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Weekly Musings #1 - Do movie-license video games all suck?
Author: Michael Ahlf
Date: June 12th 2004
Page: 6
And that brings us to the game that sparked this article in the first place - or rather, all the review coverage thereof. You see, the most recently released movie-game is The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.

You see, everyone's pushing this game - which admittedly has AWESOME graphics as seen in that screenshot - as the end-all and be-all of Xbox games, the mighty killer of bad graphics, an amazing storyline and most importantly, the game that manages to be a completely wonderful game in spite of coming off of a wonderful license.

And all of this would be high praise, and is - except for the fact that most of it just isn't true.

Is it true that Chronicles of Riddick has wonderful graphics? Of course it is - though what they're not telling you, and what all the screenshots are faithfully well timed to conceal, is the fact that especially on an HDTV, the new Riddick game has some graphical issues. It's got jaggies, it's got blurred spots when the lighting system doesn't work quite right, it can't handle all the wonderful graphical niceties AND give you antialiasing all at once. On the plus-side, it seems (even though not listed in the manual) to be able to display in widescreen, which I found quite cool.

But most importantly, is there some major curse on all movie-based video games, consigning them to be complete and utter crap? Of course not, no more than there is a curse causing movies based on video games to suck. The same phenomena that cause one to happen, cause the other, just as bad movies (like The Lost World: Jurassic Park) can spawn out of really good books or television shows.

And here's the important part: if movie-based video games are not, indeed, under such a curse, then I wish the reviewers who are all sucking up to this game would start sucking up for the right reasons, and quit trying to tag it with "oh, it broke the curse." Let it stand on its own, thank you very much.

As to why it is that bad video games spawn from movie licenses, and bad movies from video game licenses, that is a topic for another week. Next week, in fact. See you then!

Comments, as always, are welcome: send them to Michael (at) (Address munged so that it isn't picked up easily by spam spiders; sorry about the inconvenience).

Weekly Musings 1: Do Movie-License Video Games All Suck?

Added:  Sunday, June 13, 2004
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf

Page: 6/6

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