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The further back you go in the history of gaming, the more you'll notice that bringing a game to another platform doesn't end well sometimes. Occasionally, the port is better or, at least, nothing that makes you miss the original. Some titles, however, cannot be considered simple ports - they're closer to completely new games. Important features are added (or missing); the mechanics have gone through substantial changes; most or all levels are changed; the visuals may have undergone a radical facelift; it may even belong to a different genre now. Even the plot may be different! In the end, even if they are supposed to be the same game (and the publisher markets them as such), they share only the basic characters, story concepts, and maybe the fundamental elements. You may be a veteran of a game and still find a fresh challenge in the new version - the package is the same but the ingredients are not, or are mixed in a way that gives a new flavor.


This phenomenon can happen for a number of reasons, but the games it invests can be roughly divided into two categories.

  • Reformulated port: The game was supposed to be a port, and may have been so at the beginning of development, but became very different. Often hardware constraints made a straight port simply impossible; it's also not uncommon for a porting team to have no access to the original code and assets, so they have to develop from scratch. Other times, a port from a less powerful platform is seen as a chance to add features that couldn't just be implemented originally.
  • Concurrently developed: The game was developed concurrently in several versions for many platforms. They are all marketed with the same title and, while one may be the "main" version, each is its own game and is tailored to its platform's capabilities and control interface. Some are stripped-down versions of another, while others may even belong to a different genre. This is somewhat common for Licensed Games, though those which were made by different companies for different platforms (e.g. Aladdin) should be technically disqualified even though they share a title.

Mind you, a game under this trope may not necessarily be better than the original version, or just be good firsthand - this page doesn't take overall quality into account.

A less extreme version of this is Version-Exclusive Content, where different platforms get different extra features but are still ultimately the same game. Also related to Updated Re-release and Regional Bonus.


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  • Many arcade games, particularly during the 1980's and 1990's, were completely redesigned for their home versions. This was particularly prevalent with several NES "ports" of arcade games that wasn't a fixed screen platformer, since arcade hardware were already outperforming by 1985. Often times, the NES version was a completely different product from its arcade counterpart.
  • Takara published Game Boy adaptations of popular Neo-Geo fighting games during the 90s such as Fatal Fury 2, Samurai Shodown, World Heroes 2 Jet, The King of Fighters '95, as well as their very own PlayStation hit Battle Arena Toshinden. In Japan, these GB versions were released under the Nettō or Dead Heat Fighters branding, but the few that were released overseas were given the same titles as their original counterparts.
  • Many of the titles featured in the Genesis version of Action 52 are completely different from their namesakes in the NES version. For example, Cheetahmen now involves climbing trees and rescuing cheetah cubs and other animals.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends lampshades this in the intro for the SNES version:
    Rocky: Say, Bullwinkle... doesn't our GameBoy (TM) game start this way too?
    Bullwinkle: Darned if doesn't, Rocky. Just what are you guys tryin' to pull here?
    Narrator: Uh... nothing. Nothing at all. This game is completely different. Just start playing and you'll see!
  • Air Combat, a 1995 PlayStation title, was meant to be a home port of the 1992 arcade game of the same name before being branched into its own.
  • Amaurote - The Commodore 64 version differs from all the others in adopting a straightforward (and not very detailed) Top-Down View rather than Isometric Projection. According to Word of God, the development team decided on this change at the start because their experience with converting their previous, somewhat simpler isometric game Glider Rider had shown them that "[t]he isometric system wasn't really suited to the C64 hardware."
  • Battletoads was completely different on the GameBoy from the NES game of the same name, despite featuring the same cover artwork. This point was brought home when an actual port of the original NES game was later released for the Game Boy under the title of Battletoads in Ragnarok's World.
  • Battlezone (1998) was released for the Nintendo 64 as Rise of the Black Dogs. Although widely believed to be a port, it actually had to be completely rebuilt due to platform constraints, which turned it from what could have been a miserable failure into an impressively accurate reformulation.
