A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Quick Example of Game Ports

Ah game ports.  In the 80s and 90s games were often taken from one platform to the other.  Usually the Arcades to home systems.  Thanks to copyrights and legal thingies some arcade titles are now legally lost to us as they were meant to be played.

If we are lucky we may be able to play the odd fan remake or port back in the day.

Yet.. in many cases these ports were but a shadow of the original ( Pac Man on the Atari 2600 anyone? ) however they really are the only legit way one could play it outside of owning a huge and expensive arcade machine.

A fine example of this would be the arcade version of Robocop.  The arcade game was a great looking and playing 2 button and 1 joystick platformer.  The home ports and translations in many cases (especially the 8 bit computers) were almost an entirely different game!  Yet the Amiga/Atari ST and PC DOS/Tandy ports were a direct port.  Yet..


Let me show you.
Here is the arcade game.  Controls great, looks great, sounds great.  (In MAME emulation.)

 Here is the Amiga version.  You need to use the keyboard to jump or a VERY awkward joystick motion.  Its the version I own sadly.  It runs slow in the UK where it was made (Ocean was to the UK what Bandai was to Japan and LJN/Acclaim was to the US.  A games maker who mostly just made licensed titles, usually not good ones.) and has a giant interface around the screen.  Dreadful!

 Now the EGA/Tandy DOS port.  In some ways it at least looks better than the Amiga though it controls MUCH worse and the non Tandy sound is AWFUL as PC beeps are wont to be.

As an example this is a free fan remake of the 8 bit computer versions (I may go back later once I get my Tandy Color Computer 3 to play the Robocop on it and show you all what it looks like.) which was the same basic game as the arcade but with a LOT of changes.  This was a couple of guys in 2004 who made this.

If you ever get a chance to try the original, Robocop is quite fun.  But the home ports, the only "legitimate" way most of us could play the game make it both unfun, ugly, and awful.

Sadly given the disdain electronic gaming is given means titles like this one are unlikely to ever allow fans to play it as they remembered, stuck with inferior home ports.

Now there ARE good ports if not translations of arcade classics that take advantage of the platform they are on.  In some cases I consider them BETTER than the arcade!

Maybe I will show some of these another time eh?

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