Leave Well Enough Alone

By François Chang

December 22, 2009

Why can’t some companies just leave well enough alone? My gripe for a while now has been companies that have been making bad ports and bad remakes of games that I love. First, just so you can get an idea of what the difference is, let’s establish my rule for what is a port and what is a remake. A port is when a game is moved from one system to another, with little to no changes. An example of a good ported game is Kirby Super Star Ultra. Sure there were changes, but not enough to be considered a remake. A remake needs to have or at least seem to have had 3 months+ of work put into it. An example of a good remake is Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Completely redrawn for HD, brand new music, and refined gameplay, make HD Remix not just quick coding and simply bringing the original Super Turbo to 360/PS3. There was definitely new work and effort put into it. So, in this article I want to talk about some ports and remakes, and target why they were terrible ideas.


Street Fighter Alpha 2 (ARC) ported to Super Nintendo (Street Fighter Alpha 2)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 was the final game for the Super Nintendo’s impressive catalog of games. It’s another Street Fighter game, it has to have been good. The other thousand Street Fighter games were all great on the system, so this should have been good too, right? Wrong! because this game was a terrible port of the original. The sound quality was bad, the game had slow down, and the load times were pretty bad. The thing people loved so much about Street Fighter II was that it was almost an arcade perfect port. I guess the Super Nintendo was starting to show its age at this time. Super Nintendo you may not have been able to handle Street Fighter Alpha 2, but you can still handle my heart.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (SNES) ported to Gameboy Advance (Mortal Kombat Advance)
No comments needed.

Sonic the Hedgehog (GEN) ported to EVERYTHING!
The original Sonic the Hedgehog was fantastic, but wow. Can you name a system this game hasn’t been on? You can’t! And that is what’s wrong with these ports. Sonic the Hedgehog should be a classic, but it has been prostituted on so many systems that I don’t want to see it again. Whether it is alone or on a Genesis/Sonic compilation, it has been ported to Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, Xbox, Wii, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, iPod, iPhone, Dreamcast, numerous cell-phones, and soon Nintendo DS. And it makes me sick.


Conker: Live and Reloaded (XBOX) remake of Conker’s Bad Fur Day (N64)
The first problem here is that this was way too soon. These two games are only a generation apart, did we really need to see it remade so soon? Conker’s Bad Fur Day was great, but Conker: Live and Reloaded was significantly a step down from it. The completely redone for Xbox graphics adventure portion of the game was fine, nothing really wrong there. However, the multiplayer portion was what was ruined. Conker’s Bad Fur Day’s multiplayer was amazing on N64. There were some racing stuff, some tank stuff, and even some run away from a dinosaur stuff. All of them were real fun, but the best part was the first-person shooter multiplayer element. It was good. It was GoldenEye 007 good. Having these multiplayer modes on Xbox Live would be a dream come true for any Bad Fur Day fan. But Live and Reloaded took that established multiplayer, and threw it out the window. They redid the whole multiplayer aspect and decided a whole new FPS concept would be better, but it was bad. Perfect Dark Zero bad.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled (360 & PS3) remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (ARC) How can you take a highly successful and highly acclaimed arcade beat-em up and ruin it? What would you have to do? The answer is change nothing of the gameplay. On top of that nothing, take some away from other aspects too. That’s exactly what Ubisoft did with Konami’s masterpiece. TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled was a remake that beefed up the graphics of the original, but added nothing else good. It made it boring, it was bland, and it felt like a chore. I didn’t want to play the same exact game again. No wonder the price dropped 5 dollars right before release, they even knew it was going to suck. The catchy music and the oldskool 2D charm were missing as well. So, what you’re left with here is essentially a generic beat-em up that the new generation will not remember and with no catering to the original’s fanbase.

Great games that have had their reputations ruined are far too many lately. These are just a few of many games that have been ruined. We still haven’t gotten to those “Wiimakes” and other sloppy ports. Unfortunately, this trend will not end as long as we continue loving games. It’s the horrible byproduct of making a good game.

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François Chang

Working on the DualShockers staff as both an editor and community manager since late 2009, François is absolutely no stranger to the videogame industry. He is a graduate from the City College of New York, and has his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. His next step is to obtain his Master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before starting his career, François has been gaming since the age of 2 with Super Mario World, and he has never looked back since. Gaming may be his profession, but it has always been his passion.

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