The Top 7... worst video game ports that should've been taken out back with a shotgun


2. Mercenaries 2, 2008

The console it was crapped out on: PS2

Why it should have been great: It's been proven without a shred of doubt that everyone, aside from architects and Michael Cane's character in the Italian Job, loves to blow shit up. With that in mind, a sequel to a game that let you explode everything in sight to tiny bits of rubble, which promised even more destruction, should have been a hoot and a half. But then again, the poor old PS2 was on life support and was being given the last rights by its uncaring younger brother when 2008 rolled on by.

Why it was a conversion car crash: The image above doesn’t look too bad, right? Well, don’t pass judgement until you’ve seen this video…


Yup, that’s right; it’s the game that physically builds itself around you as you play. The PS2 port of Mercs 2 was so botched, we even gave it its own article condemning its very existence. Pop-up is one thing. But when it gets to the point where things are being rebuilt around you, so that your environment is constantly changing at your feet, we've just got to call bull and shit.

If you didn't quite grasp the extent of the 'Worst. Draw. Distance. Ever.' in the earlier video, let us show you how an average nine seconds of play usually pans out in pictorial form, which we may or may not have Photoshopped.

We believe that’s what they refer to as being Mount Kilimanjaro-ed.

Indeed, it was such a shoddy conversion that World in Flames on PS2 was somehow technically worse than its three year old predecessor. And that totally had Han Solo in it, too. Mind you, when the 360 and PS3 versions look like they've been made in MS Paint, we don't know why we're acting so shocked.

Above: Those bushes are the product of an enterprising intern and a ten minute Photoshop session at lunch if ever we’ve seen them

1. Pac-Man, 1982

The console it was crapped out on: Atari 2600

Why it should have been great: Pac-Man was to 1980s arcades what The Heart Attack Grill is to widespread coronary ticker failure. Simply put, it remains one of the most significant and downright addictive games ever made. So when it was announced that it would be coming to a home console for the very first time, gamers could hardly contain their excitement for all things waka-waka-waka-waka.

Above: Pac-Man as he should always be remembered in ace, eyeless arcade form

Why it was a conversion car crash: Over these last few pages we've highlighted some pretty crappy ports. Hell, no one likes to see a great game shat out in substandard fashion thanks to a horrible conversion. But there's being a rubbish port and then there's being the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. A kind of rubbish so putrid, it's been widely cited as one of the main causes of the North American video game crash of 1983. Correctamundo, it started a goddamn market crash.

Under a huge amount of pressure from Atari, developer Tod Frye had to turn around one of the most highly anticipated games ever in just six weeks. And as you saw in the monstrosity above, the results weren't exactly exemplary. Unless the definition of exemplary has recently been changed to mean, and we're channelling Jeff Goldblum as we type this, 'one big pile of shit.'

Differences from the arcade original included the iconic white pellets being turned into squares that resembled brown bum biscuits, the fruit being changed to yellow squares and bafflingly sensitive collision detection that saw Pac-Man die if one of his pixels even comes close to brushing the pixel of a ghost. Oh yeah, and the fact the ghosts flickered about the screen randomly, making the game nearly unplayable. The latter problem was a sacrifice made to squeeze the title onto the 2600, which involved the four different ghosts being drawn at intervals. However, because the machine couldn't handle four onscreen enemies, only one appeared at any given time and this lead to the mega flicker of death.

Above: Also, he has eyes and that's just wrong on so many levels we can barely comprehend it

Before we end, though, we thought it would be good to get the opinion of someone who actually played the abomination in 1982. Enter one Mathew Cundy.  Unlike the writer of these words and probably loads of you reading this, Monsieur Cundos was actually alive in 1982. And he has fond memories of playing the game for days at a time. So much so, he has seen to bestow the Atari 2600 version his official Cool Cat Cundy’s Seal of Approval…

And really, surely that’s all the endorsement any of us need.

