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Hollywood blockbusters come home to gamers.(News)

Cape Times (South Africa) July 15, 2008 RALEIGH, North Carolina: Holiday blockbuster movies no longer end with the closing credits, with an increasing number of video games being spun off from Hollywood adventures, putting the gamer in the starring role.

John Taylor, video game analyst for Arcadia Research, said this year features a dozen Hollywood-licensed games, up from nine last year.

“As we saw last year with both Activision’s Spider-Man 3 and Transformers games, consumers bought these titles throughout the summer and into the busy holiday shopping season, which is one of the advantages of acquiring a Hollywood licence,” said Taylor.

Disney/Pixar’s newest computer-generated blockbuster, Wall-E, has been developed into a game by Heavy Iron Studios and published by THQ, with players able to control the robot stars, Wall-E and Eve, in adventures beyond the two-hour film.

The film’s production designer, Ralph Eggleston, said he’d watch-ed as the collaboration between game makers and Pixar filmmakers had evolved over the years.

“I’ve seen games catching up with us,” said Eggleston. “The one thing about rendering as it becomes better and the faster is that the images in games get better and it allows game makers to really start to involve more complex characters in games and interplay with them.” Activision and developer Luxoflux have brought DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda to all gaming platforms. go to website iron man games

There are 13 levels of gameplay that allow players to work together or take control of Po the Panda, his teacher, Shifu, and the legendary kung fu masters, the Furious Five, to take matters into their own hands.

Comic book fans get a double dose of Hellboy this holiday season from Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro.

In addition to his new movie, Hellboy II: The Golden Army from Universal Pictures, Del Toro collaborated with Hellboy comic creator Mike Mignola and Konami Digital Entertainment on the new Hellboy: Science of Evil game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP.

“If you go and play the game you’ll find it’s a world that complements the comics and the movie, but it’s its own universe,” said Del Toro. “It has really great creatures and great gameplay.

“I think people will find a continuity in the style of the design and the voices of the characters.” Comic books make easy tie-ins for films and games, which has re- sulted in a pair of interactive Marvel adventures from Sega that are now available on all platforms. web site iron man games

Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk both feature central actors from the big screen action, including Robert Downey Jun, Terrence Howard, Edward Norton and Liv Tyler.

In addition, the games reach beyond the plots of the films by introducing new comic book foes like the Melter, Titanium Man, Bi-Beast, Blonsku and the U-foes.

While the Iron Man game puts players in the air for combat action, The Incredible Hulk un-leashes the green beast in a virtual Manhattan where everything can be destroyed.

Fans will have to wait for actor Matt Damon to reprise his role as amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in the fourth big screen outing, but a new adventure is now playing on an Xbox 360 or PS3.

Sierra Games and developer High Moon Studios worked with Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy and the Robert Ludlum Estate to bring The Bourne Conspiracy to gamers.

This puts players in the role of Bourne, minus any involvement from Damon, and intersperses key action elements from The Bourne Identity with new pre-amnesia flashback missions.

Rounding out the Hollywood line-up is a double feature of sorts from actor Brendan Fraser.

His character, Rick O’Connell, can be found in Sierra Games’ The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor while players can control the portable exploits of Fraser’s character, Trevor Anderson, in THQ’s Nintendo DS adaptation of New Line Cinema’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D.

With the advancements in gaming technology, Eggleston said he was not only surprised but sometimes jealous at how fast game creators could work with the film assets Pixar shares with them.

“I’m not only surprised but sometimes jealous at how fast they can work and how quickly their real-time rendering engines seem to have to move things along,” said Eggleston.

“We sometimes wish we could have something like that to move things along early in production.” – Reuters