mine in my youth.
I loved how Slam Masters took the colorful pageantry of wrestling, exaggerated it in a borderline realistic manner; and then mixed it together with the 2D fighting gameplay of Final Fight and Street Fighter 2.
While the game really had no story to speak of, I think a Slam Masters movie could be a lot of fun if the wrestling universe was treated as reality ala Kinnikuman.
Basically, you take a fairly basic storyline; like Mike Haggar vowing to win the Slam Masters championship for his daughter/the glory of Metro city/an injured Guy or Cody, and then combine it with the tournament structure of Bloodsport or Enter the Dragon.
Make Scorp/The Astro out to be a Chong Li-esque uber-bastard, and boom; you’ve got a movie.
While the story or writing wouldn’t win any awards, in all honesty; I would happily pay money to see a pro-wrestling version of Bloodsport, provided the characters and costumes remained intact, and the fight choreography was up to standard.
I know this one is definitely not for everyone, but in my eyes; it could be a lot of fun.
#4. Final Fight
For those that are unaware, the basic plot of Final Fight, is that the Mad Gear gang of Metro City kidnap the mayor Mike Haggar’s daughter in order to force his cooperation in their unlawful wrongdoings.
Being as he’s a beastly former pro-wrestler, and THE MAYOR to boot; Haggar instead decides to dish out some street justice on the Mad Gears via his fists, but not without first recruiting the aid of his daughter’s boyfriend/fiance Cody, and his random ninja buddy Guy.
While it isn’t much, I really think Final Fight could be a lot of a fun as a vigilante justice movie with a high quotient of hand-to-hand fight sequences.
Besides, who the fuck wouldn’t want to see a Mike Haggar go toe-to-toe with Hugo Andore in live-action.
That alone would be worth the price of admission if it was staged with any sort of professionalism.
Shit, now all we need is a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 movie and we’ll have a cross-franchise trilogy of Mike Haggar movies…
#3. Front Mission
The Front Mission series plays host to some of the grandest and most believable storylines I’ve encountered in all of gaming.
While I honestly haven’t played all that much of the series, (half of #1, and half of #3) what I experienced was incredibly detailed, and more importanly; polished.
Reminiscent of the politically charged story Gundam, only far more accessible due to it’s story roots being set in existing continents and nations; Front Mission is a superior war drama that benefits from likeable characters and a largely believable art style.
While many have cried out for a live-action Gundam movie, personally; I feel the money would better spent bringing the far less gaudy Front Mission to the screen instead.
Truth be told, I think Front Mission would work best in long form, as a TV series or anime; but even so, there’s many elements of the timeline that I feel would be worth telling in standalone films, particularly the Huffman Conflicts that served to shape the Front Mission universe as a whole.
#2. Sunset Riders
I’ve actually wanted to see a Sunset Riders movie since I was a little kid.
Just like in the case of Saturday Night Slam Masters, I’m pretty sure it’s the colorful cast of characters in Sunset Riders that have always been the selling point for me.
In every story I’ve ever written, or dreamed up, or wanted to write; the characters are always the one element that I put most of my efforts into.
In my eyes, if you take a fairly pedestrian storyline and stuff it with quality action sequences and cool characters; chances are you’re going to end up with a really awesome movie.
It’s a simple formula, and I think it’d work just fine for Sunset Riders.
Think about it:
4 trigger happy, bounty hunter cowboys embark on a suicide mission to free the West from the evil of a gang of ruthless killers.
Sure, it sounds like every Western ever told; but with the awesome boss designs of the game, as well as the lack of assurance that everyone was going to make it to the end to ride into the sunset; and you have a classic Western with the added bonus of an action quotient like no other.
Anything that can be compared to Tombstone or The Wild Bunch, let alone both; is guaran-damn-teed to kick-fuckin’-ass.
If ever I become a Hollywood film director, I will fight tooth and nail to get the licensing from Konami to make this movie.
#1. River City Ransom
Well, even though I honesty didn’t start working on it until about 5 years ago; River City Ransom was a game that I actually tried to write up a plot outline for.
Technically, I used the original Japanese version of the game, Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari; as my jumping off point, but the only real difference between the 2 is the fact that one takes place in America, and the other takes place in a Japanese high school setting.
Anyway, the basic plot of River City was that a simple kidnapping of Ryan/Riki’s girlfriend, resulting in him and his rival; Alex/Kunio reluctantly joining forces to save her from a mutual enemy.
To me, the shaky alliance between the 2 is the real reason it would work.
I think if you were to establish them as hot-blooded rivals early on, a lot of drama would naturally spring up as a result of them working together as the story progressed.
I even remember putting a note in my plot outline explaining the bandages on Riki’s torso, and the band-aid on Kunio’s brow as actual bandages (as opposed to character decorations) for wounds they inflicted on one another near the beginning of the movie.
Combine the strained relationship between the 2 protagonists, with the awesome characters of the Kunio-kun series of games, including the Double Dragons; and I think you’d have a really fun high school gangster story with, of course; awesome fight scenes.
I put a lot of time into my idea for a River City Ransom movie, and I’d like very much to post it here someday; but for now, I’ll just say this:
River City Ransom needs to be a movie someday.