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Wadmodder Shalton

Porting Disasters Thread

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A few hardware-related porting disaster tropes that I can think of is the Sony Playstation Classic and the Atgames-licensed Sega Genesis/Mega Drive consoles.

 

The Playstation Classic was essentially a mini version of the PS1, with two controllers replicating the old pre-DualShock controller, but with an average library of games, that was meant to be Sony's answers to the NES & SNES Classic systems. However, it's plagued with PAL versions of PS1 games thrown into the mix of NTSC games, and uses the ReARMed branch of the free and open source emulator PCSX, probably because Sony had lost the source code for the PS1 emulator that they used for PS1 games on the PSP, PS3 & PSVita digital storefronts. Fortunately, like the NES & SNES Classic, you can put ROMs onto the flash memory or use it as an emulation system for other consoles.

 

The Atgames-licensed Sega Genesis/Mega Drive consoles is a whole different story, plagued with bad build quality, terrible sound, flimsy controllers, fuzzy video output, & emulation problems for the built-in games.

 

On most of their systems, there's a couple of lackluster & mediocre original titles that look like they could've been a browser Flash game, but are technically similar in quality to those JungleTac game consoles, and are passed off as being Genesis/Mega Drive games that Sega didn't have involvement with. Atgames did make a few improvements to their Genesis/Mega Drive consoles but the improvements were barely minimal.

 

Here's a video by Rerez on the Firecore model showing how Atgames barely cared about the quality of the product.

Thankfully, Sega & Atgames have since ended their relationship, with Atgames stopping production of their Genesis/Mega Drive hardware in the late-2010s, and Sega collaborated with M2 to make the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini, with Sega officially learning their lessons with the Atgames-licensed Genesis/Mega Drive.

 

Those are two of the hardware-related porting disaster tropes that I can think of.

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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If you thought that Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis on GBA was bad, look no further than Sonic Jam on the Tiger GameCom. It contains watered-down slowed down versions of Sonic 2 & 3, and Sonic & Knuckles with the first Sonic game removed from this port, all with a terrible framerate.

I know the Sega Saturn never had a true Sonic platformer released on the system, just only three Sonic games TBH, Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic R, and Sonic Jam (the latter game being a compilation of the first three Sonic games as well as Sonic & Knuckles). There was to be a real true platformer for the Saturn called Sonic Xtreme, but it got cancelled due to problems during development.

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A few other NES ports that were awful includes as follows:

 

Conan: The Mysteries of Time, a crappy licensed NES port of a classic C64 game by System 3 titled Myth: History in the Making, with bad controls, graphics, mechanics & music.

720 Degrees: horrible graphics, ear-bleeding music, and broken controls. It was developed by Beam Software who did the infamous Back to the Future game released in 1989, which has been criticized for being blatant rip-offs of Paperboy & Root Beer Tapper.

Aladdin & Aladdin II: both badly designed ports of the SNES & Genesis platformer game of the same name.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: a port of the Arcade game with bad controls.

Heroes of the Lance: Easily the worst version with tons of game breaking bugs.

Spy vs Spy: missing levels from the other versions and missing the tripwire gun trap.

The Last Ninja: an unnumbered port of Last Ninja 2 by the same developer as the Conan game with the same problems as that game.

 

Other awful NES ports include King's Quest V, Captain Comic & Twin Eagle: Revenge Joe's Brother.

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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South Park's forgotten FPS game from 1998. While the N64 version is passable, the PS1 & PC versions just fall flat.

 

The PS1 version is noticeable with it's downgrades in graphics, removable of levels, and pre-rendered FMVs which is just footage from the N64 port.

 

The PC version is way worse due to the increased health points of the enemies, which means that enemies have twice the number of health points.

Choosing which version is the worst is kind of an understatement, the PS1 version is terrible but is technically the easiest, the N64 version is better despite the controls, the PC looks the best but it plays the worst due to the broken enemy hit points.

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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On 9/19/2021 at 2:31 PM, CrystalHawk_Doom said:

Saints row 2; absolutely terrible pc port.

Hopefully not for too much longer. Someday we will get to see IdolNinja's hard work come to life.

 

Shame he isn't around for the richly-deserved accolades, though.

 

On 10/18/2021 at 4:16 PM, Wadmodder Shalton said:

 

South Park's forgotten FPS game from 1998. While the N64 version is passable, the PS1 & PC versions just fall flat.

 

The PS1 version is noticeable with it's downgrades in graphics, removable of levels, and pre-rendered FMVs which is just footage from the N64 port.

 

The PC version is way worse due to the increased health points of the enemies, which means that enemies have twice the number of health points.

