Who here has had the memory of at least one good video game utterly spoiled because of a Hollywood film? I don’t know about you, but I’m raising my hand. Of course, not all movies based on video games are clunkers, but with the upcoming release of Act of Valor (2012), now is an ideal time to go over some of the best (and worst) of them. Hold on to your controller, we’re going in…

Mario Bros (1993)
Everyone’s favourite Nintendo character, right? Right? Mario the Italian, moustachioed, overweight, stubby little plumber and his tall lanky brother Luigi, how could this go wrong? Well, according to the critics, quite easily. It’s not actually a BAD film, I mean, it may be “childish” but so was the game! The plot involves, guess what? Mario and Luigi saving the Princess from Koopa. Gosh, what a surprise that is! At least it’s consistent with the games. Mario star Bob Hoskins has also been quoted saying this is the worst film he’s ever made. If you’re a fan of Mario Bros and haven’t seen this movie… just don’t expect to be wowed.

Resident Evil (2002)
When I think about Resident Evil, I think about a) the much-loved games that I enjoyed playing in my youth, and b) some of the God-awful movies that have followed those games. Okay, the first one wasn’t THAT bad (Milla Jovowich had a cute dress), but after that it just seems to have gotten out of control. And what’s with the plot, does it actually have ANYTHING to do with the games now?! I stumbled across a crazily in-depth Project Umbrella timeline that seemed to detail absolutely everything that ever happened according to the games and movies, so maybe it’s all good, however that timeline has now mysteriously disappeared. Anyway, back to the movies. To sum it up, Jovowich stars as a woman experimented on as the world around her, as she knows it, gradually ends and turns completely on its head, complete with a zombie apocalypse. A lot of people say these movies have completely ruined the games for them, but I tend to think of them as two completely separate entities now.

Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2005)
This was a very sentimental film, at least for me and a massive amount of Final Fantasy VII followers who fell in love with the game. The game itself almost achieved a kind of cult status, because it was just incredible, and a lot of us look back on it with fond memories. I think the movie didn’t really take any of that away from us. It was nice to see the characters like that; Tifa is sexy, Cloud has a cute little face, and for me at least, Reno stole the show. How awesome is that dude?! Always loved Reno. The only thing I didn’t especially love about this film, was that the story was a little weak, but then, it was never really about the story, it was about giving the fans what they wanted, and in that way, it worked.

Silent Hill (2006)
I think this movie really did the Konami games justice; it stuck to the game’s original themes and concepts, and the atmosphere… it just feels like Silent Hill. It went down well with the fans, too. The story follows mother, Rose, and her troubled, sleepwalking daughter Sharon, as they venture into Silent Hill after a car crash knocks them unconscious. Scary spooky eerie stuff happens, and they discover the secret behind Silent Hill. Apparently a sequel is still on the way.

Hitman (2007)
One of my favourite games EVER, and Timothy Olyphant is a sex god in this film! Also starring Olga Kurylenko, who went on to be a Bond girl with Daniel Craig, it’s a rather sexy film, and rather well done in my book. The story centres around the notorious ‘Agent 47’, hired as a professional assassin by a group only known as ‘The Organization.’ I have spent many hours on this game painstakingly creeping round corners and carefully selecting my weapon of choice before snuffing out my target. If I did it wrong, or got too much attention, I’d do it again. And again. I personally love this movie, and thought it really did the game justice.

Bloodrayne (2005)
Vampires and Nazis, woooooohooooo, BRING IT ON!!! Wait a minute, does the story, setting or time period have anything in common with the actual game? Uwe Boll, what were you thinking?! This movie has been panned by critics and fans alike, and even Laura Bailey (who voiced Rayne in the games) had something to say about this disaster. It was nominated for six Razzie awards, but unfortunately missed out. Pity, I enjoyed the games.

Mortal Kombat (1995)
This game succeeded where Street Fighter failed, and actually turned out to be quite a decent movie. The plot involves three unaware martial artists who are summoned to a mysterious island, where they compete in a fighting tournament, the outcome of which will decide the fate of the world. Overall, it’s worth a watch.

Tekken (2010)
Another fighting game movie, the game itself I’m particularly fond of. I grew up with these characters. You’ve got Nina the Blonde Bombshell, and Anna, her slutty sister, along with Jack the Big Scary Robot who is sort of like the terminator but uglier and much less likeable, pretty like Jun Kazama, and Heihachi Mishima, the old man with the odd hair. I used to sit and play the tournaments all the way through, and use the same kick again and again to beat that guy. It wasn’t hard. Anyway, the story of the film begins when Jin Kazama witnesses the death of his mother, Jun (NOOOOOOO, JUN!) by Tekken in the Anvil slums, and big surprise, goes after whoever dunnit. Not a great film, to be honest, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Still entertaining, it hasn’t completely ruined the games for me.

Tomb Raider (2001)
Angelina Jolie really raked in the monies for these movies, by playing everyone’s favourite… ermmm… how should I put this, “well-proportioned” female ass-kicking historian explorer in tight shorts and what appears to be a Lycra top. Actually, Lara’s a lot more life-like in the games these days, but she started out as a big-titted money cow that everyone seemed determined to milk the hell out of. So, of course they’d make a film out of it. The films themselves aren’t entirely bad, and Jolie does a decent job of playing Lara, but I was hoping for more somehow. Still, the themes and concepts stay true to the games, and did pretty well for themselves.

Prince of Persia (2010)
Jerry Bruckheimer should be praised for making what is probably one of the best film adaptations of a video game ever made. Highly watchable, fun and true to the game, this is what it should be like. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the plot centres around a young fugitive prince and princess who need to stop a villain who may threaten their entire existence, with a magic dagger than can reverse ‘The Sands of Time.’ Awesome, huh?

What’s next? Well, apparently Bioshock has now been binned, but could a Dead Space movie still be on the way? I hope so. I think, done right, it could make a good movie, video game or not. One thing’s for certain: I will continue to sit and watch these video game-to-film adaptations that Hollywood seems determined to churn out, and fingers crossed, I may even enjoy some of them. I hope you do, too.