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Final Fantasy

Aki RossPast attempts at converting a successful video game into an equally successful movie have been at best disappointing to either the game's fans or the moviegoers who know nothing about it. The problem lies at the 2 entertainment mediums' inherent differences.

Video games rely on interactivity to hold a player's interest. Traditionally, elements like plot and characterization were sacrificed to accommodate more action, thus the proliferation of quests to rescue princesses and tournaments that determine the fate of the world.

Movies are basically visual stories that remain a passive experience. Viewers demand a good story above all else. The addition of impressive action sequences is a plus but not a necessity.

In the past, action is the only nexus of video games and movies. Moviemakers still took the risk of making movies like Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat and the recent Tomb Raider believing that the game's fan base would watch bringing their non-gaming friends with them.

To impress game fans, the movie must be faithful to the game in terms of visuals and story. People who just want to see a movie basically cannot stomach fat Italian plumbers and demon ninjas.

Tomb Raider, as expected, was predictable and Lara Croft didn't seem to have been challenged by her adventure. Its only saving grace was Angelina Jolie's captivating onscreen presence.

Which brings us to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within-Hollywood's latest effort on video game movie making. Fans of the game were hopeful. The Final Fantasy series has long been known for its epic storylines and endearing characters giving it an advantage to previously mentioned games.

The filmmakers also had the luxury of being flexible with the script since the games themselves seldom had few similarities with their storylines.

Basing a film on a role-playing game did have its drawbacks. Each game in the series took around 40 hours to finish compared to the 2-hour time limit most movies have.

Also, Final Fantasy games feature the most breathtaking scenes ever seen in any video game that had to be equaled by the movie.

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