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When PC Ports of Console Games Go Wrong

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-other-words-always dept.

GUI 398

A post up at Gamasutra complains about the lack of effort put into the PC ports of some console games. The author picks on the unimpressively-reviewed Ninja Blade in particular: "Just as a quick guide to what we're dealing with here: when you create a new save file at the start of Ninja Blade on the PC, it warns you not to 'turn off your console.' Yes, Ninja Blade is one of those conversions: not so much converted as made to perfunctorily run on a different machine. In-game, you're asked to press A, B, X and Y in various sequences as part of Ninja Blade's extraordinary abundance of quick-time events. Whether you have an Xbox 360 pad plugged in or not, the game captions these button icons with text describing the PC equivalent controls. Only it doesn't always do that. Sometimes, you're left staring at a giant, pulsating, green letter A, and no idea what to do with it." What awful ports have you had the misfortune to experience?

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sup wit dat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282664)

fristy posty

Re:sup wit dat (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282684)

Please die.

Worse than bad ports are bad translations (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282676)

I'll never forget the just plain awful translations in Final Fantasy Tactics -- an otherwise excellent game. When the same spell name gets translated in different ways depending on which screen you're on ("Summon Lich" vs. "Summon Rich" -- yeah, awesome Engrish there ;) ), you've got QA problems.

Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282714)

If you really want to see poor translations, see the free-to-play MMO "fiesta". The mission text and the monster names were translated independently, I think, with the results that in many cases they just don't tie up in the slightest...

Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282784)

Or Zero Wing?

Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283048)

What you say?

Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283182)

Many Korean MMOs, especially the free to play variety, have horrible translations and I've encountered plenty where message boxes just said [to be translated].

Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (3, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283420)

I'm really shocked Borderlands wasn't included in the original article. Someone in another forum posted "i heard they finally fixed borderlands so you can play without unblocking 200 ports" - the response he got back was less than kind and more than happy to correct him. Great game, greater still with mutiplayer, but completely ruined when you can't play with three of your best pals. Also, lol @ gamespy as a matchmaking service. I felt like I'd traveled back to 1999.
In other news, the vestigial xbox360 code for L4D1 allowed you to play the PC version split screen with a friend, playing as player2 using a xbox360-come-USB controller and some well timed console commands.

The new Prince of Persia reboot. (5, Informative)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282680)

The new Prince of Persia reboot ensured that I won't buy a PC game from Ubisoft ever again. It suffered from the same "Let's fill the UI with references to console-controller buttons" issue.

Re:The new Prince of Persia reboot. (2, Informative)

GarretSidzaka (1417217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282752)

you know the first thing i thought of when i saw this article was Ubisoft.LOL

Re:The new Prince of Persia reboot. (3, Insightful)

XAD1975 (1628499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282950)

Same as Garret... Does anyone really bother buying Ubisoft games anymore after the introduction of their new DRM scheme? Be it Wii, PS3, PC or any other format, I won't give them any cent.

Re:The new Prince of Persia reboot. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282796)

Between this, bad DRM, horrible optimization in a lot of console-to-PC ports and the fact that exclusives tend to be designed to run on hypothetical future computers from the year 2101, it's no wonder PC gaming is dying(as confirmed by Netcraft).

Re:The new Prince of Persia reboot. (4, Insightful)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283042)

Even worse, the camera was locked sometimes which made mouse+keyboard controls near-unplayable.

Ubisoft are the masters of getting 90% of a game right and then fucking up the remaining 10% so badly that you can't in good conscience recommend their games. But that's not restricted to their PC games.

Re:The new Prince of Persia reboot. (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283192)

GUI related nonsense also comes in games like Borderlands. Doubly aggravating because the developer claims to have optimized the game's GUI for the PC version yet controlling it with the mouse is extremely clunky. Meanwhile something like Section 8 uses the same GUI on PC and console and it works fine on both.

when? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282702)

Please show me a single port of console game to pc, which didn't show these problems.... in over 20 years i believe its less than half a dozen

Even quite successful series like gta suffer from these mistakes

Re:when? (5, Interesting)

Holmwood (899130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282762)

Jade Empire, Mass Effect 1, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2 are four that don't seem to suffer from the specific problems cited above at the time I write this.(i.e. bad translation of controls). I don't much like the minigames in ME1, but that's not a console issue.

Fable was fine IIRC. Fahrenheit -- didn't like the control schema, but it was translated properly to PC IIRC.

That's your half dozen right there, and just off the top of my head. (Granted, a lot are from Bioware). The problem isn't universal; some developers and publishers seem to care about doing a decent port and some don't.

Re:when? (2, Interesting)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282826)

Although these games have been targeted at a vast majority of console players, they are no console ports with simultaneous release and development.

I understand your point but I think TFA refers to the ports.

Re:when? (1)

Shard013 (530636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282834)

Dragon Age is a PC game that was ported to console, possibly the same for Mass Effect 1 and 2.

