Whenever film and video games mix, the result is an absolute crap shoot. Sometimes, the mix brings out the best of both worlds. Often times, though, it ends up as a sub-par product that only disappoints hardcore fans of either medium. That doesn't mean that a pop culture gestalt isn't possible when the two meet, as evidenced by the following list of awesome shorts based on video games.
1. "Mortal Kombat Rebirth"
The film that started a small YouTube action series craze, Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat fan film starred recognizable Hollywood stars like Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite) and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager) as Jax and Sonya Blade, respectively. It turned the themes and specifics of the Mortal Kombat’s heavily nuanced and convoluted lore on its ear, rooting the madness in a modern day city, as opposed to some opposite dimension.
2. "Street Fighter: Legacy"
This is a fan film that centers on the two most recognizable characters in fighting games doing what they do best: kicking and punching each other. "Legacy" proves that sometimes the best adaptations just have to focus on what makes people love the source material so much. In this case, it’s well choreographed combat.
3. "Street Fighter X Tekken: The Devil Within"
Along the same lines as "Legacy", "The Devil Within" does a great job of mashing up the worlds of Tekken and Street Fighter in a low-key way. There is a bit more story involved than "Legacy", but to call this short anything but an excuse to house a pair of absolutely awesome fight sequences would be a blatant lie. Kazuya and Ryu’s signature styles (and moves) are mimicked perfectly here.
4. "Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist"
This is not a single short, but a whole web series directly inspired by the success of "Legacy". This episodic adventure shows a young Ryu and Ken learning the secrets of their master’s mystical Ansatsuken martial art. With it, they also learn of its dark power and of a once-promising student who let it consume him.
5. "Assassin’s Creed: Linage"
This series of short films is based on Assassin’s Creed 2 and was produced by Ubisoft to help promote the title. The series served as a prequel to the story of Ezio and starred his father, Giovanni. Characters from the game, like Rodrigo Borgia and the Medici family, were also introduced and expanded upon.
6. "Pokémon Apokélypse"
This hilarious parody reveals the seedy underworld of being a Pokemon trainer. After it's outlawed as a global sport because of how it treats animals, it's forced to be a fantasy equivalent to dog fighting. It’s not just a riff on action movie trailers and blockbuster movie psychology, but it's a commentary on just how weird and dangerous Pokemon battles would actually be in the real world.
7. "Portal: No Escape"
Of the many Portal short films, "No Escape" has to be the best. For a movie with no dialogue, it's pretty well acted. The production value is high enough to be convincing, and there’s a great batch of really cool Portal moments that any player could relate to. There’s a pretty good twist at the end, too.
Which is your favorite? Leave yours in the comments or tweet @CurseGamepedia!
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.