10 Video Game Ports that Should Exist

Introduction

I don't check my web statistics often but when I do there's always something interesting. On last inspection it turns out this little site is ranked high for Google Image searches for "King's Quest Sega Genesis". They're probably thinking of the Sega Master System version. Regardless it struck me that this is a game that should exist. Maybe not the original King's Quest but some later sequel, or any Sierra point-and-click adventure really.

As I thought about it I had visions of a couple dozen video game ports that should exist. Not ports that I wish existed, although some are, but ones that would have made perfect sense at the time. The more I think about it the harder it is for me to understand why these weren't made. In this article I'll speculate on the reasons why a few game ports should but don't exist.

The only criteria is these are games that could have plausibly been developed in their time. So you won't find "Call of Duty: Whatever" for Virtual Boy on this list.

This list is roughly sorted from most to least curious - meaning the first items are those whose non-existence is most confusing while the later ones are less puzzling. Hopefully that statement made a small amount of sense.


Doom 1&2 for Nintendo DS

Doom 1+2 for Nintendo DS

Why should this exist? Could there possibly be a system better suited for Doom than the Nintendo DS? Action on top; map & weapon selection on the bottom. Don't let the earlier sketchy ports of Doom make you disregard this idea. With a whopping 67 MHz CPU and 4 MB of RAM the DS is almost a perfect match for Doom's original recommended system requirements. id was not shy in the past about allowing Doom to be ported to Nintendo handhelds with both original games being released on the Game Boy Advance. Lastly, a homebrew port was developed proving their is interest in Doom on the DS.

Why doesn't this exist? When the Nintendo DS was released Doom was already 11. Although many older games were ported to the DS they all received an assortment of upgrades along the way. Piles of upgrades are exactly the kind of thing that would have ruined Doom on the DS. The DS was also initially marketed at a younger audience making Doom seem a little out of place in the system's early days.


Lucky & Wild for PlayStation

Lucky and Wild for PlayStation

I have to credit my co-host on The Retro League for this idea. For those unfamiliar with Lucky & Wild it's an innovative two-player arcade game from 1993. One player drives a vehicle while the other wards-off enemies with a pistol. The driver also has pistol allowing for a single-player mode or allowing the second player to handle two weapons.

Why should this exist? Namco developed this game and was solidly in the Sony camp in this generation. Heck, Namco even made a light gun for the PlayStation. Not only would this have been an incredibly fun first generation PlayStation title, it would have sold a ton of their giant plastic faux pistols too. This was a big missed opportunity.

Why doesn't this exist? I spent way too much time in arcades in 1993 and only saw this game once, in a Namco branded arcade. I don't think this was an especially popular game in the time when 1:1 fighters ruled the arcades. So my theory is lack of popularity is the culprit.


The 7th Guest for Sega Saturn

The 7th Guest for Sega Saturn

Why should this exist? The 7th Guest was an early PC CD-ROM smash hit. When PC owners took the expensive multi-media plunge they wanted a game that showed-off their full hardware capabilities. Another early PC CD-ROM hit, in roughly the same genre of The 7th Guest, was Myst which was ported to Sega Saturn (and PlayStation and 3DO). The 7th Guest on the other hand was only ported to the CD-i. The CD-i?! Instead of The 7th Guest the Saturn received a poor imitation - The Mansion of Hidden Souls. The 7th Guest would have been a welcome addition to the early Saturn library which desperately needed some variety and "must have" titles.

Why doesn't this exist? The only thing that makes sense is maybe the video was difficult to port to the Saturn. I have a hard time accepting that though because again it was ported to the CD-i. I can't really come up with a good excuse for this one not existing.


Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition for PlayStation Vita

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition for PlayStation Vita

Why should this exist? Maybe the PlayStation Vita couldn't quite handle the then-upcoming Grand Theft Auto V but having the previous installment at launch would have instantly turned the system into a roaring success. The GTA games all have an incredible amount of re-playability so this would even appeal to those with the big screen version.

Why doesn't this exist? Rockstar doesn't seem all that interested in developing Vita games. That's reason enough for this to remain a pipe dream.


