3The Matrix: Path of Neo -- The Theme of Sacrifice Gets Replaced With an Insane Boss
Explaining the end of the Matrix trilogy would require an entire article, a doctorate in philosophy, and access to an alternate universe where we can understand why the Wachowskis thought that anything they put in the sequels was a good idea. What we do know is that they ended an action trilogy with an elaborately choreographed mud wrestling match, only to have Neo give up and let himself be killed. This magically defeats Agent Smith, because something Jesus metaphor.
Needs less subtlety.
How the Game Missed the Point
In The Matrix: Path of Neo, you win the fight against Agent Smith without having to play the savior card. After punching Smith in the face for a while, the game cuts to the Wachowskis themselves, where they explain what you're about to experience and, in doing so, suddenly turn their game into a Charlie Kaufman-esque bizarro meta-comedy.
Good to see the sprites from E.T. still working after all these years.
First they poke fun at the self-seriousness of their franchise, then they go on to explain that they didn't want to let gamers down with some boring and meaningful resolution to the core concept on which the whole trilogy is based, because gamers would rather "kick the crap out of some big badass boss." So instead of resolving the paradox of free will versus fate with Neo's choice, they set up "a little Hulk versus Galactus action." Then you fight whatever the hell this is:
For those of you who either can't watch the video or have no idea what you just experienced, hundreds of Smith clones Katamari Damacy random pieces of rubble and themselves into a giant figure resembling the agent, while Neo watches with all the concern of a man who's more interested in trying to remember if he made plans for Saturday night.
"Was I going to bang some supermodel, or count all my money while cackling with glee? Fuck it, I'll do both. Again."
Then, when the monster takes a moment to reach over and grab a conveniently located pair of gigantic sunglasses, you can't help but wonder if the Wachowskis are trying to insult the intelligence and integrity of all gamers ...
"Deal with it."
... or if they're just trying to atone for their past sins against storytelling. Seriously, this is way better than the tired Christ metaphor shtick. After winning, the game rewards you with a cutscene showing all that's left of humanity celebrating while, we shit you not, "We Are the Champions" plays. No way would we have angrily demanded our money back from an apathetic teenage ticket taker if that's how Revolutions had gone down.
2Alien 3 and Terminator 2 -- Heroes Don't Swim in Molten Metal
Arena Entertainment, Flying Edge
When it comes to heroic deaths, not much tops throwing yourself into a pit of lava to save humanity. We see this in both Alien 3 and Terminator 2. How the movies got to that point differs, but the scenes themselves are really similar, right down to the foundry setting. Long story short: noble hero sacrifices him- or herself to protect the future from a terrible danger held inside them. Sadly, neither sacrifice protected us from lousy sequels.
How the Games Missed the Point
The Alien 3 game ditched everything from the movie except Ripley's haircut and the name of the planet. In the game, Ripley wages a personal war against every alien ever, kicking so much xenomorph ass that the aliens probably have nightmares of a tiny baby Ripley bursting out of their chests. After her ruthless display of interstellar genocide, Ripley doesn't leap into a lake of molten metal. Instead, she slaughters the final boss, turns around to deliver some laconic one-liner, and ... that's it. We don't know how she gets off the planet. Maybe she builds a space-raft out of all the alien corpses.
"Bitch all you want, at least our ending didn't lead to Alien: Resurrection."
Meanwhile, the developers of the Terminator 2 game decided that having the T-1000 knocked into an inferno just didn't make it dead enough. Because there's no kill like overkill, the T-1000 becomes a huge monster made of deformed faces and fire.
We're pretty sure this is how Joan Rivers eventually goes out.
After you defeat the fire monster in a pit of fire by firing at it with your overwhelming firepower, the building spontaneously explodes on account of its structural integrity not being able to handle this much badass. So the T-800 just up and time travels away from there. No time machine required, no mind-bending branching timelines to keep track of -- you just shoot a dude until his very atoms explode and then hop on your chrono-hog and ride the hell out of Dodge. In a way, it's the perfect summation of Terminator 2's underlying philosophical message: There's no fate but what we make. Even if we have to make it by ignoring vital plot points in the source material.
Like how everything in T2 is now pointless because somebody wanted a Terminator with boobs.