Re:when? (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283250)

Mass Effect 1 came out on XBox360 first and the PC port wasn't even done by Bioware, Mass Effect 2 came out on both systems at the same time.

That aside Bioware so far has been doing great on porting consoles to PC or visa versa, as they actually redesign the user interface for each system, instead of just mapping mouse moving to an analog stick, which never really works.

Re:when? (5, Informative)

naam00 (1145163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282892)

What? Mass Effect 2 is horrible in this, especially the UI of your journal and saving and the like. All list-like displays (save files, journal entries) disallow double-clicks, instead forcing you to press some disconnected button to open something. The codex list (a tree-like structure) is worst, something probably working smoothly with sticks and buttons (usually an intuitive affair of 'entering and leaving' with two buttons), but horribly bewildering with a mouse. Weapon loadout choosing actually doesn't even make sense.

Don't get me wrong, love the game, and maybe its GUI is bad on console as well, in which case, port successful!

Re:when? (1)

annex1 (920373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283104)

No no, it's great on the 360. The UI acts exactly as you would expect of it. I would certainly say that it was designed with a controller in mind. Of course, I am the type of person that bought a computer for computing and a game console for games. I keep my 360 wireless PC adapter on the ready, in case I felt the need to play a game on my PC.

Re:when? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283560)

And don't forget the fact that the mouse wheel doesn't work in most places, which would make life a lot easier.

Re:when? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283238)

Knights of the Old Republic, Knights of the Old Republic II, Mirror's Edge and Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas for PC were all vastly improved over their console versions.

The worst console to PC ports I have seen are:

Deus Ex Invisible War - Had lots of loading screens due to areas being tiny because they needed to fit within the minuscule memory constraints of the Xbox. It was also heavily dumbed down (universal ammo, no skill system, lame biomod system, terrible inventory system, only two modifications per weapon, no computer hacking, no separate multitools/lockpicks, less dialogue choices and no consequences for actions) to cater towards the brainless console masses. The configuration files still contain lots of references to the Xbox, which makes it clear that the Xbox version was the primary focus and the PC version was an afterthought.

Silent Hill 2 - Horrible controls, horrible music, horrible sound effects. Just pure garbage.

Halo 2 - Steep system requirements for the low level of graphics that the game provides. Setting graphics to anything but the highest makes the game look even worse than the Xbox version. I had use low resolution 1280x720 and set pre-rendered frames in the Nvidia control panel to 8 in order to get a playable experience with max game settings. Clumsy mouse control, tons of references to the Xbox game controller buttons and the key mapping configuration is a joke because it prevents you from remapping any key that is already mapped. I had to choose the "southpaw" layout just to be able to setup a fairly standard WASD layout because the left-handed layout didn't already have the keys I wanted to use mapped.

Re:when? (1)

FlyveHest (105693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283402)

Mass Effect 1s UI was extremely console-centric, very large text, only list a few items, no way to group items together, and with the abundance of drops in that game, it was just horrible and annoying.

Re:when? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283476)

That was not the fault of the porting, but the underlying design, as the console UI wasn't just ported, but completely relayouted for the PC.

Re:when? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282770)

Well, I don't know if this is a "port", but both Lego Star Wars games run fine in any platform I've tried, without showing any signs of foreign idiosyncrasy.

Re:when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282774)

Please show me a single port of console game to pc, which didn't show these problems.... in over 20 years i believe its less than half a dozen

GTA: San Andreas

Re:when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282922)

grand theft auto 3, vice city and san andreas had a top quality PC ports, you could not notice it was originally a console game at all.

Re:when? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283322)

Please show me a single port of console game to pc, which didn't show these problems.... in over 20 years i believe its less than half a dozen

Even quite successful series like gta suffer from these mistakes

I've played original GTA on PC (both DOS and Windows versions) quite extensively, and can't say I've seen such problems. Maybe the more recent titles in the series had them, but the original really didn't.

Re:when? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283426)

The original Grand Theft Auto games (GTA, 1968 London, GTA2) were PC games, not console ports. That explains why you had no problems playing them. Everything since and including GTA3 suffers from some of the typical problems - substandard graphics, poor performance, awkward and imprecise controls, limited savegame system, etc. Thankfully most of these aren't as bad as they are in some other games, so they're still playable.


Borderlands was a pretty ordinary port (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282734)

Thankfully user tweak guides fixed most of it, and then a later patch cleaned up a bit. Still pretty ordinary effort though for supposedly "release quality".

Mostly UI issues as people suggested, and bad mouse smoothing.

Guitar Hero World Tour... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282750)

... on PC requires a "crysis ready" machine.
Will not run properly on a P4 2.8 + Radeon X1950 pro, runs ok on a C2D + radeon 47something.
No way to turn off the background animations, menu navigation is extremely slow, the game seems to be a console version running in a console emulator...

No surprise people are turning to Fofix.