Aurail for Sega Genesis

Aurail for Sega Genesis

Why should this exist? Aurail is a 1990 arcade game that runs on the Sega System 16B hardware. Many, many System 16B games were ported to the Genesis due to the similarities. A major selling point of the Genesis was its ability to deliver arcade games to the home. Aurail would have fit in well with the arcade-heavy lineup of early Genesis games.

Why doesn't this exist? This game is notoriously difficult, it's possible that was a reason for keeping it off the Genesis. The 3D stages could have been another factor since it's known that Phantasy Star II was revamped early in its development to remove 3D dungeons that the Genesis couldn't handle.


Star Wars: TIE Fighter for Nintendo 64

Star Wars: TIE Fighter for Nintendo 64

Why should this exist? If the Nintendo 64 excelled at one thing in its generation it was Star Wars games. Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron were my favorite Star Wars games of the late 90s. Star Wars: TIE Fighter had advanced 3D graphics for 1994 and two years later the Nintendo 64 was up for the job of handling it.

Why doesn't this exist? The late 90s were an odd time for Star Wars IP. Instead of developing games for the original canon game studios were shifting to the prequels. As great as TIE Fighter would be on the Nintendo 64, I suspect no one ever considered doing this port.


King's Quest V for Sega CD

King's Quest V for Sega CD

Why should this exist? King's Quest V began life as a 16-color game on a small pile of 3.5" disks. When PC CD-ROMs became a hot item it was upgraded to its full potential. Sporting 256 colors and voice acting this was another mandatory title for early CD-ROM adopters. The first generation of the Sega CD saw PC point-and-click ports like The Secret of Monkey Island and Rise of the Dragon which were well-received. King's Quest V would likely have been a bigger hit than either of those.

Why doesn't this exist? Sierra never seemed all that interested in porting games to consoles. King's Quest V was ported to the NES but was not especially sucessful, same for the original King's Quest on the Sega Master System.


BloodStorm for Super Nintendo

BloodStorm for Super Nintendo

Why should this exist? Yes, BloodStorm was a blatant Mortal Kombat knock-off. Fighter's History was blatant a Street Fighter II knock-off and it was ported to the Super Nintendo because nearly every fighting game of the era was ported to the Super Nintendo. BloodStorm is an outlier among its contemporaries for never receiving a home port.

Why doesn't this exist? A Genesis port was started but never finished. Being a 1995 arcade release it would have hit the shelves very late in the console's lifecycle. That was likely the biggest factor in this remaining port-less.


Snatcher for the NES

Snatcher for the NES

Why should this exist? You probably think I've gone off the deep end on this one. I assure you I have not. Snatcher, by Konami, was originally released on the MSX2 in 1988. Other MSX2 games by Konami in that timeframe include Contra, Akumaj┼Ź Dracula, and Metal Gear. Konami was more than happy to port their best games to the Famicom/NES. Oh, and Nintendo would also have been happy to see the Zapper with another selling point.

Why doesn't this exist? I think there are two reasons here - 1) the content would need to be edited quite a bit 2) the translation effort would have been high. The latter is likely the larger factor. Metal Gear had a good amount of text but Snatcher completely buries it. For the record this would have been a terrible port. The translation would be the butt of jokes to this day. I'm quite content with the Sega CD port being the only one released in the US. It is more puzzling why this wasn't ported to the Famicom though. Graphic novels / interactive fiction games on consoles may have been rare in the US but were common in Japan.


Castle Wolfenstein for Intellivision

Castle Wolfenstein for Intellivision

Why should this exist? It's unlikely anyone visiting this site was born after 1980, let alone 1990, but for those younger readers you should know that I'm not talking about the latest iteration of the Wolfenstein franchise. I'm talking about the 1981 Apple II stealth game that featured semi-random maps. It was somewhat reminiscent of the Intellivison game "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" (called "Cloudy Mountain" or "Crown of Kings" on later Intellivision collections). The surroundings were completely different of course but the underlying games are similar. They're so similar that Castle Wolfenstein seems to be a perfect game for the Intellivision.

Why doesn't this exist? This is last because it's the least feasible by far. There weren't many PC to console ports in this era, it just wasn't a common thing yet. There were countless PC games in the early 80s that console gamers missed out on, unfortunately the original Castle Wolfenstein is one of them.



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