One of the biggest challenges for Hollywood is to make a great movie adaptation of a video game. Over and over again video game movies fail to hit the mark, with disasters such as Assassin’s Creed, or Tomb Raider. It feels almost impossible to adapt a game that can take anywhere from 5-10 hours to beat, into a 2-hour long movie. The same can’t be said on the TV front. Video games seem to adapt perfectly to the longer tv format, and with Netflix adapting the Witcher into a live-action TV show I want to take a look at the small screen’s other success stories. these shows are the best examples of how splitting the story into episodes can help it breathe, and fit into the world of the game. So here The top 5 best tv shows based on video games.
5. Halo 4: Foward Unto Dawn
Release Date: October 5, 2012 – November 2, 2012
The Halo franchise has always had a strange time getting adapted, it feels that with every entry there is an announcement for a new tv show or movie in the works. The latest was the Steven Spielberg TV show that was supposed debut on the new Xbox TV app. However, as with everything announced during Microsoft‘s 2013 E3 press conference it ended up being another failure. Despite this, Halo has had some success with Halo Legends, and Halo Fall of Reach. As for the live-action front, the closet thing fans had was the short film Halo Landfall directed by Neil Blomkamp. Unfortunately, plans for a real movie were also canceled, despite all the setbacks Halo still manages to deliver an amazing mini-series with Halo 4 Foward Unto Dawn. The mini-series takes place years before the events of Halo 4, and it serves as an introduction of Thomas Lasky the leader of the Infinity, the ship that you are introduced to in the game.
While the show mostly serves as a glorified commercial, the pacing and character work truly makes the show stand out. Watching Lasky go from a soldier as green as grass, into a space marine was excellently executed, and the Elite soldiers felt larger than life. While not the real Halo TV show that fans begged for, this is a worthy addition of the Halo lore.
4. Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego / Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
Release Date: September 30, 1991 – December 22, 1995. January 18, 2019
This is one actually caught me by surprise, Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego was a popular quiz show that had contenders answer historical/ geological questions in order to help the secret service capture the world’s greatest thief Carmon Sandiego. The show ran from 1991-1995, and it is still fondly remembered, plus you can still watch some episodes online. There was also an animated series called Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, and now a prequel series on Netflix, simply called Carmen Sandiego, the series is about a young Sandiego and how she might be a thief, but she is also a hero willing to save the world. The show is charming and visually amazing with the lighting and color pallet making the show look gorgeous at times. Most of the humor comes from the fact that she show feels self-aware, there is no reason why Carmen should educate her partner about the history of the country she is going, except for the fact that it was part of the original show, and game.
With such a legacy it is shocking to know that all this started as an educational/ strategy game for the Apple II, Ms-DOS, Commodore 64, Master System, Amstrad CPC, and TRS-80 CoCo. Develope by Broderbund the game had the player track down Carmen, by answering questions in order to track down where Carmen is hiding. It is strange to think that such a simple premise was able to get so much mileage. And if the success of Netflix’s series is any evidence, then Carmen is not going anywhere.
3. Netflix’s Castlevania
Release Date: July 7, 2017
When it comes to quality Netflix’s Castlevania is the best show on this list, based on the legendary video game franchise also known as Castlevania. The show follows the plot of the game closely, which means that fans of the game should get a treat seeing their favorite moments get animate. The show does suffer from being very short only clocking in at 12 episodes, each around 25 minutes. Short for a Netflix original, the also suffers from lip-synching, and the drop in quality in certain sections. However, where the show exceeds in is the action. This show is violent, with characters losing an insane amount of blood. If you are a fan of Castlevania, then Netflix’s Castlevania is a can’t miss show.
Release Date: April 15,2013 – August 28, 2015
When the Xbox One launched one the game that was meant to show how experimental the system was going to be was Quantum Break, the game that came package with a code to download a TV show that was meant to go side by side with the main story. The game was considered a gamble, however, this was not the first time this was attempted. Defiance was an MMO RPG that came out back in 2013, and it took place in a post-apocalyptic world where you play as a soldier alongside other players. The twist was that the game takes place at the same time as the show. Raids would affect the show, and the player was supposed to feel like every action mattered, and they could see the results in the show. Unfortunately, none of this happened the actions were only mentioned as things happening on the other side of the frontier. As for the game itself, it was a buggy, laggy mess that was full of good ideas, but terrible execution.
The worst part is that the show, despite actually being really good, got canceled in 2015. The game lasted longer, and even got a sequel, as the developers knew that there was potential in this world. The show available for purchase, and I recommend giving this Sci-Fi channel gem a go.
release Date: April 1, 1997
Despite being one of Nintendo’s best franchise, there is no way pokemon would have been as big as it was if it wasn’t for the iconic TV show. Pokemon came out during the right time, with the perfect mixture of cheese, and charm. You can still remember waking up every Saturday morning, to watch the show. You probably can still sing the whole theme song, and of course the Pokerap because it was the late 90s early 2000s everything had a rap. Fans argue to this day what was the best season, and that shows just how much reach the show has. Pokemon would not be where it is now if it wasn’t for the adventure of Ash Ketchum.