The weekend discussion: Licensed games

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Licensed titles; just about everyone has played one at some stage. After all, if we really like a movie, we naturally want to play an interactive version of it as well.

Unfortunately, most licensed titles are made cheaply to cash in on the success of a movie, and so most of those licensed titles are also terrible games.

But sometimes they’re not, and some times we enjoy them despite being terrible games.

So this week’s discussion is all about the movie-licensed games that you’ve enjoyed. Have you ever played a good one?

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  • One recent example from me to kick things off: I am a big, big fan of the Thor movie, and so I've played a few of the Thor games. The PS3 game I enjoyed despite recognising that it is a very poor God of War clone, the iPad game is virtually unplayable, but the DS game, by none other than WayForward, is a genuinely entertaining 2D beat-em-up. Which I got for $4. Bargain!

  • Good evening! I would say the best licensed game I've played in a while was Transformers: War for Cybertron, which is why I'm really interested in the upcoming Fall of Cybertron.

    Unfortunately if I were to flip this question around, I would say one of my biggest recent disappointments was Game of Thrones for Pc, which had a great sotryline, but struggled on a technical level as a game.

  • Best licensed game… Hmm…

    Chalgyr is right, War for Cybertron is very awesome, and much more creative with its level design and art style than your average shooter. I think off the top of my head I'll have to go with Arkham Asylum, as the production values and gameplay mechanics are just impeccable. It's extremely dark, which is a bit of a turn-off, but the massive attention to detail and devotion to quality puts it on top for me.

    As for worst, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer for DS is probably the worst game I've ever played, not just licensed game. Seriously, it even gives Decathlon 2012 a run for its money in unabashed horribleness. It just doesn't care what anyone thinks of it.

  • Excellent call with Batman. There have been some pretty solid Spidey games in the past too. I can't recall what the specific title was, but there was one for the PS2 I sunk an absolutely boatload of time into.

    While thinking of other disasters, while the Cybertron game was solid, the Transformers game based on the first movie was pretty rough imo

  • If we're talking 'movie games' only, then I'd have to say The Amazing Spider-Man is pretty solid. It's not spectacular (pardon the pun) and it is a little repetitive, but fun overall. Aside from that one, I can't remember the last 'good' one… at least as far as I'm concerned.
    I did see Arkham Asylum/City mentioned though. If the question is licensed games in general, then I've gotta say not only have comic book licensed games gotten a ton better in the last few years, but Arkham City was my favorite game of 2011- period. Really looking forward to Fall of Cybertron too.

  • Recently a family member purchased a GameCube, and along with that the terrible Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. It's honestly junk, but I keep going back to it for some strange reason. It's fun trying to explore Hogwarts and everything, even though it's 10 years old now…

  • You know, we had that game for the GC and it was bad. Now, there was another Harry Potter game we had, it was a Quidditch (spelling?) one, and I never really got into it, but my daughters both absolutely adored it.

    Another good Harry Potter one was the LEGO years 1-4. I thought it was pretty cool, and my youngest beat it – and she's only beaten a handful of games, but she really stuck with this title. We haven't gotten the follow-up title yet though

  • Spider-Man 2? Yeah, that game was really fun. According to my friend, I may be getting it confused with Spider-Man 1 (all I remember is web-swinging, Scorpion, and pink symbiote), but whatever it was it was great. 🙂

    As for Transformers: The Game, I've played the Wii version, which at the time was fun for me, but quickly got boring. I sold it a long time ago. However, I have owned the DS Decepticons version of that game, and, simple as it is, it's a great open-world destruction game for kids. Much more so than the Wii game in that regard. Good times. The Autobots version of Revenge of the Fallen, however, removed the sandbox gameplay, which completely ruined the game for me. 🙁

  • That reminds me of some licensed games that weren't necessarily good in their own right, but did a nice job of recreating the worlds they were based on. Shaun the Sheep, Wallace and Gromit (love Aardman!), and LEGO Bionicle Heroes all made me feel like I was in those respective universes, which was an absolute treat. There may be more of them, but those immediately come to mind.

  • I liked Thor the first time I saw it, but upon a rewatch on Netflix I found it almost unwatchable due to how cheesy it was at many points. Everything that didn't take place in Asgard, ironically, wasn't very believable.

    On the subject of WayForward licensed games, I just remembered Batman: The Brave and The Bold for Wii. This game looks like a cartoon in motion, and is just massively entertaining to boot. I've never even seen the TV show, but at $10 new (another bargain), it's a fantastic beat-'em-up.

  • It was a really good show- the Spidey cartoon from the '90s was pretty solid too (though now it doesn't look so hot). The Avengers cartoon is awesome, I just started watching those on DVD.

  • I used to enjoy reruns the 90's cartoon as a kid–you're right though, it doesn't hold up. Spectacular however… <3.

    As for Earth's Mightiest Heroes, I've unfortunately only been able to watch season 1 (I rely on Netflix for most TV-watching, since I don't have cable). It's not without its flaws, but aside from The Avengers movie it's the best Avengers adaptation I've seen.

  • I hadn't seen it before and I picked up both parts of season one on special at Kmart, basically just 'cause they were cheap and I like The Avengers- wow am I glad I did!
    You know what series really still looks great (from the '90s) – the Batman/Superman animated series'. Now that was some great stuff.

  • 16 comments, and no one has said it yet. 🙁

    GoldenEye 007 on the N64. It's the one reason I wish the "Microsoft selling Rare" rumor was true, so that Nintendo would snatch em back up just for a re-release of the game.

  • A few of the licensed games that I've enjoyed:
    – Batman (NES)
    – American Gladiators (NES)
    – Duck Tales (NES)
    – The Karate Kid (NES)
    – The Rocketeer (NES)
    – The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World (NES)
    – Yo! Noid (NES)
    – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game (NES)
    – Aladdin (SNES)
    – Aladdin (Genesis)
    – The Lion King (SNES)
    – Castle of Illusion (Genesis)
    – Epic Mickey (Wii)
    – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
    – LEGO Star Wars Trilogy (PS3)
    – LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (PS3)
    – LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Vita)
    – The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Xbox)
    – X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3)
    – Ghostbusters (PS3)
    – Spider-Man (PSone)
    – Spider-Man 2 (PSone)
    – Goldeneye (N64)
    – and much more!!!

  • I actually like most Bond games – If anything I preferred Quantum of Solace to Goldeneye (controversial I know, but man did I love that movie, and the game did a respectable job).

    I even enjoyed the Goldeneye Gamecube game that EA produced. The multiplayer maps in that game were surprisingly decent.

  • "I even enjoyed the Goldeneye Gamecube game that EA produced. The multiplayer maps in that game were surprisingly decent."

    Same here. LOL, I was a day one buyer, and though it was a different take and not "GoldenEye" like I was used to, I had read enough to know and appreciate that aspect going into the game.

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