  • Bionic Commando on the arcades was a side-scrolling action platformer with a gameplay gimmick involving the use a wire to jump over obstacles instead of a jump button. The NES version, while retaining the wire-swinging gimmick, is a non-linear action game that alternates between classic side-scrolling action, Commando-style overhead segments, and neutral zones to take a breather and find useful items and information, while having a complex plot with an incredibly graphic villain death that wasn't censored. It's considered among the best action games for the NES and, unsurprisingly, it is the version that was remade as Bionic Commando: Rearmed in 2008. In Japan, where the original Bionic Commando was titled Top Secret, the Famicom version was subtitled Hitler no Fukkatsu (Hitler's Revival) and was clearly marketed as a different game.
  • Kid no Hore Hore Daisakusen, an arcade game by Nichibutsu, was ported to the Famicom as Booby Kids, replacing the temporary secondary weapons with collectible Bomber Man-like bombs, redid the levels to be less mazelike, and altered the treasure chests into items appropriate to each stage. Cratermaze for the TurboGrafx-16 is a more faithful port, although its PC Engine counterpart was dolled-up as a Doraemon game.
  • Bump 'n' Jump's home versions were mostly straight ports of the arcade game, but Vic Tokai's NES version was completely retooled, with all-new plot, level design, and music.
  • Castlevania: Dracula X (aka Vampire's Kiss) was an SNES adaptation of the PC Engine Super CD-ROM2 classic Dracula X: Chi no Rondo. The fact that the porting team only had 16 Megabits to work with (the standard ROM size for most SNES games at the time) ensured that it was never going to be a straight port, even with the voice-acted cutscenes removed and music redone to save space. Instead, the developers took the basic plot and gameplay system from the original and developed an entirely new set of stages around them.
  • Contra is nowadays remembered as an NES game, but it was originally an arcade game. The two versions differ mainly due to the obvious hardware differences (such as the two player characters being palette swaps on the NES, whereas on the arcade Bill and Lance had different sets of sprites), with the arcade version notably running on a vertical setup (despite being side-scroller for the most of the game), but the level structure of the two versions also differ significantly. The arcade version consisted of three stages: the first two stages are divided into three segments each (a side/vertically-scrolling level set outdoors, a third-person segment inside the corridor of an enemy base and a boss battle set in a fixed screen), while the third and final stage was just one long side-scrolling level set across different environments as the player gets closer to the final boss. In the NES version, the corridor/boss segments of the first two stages were split into their own stages, as were the different areas of the final stage, resulting in an increased number of stages from three to eight. Super C, the sequel to the NES version, also differed significantly from its arcade counterpart (Super Contra). It more closely resembles the first NES game and uses the same letter-based power-up icons as the first NES game (rather than the gun icons that the arcade version went with), ditches the double upgrade system, swaps the order of the last two stages (with the game no longer ending with the second top-view stage), adds three new vertically-scrolling stages in-between and changed the final boss.
    • The MSX2 is notable too. Due to technical constraints of the system it resorts to Flip-Screen Scrolling, and to accommodate that the level layouts are much different and shorter; this is compensated, however, by an entire set of new levels after the original final boss. Other changes include a life bar, the ability to keep and select several weapons, and the shotgun replaced by a "Rear Gun" that shots both forwards and backwards.
  • D.J. Boy - The Genesis version of the Kaneko arcade game featured different stages and bosses, lacked the 2-players co-op and changed the plot from retrieving a stolen boombox to rescuing the hero's kidnapped girlfriend.
  • Dead or Alive on the Sega Saturn was a relatively faithful conversion of the original Model 2 arcade game (with certain background details sacrificed), but the PlayStation version required an entirely new engine to be made, resulting in a vastly different game. To make up for this, Team Ninja added two new characters exclusive to the PS release, Ayane and Bass. This upgraded version was released for the arcades in a heavily modified form as Dead or Alive ++.
  • Denjin Makai was ported to the Super Famicom under the title Ghost Chaser Densei, where it kept only three of the arcade's six playable characters (Makai, Iyo and Belva), but added new story sequences that were not in the arcade game and added new moves to the remaining characters.
