'The Big Lebowski' goes 8-bit in video game reimagining

The folks at CineFix have dreamed up a retro video game around the classic Coen brothers film, and it's got bowling, an angry John Goodman, and enough White Russians to appease the most devout Lebowskians.

As a nitpicker might point out, the Dude never actually bowls in the film, save for in that trippy dream sequence. Not so here in the 8-bit game version dreamed up by YouTube channel creator CineFix. Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET

Picturing a standard Coen brothers film as a video game brings to mind some gruesome and unpleasant experiences. Think "No Country for Old Men" as a gritty PS3 title capable of giving The Last of Us a run for its money, or "Raising Arizona" as a twisted take on a crime-oriented sandbox game...but with a baby involved.

However, the folks over at CineFix, the YouTube channel known for its 8-bit retellings of classic films as if they were retro games, decided on the cult classic, "The Big Lebowski," as the next installment in its 8-Bit Cinema series.

The result is an experience we only wish we'd had back in the '90s.

Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET

It's important to note that CineFix doesn't actually make video games. Rather, the team -- in this case David Dutton of Dutton Films with music from his brother Henry Dutton -- animate short films that operate much like a mashup of a video game trailer and a film highlight reel. Recent gems in the CineFix catalog include a "Pulp Fiction" beat 'em up and "The Hunger Games" repurposed as an NES-era role-playing game.

With regard to "The Big Lebowski," the YouTube video, encapsulating the entire plot of the 117-minute movie, runs only 3.5 minutes long and manages to hit all the high points in a style akin to EarthBound meets River City Ransom. There's the infamous rug scene, Walter's showdown with Jesus, a bowling minigame, and the epic brawl with the nihilists.

If this were made into a free browser game, it would be hard to imagine who wouldn't want to relive, and play firsthand through, the absurd escapades of the world's most leisurely philosopher. Check out the full video below:

About the author

Nick Statt is a staff writer for CNET. He previously wrote for ReadWrite and was a news associate at the social magazine app Flipboard. He spends a questionable amount of his free time contemplating his relationship with video games while continuously exploring the convergence of tech, science and pop culture.

 

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