aka: Video Game Adaptation
A video game or Pinball
based on an existing property, usually a movie, TV series or comic book.
Because the property is enough to unify these games, they can afford to be a bit more loose with their genre. A licensed title might well be an actioner
one level, a driving
game the next, then back to an actioner before turning to stealth
. This is especially the case with movie tie-ins, where gameplay is usually tailored to allow the player to recreate the film's plot as closely as possible. (TV show and comic book tie-ins instead create a new plot, preferably conceived of by one or more writers from the original property, allowing them to advertise this fact on the case. Movie and TV show tie-ins also prefer to rope in actors from the original property for voice work.)
These games, as a group, are generally regarded... well, suffice it to say that many gamers feel the same way about games based on movies as film critics feel about movies based on games
. Some titles however, such as GoldenEye
, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, The Punisher
, and most 3D Spider-Man
games, gain a certain amount of respect amongst gamers. In some strange cases, the game receives noticeably better reviews than the property itself, as was the case with The Chronicles of Riddick
and Ecks Vs. Sever
. See The Problem with Licensed Games
and No Problem with Licensed Games
for particularly bad and good examples, respectively.
There is also a small edge to be gained by being based on an older property. Most licensed titles are made for a TV series at the peak of its popularity, or a movie just about to open. Games like The Godfather
, The Warriors
, and From Russia with Love
get extra points for thinking outside of the box. Star Wars
games don't count, as the merchandising cycle for that particular property is unending.
Also note that Sports Games
with the official teams' and players' names are also
licensed games. These are more often "good" than movie-/series-based games, likely because they were already games to begin with.
The presence of Title: The Adaptation
is a sure sign you are playing one of these.
Licensed pinballs with their own pages:
Licensed video games with their own pages (collected here for indexing purposes):
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Anime & Manga
Films — Animation
Films — Live Action
Live Action TV
- Tales of the Tohunga (later titled Quest for the Toa or simply BIONICLE)
- The Legend of Mata Nui (cancelled prior to release)
- Matoran Adventures
- BIONICLE: The Game
- Maze of Shadows
- BIONICLE Heroes.