Choosing which version is the worst is kind of an understatement, the PS1 version is terrible but is technically the easiest, the N64 version is better despite the controls, the PC looks the best but it plays the worst due to the broken enemy hit points.

I secretly hope that someday the PC version gets reversed and then a community patch can fix it up.

 

I know it'll never get done officially though; Parker/Stone have definitely disowned it and the first few games in the franchise (stuff like Rally or Chef's Luv Shack), and that puts the kibosh on it ever being an official thing.

 

Thing is it'd probably not be that hard to do, since the game is using, IIRC, a modified version of the Turok engine. (Meaning that this game was the only way that engine made it to PS1 and to PC, at least until the Nightdive crew came in.)

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The Mega Drive port of Rock'n'Roll Racing. Playable, yes, but the music was absolutely BUTCHERED in the porting process and is a prime example of just how incompetent Western developers could be when it came to programming the YM2612. In a game whose entire selling point is the goddamn soundtrack. Place it alongside something like Thunder Force IV which demonstrated that the MD could easily handle a metal soundtrack and it just comes off as insulting.

 

On 10/18/2021 at 9:27 PM, DannyMan said:

Mfs really thought the original Xbox can handle Half Life 2.

I quickly discovered WHY it only cost me £3.

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38 minutes ago, scalliano said:

The Mega Drive port of Rock'n'Roll Racing. Playable, yes, but the music was absolutely BUTCHERED in the porting process and is a prime example of just how incompetent Western developers could be when it came to programming the YM2612.

Ahem.

 

 

(To be fair, this game never got released... so we're EXTREMELY fortunate that the prototype blessed us with how Tim Follin could make a YM2612 sing in his one and only attempt at it.)

 

Also, don't knock some of the later stuff from the Nu-Romantic guys.

 

 

Yes, I know, you weren't referring to ALL Western developers, and you bet that there was a lot that were just awful at the thing. But there certainly was a few who "got" the chip and how to make it sound great.

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22 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

Yes, I know, you weren't referring to ALL Western developers, and you bet that there was a lot that were just awful at the thing. But there certainly was a few who "got" the chip and how to make it sound great.

I won't sit here and try to claim that Jesper Kyd's work on games like Sub-Terrania and Red Zone wasn't banging, just to give an example, but a lot of Western games fell back on the godawful GEMS sound driver which only a few developers knew how to get anything out of, such as Jean Baudlot (RIP) and Raphael Gesqua's work on Flashback.

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28 minutes ago, scalliano said:

I won't sit here and try to claim that Jesper Kyd's work on games like Sub-Terrania and Red Zone wasn't banging, just to give an example, but a lot of Western games fell back on the godawful GEMS sound driver which only a few developers knew how to get anything out of, such as Jean Baudlot (RIP) and Raphael Gesqua's work on Flashback.

I think Shaq Fu was also by Gesqua and used GEMS as well, and I actually rather like that soundtrack.

 

And yes, Kyd is an absolute banger. Sub-Terrania, Red Zone, Adventures of Batman and Robin. All excellent.

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It is always hilarious ( and sad ) to see how house of the dead games look on their original system and then look at the PC port. especially the 1st game. Sonic Adventure also has some horrible ports but that didn't stop it from becoming a hit ( who am I kidding people get it to play chao garden anyway lol ).

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While I wouldn't say a total porting disaster, Universal Soldier fits being a write off until you realise it's actually Turrican II in disguise!

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I believe two that can’t be missed are the original mobile and PC ports of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI. What happened to the pixels? It looks even less like the original versions now.

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During the N64-era at least four attempts to bring Game Boy games were distributed by third parties, with all but one of them allowing the use of Action Replay, GameShark & Game Genie codes for most games and the ability to create your own codes, but without the good qualities of the SNES's Super Game Boy or the Gamecube's Game Boy Player accessories.

 

These were as follows:

 

- GB Hunter & Game Booster: both for the Nintendo 64 for systems in NTSC for the former and PAL for the latter in North America and Europe respectively, developed by Datel in Europe and distributed in North America by E.M.S. Indtrial, but with emulation issues and being treated to a heavily compressed bar from one of famed demoscener Jeroen Tel's songs that loops endlessly in place of the game's normal audio. The PAL version contains a few differences to it's BIOS and included a built-in game called Rebound Mission, the latter of which the NTSC version lacked.

- Super GB Booster: a similar device for the Playstation by the same company Datel and distributed in North America by a company called Innovation. Suffers from the same emulation problems, but thankfully doesn't have the annoying audio from the GB Hunter/Game Booster.