  • Descent Maximum used the same graphics engine, music, enemies, and weapons as Descent II for the PC and Macintosh in its PS1 release, but featured entirely new levels, which were criticized for being smaller (and darker) than the PC version's.
  • Deus Ex was ported from the PC to the PS2 under the title of Deus Ex: The Conspiracy. The areas are broken into smaller maps to accommodate the PS2's limited RAM, the opening and ending sequences had been remade into pre-rendered videos and the user interface has been simplified.
    • This is unfortunately averted in the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War where the PC version is identical with that on the console. This means that in the sequel all the maps are quite small (so even the open areas sometimes consist of just one or two narrow corridors and several rooms) and loading screens are encountered frequently. The original game's PC version contains rooms (within buildings within maps) that are literally much larger and more spacious than any map in the console port or in the sequel.
  • Donkey Kong '94 is rather familiar for the first four levels, but afterwards, the rest of the game shifts into Puzzle Platformer mode with keys, switches and movable ladders and platforms. The physics from the original arcade version are (mostly) intact though, although greatly expanded upon. Nintendo later made a spiritual successor to this game in the form of Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the Game Boy Advance.
  • Double Dragon on the NES went as far as to actually rewrite the plot of the game. Whereas the arcade original had twin martial artists, Billy and Jimmy Lee, teaming up to rescue Marian from the Black Warriors gang, the NES version had Billy facing the gang alone, with Jimmy serving as the true antagonist. This change in plot was presumably done due to Technos Japan's (who also made the arcade game) inexperience with the NES hardware and their inability to program a 2-player co-op mode in time. The game's four stages (which in the arcade version consisted of one large outdoor map for the first three stages and a smaller indoor map for the final stage) were broken into 10 smaller maps, the on-screen enemy count was limited to two identical baddies at the same time (which admittedly eliminated the constant slowdown that the arcade version suffered from when it got too crowded), weapons could no longer be carried to different fights, all the moves (outside the basic punch and kick) were locked behind experience points, the two head-swapped bosses were gone and jumping was mapped to pressing AB simultaneously due to the NES controller's lack of a third action button.
    • The Game Boy version was itself a reworking of the NES version, making it a rework of a rework. Specifically this version changes the level designs completely and ditches the experience points system used in the NES version in favor of allowing the player character to use all of his moves from the start. It also lacks the sibling battle with Jimmy at the end of the game, although it does keep the one-on-one versus mode added to the NES version, which is playable via link cable.
    • Double Dragon II: The Revenge on the NES addressed the flaws of the first NES game by ditching the experience points system (even adding new moves such as the hyper uppercut and the flying knee kick) and bringing back the 2-players co-op mode, with the option to enable or disable friendly fire. Despite this, the NES version of II was still a depature from its arcade namesake, featuring completely different level designs (increasing the number of stages from four to nine) and added story sequences between stages consisting of still images and text. While the basic premise of the Lee brothers seeking to avenge Marian's death remained the same, Machine Gun Willy was no longer the game's antagonist and instead a new rival martial artist appears when the game is played on the hardest difficulty who serves as the new final boss after Billy and Jimmy's shadow clones (who were the final bosses in the arcade version) are defeated. The NES version ends with Marian being restored to life, undoing the arcade version's Downer Ending. The 1993 PC Engine version released by Naxat Soft, while based primarily on the NES version, it does mix-in some elements from the arcade game too (such as the weapons used by enemies and the life bar and timer on the HUD) and redid the between-stages story sequences into animated visual scenes with full voice acting.
  • Dragon's Lair became a side-scrolling action game on both, the NES and the SNES, as it was pretty obvious that neither console was capable of video playback (at least not with the ROM cartridges available at the time in the case of the SNES, as a homebrew port of Road Blaster would later be made for the system) like the Sega CD and other disc-based consoles that featured more conventional ports of the original Laserdisc-based arcade game. There was also a Game Boy version titled Dragon's Lair: The Legend that was actually a port of a ZX Spectrum game titled Roller Coaster.
  • DRIV3R was adapted to the Game Boy Advance by none other than French duo Velez And Dubail, best known for pushing Nintendo portable hardware to their absolute limits. While it uses a separate engine and code base from the original game, one would be surprised to know that the GBA version's maps are largely unabridged from the original console releases, save for simplifying or omitting certain details due to system or memory constraints.
