Some things in life go well together, like a nice breeze on a summer day or a quick cigarette after a crazy night. But some things make horrible marriages, like a cop at a high school kegger or your father in his bathrobe. Like everything else sometimes the pairing of two different things don’t work well as a video game. I’m talking about video game and TV show cross overs. They rarely work, in fact I can’t name a single good video game based off a television series. I for one am very angry that these games never work out, to help the cause I have compiled a list of TV shows that would work well given the video game treatment.
No I’m not talking about that horrid rendition ZootFly developed. I’m talking about a full on, series spanning title, where the actual prison escape is only the first quarter of the game. Creating a Prison Break game only based off the first season and charging $60 for it would be a crime, plain and simple. The great thing about the Prison Break series is that it kept changing its style every season, crafting fresh new challenges for the characters. The ideal version of a Prison Break game would stay true to the shows formula. The Game would be split into 4 parts, just as the series is.
By covering the entire canon of Prison Break is the only fair and reasonable way to do the show justice.
Haven’t seen Veronica Mars, well that’s because it was abruptly canceled after only a few seasons. None the less it is one of the most acclaimed television shows of the last decade and stars the incredible Kristin Bell as a new age noir-inspired teenage detective. The series is ripe with mystery, murder, and teen drama. If you were a follower of the series you know that the show never received a proper ending, and by proper I mean no ending at all. The show was cancelled amidst one of the biggest cliff hangers in all of TV history. The ideal video game adaption would pick up right where the show left off. If done properly it would give fans the retribution they deserve. If I had my way the story would be told in a very Bioshock sort of way. Meaning the story would unfold based on clues, like letters, transcripts, and voice recordings left behind.
Cowboys in space. This formula never fails. If you can picture Cowboy Bebop americanized and adapted as a television show then you can image Firefly. The story follows Mal (Nathan Fillion) a smart mouthed mercenary whose crew consists of a husband and wife, a female greasy monkey mechanic, a prostitute, a hired henchman, and a preacher. Along there journey they take in a doctor and his smuggled sister who is stuffed into a cargo crate. The girl in the crate is River (Summer Glau) and she and her brother are running from the law because River escaped from their labs because of her unparalleled genius. The show only lasted 14 episodes before getting the axe from Fox. In 2005 the film Serenity resurrected the series and gave it a proper ending. But not all loose ends were tied in the conclusion. The mysterious back story of the preacher, Mal’s history as a civil war hero was never fully realized, and the corporation behind River’s experimentation never truly uncovered. Presumably the best way to adapt this sci-fi franchise would be to tackle the origins of the crew. If you’ve seen the series you already know why this show would make for a great video game, but if you haven’t do yourself a favor and head over to Hulu to catch the first couple episodes!
The wildly popular british sci-fi television series has one of the most dedicated followings. For those asking, “Just who is this doctor?” He is the last of his race of Time Lords, a great race who could manipulate time and space. Sadly the race completely wiped out by the evil Daleks centuries ago leaving only the Doctor as the sole heir of the Time Lords. The show is serialized, meaning each episode is a brand new adventure involving a different race, galactic location, and problem to be solved. The show hold the Guinness World Record for being the longest running science fiction television show in history. So needless to say there is tons of content to pull from. The Doctor would make for a brilliant video game because there is little back story to focus on, instead the main attraction is venturing to far off worlds and different time periods. This would keep the title action oriented and the player constantly engaged. Every situation in the Doctor Who world is catastrophic and something is always going wrong along the way. The Doctor Who game would best be represented as an RPG, where missions are collected and dealt with one at a time. The doctors iconic phone booth is a classic time travel set piece and would make a great ship to travel across time and space with.
Here’s the run down on Jericho. Bombs are dropped all over the U.S. All communication is lost and no one knows what’s going on. Is it the Russians? Middle Easterners? An inside job? No one knows. Jericho, a tiny Arkansas town is the backdrop and its citizens the main characters. This adaption would play similar to Fallout 3. The main focus would be gathering resources for your town, trying to set up communications, fending off attackers from neighboring towns, and ultimately trying to uncover who was behind all of this. The theme of a post-apocalyptic world is a popular one and would easily fit in alongside recent film releases like The Road and The Book of Eli.
These are just a few television shows that cold easily make the transition to gaming, but the truth is that just about everything can be adapted into a decent video game if given enough care. It’s time for developers to stop pushing shovelware and start putting some heart into series that we’ve dedicated years to.
Doctor Who, Firefly and Prison Break are a few of my personal favorite television shows. What series would you like given a fair chance as a video game?