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The evolution of video game adaptations

Kelly Quinn
Video games have had a tough time when making the jump to television or movies. However, in the light of recent successful, releases perhaps it is time that this stigma starts to change, as shown through “The Last of Us” which is a popular dystopian game that has been turned into an award-winning Drama series.

It’s no secret that video games have not always been of the best quality when adapted to the big screen. Thus, many are under the pretense that if a show or movie is based on a video game, then it won’t be worth watching. However, times do seem to be changing, and perhaps a new era for video game adaptations is upon us.

The franchise that has always set the standard in gaming is “Mario.” But when it came to movies, the bar was set low. The original Super Mario movie, titled “Super Mario Bros,” is a total joke. There is hardly any correlation between the games and the movie besides some of the character names. It not only fails at being a good “Mario” movie but is a chore of an experience to get through.

This trend of awful adaptations continued into the 2000s with some examples being “Doom,” “Silent Hill” and “Hitman.” While not all of these were terrible, they had a tendency to stray from the source material. It was as if Hollywood felt that the stories and worlds video games presented were lesser than that of movies and TV shows, so they needed to be altered.

However, going into the 2020s, video game adaptations do seem to be improving. Three of the most notable instances of this are “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Arcane” and “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.” All of these take the original source material and expand on it in interesting ways that still pay respect to what they’re based on.

But video game adaptations still do appear to be on a bit of a bumpy road with two less than stellar adaptations recently releasing, these being “Halo” and “Resident Evil.” While “Resident Evil” seemed to just try and bank off brand recognition, “Halo” once again followed the trend of Hollywood workers believing they can tell a better story than the one told in the game.

Nevertheless, 2023 has proven that adaptations don’t need to change the source material to be successful, with two of the biggest pieces of entertainment of the year being “The Last of Us” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Both of these accurately adapt the source material while still adding a bit of their own flavor to differentiate them from the games.

With the high performance of these projects, the future of video game adaptations looks bright. Although one can only hope that they’ll continue to pay respect to what they’re based on instead of just being soulless cash grabs.

What do you think?
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About the Contributor
Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn, Writer
Hello. My name is Kelly and I enjoy writing about movies and video games. Oh, and I have beaten Elden Ring five times.

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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    Preston AlfordFeb 6, 2024 at 11:33 am

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