Re:Guitar Hero World Tour... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283062)

not to mention fofix can also play rock band songs, and the insane puppetz sets...

Re:Guitar Hero World Tour... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283286)

FoFIX is still hideously slow due to being written in Python. Try Strings on Speed [] . It has vastly improved performance and works with FoF songs.

Awful ports? (4, Funny)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282754)

Hmm, let's see. USB is a bit of a turd sometimes...


Re:Awful ports? (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282800)

Upper Side Band? oh wait, you mean the serial port "replacement", Universal Serial Bus.

Re:Awful ports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283340)

The Port of Oakland is pretty grimy too.

Re:Awful ports? (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283406)

Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (2, Informative)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282768)

The PC port of Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance was not bad, it was horrible!
You had to map the keyboard/mouse/joystick to the Playstation 2 buttons via a config tool. I also never got the graphics to display correctly.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (2, Interesting)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282854)

Finally someone else understands my pain, I thought I was the only guy gullible enough to try and play that.

I have actually had an easier time mapping mechwarrior to keyboard and mouse controls than I did Substance. Trying to bind dual joysticks AND 8 PRESSURE SENSITIVE buttons to a keyboard just isn't possible, even if you manage to get one of the expensive keyboards that CAN press that many keys at once you'll still run out of fingers.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283342)

I had the PC port of the original Metal Gear Solid and they couldn't even get that right. I also had the PlayStation version; I just wanted to be able to save an unlimited number of games on a computer HD. I've battled input lag as a gamer many times, but that was the only time I've ever suffered lag between letting go of a button/key and the input stopping. This in a game where you have to run right up to a bad guy, almost touching them, in order to perform a strangling attack—on the PC port, Snake would just charge into them like a blitzing linebacker even after I'd released the key.

There was one bizarre advantage to the PC port, though. It was running at a higher resolution than they ever bothered to try to get the PlayStation to achieve in its analog-only video output. At times, this was an aesthetic drawback; the designers relied on that fuzziness to make their character models look more like sketches of people than polygons with blurry faces. But at other times, it was interesting to see a crisp, clear picture of the game's polygon models, kind of like a commentary track on the 3D artists' work. For instance, only on the PC port could I tell that the designers had intended it to be visually obvious that Meryl had no bra on. Before you call me perv, I did not find this especially sexy—the Meryl-model was nowhere close enough to looking like a human for that—but it was interesting to see this intended detail that had been lost in the technological details of the PlayStation.

I guess I also sort of liked, as a curiosity, the new "very easy" mode in which Snake is equipped with a suppressed submachine gun with unlimited ammo, which his superiors would have equipped him with were this anywhere close to real. Being able to kill enemies quietly at a distance made the game about as easier as you would think. Makes you question the good guys' commitment for not doing that in the main story. ("Here, Snake, take millions of dollars' worth of nanomachines, scuba gear, and futuristic stealth-clothes. An unregistered, untraceable gun? Nah, sounds too hard. But here are some good stranglin' gloves. Careful not to smash into anyone like a blitzing linebacker.")

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283408)

I just play Metal Gear Solid in ePSXe. You can crank up resolution to anything you like and even add shader effects on top of that. Being an emulator, it also has save state capability, so no more limited save slots or checkpoints. I don't have the PC version of MGS so I can't make a direct comparison, but going by how much better FF7 under ePSXe looks next to FF7 PC I am willing to bet that emulated MGS will look much better than the PC port.

Some examples [] of what you can do with ePSXe.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283398)

Tried to play the VR missions? There are 1st person missions where you need to aim with the keyboard. Made me feel all duke3d once again. Still finished them all!

I still loved the game, and loved them for making a PC port, no matter how "bad" it was to configure.

The case of Gears of War (5, Informative)

Fittysix (191672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282778)

When Gears of War's PC port was first released, it was:
1) buggy
2) crashy
3) released A YEAR LATER than the xbox version
The crashy part was fixed, iirc about 2 months after release by a patch.
As you can imagine, the sales for this port were a little slow. Video game companies being video game companies chalked this up to piracy. To them the fact that the game was a shitty port released a full year after the original with dated graphics and all couldn't have POSSIBLY been a reason.

When time comes around to release Gears of War 2 - cliffyB says there's no plans for a port because the first one was just pirated too much...

Re:The case of Gears of War (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282832)

Yes it is a shame that a company who started on PC and whose fanbase was PC could not at least continue to provide decent ports. Rockstar is much better on this aspect.

Re:The case of Gears of War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282982)

Yeah because Games For Windows Live is every PC gamers favourite piece of BS-ware. Rockstar was pretty good with the PC ports. Not any longer they aren't.

