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TV Squad Ten: Shows that deserve to have their own video game

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 16th 2009 11:35AM
TV shows that deserve to be video gamesThere is nothing inherently wrong with turning a TV series into a video game spinoff. It can fill in the gaps between seasons to quell the viewers' hunger, let audiences explore characters from new perspectives and even give the more hardcore couch potatoes some much needed exercise even if they only burned 1/100ths of a calorie solely through their thumbs.

The problem is video game developers pick TV shows that should never even become a travel sized board game. Developers have given the greenlight to games based on shows like American Idol, Desperate Housewives and even ... Grey's Anatomy?!? I hope that last one was a first-person shooter.

There are far better shows that offer far more entertaining elements for a kick-ass video game. These are the shows that should be next in line for a pixelated re-treatment.

If you just want the list, click here.

Shows that should have their own game

    10. Supernatural

    My video game system hasn't had a really good monster hunting game since Lucasarts released Zombies Ate My Neighbors on the Super Nintendo and a remake of the Winchester brothers' exploits on the new fangled next gen system could certainly fill the void. Each show is like its own little puzzle to figure out how to contain or destroy some supernatural entity and the show stopping fifth season with the boys facing down the coming Apocalypse could make the lackluster Resident Evil sequels look like Barney's Hide and Seek by comparison.

    Sergei Bachlakov, The CW

    9. Dollhouse

    Imagine taking your favorite action/adventure game and getting to completely rework the main character however you see fit. You can give him Mario's jumping ability, the Contra boys' guns, Lara Croft's body and King Hippo's head. Scale that back a bit and you would have the Dollhouse video game, a third-person action title that not only lets you mold your "Active" to whatever situation they are thrown in, but even lets you reshape Eliza Dushku into an even curvier babe. You might never leave your house again, either because you're constantly playing the game or not willing to face the personal psychological shame such control brings.

    Fox

    8. Mythbusters

    The world is being dumbed-down by ridiculous myths and only the Mythbusters can restore order to it by blowing the holy living hell out of it. Nintendo could take this Discovery staple and turn it completely on its head with its motion capture Wii or the stylus controlled portable DS (and maybe even Microsoft's new Project Natal) as players build elaborate contraptions and gizmos to test urban and movie myths. Then they let physics do the work and if they haven't turned themselves and their build team into crispy chicken nuggets, they mark them "confirmed," "plausible" or "busted."

    Discovery Channel

    7. Sasuke a.k.a. Ninja Warrior

    It's a mystery why someone overseas hasn't already turned this long running obstacle course challenge into a side-scrolling jump and duck runner. Maybe it's because the technology can't replicate such awesomeness without causing cranial implosions. Sending competitor after competitor across the course and into the drink time and time again might make it the most repetitive title since the original Pong, but it would get more and more entertaining with each turn if the American version included the loud announcer screaming in Japanese. Plus, it's the closest most of it would get to climbing the Warped Wall without having to give up beer, cheese or our required eight hours of television viewing per day.

    G4

    6. Takeshi's Castle a.k.a. MXC

    If, however, a game development company failed to produce a Ninja Warrior title in favor of this re-dubbed Japanese compound fracture-fest from Spike, we would certainly forgive them. It screams to be made into a video game. Players could control each contestant as they run across "Sinkers and Floaters" or try to land flat on a Velcro board in "Wall Bangers" to the witty soundtrack of Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano's very colorful commentary. You not only could score points for finishing each near impossible obstacle, but you could even land bonus points for your team by crashing and burning in ways that would max out the premiums on your health care plan.

    Spike TV

    5. Fringe

    Nothing drives a puzzle adventure game better than a good old-fashioned mystery. And when you're talking about the kind of mysteries that make people scratch their heads until their fingernails strike brain, nobody in television does it better than J.J. Abrams. The thought of chasing down weird phenomenon and figuring out they link up to an ultimate solution could present hours of entertainment to puzzle lovers who still do their Sudokus with Sharpies. Plus, a Fringe game could turn out to be loads better than the mediocre Lost game because it's easier to follow and presents challenges that are far more interesting and action packed, say, than looking for a dog.