Sep 6, 2010

The Top 7... Best ports on inferior systems
Great versions of great games on lo-tech platforms


The worst Street Fighter characters ever
We look at the characters we don't need to see in IV


The Top 7... Worst Parts of Best Games
The most criminal imperfections of all time

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  • warlord2080 - January 3, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    i think another game that they may have left out is shadow of the beast for the sega genesis faster enemies and crappy hit detection.
  • Sabtos - September 9, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    Yeah, PC was exactly what I experienced RE4 on. I still can not comprehend the logic behind the control scheme. For the most part I got used to it, but the only reason I played it on PC was because I borrowed it.
  • Clovin64 - September 8, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    I dont think Bayonetta on PS3 was that bad. Slighty worse garaphics and irritating load times aside, it was a fine game. I finished it twice and was able to ignore the problems after a while. The only really annoying part was when you die during a tricky boss fight and are forced to endure a massve load time before you can give it another hot. Surely that Street Fighter II port was worse?
  • AuthorityFigure - September 8, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    You're kidding yourself if you think the white pellets in Pacman were 'iconic'...
  • philipshaw - September 8, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    Pac Man does look awful but I forgot how bad Mercs 2 was
  • 435 - September 8, 2010 9:47 a.m.

    Tom Selleck -is- awesome.
  • therawski - September 7, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    As an American I love this quote: "hundreds of undead Americans" But I couldn't believe that people were saying red dead was a bad port on ps3, I had absolutely no problems with it.
  • rytr - September 7, 2010 2:57 p.m.

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  • Rockmotron9000 - September 7, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    god i LOVE top7! most of the entries were spectacular! especially liked SF2 and the Wii version of DR. when will developers learn not to port awesome games to the Wii?
  • jmcgrotty - September 7, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    "Unlike the writer of these words and probably loads of you reading this, Monsieur Cundos was actually alive in 1982" Dear god, is this true? The average age around here is that young? How depressing.
  • manicania - September 7, 2010 4:08 a.m.

    I really don't get what's so bad about Bayonetta for the PS3. So the graphics are slightly worse than Xbox, so what? The controls are fine, the gameplay is solid, the combat is good, what's the problem? Even from the video, the only thing you notice is slightly worse graphics...
  • silellak - September 7, 2010 3:59 a.m.

    A good list, but it really should've included the Ultima VII port for the Super Nintendo: *twitch*
  • FauxFurry - September 7, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    It was games like Pac-Man, Indiana Jones and E.T. that caused me not only to feel less than the slightest twinge of dread when it appeared that console gaming would go away for good,I practically welcomed it. The box art was more fun than games themselves,quite the opposite of even the worst games nowadays where box art is just a formality. That's the only thing that I get remotely nostalgic about!
  • skynetiscoming - September 7, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    I played through that piece of shit Mercenaries 2 twice on PS2 and half a time on the PS3. God what a mess.
  • Yirba - September 6, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    I really hate to keep on mentioning it, bu Roxy really is a girl. It's only Poison who's a guy. And Nintendo removed them because they didn't approve of violence against women.
  • KaiokenKid - September 6, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    @lovinmyps3: but.... dont you play on PS3? (I kid, I kid, but still, PS3 dosent usualy get the BEST best version.)
  • lovinmyps3 - September 6, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    I'm glad I haven't suffered from any of the horrible ports. I always get the good version!
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - September 6, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    I'm surprised that this feature isn't filled with just fighting games and RTSs. Starcraft 64 and Command and Conquer PS1 for instance.
  • KaiokenKid - September 6, 2010 9:26 p.m.

    @JADENkOTOR: Yeah, ive grown to try and not let stuff like this get me mad, and pheonix seemed resonable and he didnt do the stupid "mah PS3 is teh bestest" type of stuff alot of people do, so there was no need to get mad. I have both consoles, so really, I dont see why I should care that much. It does kinda bother me that most times the 360 version does look a bit better then the PS3 version, maybe because I believe that the console with the (arguably) better looking exclusives should atleast be able to get the same results as the other console. that dosent seem to unresonable to me. And the only way I think this can really be fixed is having teh PS3 as the lead paltform all the time for multiplatform games or devs need to find a way to get equal performance from going from 360 to PS3. But that way dosent seem very likely, so I think the best we can hope for is that the "Using PS3 as lead platform for all our games" catches on alot more then it is now, because the only big time studio doing that way of deving is EA. smaller devs are doing that too like Lucas Arts, but really, the devs doing this type of deving are a small portion of the larger dev pool. Which makes me think it wont catch on before this gen is out because games usualy take 2 years to develop.
  • Gamesarerad - September 6, 2010 9:18 p.m.

    What show was that in the bayonetta pic with the dinosaurs? I remember watching that creepy ass show as a kid.

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