Re:The case of Gears of War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283142)

This is a joke, right? I'm almost certain it is, but just in case...
GTA IV is possibly the worst port, performance-wise, that I have ever experienced. Really, it was amazingly disappointing. The same computer that can run any other 360 port at 1600x1200 with everything maxed couldn't run GTA IV at anything beyond 800x600, with extremely low view distance. I had a friend with quad SLI who only did marginally better. When questioned about the jaw-droppingly poor optimization for PC, Rockstar, instead of acknowledging the problem, said "It's built for future computers". Let's be serious here: This is a game that can run on a xbox 360. There isn't some magic future technology GTA IV was able to access the 360 that no other games were able to use, so how come all of those ports run at triple digit framerates on computers that choke on GTA IV?
Rockstar isn't better. At least Epic stood by UT3 and eventually released a patch de-consolizing the menus and supported the mod scene, that's a lot more than Rockstar did for GTA IV.

Re:The case of Gears of War (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283200)

Almost seems to be a genre issue because Saints Row 2's PC port was also pretty shoddy. I don't think the system requirements are as bad as you describe there but it still had very steep ones.

Re:The case of Gears of War (3, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283230)

Uh, GTA IV is a perfect example of an utter clusterfuck of a PC port; buggy, slow and it attempted to assrape you with DRM, without even taking you to dinner and a show first. If Rockstar is better, who's worse?

Re:The case of Gears of War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283204)

Wtf, this was modded informative? Did any mods bother to confirm any of this bullshit?

Gears of War PC is one of those amazingly well-done PC games. I was utterly impressed at how well it ran. Not only that, but it's one of those few games that has no problem when tabbing in and out of it, even on older hardware.

And trust me, I'm the last person to be happy with a console to PC port, so yeah, that's saying something. In fact, I feel like playing Gears of War again after writing this.

Re:The case of Gears of War (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283410)

GoW on the PC has the longest installer I have ever come across; it took over 15 minutes to install the bloody thing.

I didn't find the game itself that buggy or crashy, just mind-numbingly boring.

Final Fantasy 7 on PC (2, Interesting)

smd75 (1551583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282782)

The fact that it would crash at the required Golden Saucer chocobo race in windows newer than 98. Also the fact that Eidos didnt give a rats ass to provide a patch for it.

Re:Final Fantasy 7 on PC (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282814)

As if that's not bad enough, Final Fantasy 7 for the Playstation has one of the best soundtracks ever in a videogame, and on the PC you get a vague approximation of said soundtrack in puke-inducing midi form.

Re:Final Fantasy 7 on PC (1)

vipz (1179205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282852)

Trying to get FF7 PC to run halfway decently on a non-Voodoo card was the equivalent of torture. I had a G200 and later a TNT2 :(

Re:Final Fantasy 7 on PC (2, Interesting)

russ_allegro (444120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282896)

I loved it that at one point in the game to go on, you had to edit the registry to tell the game to look for the game data in a directory on your drive drive and not on the CD, then replace one of the video files so you were able to continue on with the game. This was the solution listed on the Eidos support site.

It is also great that the minigames were cpu cycle timed instead of actual time. Trying to replay it a few years later on a faster computer, it is impossible to play any of the minigames because the minigame is done right when in starts.

Battles at high resolution were cool though, to bad about all the other problems.

Re:Final Fantasy 7 on PC (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282956)

Yeah, the graphics on the PC Port > FF7 PSOne, but everything else about the PC Port was epic fail.

Re:Final Fantasy 7 on PC (4, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283070)

If you want to play Final Fantasy VII on a modern PC, don't even bother looking at the PC version - it was a bumpy ride even back when it was new, let alone with modern hardware and operating systems. Buy a copy of the Playstation version (can be found very cheap second hand) and grab ePSXe (or your emulator of choice). The same goes for Final Fantasy VIII. You'll get better, more configurable graphics, fewer bugs and a few useful (if slightly cheaty) extra features like fast-forward and a save-anywhere option.

Alternatively, VII and VIII are available on the Playstation Network for a few dollars each which gets you an electronic copy portable between the PS3 and PSP (though this is probably still less "nice" than playing the original version emulated).

GTA4, Bully, Shawn White Snowboarding, MW2 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282812)

Seriously, just about any damned game in the past 2 years has been pure nigh-on crap. GTA4 would have been great, if you could have played offline without having to worry about crashing all the time, and then not having to sign into 3, yes 3 different services. Bully didn't even run on PC (at least for most people it just crashed, usually after the first cutscene (great QC there...!), Shawn White snowboarding had the similar press x a b y issues as the OP and Modern Warfare 2, oh good christ, no console, no way to type to other people while sitting in lobby, no dedicated servers, absolute fail. Its a wonder anyone makes a decent PC game anymore, the companies involved are more worried about someone pirating the damned things than making them good enough to pirate....

Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282846)

All I have to say is.

"all your base are belong to us"

Saints Row 2 (1)

Elipsion (886014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282856)

So, you are driwing down the highway and want to change lanes. Press left, make a perfect 90 degree turn and go head first into the concrete. Every. Single. Time.

