Everyone loves a good movie licence game tie-in.
Back in the day, all it took was a mildly popular film and before you knew it a game was released.
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Here are my top 5. By Sam Dyer - Author of the Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium www.bitmapbooks.co.uk
5. Platoon (C64)
Ah, an 18 rated film made into a video game for kids! Set in the Vietnam war, Platoon was an Oscar winning film directed by Oliver Stone starring Charlie Sheen. A classic war film that is full of violence, guns and death. Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a children's video game. The Commodore 64 version of Platoon was programmed by Zach Townsend and the awesome soundtrack was by Jonathan Dunn. The the actual game is a series of mini-games. The first is a platform shoot em up where you must find your way out of the jungle maze whilst killing enemies that come at you from all directions. Its really tough but great fun. The later levels then turn into a really impressive first person shooter style game. Platoon on the Commodore 64 offers great graphics, expert programming, plays really well and overall; does not feel rushed. Lost hours playing this pretending I was a war hero in the Vietnam jungle. Platoon was also released on Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, PC DOS and ZX Spectrum. All of which look like pretty decent versions.
4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (C64)
If there was a fast buck to made and a game to be rushed, you know that US Gold would have to get in on the act. In 1989 they released Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on the back of this hit film which starred Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. Now I may be wearing my rose tinted spectacles, but I really like this game. Its a platformer that sees you control Indy and must go in search of the Holy Grail. The plot stays pretty faithful to the film and it sees you start in a series of caverns. You must make it to the surface in the pitch darkness but collected torches that enable you to see where to go. The torches burn down so you much grab another before it does. You can you your whip to kill enemies. Once you make it out of the caverns you must then make your way across a train roof. The game style changes slightly towards the end which adds variety. It plays great and is really good fun. So it it's not massive (4 levels), the sprites are poorly drawn and it feels a bit sluggish. The magazines didn't rate it either but for some reason it holds a special place in my gaming heart. I have not seen any other conversions but oddly, the Amiga version was an excellent point and click by LucasArts. Well worth checking out.
3. Robocop (C64 and Spectrum)
Another ultra violent film made into a game for 9 year olds! Released in 1987, the film of Robocop saw cop Murphy brutally (almost) killed by a gang of criminals and is then brought back to life and turned into a robotic policeman. Robocop then embarks on his one man fight against crime. A great film and a real classic. Released in varying forms on pretty much every system known to man, it was the Commodore 64 version that I actually owned. The games also changed across each system too. The arcade version is a different game to the home 8-bits. The Spectrum, Amstrad and C64 versions have differences. The NES and Gameboy versions also differ. Now, in hindsight the Spectrum version of this is much much better but back in the day, the C64 is the version I played. Jonathan Dunn is responsible for the epic soundtrack. It stays pretty faithful to the film plot. It even mimics the rape scene in the second level where you have to shoot the bad guy whilst missing the woman. Overall the presentation is great. The sound, gameplay and graphics all felt polished and well thought out. The Commodore 64 version got played so much when I was younger, it had to included in this list. A really cool film and a really cool game to go with it. Robocop stayed top of the game charts for months and months and was a massive hit when released.
2. Batman the Movie (C64 and Spectrum)
A member one of my family who is no longer with us brought me this for christmas 1990 so it's very nostalgic for me. I remember been really impressed with the striking box art and couldn't wait to give it a go. I have reviewed this game before and i'm sure everyone knows it well. As a whole package, I think its the best game on the C64. After recently seeing and playing the Spectrum version, this is also very very good if not better than the C64 version. From the box art to the music to the graphics to the gameplay, it really stands out as a game that pushed these systems to their limits. The most impressive part was that it followed the film plot almost exactly. Level by level it followed the film. This showed great attention to detail and real creativity. The Amiga version is also worth a shout out as it looks amazing. Batman games are still been produced to this day on modern systems which really shoes the strength of this movie franchise.
1. Goldeneye (N64)
As a massive bond fan, none of the Bond games that preceeded Goldeneye really did it for me. From the average View to a Kill to the awful The Spy who Loved me.They were ok but just not amazing. There was a gap in the market for a video game that actually was as good as the amazing films. So when Goldeneye came along in 1997 on the Nintendo 64 it blew me away. The only first person shooter id seen previously was Doom and Duke Nukem and Goldeneye was a massive step forward. The graphics were out of the world and the playability was so addictive. I was a little older when it was released so I would hang out with my mate, usually up to no good and spend hours and hours playing muliplayer battles. It featured characters from the film and also classic bond good and bad guys. Its a classic game that behind Mario 64, defined the N64 and helped sell them by the bucket load.
So that concludes my top 5 movie licence games. Do you agree or disagree with my list?