  • The Game Boy Advance version of Ed Edd N Eddy The Mis Ed Ventures is drastically different than the console versions of the game (due to limitations on the GBA), although some plot points are remained. For starters, the first and second missions are swapped: in the console versions you do the watercooler-related mission first and then proceed to do the mission that involved Jimmy's party; in the GBA version, the party mission is now the first (and even then it was altered, as you are no longer going through a sewer), followed by the watercooler-related mission. A brand-new mission has also been added to the GBA version that was not present in the console versions.
  • ESWAT, much like Shadow Dancer, was also vastly different on the Genesis from its arcade counterpart. The stages are completely different and while the game seems mechanically identical at first, when the player eventually obtains the titular E-SWAT armor, the gameplay changes as well. Whereas the player's abilities didn't change that much in the arcade version after obtaining the armor (save for the addition of a machine gun as the new main weapon and a few sub-weapons), its counterpart in the Genesis version is equipped with an afterburner that allows the player to fly around for a limited time, as well as switchable main weapons in addition to the default shot. Much like Shadow Dancer, E-SWAT also received a Master System version that played more like a scaled-down port of the arcade game.
  • Fighter's History: Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu ("Mizoguchi In The Nick of Time") for the Super Famicom started development as a port of the Neo-Geo based Fighter's History Dynamite, but ended up evolving into a stand-alone game. Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu lacks five of the fighters from the Dynamite roster (namely Ray, Jean, Marstorius, Matlok, and Samchay), but makes up for it by adding a new story mode with Chelnov (from the Data East game of the same name) as the final boss.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Karakuri Dōchū features completely different level layouts on the MSX2 from the Famicom original. Its biggest change was the addition of a new second player character. Whereas both versions have an alternating 2-Player Mode, the Famicom version simply has both players controlling Goemon, whereas the second player in the MSX version controls a new character named "Nezumi Kozō" (the Rat Brat). While Nezumi never appears in any other Goemon game, his character design was used as the basis for Goemon's sidekick Ebisumaru, who would later be introduced in Ganbare Goemon 2.
  • Garou Densetsu: Dominated Mind is a PS1 port of Real Bout Fatal Fury Special that removes the multi-lane system, adds new gameplay systems such as "Final Impacts" and "Quick Approaches" and introduces a new protagonist named Alfred (who makes an Early-Bird Cameo in Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 as a hidden end-boss), as well as a new end-boss named White.
  • Gauntlet has structured stage layout, side goals and hidden levels laid out as an adventure with a proper ending on the NES. Despite having the same basic engine, it's far different from other versions of the game, which is better known as an endless multiplayer coin-guzzler.
  • Golvellius was originally a Zelda-style action RPG that switches between overhead and side-scrolling segments, and was developed by Compile on the MSX. It suffered from extremely bland graphics and sound and falls victim to the system's notorious problems with scrolling. Sega remade the game on the Master System with polished play mechanics, improved graphics, a completely new layout for dungeons and overworld, and some additions like new sub-bosses. Compile took note and made a sequel for the MSX2 titled Shin Maō Golvellius (nicknamed "Golvellius 2" among non-Japanese speaker), which played very similarly to the Master System version of the original.
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature started out as a Playstation port of Harvest Moon 64. The devs ended up changing so much that it became its own game. The art-style is near identical to 64 and it shares almost all of the same characters, however everything else is different. Character's have different roles, different relationships, and different personalities. The town has a new name and there are different festivals as well. Back to Nature ended up becoming the de facto interpretation of the characters, with almosf every reappearance of them being based on the Back to Nature (or Friends of Mineral Town) versions.
