Taking another trip to Port Town
Ports. The video game industry lives off of them. Sure, original games are great, and they make up the bulk of what people love about playing video games, but replaying the games we remember in fancy new ways is something people love to do. Of course, sometimes you wind up with a price tag you’re none too fond of, or maybe a feature has been changed or removed altogether, but the fact remains that playing your old games on your fancy new systems is generally considered a good thing.
But naturally, not all games have been ported around. Some of the most requested ports have fairly obvious problems standing in their way, like the rights issues in GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64. Others leave you sitting around scratching your head wondering why? Why in the world have these games not been ported to modern platforms?
So here’s a handful of what seem like super obvious choices for ports that are strangely still sitting in limbo, waiting for some executive to flip a switch and make our dreams a reality.
Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross
Chrono Trigger is one of the most beloved games ever created, and it’s been ported many times over. It showed up on PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Wii Virtual Console, and was even made available on Steam in 2018. But it’s currently the year 2021 and I still can’t go to the Switch eShop and purchase Chrono Trigger, and that’s absurd.
Naturally, this game should be put on as many platforms as humanly possible, and not the smoothed over newer versions either, the SNES original. Actually, I take that back. It should be an enhanced version of the SNES original with the DS game’s features in it as well, but whatever. The fact of the matter is, this game means the world to a LOT of Nintendo fans, and the fact that it isn’t available on Switch, even as a simple port, is criminal. A full big-budget remake would be swell too, but just the basic game itself in its original form would be enough. And while yes, the Switch is the biggest offender, it should really just be on every console.
What’s worse though is its pseudo sequel Chrono Cross. While nowhere near the success of the original in terms of long-term audience fondness, Chrono Cross is a fascinating game in its own right, and hasn’t had any kind of major re-release since its original launch in 2000. The game was put up on PSN in 2011, but that’s it.
Given how well the PlayStation 1 Final Fantasy games fared on Switch, it’s completely insane that this one hasn’t gotten the same treatment. Its art style would look particularly nice all cleaned up for modern consoles.
This is money in the bank, Square. Get on it.
Portal and Portal 2
There needs to be a collection containing Portal and Portal 2 released at the launch of every game console in perpetuity. Toss Bridge Constructor Portal in there too if you want (because that game rules) but at the very least, if a system CAN play Portal, it SHOULD play Portal.
There are currently ways to purchase these games on some digital shops, but if you wanted to go out and buy a physical PS5 or Xbox Series disc with the Portal games on them, that’s not happening. True, those consoles haven’t been out there very long so I guess that isn’t completely fair, but the PS4 and Xbox One have the same problem, so what the heck, right?
And then there’s the Switch. Portal and Portal 2 have never been on a Nintendo console, and granted, there’s a good reason. They probably wouldn’t have handled themselves too well on the Wii or the 3DS, and the Wii U wasn’t exactly sales gold. But the Switch is just sitting there, running games like DOOM 2016, running the excellent Bridge Constructor Portal, and no Portal? Either of them? They’d be such a perfect fit!
I simply do not understand why this isn’t a thing.
Geometry Wars Galaxies
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is a masterpiece. The whole Geometry Wars series should be playable on pretty much everything, but specifically, if I had to pick just one that confuses me, it’s Geometry Wars Galaxies not being on everything.
Now, there might be some sort of rights issues tied up somewhere with the game’s original creators Bizarre Creations, and maybe some weirdness with its original publisher Sierra, but if I had to guess, I’d say the brand itself is probably owned by Lucid Games, the company who spun out of Bizarre Creations.
Ownership aside, Galaxies is such an amazing game, and such a criminally underplayed one thanks to it being a Wii and DS game to begin with. But that’s all the more reason to port the darn thing! Playing this awesome version of Geometry Wars in HD for the first time would be killer. It needs to happen.
Disney Afternoon Collection
Why isn’t this on Switch? It’s a collection of freaking NES games. The N in NES stands for Nintendo, and the audience for these games is on the Switch. So why, in the name of sanity, is this game not on Switch? Why wasn’t it developed for the Switch right out of the gate? DuckTales Remastered sold gangbusters on the Wii U, and that was the flippin Wii U! There was no risk in having this game ready to roll on Switch from day one.
Grand Theft Auto V
This game has been ported everywhere. Well, everywhere except for the currently most popular platform on the planet. Does GTAV need to be out there making more money? No. But would it reach a whole new audience on the Switch? Absolutely. Would it make Rockstar an almost unfathomable amount of money? You better believe it.
GTAV is just about the biggest name in all of entertainment media, and the Switch is certainly powerful enough to handle it. The game launched on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for crying out loud, that’s well within the Switch’s limitations.
I don't personally see the appeal of this game myself, but even I can’t deny that this is a very strange omission from the Switch’s port library.
I know, I’ve been hitting the Switch ports hard here at the end, and yes, this is effectively just a whole box of ports, but this is yet another one that just makes too much sense. Most of the games on Rare Replay are games people want to play on Nintendo Switch. I don’t imagine this collection did incredibly well on Xbox One, but can you imagine how many copies they’d sell on Switch? Giving Nintendo owners a chance to play the likes of Battletoads, RC Pro Am, and Banjo-freaking-Kazooie again on their fancy new Nintendo console? The potential is limitless.
Heck, they can even keep the Xbox exclusive stuff off the disc and get Star Fox Adventures involved. Maybe toss some of the other games they worked on like Wizards & Warriors. Nobody’s doing anything with that brand right now anyway. Jokes aside though, the Switch is just where those games belong, especially the ones with Nintendo-exclusive content. Get the arcade version of Killer Instinct on there, complete with the Ultra 64 intro. (Not sure why that’s not in the collection to begin with, but okay). I can’t imagine Snake Rattle n Roll still says GAME BOY in the water stage, and I know for a fact RC Pro Am doesn’t have you spell out Nintendo like the original did. Microsoft has been shown to be more than capable of working with Nintendo when it will obviously make them money (See Ori) so what are they waiting for on this one?
There's more, and plenty of it. Stuff like Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, the Rocket Knight games, Burning Rangers, and a ton more that are simply begging to be playable on new hardware, but I’m going to cut myself off. What do you think, would you buy any of these games if they were ported to modern consoles? Do you consider ports to be a waste of your time? Let us know!