Re:Saints Row 2 (1, Funny)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282960)

What the fuck is Saints Row 2 and why the fuck are you talking about it in here. We're discussing games, not pieces of shit.

Re:Saints Row 2 (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283226)

It wasn't quite that bad even when I played it with the horrible framerate on my old PC but yeah, fine control over the vehicle was pretty lacking.

Quick Time Events! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282860)

Quick! Press X to not die! D:

You win.

A few awful examples (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282876)

I think the worst example has to be Ghostbusters. The console versions are fairly good and somewhat quirky, if ultimately flawed, third person shooters. The PC version is actually broken. As in, it can't even reasonably be described as "working". If you want to install to a drive other than c:\ you're out of luck. If you have anything other than "generic Windows sound card" drivers installed, you won't be hearing any voices in-game. And some of the early fights are essentially unbeatable without cheating, due to collision detection and clipping issues. Oh, and it does the whole "console controller analogues" thing.

There are plenty of other awful examples. The Prince of Persia reboots have been mentioned (justly so) and I think the more recent installments in the Tomb Raider franchise also deserve a mention. Last Remnant is another good example; Square-Enix titles have never been particularly kindly treated on the PC anyway. Fire one of these up on even a top end PC with an Xbox controller plugged in and it's still very much apparent that you're playing the "second best" version of the game.

That said, there are plenty of decent ports out there. While I know others disagreed, Fallout 3 felt pretty good to me on the PC. Mass Effect 2 likewise feels as though they've spent a lot of time optimising the PC version so that it feels at home on the platform. In fact, there are even a few cases where it is the console version that feels like a nasty port. Pretty much any RTS that makes it onto the consoles can be chalked up in that category. The recent AvP game looks and feels far better on the PC than on the consoles; the Predator is an over-complicated nightmare to control on any platform, but the PC version does work out somewhat less toxic.

Re:A few awful examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283084)

Yes. This. When I read your comment, I realized I still had the game installed on my PC, taking up space. Fired up the uninstall from the control panel, and.. it ran the game. I exited, only to be put back into the game. GREAT uninstaller there.

Re:A few awful examples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283166)

Actually, The Last Remnant may be a dodgy port in control terms (I personally didn't have a problem with it, and it ran fine for me) but the PC version's had the mechanics fiddled with and improved - it's more fun to play.

If you like that kinda thing. SaGa RPGs are a rather small niche among JRPGs, and this is toned down from the previous installments but still rather quirky.

Most games I can think of (5, Insightful)

Tukz (664339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282938)

Most games I can think of that got ported from console to PC, suffers from a lot of issues.

They all have one or more in common:

  - Lack of configuration
  - Extremely high hardware requirements
  - Bad mouse control (acceleration, non-configurable sensitivity etc) Example: Mass Effect 2 got THREE settings for mouse. And it's STILL very high on Low.
  - Low FOV
  - Difficulty setting too low for PC (it's easier when you actually have a mouse to aim with in FPS)

But these issues are usually something that can get patched eventually.
The most annoying thing about ports is this:

They usually make a direct port of the game. What works on console, DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK ON PC!
On PC, I got an entire keyboard of keys. Allow me to freaking bind actions to em, don't give me 3 "command wheels" or whatever.

Don't make me "tap" a button to perform a action. Who thought of that?

I can go on with numerous game design issues, but I think everyone gets my points here.
When porting a game to PC, there are certain elements you just have to redesign.

Re:Most games I can think of (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283362)

Oh, I fully agree. Mass Effect dialog wheels don't seem to be affected by mouse sensitivity. I have my sensitivity set quite high - about 5x the maximum the UI allows - because I don't have much room to move my mouse around. Navigating through dialog options is a tad annoying.

Sometimes it's the other way around. (1)

Pallazzio (974406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282970)

I've played many a shitty console-to-PC port, but every once in a while there is a great PC game that gets ruined when it comes to the console version.

Worms was always one of my favorite games and I still play it regularly. I was really looking forward to playing the Wii version when I heard about it, but I was severely disappointed.

Roller Coaster Tycoon is another example of this.

[Protoype] works that way (1)

Polo (30659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282974)

Prototype is a fun game -- it's got a story line, but you can free-roam and do missions like the Grand Theft Auto series (but with superpowers instead of cars).

But... It's obviously a console port.

Most of your actions are based on combos that would be fine with a gamepad, but it kind of breaks down with a keyboard and mouse. I always find myself doing the wrong action because it's hard to chord the correct command for what you want.

The mouse is a really effective way to control things -- except with this game. You can move around and target something the mouse, but it's pretty ineffective. It works much better if you do the console method. You hit the "target" button to select an enemy to target, then all your attacks go there without you having to aim.

You know, it really is a fun game, but you can't forget it was designed for a console first, and a lot of the PC power is lost.

Re:[Protoype] works that way (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283298)

Even on the console there are some control issues with how the game requires you to press multiple face buttons simultaneously.

