To be clear, turning franchises into video games is a scam to get people to buy them as presents. "Oh, you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Here's the game they made about it. Happy Christmas." That sort of thing. For the most part the game designers are on a rushed deadline, and they generally resent being forced to work on this show pony crap rather than what they want to do anyway.
Granted, there have been some great licensed works such as Goldeneye and Ghostbusters. The NES was pretty solid with Batman and Jaws, so let it never be said that video games and Hollywood can't get it on like Donkey Kong.
Then again, there have been some game adaptations that make us wonder about the drug problem in video game land...
Probably the best known on this list, this Bill & Ted adaptation came out around the time of Bogus Journey, but is more or less based around the time-travel adventures of Excellent Adventure. You take turns with the dudes as they solve puzzles across time periods. It actually wasn't a bad game, and more or less laid out the same puzzle style that later made up the sidequests in Chrono Trigger, though it got very frustrating looking all over the expansive maps for little tiny items needed to proceed.
In fact, from the little we've heard about Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, it more or less seems like the gameplay is lifted straight from Excellent Video Game Adventure. We don't know why everyone always pooh-poohs an American Doctor Who. We've already done it with Bill & Ted, and it was completely awesome. Maybe with the buzz around the third film coming out in 2013, we'll see a re-release on the Wii virtual console.
Even though Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th went on to have fairly popular games on the NES, Leatherface never got his due, partly because of this pile of dookie. As you'll see a little later, Atari would make pretty much anything into a video game, and they saw no problem with allowing kids to don a dead-skin mask and take his saw to people in wheelchairs. That's right; you're the murderer in this Atari 2600 masterpiece, and you murder the handicapped.
The game flopped because most stores refused to stock it, citing fears about offending customers with the game's violent nature. We're not one to bad-mouth the '80s, but we fail to see how you could get offended by any sort of act that pixelated. By the way, this game came out the same year as Custer's Revenge, another Atari game that had you avoiding obstacles in order to rape a Native American woman at the end. It sold 80,000 copies... hundreds of times more than TCM sold. Make of that what you will.
Believe it or not, we actually learned about Terry Pratchet's unbelievably brilliant series of books through this game. PlayStation really flexed its new power on some of their early point-and-click adventures. Sandwiched in the awkward phase when gamers themselves were growing up and still playing, these less kid-oriented works got a little lost in the shuffle.
Which is too bad because the game is hilarious! Eric Idle voices the wizard Rincewind, and if that doesn't sell you on picking up an old copy, then nothing will. Hundreds of little Discworld in-jokes are scattered around the game, and it makes for a humorous playthrough that wasn't topped until Portal 2.
With only two films, and neither being particularly related, calling Rocky Horror a franchise is a bit of a stretch, but there is always the possibility that Richard O'Brien isn't screwing with us and will actually pen a sequel one day. There is an equal possibility that we're a Chinese jet pilot.
The game was released on PC in 2000, and had appearances from O'Brien and, no shit, Christopher Lee, which is perfect because we've always suspected that the Criminologist in Rocky is actually a Sith lord and a wizard. The whole thing is basically Maniac Mansion using Brad and Janet, and while not great isn't half bad, either. Plus, it's the only game we can think of where KY Jelly is an obtainable item.
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Remember what we said about Atari turning anything into a video game? Well, here you go, a chance to relive the excitement, action and adventure of the Porky's series...without boobs. Not even those weird pixelated nipples from Custer's Revenge.
The weird thing is we think that Porky's would actually make kind of an interesting game. You could learn karate for the fight scenes, there's a driving stage, an espionage and trap-setting stage, and we think the time has finally come for everyone to admit that there are adult gamers and reward them with nudity in cut scenes.
Actually, in a hamfisted, freshman-reaching-for-second-base way, that's exactly what you get in the Atari game, it just lacks any kind delivery. Also, we can't stress this enough, there are no boobs.