Let’s face facts — one, adaptations of films into video games usually suck. And two, no matter how awful the game, sometimes they bring in tons and tons of moolah. Heck, even The New York Times writes about movie-game adaptations!
So let’s take the adaptation idea one step further. How about a book to movie to game adaptation? Aw, heck, somebody’s already been there with Harry Potter. But Freeverse continues the trend with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies for the iPhone, coming this April. Here’s a shot:
What is with that deer? Did it become possessed after getting unhitched from Santa’s sleigh? And deer aside, haven’t we seen this kind of game before? Maybe back in 1988 with Castlevania?
Why is this game being made, you might ask? Probably the same reason Natalie Portman is producing and starring in the film adaptation: money.
See, in the book world, the Twilight series brought vampires back from the dead. And it also brought readers back to bookstores after the Harry Potter series ended. After vampires, zombies came on the scene with a handful of books for teens — never as popular as Twilight though.
Author Seth Grahame-Smith had the idea of blending the old with the new. His version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups wasn’t peanut butter mixed with chocolate — it was 19th century English fiction mixed with today’s zombie obsession.
So he wrote Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. And it sold and sold and sold. Grahame-Smith doesn’t claim to be in the same literary space as Jane Austen, whose popularity has been on a steady rise in the last 25 years (most of her novels have already been made into movies). Grahame-Smith clearly acknowledges it on the back cover of his novel:
Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature. Seth Grahame-Smith once took a class in English literature. He lives in Los Angeles.
If you’ve ever read a Jane Austen novel, you’d know how impossible it would be to make a decent game on the basis of her work. Think lace doilies, mutton chops, fainting, and playing games of whist. Maybe Nintendo will release a Wii game that simulates sewing?
Needless to say, I’ll be looking for Freeverse’s release in April — with a quivering hand and an attack of the nerves.
What’s your favorite adaptation to video game title? Or least favorite? Mine was a terrible Harry Potter port for the GameBoy Advance, the Order of the Phoenix. Mind-bogglingly bad.