Dragon Age? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31282980)

Hey, at least the game that you SHOULD play on a PC is dramatically better. And you still get Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 coming out primarily for PC. Before you discount these they are all major titles from two different publishers. Since I've been playing a lot of Borderlands I'm going to say its a good if not 100% ideal port as well. PC is definitely the way to play that game.

The OP seems unnecessary... you're really mostly dealing with shitty Tom Clancy ports and those have all been shitty games for a while.

One good one (2, Informative)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31282984)

I remember playing Megaman X for PC and I was pretty impressed with how well adapted it was to the keyboard. It did away with the whole 16-digit code system of "saving," and in lieu there were actual saved games. Controls were pretty easily changeable (though I used the same setup I do for SNES emus that I normally use. That being said, I've played a couple of the latter PC ports of MMX series and they were ok, though not much different from the original. So I guess I would say that Capcom had the dualism down pat.

Example of SupCom v. SupCom 2 (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283012)

Okay, check out the SupCom2 (Supreme Commander 2) game. The SupCom itself was great and its addon (standalone) added lots of new features.

But on SupCom2 developers were just thrilled how easy they made the game to play. How they added new tactics and new units.And same time they announced the SupCom2 will come for 3rd generation game consoles as well...

You say what? a RTS game to consoles? Not everyone own a keyboard+mouse but everyone owns a gamepad.
Just check out the just released SupCom2 demo and you can notice only one thing, the game sucks. Smaller, Faster, SImpler and lots of simpler strategies. Now it is more like point and click game than a stratetic game.

When you do games, DO NOT MAKE THEM FROM SIMPLER DEVICES FIRST! (= consoles). Make the game first for the PC platform (and make it available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX) with all the glory and playability. THEN AFTER THAT, make the slim version of the game to game consoles, with dimmed down controls and blocked areas. You could even rip off all the functionality from the game and you could even then pleasure for both gamers groups, advanced, skilled and smart players. And then those who just want to sit down on coach 2 meters (6 feet) away from screen pushing those 10 buttons just for relaxing.

Re:Example of SupCom v. SupCom 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283148)

Smaller? You realise the campaign maps are meant to be like that?

Oh look a big map, funny how those exist.

Re:Example of SupCom v. SupCom 2 (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283314)

I played the SC2 demo and all it contained was some campaign missions, RTS campaigns are rarely worth a damn since the AI is usually set to passive and gives you all the time in the world to tech up and spam units, then crush everything with superior firepower. RTS games don't get really strategic until you're operating on a tight schedule and really have to budget your resources and time. Then you really have to decide what to invest in and when. In a campaign you can just buy everything and attack when you're ready because there's no penalty for being slow and when you have a giant army stomping around it's usually just a matter of attack-moving over everything, no need for tactics because your force is so large nothing can stop it.

Re:Example of SupCom v. SupCom 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283444)

I found the Supreme Commander 2 Demo pretty awesome, actually. The steamlined UI is the best part, especially. The first SupCom's UI took up 1/3rd of the viewable area of your screen, which was just ludicrous.

I also think that this is a PC game first and a console port SECOND. I don't think that the fact that they made the game more accessible was done simply so that it was adaptable to console controls.

I welcome the new changes because now I think I can get my wife to play :-)

Assassins Creed (1)

isecore (132059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283030)

... had awful console-type controls. Game was probably good, but I quit and deleted it after about ten minutes because the controls were completely illogical to a PC-gamer.

They were essentially gamepad-controls that had been reassigned to keyboard keys. They made no sense to a pc-gamer used to a certain de-facto standard of controls.

It also had (as I recall) the typical you-can-only-save-when-we-say-so console conversion issues, as well as the wonderful "please don't turn off your console" while saving.

Re:Assassins Creed (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283136)

Good god, I was almost at the bottom of the page and was going to eat my own hat if no one mentioned this one. Easily the worst big-name port I've encountered in recent history. The game itself really isn't all that good, but try to copypasta it onto the PC, and it's like they said "Hey, we know you enjoy typing all your documents, so here's a computer where you type your documents by pressing all the keys with this pencil!" Sure, either system on its own works reasonably well, bu you can't cludge them together.

Re:Assassins Creed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283562)

Those controls actually worked pretty well, once you used them for a little while. They just seemed bizarre when first told to you.

Oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283050)

Interface. Nuff said.

GTA IV! (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283066)

Starting out with more bugs than a jungle, and the only patches available being on
And then having up to 3 seconds of input lag (time between pressing a key, and the car reacting).

But only when you saw how crappy the graphics were, and how the game was slow like a dog, did you know that it was a console port.
The graphics card was irrelevant. The only thing that counter, was if you had more than 2 cores.
Because apparently, they implemented the PS3 vector processors in the CPU, instead of the vastly more powerful graphics cards.

