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Are Video Game Movie Adaptations Any Good?

Are Video Game Movie Adaptations Any Good?

With many older game series being adapted into shows and movies, some people may question the quality of these shows: are these shows really any good?


Adaptations released in recent years such as Fallout, Five Nights at Freddy’s, The Super Mario Bros Movie, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2,  have been met with positive reviews and feedback and are generally seen in a good light by critics and fans on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. All of these shows have achieved a score of at least 87% on Rotten Tomatoes with the average ratings on IMDB being around seven out of ten.


Fans who have watched these movies are generally quite happy with them despite some of them being a bit different from what they expected. Daniel Yee, freshman, said: “Movies like Five Nights at Freddy’s were good but I thought some parts felt kind of silly and out of place.


Since some of the oldest game adaptations like 1994’s Street Fighter or 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, director’s reign over how games will be turned into a movie or show have become a bit more restrained when it comes to creative freedom in a movie.


While this does mean that adaptations may not have as much originality, this also means that viewers won’t be subjected to a disaster like Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel’s Super Mario Bros, an adaptation released in 1993, in which major details were completely replaced and the plot might as well have made it an entirely different show. 


Characters like the goombas, a common enemy in the Super Mario Bros series, were given a complete overhaul and looked completely different from their original design. Goombas, originally meant to resemble shiitake mushrooms, were turned into bald, muscular, dinosaurs with miniscule heads.


To help create a baseline of quality, directors can choose to release a preview to test audiences, and change the premiere based on the test audiences’s reviews. For example, Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner has seven different versions with some versions including extra shots and some versions including more violent action scenes. 


It is possible that some may say that movie and show adaptations of classic games are simply low budget cash-grabs or simply and while this may be true for some adaptations, that does not mean that statement carries on for all adaptations. 


Many may bring up adaptations such as Halo, released in 2022, which was received quite negatively with fans of the books and games under the same name. While many do call this adaptation a cash-grab, newer adaptation directors have learned from Halo and have stayed much more truthful to the source material, having characters more adherent to what they are described to be.

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