[Games] Can We Please Go Back To The Eighties?

A recent rainy afternoon rewatch of eighties ‘classic’ The Cannonball Run prompted me to tinker with my 360’s custom soundtracks to recreate at least part of the experience in digital form. I’d already downloaded Need for Speed Hot Pursuit‘s Lamborghini Countach, and with the addition of Ray Stevens’ disco-infused theme song from the movie on my custom soundtrack all I needed was a desert showdown with the cops to get the feel of the movie’s seminal opening up on screen (see the video above).

All of which got me wondering, how come no-one has ever made a Cannonball Run game? Almost every other dire eighties movie has been turned into an excerable licensed tie-in (even Days of Thunder – not just once but twice), so why not Hal Needham’s finest hour? The format would be perfect, a coast to coast race across the US with a huge variety of vehicles and characters (two alcoholic priests in a Ferrari, a womaniser and a schizophrenic in an ambulance, Jackie Chan in a Subaru) and the chance for loads of interaction with the police.  How awesome would it be to play as Roger Moore in his Bond-esque Aston Martin, streaking past Pontiac Firebird police cruisers to a Chuck Mangione flugelhorn soundtrack before giving them the slip with a blast of smoke and oil? Very, that’s how awesome.

The truth, of course, is that it’s a licence almost entirely devoid of commercial appeal – and of course there has been one very notable game directly inspired by the film, Yu Suzuki’s Outrun. Suzuki himself has said several times that the idea for the original arcade release came from his love for the Burt Reynold’s race flick. Still, while Outun is a great game, it’s no Cannonball Run – and for that the world is just a tiny bit poorer.

Indeed there are other seventies and eighties classics ripe for a videogame rebirth. Who wouldn’t want to climb aboard a modern, 3D Airwolf, or an open-world Grand Theft Auto-like Starsky and Hutch? Even Knight Rider (already the subject of several excruciatingly bad licensed games) could make decent Xbox Live Arcade fodder.

I live in hope.

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Categories: Games

One Comment on “[Games] Can We Please Go Back To The Eighties?”

  1. øyvind
    July 26, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    O my god! Just did the same! cannonball run, or smokie and the bandit! 🙂

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