Re:GTA IV! (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283244)

All that, and crappy DRM as well. It's like they punched you in the nuts, then whined that you hurt their fist.

Resident Evil 3 - Arrow Keys to Aim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283092)

In the PC port of Resident Evil 3, you actually have to use the arrow keys to aim in this third-person shooter. I'm fairly sure you can't change the resolution or any of the rendering settings, either. I made sure to throw it away separately from my other trash and filth for fear of corrupting my normal household refuse.

MW2 (1)

james.mcarthur (154849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283122)

Its a great console port, once you get past: a) They'll pick the server you play on, too bad if the server is 200ms away from you b) If the server decides they've had enough then you'll sit there whilst it "migrates" you to a new host. Fingers crossed the migration doesn't "fail" c) In game console? Don't need that, most gaming consoles don't have keyboards. d) Dedicated servers? Pfft e) Community generated content? Only if they can turn it into paid DLC.

Viva Frakkin' Pinata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283138)

It was on sale, and I thought it would be a cute little gardening sim for the spousal unit who loves her Sims.

Now I realize I had a POS graphics board, but it ran Civ III acceptably well, though Civ IV was slightly laggish, but hey...gardening sim. How many textures does it need to map, anyway? And besides, this a genre whose target audience is even happy with ASCII text ( [] ).

It ran like it was being run in a 360 emulator running on a C64.

Gamepad: a horrible input device for aiming/camera (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283146)

A gamepad works great for fighting games, and the standard fixed perspective jump 'n run platform games. But it is really terrible for games where you actually have to aim. It annoys the hell out of me that I can't get the camera where I want with games like Uncharted and Brutal Legend (don't own that many console games). Gamedevs often try to be clear and compensate for this horrible input method. These clever tricks of course should be removed ASAP for the PC version, because there you have a good device for moving the camera and aiming, i.e. the mouse.
Camera control is still a major problem on consoles, the often doesn't behave as you want it to. That with multiplaform release there are also bringing this problem to the PC. For example, quite often in Mass Effect 2 (which has good controls on the PC, but an annoying UI) the main character doesn't pop up after taking cover. Suddenly the camera is on the right of the character, being blocked by the a bit of scenery (which you used for cover). As a result, you can no longer see the enemy.

As a games developer (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283160)

As a games developer, its really pisses me off too.

Thing is the word "port" is a misnomer. Since in development dev kits are rare and expensive so only the more senior guys get them or you have to share.

This means there is (and must) always a working PC build on the go. Yep, all console games start life as PC games, you don't code directly on the console, your in Visual studio. Also a lot of the testing is done on PC as its a hell of a lot easier to debug and for large periods of devlopment your console builds might not even be working. For instance on our AAA title the Playstation 3 build spends half of its time utterly dead. (Fyi the Playstation 3 is a terrible console and is actually less powerful than a 360, the graphics power is especially poor)

So there's no excuse for putting out a bad PC release, its just lazyness. or more likely bad producers and their corporate overlords dailing to listen to the concerns of the designers and pushing out a shoddy product.

One fo the problems also is when the art is created for the console. Art in a decent environment should be compiled together choosing correct sizes, resolutions, compressions for the platform. This often isnt done. This means that a texture that looks nice and crisp on the console will look utter pants on the pc at 1920*1080 as it will be having to upscale the mips.

What should be done is that each platform should have people responsable for it at each step of its production. That would ensure you don't end up with terrabad "ports". Try pitching that to management tho. :(

-Anon because I don't want to be fired. :D

Resident Evil 4 PC... (5, Informative)

yourtallness (1183449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283162)

  • Almost no shading and piss-poor textures. They were sensible enough to release a patch for this. Patch had no bounds checking for disk space. If you had too little disk space, the installer would fail without any hint as to why.
  • X-box key names. Imagine having to remember what key press you mapped the X-box key to when it flashes on the screen while trying to avoid certain death by a rolling boulder.
  • No mouse support...
  • Forced 16:9 letterboxed display

Despite their hard effort (or lack thereof) to make the game piss off PC owners as much as possible, the game was still awesome.

Re:Resident Evil 4 PC... (1)

RobDollar (1137885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283254)

Totally agree, RE4 has to be the shining example. I'd played the game through on PS2, picked up a copy for PC and was completely baffled by it.

They did eventually sort of fix it, but in it's original form RE4 was definitely the mother of the bad ports, and a taste of things to come.

No mouse support on a pc shooter is just crazy.