- Advance Game Port: the last of the Datel accessories released for the Gamecube playing Game Boy games on a Television, this time only focusing on strictly Game Boy Advance games, still had emulation issues but it's still better than the GB Hunter & Super GB Booster.

- GBA TV Converter & TV de Advance: a product originally released in Japan by GameTech and by Innovation in North America, it was a mod for the original GBA model that allowed it to have Composite Video outputs. It played everything the original GBA model can support, but the quality of the product is mediocre at best, due to the fact that setting it up and getting it to work is a genuine crapshoot due to it's circuit board connectivity, resulting in sub par low video quality.

 

Gaming Historian did a video on these third party Game Boy players a few years ago.

 

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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I found a decent video breaking down the finer details behind why the Doom 3DO port was an unmitigated disaster for those who don't have the patience to watch Rebecca Heineman's hour-long, unedited rambling video. Learning about the sheer incompetence of the original developer, Art Data Interactive, is mind-boggling. It's no fucking wonder they went bankrupt and folded after the port was released and torn apart. Mad respect to Heineman for managing to accomplish what she could on such a tight deadline, surrounded by morons. 

 

 

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And I bet anyone here remembers the Midway Arcade Treasures series for the PS2, Xbox & GameCube with three volumes, in addition to Extended Play for the PSP, and Deluxe Edition for the PC. These compilations included emulated versions of Midway, Williams & Atari arcade games, and sadly they are a bit butchered.

 

A few notable emulation issues include, but not limited to:

 

Midway Arcade Treasures 1
Smash TV - slowdown issues

 

Midway Arcade Treasures 2
Hard Drivin' - the game has slowdown issues and is partly missing the original physics engine, making it totally unplayable.
Wizard of War - all the sound effects & music cues are in the wrong places and the game is partly speed up.
NARC - graphical & sound glitches
Pit-Fighter - a few graphical & sound issues and the speed of the game is twice the one of the original arcade, making it totally unplayable.
Primal Rage - it suffers the same encryption copy protection problems as the arcade game, making this version broken.
Mortal Kombat II - occasional speed problems, graphical & sound glitches and the inability to fight Smoke due to button mapping issues.
Mortal Kombat 3 - occational speed problems, graphical & sound glitches, button mapping issues.
Rampage: World Tour - missing voice samples from Dr. Betty Veronica when it comes to her talking to the phone on some scenes between levels

 

Midway Arcade Treasures 3
Hydro Thunder & San Francisco Rush 2049 - both are based on the Dreamcast releases. Runs perfectly on most track/vehicle combos, more complex boats slow down the game, the console runs fastest with the bonus chumdinger boat.
San Francisco Rush: The Rock -  was re-programmed from the ground up, with the tracks and vehicles are the same as the arcade version, but the physics engine is slightly different, and the music has been replaced, save for the "What's Your Name?" high score music, and this version runs at 60 frames per second, which is faster than the arcade, and emulation is nigh, on-perfect bar, and downsampled sounds.
Super Off Road (including its upgrade/add-on pack, Super Off Road Track Pack) - the license and image likenesses of "Ironman" Ivan Stewart was altered in both games, and was renamed "Lightning" Kevin Lydy. Ivan's name does, however, remain intact on the high score list ("IVN") and game credits.
Off Road Thunder - slight framerate problems.
Race Drivin' - framerate problems on the original track.
S.T.U.N. Runner - slowdown problems where a lot of vehicles are.

 

Midway Arcade Treasures Extended Play
Paperboy - picture is stretched.
Sinistar - picture is shrunk.
Mortal Kombat - has the same emulation issues as the Mortal Kombat Deception Premium pack release, including small input delays, increased speed, occasional slowdowns, sound problems and the lack of character bios
Mortal Kombat II - same problems as the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 releases with the addition to most of the background elements being missing or removed.

 

Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition
Most of the same emulation issues from the second and third remain but unlike the earlier entries, in the two months after its release, two official patches were released for the collection, one to fix missing music for half of the games that was accidentally left out of the shipped version, and a second one to correct a button function oversight that prevented Random Select and Smoke battle easter eggs in Mortal Kombat II.

 

There might be other issues that I haven't found with the Midway Arcade Treasures series, but there are a few of the ones that I'm aware of.

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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After my recent experience of the two Lords of Shadow games at least the first one had poor mouse and keyboard controls with the console to PC port it didn't even have the key prompts only still showed the xbox360 prompts, the second games PC controls were much better but it still lacked the keyboard prompts.

