5. Street Fighter II, 1992
The console it was crapped out on: ZX Spectrum
Why it should have been great: The most influential beat 'em up of all time combining with a ten-year-old, semi obscure British console, which was about as powerful as a broken light bulb in an EASY-BAKE Oven; what could go wrong? Oh, right.
Above: Hey, it could have been worse... erm, fighters could have broken out Nazi salutes after winning fights
Why it was a conversion car crash: We don’t want to be too hard on this one, because it was a minor miracle they ever got it running on the Spectrum. But bugger us gently in the eardrum if it ain’t ugly as sin. Specifically the Gluttony sin from Se7en….
Really, who in the name of Jiminy F*ckin' Cricket was still playing the Spectrum in 1992 (i.e. a full ten years after it was released in the UK). Considering the power of the machine, we could perhaps get over the hideous looks. But seeing as Street Fighter has always been founded on lightning quick button inputs and enthralling matches of supreme, tactical speed... ah screw it, just look at the damn thing in action below.
You see the problem now? It's like the Spectrum title has been ported from the 16-bit versions by a nine-year-old kid drawing it in a flip book with crayons. If that wasn't enough, because of the ancient machine's games coming on cassette tapes, you had to manually load each character and stage separately. Think of it like using a VCR, except instead of trying to fast forward to the money shot of that German skin flick a guy at school sold you, you have to get a shitty fighting game to a precise point of the tape to get the thing to even work. Still, bless 'em; they did at least try. And isn't that the most important thing? The answer, is of course, quite empathically, no.
4. Bayonetta, 2009
The console it was crapped out on: PS3
Why it should have been great: One of the first titles to be released by Platinum Games (i.e. the developer fronted by three geniuses who between them brought us Devil May Cry, Resident Evil and Okami), Bayonetta looked at existing action games, had a bit of a pout, then kicked them in groinal region with her 14 inch stilettos. With breathless pacing, amazing boss encounters (you kill one of them by impaling the monstrosity on a buggering church) and a deep but accessible combat system, it looked all set to be the dog's bollocks. And it was... on 360.
To prepare your eye sockets for some PS3 Bayonetta bashing, why not watch this Digital Foundry video of the two versions running side by side that some Johnny Randomer handily posted on Youtube.
Why it was a conversion car crash: Snarky criticism loading... loading... any second now... oh, c'mon... friggin' load you stupid words. Ah, that's better. Providing you're not sniffing glue while reading this article, you've probably guessed the primary bugbear with the PS3 port (aside from the ocular-offending frame rate troubles you've just had to endure), were the ludicrous load times.
Above: Sure, Bayonetta on PS3 takes a fair time to load, but we're sure this Stone Age dude will be kicking demon ass before the Ice Age...
And we're not just talking about before you started a level. No, we're talking when you pick up an item, when you want to look at your save files, before the start of a cutscene, even when you enter the pause menu. Yup, the PS3 version of Bayonetta needs a bit of a lie down when you try to pause the bloody thing.
These issues probably came about because Platinum Games decided to hand the PS3 version onto Nex Entertainment, who are best known for working on Resident Evil: Code Veronica on the Dreamcast. As is often the case when offloading development duties to another studio, the externally produced port sucked hobo Johnson next to the lead platform version. In spite of the solar powered slowdown, lethargic load times and blurry cutscenes, Bayonetta remained hugely playable on Sony's console and happily most of the problems were swept under the lollypop-sucking carpet when the PS3 version was patched shortly after release.
3. Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop, 2009
The console it was crapped out on: Wii
Why it should have been great: The most gloriously daft game of the generation was coming to a console which would finally make Frank's horribly stiff aiming system a breeze, thanks to its motion control. At the same time it would recapture the sheer insanity of battling a chainsaw-wielding clown in a crowd of a hundred zombies, while dressed in a horrendously unflattering floral skirt. Plus,added zombie poodles.
Above: We count20 oddonscreen zombies in the above shot and this is barren for the 360 version
Why it was a conversion car crash: You know what’s kinda important to a game based on a zombie apocalypse? If you said a photo journalist who goes about disembowelling the hordes of the undead with kitchen utensils while rocking the Mega Man look, you'd be half right. Crucially, though, last time we checked, it was the actual zombies that were fairly important to a Dead Rising title functioning.
Thus, you'll most likely grasp why the Chop Till You Drop is a big, fat, festering failure when you look at this shot...
Above: Oh shit, hang on. We don't have enough fingers to count
Need the point reemphasised further? Go on then, have a gander below.
Turns out, the Wii's weedy processing power simply wasn't up to the task of recreating Willamette mall's zombie masses. Where the 360 game would frequently feature hundreds of undead Americans on your tele box at once, the Wii port was lucky if it could handle ten. When the core appeal of a title is about figuring out how to navigate your way through confined spaces which are filled with a seemingly impassable sea of zombies, reducing that sea to a few drops of brain-scoffing precipitation is kinda a big deal.
Above: Dang, how is Frankie boy gonna get himself out of this?
And we haven't even mentioned Chop Till You Drop's other array of semi crippling problems. Like, completely ditching the enjoyable photography mini-games from the original and laughable pop-up, which makes it look like the game's infected have seemingly mastered the power of teleportation. Faced with the prospect of playing this abomination or actually struggling for survival in a real mall filled with the living dead, we'd go almost certain zombie death every time. Although, admittedly, we'd be choosing the mall for its fine selection of floral skirts. They do conceal our games jarnalist hips rather nicely, after all.
Above: Well, if it's the Wii port, probably with consummate ease. Just watch out for that one zombie. He's a proper bastard to best