List of terrible port errors. (5, Interesting)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283176)

- FOV settings, the fov is related to the distance to the viewer. On a PC, people is near the screen, so the FOV sould be higuer, is just a number, but even 90 million dollars videogames forget to change it on the PC. Out of lazyness, is not modified. (note: It may need to recompile some maps, and edit some weapons a littel).
  - Stupid messages "Don't shutdown the machine"
  - Savepoints, but thats parts of the mechanic, and can't be fixed
  - Autoaim, thats helps pad users, because you can't properly walk and aim on a pad (seems) so need autoaim. With a mouse, you don't need autoaim. Out of lazyness, is not deactivated.
  - HORRIBLE server browsers or lack of server browser. Idiot-box with a single button. Lack of dedicated servers. A whole horrible bad network experience, with not community sense and not respect to the PC values of freedom and user control of the experience.
  - The game greets you with a "Press ENTER". This is a arcade saloon artifact from 1982. It has not reason at all on a PC.
  - Use of bloated middleware. .NET, Windows Games For Live, etc.
  - Unoptimized code. Code written for the console, that runs poorly on the pc.
  - Smallish maps. Since the consoles are serius ram limits (like 512 MB or less) some maps are really small, and you see lots of "load screens". On the PC proper games use streaming to have not load screens, or the maps are giganteous large.
  - Quick Time Events. These things work ok with a pad, on a keyboard are something like a "learn where the A and B key are on your keyboard" minigames. Don't work at all on the PC.
  - Weird resolutions. If your game don't support 1280x1024, your game is shit, cause this is a normal (low) resoultion for lots of LCD. This force people to use lower resolutions that looko blurry, and with enormo pixels.
  - Lack of configuration options. The console people like FEW options, the PC people like MORE options. Add a FOV setting, and autoaim settings, a resolution setting, a bloom setting.
  - Use of the UNREAL engine. This engine don't support things like AA, so you have to force AA on the driver, but it don't work on some engines. Games like Borderlands suffer of this. Unreal could be a decent engine for consoles, but is BAD for the PC, because is optimized for the consoles.

I could continue, but I am wasting my time here. since most of these problems are out of lazyness. Disabling autoaim sould take a well managed company only 1 hour of time, If people don't know you have do disable autoaim for the PC, what the hell are you doing near a "conversion to PC" proyect?

Re:List of terrible port errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283422)

Use of the UNREAL engine. This engine don't support things like AA, so you have to force AA on the driver, but it don't work on some engines. Games like Borderlands suffer of this. Unreal could be a decent engine for consoles, but is BAD for the PC, because is optimized for the consoles

Actually Unreal engine is optimized for PC. It allows you to configure literally _everything_, even when the GUI doesn't allow it.

Re:List of terrible port errors. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283556)

" - Use of the UNREAL engine. This engine don't support things like AA"
AA will (often) not work in the Unreal 3 Engine if your computer is unable to run DX10. You need to upgrade your Operating System and/or your Graphics card.

F**** consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283358)

Gaming on consoles is horrid and have ruined the PC-gaming market ever since.
All you console faggots should get noma.

Most sadly (1)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283450)

I've found that most games that play on both a console and PC/Mac suffer when your playing them on anything but a console. It's simply that when designing a game that is going to be run on the console at all your much better off playing to that lower common denominator than the other way around. Or to put it another way you will end up just having a massive kludge of a console game that was designed for the level of complexity that can be done on a real computer.

Even with the Mass Effect series which I have enjoyed I still think how much better the game would be had it been designed as a PC only title. But sadly that is not where the money is at.

For all the negatives... (1)

CaPn Corelian (575148) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283464)

... here is a positive: Colin McRae's Dirt2: the game feels so polished on the PC that I'd think it was designed for it.

Another negative: NFS shift: there's no way to avoid watching the 10 second or so video clip at the start and re-start of every race if you don't press the 'A' button... which it seems cannot be mapped to the keyboard or to a button on a non-xbox controller... very annoying when trying and re-trying to get a race right.

Tip: With the pinnacle game profiler program and enough patience you can customize your controller to cover for the lack of attention the game developers put on the port to the PC.

Two words: Resident Evil (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283474)

The translations of the controls from console to keyboard for various Resident Evil games was awful, especially in recent releases. Many were unplayable unless you used cheats, because you couldn't control character motion well enough in combat scenes.

Completely Unplayable (1)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283512)

Onimusha 3 anybody?

ST:Legacy sheeples! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31283524)

Can't be forgetting that piss poor game. It was merely ok on the Xbox360 but the pc port was horribly done. Not as bad as others but more than bad enough!

Mass effect though, a great game but a bit of a crappy port. And OH! the bugs!!! And let's not forget the SDK. Hold on..what SDK?

With love
The Anonymous Coward.

Deus Ex 2 (4, Insightful)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31283532)

Every time I see it, I curse both Ion Storm and Microsoft.

The 64Mb memory of Xbox lead to room-sized levels. I had a feeling that game designers were more concerned about advertising this console graphics (oh, look, we have shaders and are not afraid to use them), than actually making a decent game. The six-button controller crippled the interface. The teenager target group lead to oversimplified gameplay (same ammo for pistol and flamethrower, WTF?) and a stupid plot (virtual Britney Spears clone is remarkable).

And despite all that, it ran really slow on my PC, which had four times more RAM and a better videocard than this X-crap.

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