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20 hours ago, Avoozl said:

After my recent experience of the two Lords of Shadow games at least the first one had poor mouse and keyboard controls with the console to PC port it didn't even have the key prompts only still showed the xbox360 prompts, the second games PC controls were much better but it still lacked the keyboard prompts.

wait thats weird my brother was playing the first game on pc and it was showing the keyboard prompts to him

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Looks like it's my memory going, it's really just poor controls for the first one not so much lack of prompts.

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Two inferior PC versions of console games that ran on a different engine and play nothing like the console versions are 007 Nightfire and Spider-Man 2.

 

007 Nightfire on PC was actually developed by Gearbox Software and actually runs on Half-Life's GoldSrc engine which was already outdated at the time better engines were being made, and heck this was when Counter-Strike Condition Zero and Half-Life 2 (and the Source engine itself) were still in development at the time. I'm guessing that Eurocom's EngineX PC version wasn't stable & ready yet for the engine to be released on PC, which was why Gearbox Software chose GoldSrc for the task to make their own version of Nightfire, and the results do technically show. Despite the awfulness, it's still better than the awful Half-Life 2 "paid mod" abominations Prospekt & Hunt Down The Freeman that's for sure.

 

Spider-Man 2 on the other hand was developed by The Fizz Factor and actually runs on Unreal Engine 2, and isn't actually an open-world experience instead being way too linear and inferior levels & objectives. I'm guessing that Activision probably knew that Treyarch's NGL wasn't stable enough to have an open-world environment.

 

These are two examples of PC versions of games that don't look as good to their console counterparts.

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Cruis'n on the Nintendo Wii - this wasn't actually originally a Cruis'n game, but rather an inferior port of the 2004 Fast & Furious arcade game by Raw Thrills, with all the signage and references to the Fast & Furious franchise removed.

We obviously know that the Cruis'n N64 games weren't particularly great, but taking an existing game and slapping the Cruis'n name onto it is a big let-down to the series by Midway Games.

Edited by Wadmodder Shalton

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Oh, also Pit-Fighter on Game Boy is the same as the SNES only this time in black & white. And that port was developed by the same team as the SNES version.

 

Hard Drivin' & Race Drivin' on the Sega Genesis also have control issues and a low framerate, and in Race Drivin' half of the Super Stunt Track isn't rendered due to technical limitations.

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Ikari Warriors on the Commodore 64 has two different versions released, one released exclusively in Europe by Elite and an inferior one released in North America by Data East.

The European version is the most faithful C64 port with the two-player multiplayer support retained. The North American version on the other hand, is considered watered down by removing the two-player multiplayer support.

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The Itanium (IA-64) and x86-64 (AMD64) versions of 3D Pinball Space Cadet. While they are playable, they have major graphical glitches which might be because of the way that games from the mid-1990s suffer from side effects when porting over to 64-bit. So maybe the inability to fix the graphical glitches might had been the reason why Microsoft chose to remove 3D Pinball Space Cadet from Windows Vista. Originally, it was believed that the collision detection system was broken when porting the game to 64-bit but this was recently proven false. NCommander made a very cool video on 3D Pinball Space Cadet's removal.

 

On 7/1/2021 at 2:45 PM, Artman2004 said:

Half-Life: Source. A port so bad, Valve would rather support a fan-made one instead.

I wonder if anything similar to what happened with 3D Pinball Space Cadet with the 2001 Itanium release of Windows XP 64-Bit Edition (at least from what Raymond Chen's blog post said) happened with Half-Life Source with it's SteamPipe update, I've doubt that @DCasali would have any answers as to what happened with Half-Life Source with the release of SteamPipe. Time Will Tell.

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The PC version of Ride to Hell Retribution is simply a console port of the Xbox 360 version, making this one of the worst PC ports of all time.

 

As a result, there's no video settings to change the game's resolution and graphics settings to get rid of the game's horrible texture pop-ups unless you edit the game's config file.

 

Also, the horrible control scheme that involves pressing F1-12 to scroll through the menu and other things for the PC port can't be re-mapped either.

 

The shooting is much worse in the PC version, and even if you set the sensibility to the lowest value possible, the aiming will still feel stiff and slippery, and for some reason the aiming will get even more slippery when you're aiming at an enemy, as if the game doesn't want you to shoot accurately.

 

Opening the achievements menu doesn't even do anything, instead it will show nothing and cause the controls to stop working, instead of opening the Steam achievements page, requiring you to use task manager to exit the game.

 

This port was pulled off the Steam storefront in September 2014, which means this technically makes the PC version mockingly referred to as "Ride to Hell Redistributable 0%" or "Ride to Hell Redistribution 0%".

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