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Top 10: Things Games Do and Don't Do Better than Movies

Despite proving that they can out-gross any entertainment medium on 3 different occasions, video games still desperately yearn to prove that they are just as culturally important as movies. Rappers are toting their Playstations in their Escalades and Xbox 360s are transforming into Deceptacons, but for some reason developers and fans alike feel they aren't getting the respect they deserve. I'm guessing it's because your average female doesn't give a shit about them and until people like Gabe Newell can command hookers to dress up like Wonder Woman and show up on tabloids next to the Kardashians, gamers will just never be satisfied.

I love movies and games equally and anyone who doesn't agree, well I say it sucks for them. They're missing out on something. With that being said I know I love them for different reasons. Care to find out what they are? It's perfect troll bait...

Aww sheeyit. Current events, son. See what I did there?


Bare in mind that I'm focusing on traits the two categories share. Obviously movies don't have match making services and online coop so I won't be comparing those.

FIVE THINGS GAMES DO BETTER THAN MOVIES:

5. Soundtracks

Music is one of the most important things to me in all forms of entertainment. When I see a movie, commercial, or trailer open with a shitty Black Eyed Peas top 40 song that I have to listen to 3 times an hour on the radio, or watch Shia Lebouf go to job interviews to pussy rock ballads, I get disgusted on how uncreative it is. When I hear a good song I've never heard before in a game or movie, it inspires me to seek out that song and broaden my horizons, which is universally good. Movies incorporate soundtrack sales into their budgets and thus fill them with overplayed and obvious music choices while video games do not. I will take the Fight Night Champion, Gran Turismo, and Hot Pursuit Soundtracks over Transformers 3, Twilight, or indie Michael Cera wiener rock any day. Musical scores in games also rival movies now, and are actually more complex since they have to adjust to the player's actions. You know the Inception Horn that's in every trailer and commercial now? Hans Zimmer made it in Modern Warfare 2 first.

4. Value for Entertainment

This is simple math. A movie ticket in my city costs around $13 for an evening showing. I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D for $20. Avatar was 2 hours and 40 minutes long which equals about $7.50 per hour of entertainment. Grand Theft Auto 4 took me 20 hours to beat my first play through and cost $60 which is about $3 an hour and doesn't include my second play through or me attempting to 100% it. I've clocked over 100 hours on Fallout 3 and I think Murdernator's over 1000 on Team Fortress 2 (and he bought the Orange Box black Friday special for $25). I'm not doing that math.

3. Trailers

That last movie trailer I remember getting excited over was Inception. The sight of that spinning hallway fight was the first impressive thing I've seen in a long time, mainly because it wasn't a CG effect. There's very little movies can do to create a spectacle these days. When I see a giant stupid CG Kraken or the Green Lantern prancing around in CG Queef Land or whatever the Green Lantern hq is called, I can't help but dazzle my fingers and make fart noises with my armpits. Movie trailers also have a tendency to give away too much of the plot in 3 minutes.
Ironically, what makes a shitty movie trailer, makes an awesome game trailer. Only in games can a simple CG landscape drop your jaw and impress you with visuals alone. They can also avoid giving away too much by showing action sequences that you may never experience based on how you play.

2. Sequels

In both mediums, sequels are generally seen as seen as easy cash-ins and rightfully so. It should be simple: you follow the same formula as before but make it bigger and better. But this works better in a video game because they're are so many variables to change: improve graphics, add more weapons, make the world bigger, etc. In movies, you mainly rely on continuing a story and hope the audience cares. Generally speaking, games get better with sequels and movies do not.

1. Alternate Endings

So many games today allow you to play through them in different ways to reach different endings. Replay as a villain, a stealth character, or as a diplomat to see alternate branches of the story. And now Mass Effect allows you to do this across 3 stories, which really adds a whole new dimension to story telling not seen in any other form of entertainment. DVDs offer director's cuts with alternate endings and... how often are those cool? The closest a movie has gotten to achieving this is the movie Clue that had multiple endings based on which theater you went to, which is... inconvenient.

FIVE THINGS MOVIES DO BETTER THAN GAMES:

5. Character Relationships
Sucks for Nicole... which one is Nicole again?

There are very few characters I end up liking in games and feeling sorry for in their troubles. When I watched the Toy Story toys hold hands and accept their death via giant furnace, I genuinely worried even though I knew a Disney movie would never end that way. Every time I had to hold Ashley's hand in Resident Evil 4, I wanted to put a bullet in her and feed her to the Spaniards. When I watched Will Smith choke his only remaining friend to death in I Am Legend, I genuinely felt bad watching him dig the grave. When I recruited Dog Meat in Fallout 3 and watched him sprint towards a giant Radscorpion only to get his head swiped off in one fell swoop, I shrugged my shoulders and said "you got what you deserved you dumb fucking dog." When it comes to romance or characters bonding, games just can't pull it off. Probably because they're written by dorks.

4. Aging
Look at those polys! It's like an orgy in my eyesockets!

Netflix VP Steve Swasey said it best - "A great movie from 1972 is still a great movie but who wants to play Madden ’95?". Although we're going through a retro design phase where "indie game" means game designed like a 16 bit-platformer, most older games look like shit. Once a sequel comes out, it's prequel becomes worthless. And with graphics constantly evolving, most 3D games become appalling to look at after a few years. Despite how awesome people say the original Deus Ex is, I can't stand the sight of it. Only select 2D games can really survive the test of time.

3. Intentional Comedy

Removing the friction from cars in GTA IV. Now that's funny.

I can't think of many games I genuinely laugh at when confronted by intentional jokes. I may have chuckled a few times during Red Dead's Undead Nightmare but I didn't once laugh at what I played of Brutal Legend. The most I've ever laughed during a game was playing chicken with a moped and a semi truck in GTA IV online. There are a LOT of stupid movies that call themselves comedies but I know I laughed during Bridesmaids and Horrible Bosses this year. That's 2 more movies than games.

2. Titles
I thought I had an argument here but it turns out I don't. Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Big Game Hunter. I was going to make fun of how these titles are so literal, obvious and boring compared to movie titles. Then I looked at the top box office movies. Kung Fu Panda, Cowboys and Aliens, Horrible Bosses (which I just mentioned). Yeah I can't back that up. But I'm too lazy to make a replacement #2. Whatever.


Ok fine, here's an alternate #2 - Sex Scenes. And I don't even have to explain it.

1. Original Stories

There's a reason why most video games that are adapted to movies suck, and it aint Paul W.S. Anderson or Uwe Boll. It's because most games have stupid or ripped off stories written by software engineers and programmers. When you play Call of Duty, every level is ripped from a WW2 or Michael Bay movie. Uncharted: Drakes Fortune is Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with Nazis and skin melting artifact. Dead Rising is Dawn of the Dead and so on. Most games are just designers taking their favorite movies and making them interactive. And that's fine but when you take a game that's based on a movie, and then try to make a movie out of it, you're left with a siphoned down mess that has neither the originality of the movie, or the exciting gameplay. Many games have great acting and great pacing, but few have original stories. And the ones that do are about homoerotic cosmo kings on meth that order their kids to destroy the world by creating a giant ball that sucks everything into it.

And what's the deal with DMV clerks? I mean it's not my fault your job sucks.

XOXO,
Abortion Fist

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