There is more to your console than just playing video games, cause on all current consoles Netflix is available. The Dutch Netflix sometimes gets some criticism because the offer is way less huge as in America, but that does not mean there is nothing cool to watch on Netflix. Especially when a game requires an update again, you have a little while to ‘flix’ while the console is downloading.
Indie Game: The Movie
This documentary is a must see, as it makes very clear how developing indie games takes a lot more than just one guy on an attic. Documentary makers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky follow multiple indie games in multiple development phases. For example Super Meat Boy and Fez.
Hihi, Indie Game: The Movie might be a pretty serious documentary to keep your full attention to, action movie Doom is everything but that. This is the ideal movie to check out before going to bed (or while in bed) after a good night of partying, or if you are simply in a very crazy mood, or if you are doing something else while watching Netflix. Doom is not the best movie ever, but it does have its moments. The Rock is the key character in this over the top science fiction story. Keep you expectations low and you will enjoy it. It is a pretty funny Aliens rip-off with a real boss fight and even a scene shot fully in first person perspective.
Video Games: The Movie
Indie Game: The Movie is very much focused on smaller indie games, but Video Games: The Movie is showing a broader perspective on video games. The documentary shows a time line: from the beginning of games until 2013, with iconic interviewees from the game business: Reggie Fils-Aimé and Hideo Kojima for example. There are discussions about which video game really was first, and what games really mean to us. It’s is not a very exciting documentary, but it does take you on a cool trip through time with multiple familiar games and subjects.
Video Game High School
It does not happen enough: a series about video games. Video Game High School is one though, made by YouTubers and like YouTube-vids mainly made for entertainment. If you expect the best comedy or fantastic CGI, this ain’t your series. This series is low-budget, so there are no huge stars attached to the project. However, that is actually part in what makes this show so interesting. I am pretty sure you have never seen anything like Video Game High School, which is about a high school where multiple elements of video games are taught. Gaming is a world sports and if you are really good at it, you will be send to the elite Video Game High School. This is not Beverly Hills though, this show is full of action sequences that has turned itself into a pretty big cult hit.
Atari: Game Over
This is another documentary that you simply must see, cause it is about the biggest myth in video game history. What the heck is up with those Atari cartridges of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial that supposedly would be buried in some American desert? The game was a huge flop, which –as myth tells- made the makers decide they had to be put 6 feet under. After thirty years a group of archeologists checks how much truth there is in the story and they decide to dig their way to the cartridges from 1982. The camera crew that was there, made the documentary Atari: Game Over and built a fascinating story around it about Atari in general. What happened to this great brand in video game land? Game Over will let you know.
LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload
For younger gamers and older gamers that cannot get enough of cartoons, there is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. This is not a cartoon series, but a movie of LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes, based on the games. The animation is really good and this is the ideal film for the whole family to get more familiar with multiple Marvel heroes. The story is about Loki and the other super villains, including a cameo of Stan Lee (obviously!). It is a very charming flick that plays around with the slap stick humor we know from the LEGO games. There is one moment where Spidey calls out he’d love to go out to dinner with the guys because he loves kebabs too, to which Nick Fury answers: Uhm, okay, bye! While leaving as soon as he can in his helicopter. This movie is full of little winks to the franchise and innocent comedy, which makes it a good watch for gamers of all ages.
If you talk about movies based on games, the question: “was there ever an OK-ish one?” always pops up. Street Fighter definitely isn’t one, cause this action movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue (need I say more?) is full of too long close-ups, tacky oneliners and characters that all look like caricatures. We would love to discuss the comedy in this movie, but the jokes are so bad it should not be called comedy. Why it is in this list anyway, is because with the stream of video game movies coming our way, it is good to check this out and be remembered how bad movies like Street Fighter were. Keep that in mind when you are watching Warcraft later, cause it would be unfair to compare it to Lord of the Rings instead of keeping the history of the video game movie in mind.
Red vs Blue
In the series Red vs Blue the history truly is watched closely, cause Red vs Blue is not a serious Halo show as you would expect when you see a pic of it. This is a web show that received so many awards, Netflix decided to spread the love. Bernie Burns is the show runner of this show that is all about two enemy teams that fight each other in a civil war. Burns makes fun of first person shooters, the army and science fiction movies, in this show that looks super unprofessional. This is worth your time though, cause the dialogue is very original and surprising; before you know it you have watched all thirteen episodes.
Halo: The Fall of Reach
In Red vs Blue Halo characters are used as other characters, with voices that are definitely not coming from Bungie. Halo: The Fall of Reach is a lot more official than that. Just like Doom Halo has themes like fighting, action, space and tough guys, but where Doom is more a tacky 80’s action movie (live-action), Halo: The Fall of Reach is an animated flick with a more serious approach. The movie is based on the book of the same name by Eric Nylund and it takes just a little over an hour. Some gamers say you’d better just read the book, but if you don’t mind watching something that is a tad outside the lore, this flick is very entertaining, specially the fights between space ships.