Four of a kind: bad film tie-ins inc. Street Fighter and Total Recall

Posted on 28 May 2015
By James Brookfield
  • Share:

Last Thursday’s article focused on a Retrospective review of Mad Max NES. Though it is still available to read on this website, the general consensus is it was yet another example of a terrible film-tie game.

To further investigate this same general trend this week’s Four of a Kind will showcase four of the worst and or obscure retro tie-in games.

1. Street Fighter: The Movie

Street Fighter: The Movie, released in 1994, gave the classic game franchise a Hollywood flavour starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kylie Minogue, Ming Na-Wen and others. Despite the negative review from critics it was inevitable a big budget film, based on a game, would receive a game. What could possibly go wrong? Answer: everything. All the developers had to do was to take the established Street Fighter formula and apply new visuals but somehow it was not done. Well known game characters were replaced by their film counterparts but the gameplay was slow and clunky. Overall it was not the exciting beat ‘em up experience players got from the game series.

2. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

E.T the Extra Terrestrial is often cited as both the worst film-tie in video game and the primary reason for the video game industry crash 1983. Published by Atari the objective was to guide the titular, beloved alien through various screens to collect three pieces of an interplanetary telephone so he can “phone home”. It was developed within six weeks in order to be rushed out for Christmas 1982. This is more than evident as the graphics were primitive, the gameplay was convoluted and despite the film’s engaging plot the game’s story was boring. The game eventually sold 1.2 million copies however the remaining millions of copies was buried in a desert in New Mexico. The name of Atari was also buried shortly after.

3. Fight Club

Another game based on a film which, this time, was an adaptation of a book. The most intriguing tropes of Chuck Palahniuk’s classic novel Fight Club and David Fincher’s cinematic take of said book is; duel identities, existentialism, pre-millennial angst, nihilistic masculinity under the blanket of establishing fight clubs. Any of the formers would make a great basis for a compelling game however Vivendi Universal decided to focus on the latter to create an uninspiring, mindless and flawed side scrolling beat ‘em up that neither built upon or utilised the source materials. Essentially always follow rule number one of Fight Club the video game, don’t talk about Fight Club the video game.

4. Total Recall NES

Acclaim Entertainment Inc must have suffered from a bout of confusion when developing a game based on a cult sci-fi film. The title is Total Recall, the main character is Quaid and Arnie’s pixelated likeness is present. However each time players died, which would happen often, the continue screen declared “I’ll be back” and ‘game over’ became “Your game has been Terminated”. See the misunderstanding? You would be forgiven to think this was an attempt at a film cross-over but instead, it shows laziness and the desire to cash in on Arnie’s fame. The gameplay was a monotonous, side-scrolling killing spree.

That concludes this week’s Four of a Kind bad film-tie in video games. As always leave a comment about your least enjoyable experiences of film-tie in games that may or may not have appeared in the list.

Honourable mentions: Austin Powers Pinball, Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600), Home and Away, Evil Dead: Hail to the King, Beverly Hills Cop and Bad Boys: Miami Takedown.