    Fox

    4. Top Gear

    Are you tired of unrealistic driving games that let you do things with cars that could never be done, even in the vacuum of space? Are you tired of realistic driving games that shove their realism down your gullet with a real feeling shovel? Enter the Top Gear video game, a driving title that combines the real mechanics of everything from super cool supercars to dull, uninspiring hatchbacks with the outrageous testing methods of TV's greatest car show. You start out picking your character: the slow but methodical James May, the boorish risk taker Jeremy Clarkson or the small and therefore quick Richard Hammond. Then you go through a series of road tests, test track runs and "Cheap Car Challenges" and the winner gets to go mano-y-whatever against the show's tame racing driver who some say once beat the original Super Mario Bros. using only his testicles and taught Steve Wiebe everything he knows.

    Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

    3. Burn Notice

    Even though Michael Westen lives in ramshackled dumps and spends a good majority of his day dodging bullets of all calibers, I still want to be him. He exudes cool in a way that ordinary humans just can't replicate and seems to know the outs to every situation before he gets into them. Getting to walk in the burned CIA agents' finely shined Italian shoes would be something that only a genie could replicate, unless say a video game company created a game that starred him. Players could roam the streets of Miami in a sandbox style format, going from job to job to earn a few bucks, some street cred or a few karma points by helping someone less fortunate in ways they never could for themselves. All the while you've got your former Navy SEAL drinking buddy Sam cracking wise on one side and on the other, there's the lovely Fiona. There's a hot coffee mode finally worthy of its moniker.

    USA Network

    2. Chuck

    There aren't a lot of successful comedy video games because the format doesn't leave much room for such a story as well as an action/adventure shoot 'em up or a real-time strategy war epic. Chuck could fill both voids perfectly mixing two scoops of action and adventure into a great spy story that has more hilarious twists than a M. Night Shyamalan film. It could not only improve on the show's compelling storyline but it could give its more hardcore audiences a taste of exposition when the show goes on the bubble at the end of another season.

    NBC

    1. Reaper

    One of TV's most inventive and absurd shows screams to be made into an even wackier game. Just imagine the fun you could have roaming wide-open towns, searching for signs of evil, escaped souls while using everything from vacuum cleaners to whale harpoons as weapons. I can't think of a more fitting way for such a show to take its final curtain call or for some uncaring TV executives to earn some karma back from the man upstairs for canceling it.

    THE CW

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11 Comments

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Takayo

Why did they have a picture of Naruto when talking about Ninja Warrior?!

June 17 2009 at 6:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Takayo's comment
Joel Keller

You're right about that; the photo's been fixed. Thanks.

June 18 2009 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
antikorper

ähh. Dexter! anyone?

June 16 2009 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to antikorper's comment
Eric H

Dexter is getting a game.

June 17 2009 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ricky19

i hate these picture popup thing cuz it doesn't work on my computer, just a list of these shows would be fine.

June 16 2009 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ricky19's comment
John

No. nonononono. You can't just have a list because AOL says you need to have a forced popup that you can slowly scroll through so you can't just skip over the typos and bad grammar and see one person's uninformed idea. Or you can just click on the hard-to-find "view as a list" link. Oh wait, nevermind, it doesnt work.

June 16 2009 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

The link works now. Thanks for pointing that out. That was my mistake.

If you see a typo or grammatical error, please use the "corrections" link above and we'll get on it.

As for the pop-up gallery; yes, we're still using them. However, we don't use them as much as we used to, mainly because people complained. We're trying to do more of a mix of feature types. *And* we provided the list without pictures so people who can't/won't see the gallery at least get to see the list. Again, that was in response to reader complaints.

I guess no matter how many complaints you address, there will always be someone who wants to complain about *something*.

June 16 2009 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

I vote for a Sims-style "Jon & Kate Plus ?" game!

*select Kate*
*click Jon*
*click 'Talk (insult)'*
*click 'Slap'*

*select Jon*
*click hot young nanny*
*click 'Flirt' with nanny*
*click 'Woo-hoo' with nanny*

June 16 2009 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richie

You get the feeling from this that whoever made the list only has a vague concept of what video games are. Mythbusters? Really?

June 16 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richie's comment
RobynM

I don't see why not - it certainly wouldn't be the first Rube Goldberg game on the market and there's definitely been flimsier franchises that games have been hung on.

June 17 2009 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pete Lawson

If I remember correctly, there is a Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) mod for Little Big Planet on the PS3...

June 16 2009 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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