Short Films Offer New Dimensions in Gaming Tributes

n the past few years we’ve seen plenty of artists and moviemakers recreate their favorite video games in the form of smaller YouTube segments. For fans and by fans, we’ve witnessed everything from Chell’s life after Aperture to an unfortunate reality for Mario.

These videos only become more sophisticated as time passes. More independent studios look for ways to portray their favorite games and add more lifelike effects to them. And though some become more exaggerated or overly ambitious in the process, we've still experienced some amazing productions.

On that note, the following segments represent what’s truly becoming a culture of its own.

Valve titles like Half-Life and Portal remain among the best games to reenact through short films since they already include semi-realistic elements to begin with. Though this video featured on Machinima seems less action-oriented like videos such as Gordon meets Chell, fans still receive an authentic Half-Life experience that also honors the general action-horror film genre.

And hell, anything that helps distract us more from those Resident Evil movies can’t be too terrible. Even if we hear him speak for what’s probably the first time ever, nobody could ask for a more perfect ending than Freeman leading a Black Mesa security officer and doctor to safety as viewers wonder what strange encounters (or death scenarios) await these individuals.

Who created Pac-Man and where did he (or it, in this case) come from? Apparently one creative interpretation suggests Pac-Man is nothing more than the selected abbreviation for a much greater government project.

That’s right, a government project. Though nobody except for a select handful of scientists, engineers, and bad-ass cliche military men know about it in great detail, this second Machinima feature highlights everyone’s favorite pellet eater as some kind of classified Area 51-like project. Though the general premise seems strange since everyone's favorite circle is supposed to represent some kind of hidden WW3 super project (or something of the sort), This creative interpretation of Pac-Man still does an excellent job at capturing the spirit of one of Namco's beloved retro franchises.

A short and sweet battle against Ryu and Ken with precisely executed moves. Doesn’t try to overcomplicate things with strange plots and overdramatic tropes. Even if you’re not a regular Street Fighter buff, you’ll know exactly what’s happening.

The video of Street Fighter: Legacy starts with a random encounter and ends with two well known characters displaying famous poses. It’s one of the shorter movies on this list, but we don’t really need anymore than what we get in about four minutes. Seriously, this is Street Fighter at its best, and without any sort of redundant plot buildup involving overcomplicated origin stories or unneeded character interactions. But of course, no offense to such-and-such’s arguably fantastic portrayal of M. Bison from the ‘90s movie; we just didn’t need all these strange fireworks with a game-based movie that’s only about... well, street fighting.

Possibly the least practical of each video yet still creative, this indie version of Sonic the Hedgehog shows us what a real-world Robotnik threat looks like. In all honestly this movie almost seemed a little too ambitious.

The overall CGI effects shine when we see Robotnik’s spaceships and robots during the first scenes, and again when we encounter Sonic destroying enemies on the South Island forest. It does, however, seem a bit awkward when Sonic stands around and talks to people. And though Robotnik could always be a little more rotund, his general portrayal seemed pretty damn good. At least we can believe this is how the Sonic villain would truly appear in our world.

Since there's a small amount of plot involved, there's no reason to spoil the ending. It is, however, a rather interesting and nostalgic conclusion worthy of being considered a quality fan tribute.

Of course, the videos highlighted in this feature only represent a fraction of what the independent movie community offers us in the way of creative gaming-based projects. Aside from these flicks, have any other favorites? Or better yet, which games do you think would make some of the best short story interpretations?

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