  • Hyrule Warriors was ported to the 3DS as Hyrule Warriors Legends. Legends contained all the DLC from the original Wii U version from the start, additional characters and weapons, Story Mode levels themed around those new characters, and a "My Fairy" feature; as well as general gameplay balancing across the board. And then it got its own DLC packs, with even more characters and Adventure Mode maps. Some of this content was backported into the Wii U version (characters and weapons), but some wasn't (Story and Adventure Mode levels, My Fairy). The tradeoff is that the graphics had to be downgraded to run on the weaker hardware, and even then it's considered to be near-unplayable on older iterations of the 3DS due to poor framerate. It was then ported again to the Switch as the Definitive Edition, which combined the Legends extra content with the original game's better graphics.
  • King of the Monsters 2 was more like a conventional Fighting Game on the Sega Genesis than the original Neo Geo version.
  • Killing Time has different graphics and level design on the PC. The plot is the same, but has two endings very different from the 3DO original's Downer Ending.
  • Klax has two different Game Boy versions: a western one developed by Tengen, and a Japanese one by Hudson Soft. While the former is more faithful to the arcade game, the latter opts to render the playfield as a simple flat plane rather than in perspective.
  • Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious was retitled Dai-Ma-Shikyō Galious and released for the Famicom a few months after the MSX original. It has a similar gameplay system as the MSX version, but the stage designs are substantially different, with a much smaller environment to explore.
  • Labyrinth, despite being sub-licensed from Activision (the publisher of the Labyrinth computer game), was very different on the Famicom and MSX. It was not a menu-driven adventure game like the original, but rather a top down action game similar to Zelda.
  • Legendary Wings made several changes from the arcade version on the NES, including adding a health gauge system where getting hit by an enemy simply reduces the player's shooting power by one level instead of dying in one hit.
  • Lemmings is a straightforward port of the Amiga original in almost all of its incarnations. There are a few exceptions, though:
    • The NES and Game Boy versions by Ocean, due to the limited ROM space, featured only 25 stages per difficulty level instead of 30, most of which were completely new.
    • The Genesis/Mega Drive version by Sunsoft maintained the original 30 stages per difficulty level, but had to deal with the console's lower video RAM. As a result, several stages, mostly early in the game, were cut down in size, while many others were replaced entirely (some of the new stages were lifted from the Mission-Pack Sequel Oh No! More Lemmings). To make up for this the game features two new difficulty levels, making it considerably longer than any other version of the game.
  • Line of Fire, originally an arcade Light Gun Game with into-the-screen scrolling, was converted into a Vertical Scrolling Shooter on the Sega Master System.
  • The PS2 and Xbox releases of Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven were drastically cut down due to memory limitations, though it can be partly blamed on how the levels were loaded as opposed to the engines used in Grand Theft Auto. A number of props and details was removed to save on memory, cutscenes were presented as pre-rendered videos taken from the original PC release, and the Freeride Extreme mode was cut altogether; in lieu of the latter it was replaced with an exclusive circuit racing mode which was previously Dummied Out from the PC release. While the PS2 port fared worse with muddier, N64-esque textures, the Xbox version was a tad superior due to Microsoft's console having twice the RAM compared to the PS 2.
  • Makaijima (aka Makai Island) was a remixed Famicom/MSX2 version of the Capcom arcade game Pirate Ship Higemaru. Originally Makaijima was planned as an original game developed alongside a separate Famicom port of Higemaru, but the two projects ended up being merged and Makaijima was transformed into a pseudo-sequel to Higemaru.
  • Metal Gear began development on the NES almost immediately after the MSX2 version was released with a development period that lasted only three months. The porting team were ordered to make the game as different enough from the original, presumably to lure double dippers, and the easiest way to do was by altering some of the level designs. However, some of the other changes, most notably the removal of the titular Metal Gear, were also the result of hardware constraints.
  • Metal Gear Solid on the Game Boy Color is actually a retitled English version of a spinoff game known as Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, which was modeled after Metal Gear 2 but with a graphic style and other gameplay elements taken from the actual Metal Gear Solid.
  • Mighty Final Fight was an NES conversion of Final Fight that came out late during the system's lifespan (around the same time as Final Fight 2). While the NES version is 1-Player only and all the characters have been chibified, the play mechanics were translated almost accurately, with only a few moves missing, and all three characters were present. No need to buy a second version with Guy like on the SNES.
  • Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord was a Sega Master System port of the PC88 RPG Haja no Fūin ("Seal of the Dark Lord") by Kogado Studio (which was also released for other formats as the MSX2 and Famicom). The Master System version added a larger overworld and explorable towns.
  • Monty Mole:
    • Monty on the Run changes a whole bunch of things around on the Famicom Disk System from the ZX Spectrum version. Most bizarrely, Monty is not a mole in this version, but an escaped human convict.
    • Impossamole, originally released for Amiga, C64, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum computers, was completely overhauled for the TurboGrafx-16. The Dungeon Shops were replaced with in-level pickups, the weapon variety was reduced, Klondike Mine was replaced by the Alien Planet, which took the place of the Bermuda Triangle as the Final Dungeon, Monty was given multiple lives, and a Password Save system was added, in contrast to the original's one life and no continues.
  • Myth: History in the Making - The ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC ports, due to hardware limitations, were vastly redesigned around slower-paced action, Flip-Screen Scrolling and a simplified control scheme.
  • Novastorm in all its versions has different bosses, level designs, play mechanics and cutscenes. Even the Sega CD version, which is the closest to the DOS original in the bits of FMV it uses, has completely different enemy placement and upgrade system for the player ship.
  • Nuts & Milk was originally a Maze Game for the MSX, PC-88 and other Japanese home computers; the Famicom version completely redesigned the game around Donkey Kong Jr.-style platforming rather than tunneling.
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds , made by Lightspeed & Quantum, a developed commissioned by Tencent, is basically faithful to the source material in addition to adding a lot of new features such as threat compass, level up (to unlock in game currency and matchmaking), more unlockable, and a few additional game modes. It's also free-to-play and averts Bribing Your Way to Victory hard. Finally, it runs well on mid to high end smartphones, and Tencent even releases a preconfigured Android emulator specifically to play this game on PC with low end specifications!
  • Pocket Puyo Puyo~n, the Game Boy port of the fourth mainline Puyo Puyo game, offers a twist on this trope: it is a Mission-Pack Sequel to Pocket Puyo Puyo Sun, whereas the original Dreamcast version of Puyo Puyo~n made infamous changes to Puyo Puyo's gravity and drop speed that make the game move drastically slower than usual. It also contains completely different cutscenes, gameplay modes, Super Attacks (that are no longer tied to specific characters), and by default utilizes Sun Puyos from Puyo Puyo Sun.
  • Popful Mail was originally released on PC-88 and PC-98 computers in 1991 and '92 respectively, then brought to consoles in 1994. The PC Engine Super CD version is the one that is most faithful to the PC-88 original, but the other two (Super Famicom and Sega CD) are very different both from it and from each other, sharing only the plot, characters and the basic play mechanics.
  • Powerslave (also known as Exhumed in Europe and Year 1999: Return of the Pharaoh in Japan) was released for the PC, PlayStation, and Sega Saturn, and although the three versions were released together, development started on the PC using the Build engine, best known for powering Duke Nukem 3D. Lobotomy Software then decided to try their luck on consoles but, upon realizing a straight port was impossible, they developed the Slavedriver engine and ended up making practically another game. While PC Powerslave is forgettable and has overly long, boring levels, console Powerslave is one of the best early console FPSes, and loses some nicer textures in favor of faster action, full 3D movement and smaller, open-ended levels with new weapons and abilities to discover in order to advance, predating Metroid Prime by over five years. Also, in a fun twist of irony, Slavedriver would later be used to port Duke Nukem 3D on the Sega Saturn.
  • Prince of Persia had already several ports by the time it was released on the SNES, but all of them touched just the graphics and sound. This one features redesigned or completely new levels, new traps, new enemies and even Boss Battles, and has a time limit raised to two hours.
  • All three versions of Psychic World (the original MSX Psycho World, the Game Gear port, and the western-exclusive Master System port) have different level design, with the Master System version heavily compressing Psycho World and the Game Gear version compressing it even further.
  • Quake II had console ports produced by two different developers. Hammerhead's PS port, other than the loss of the crouching function, hand grenades, and several levels, remained mostly faithful to the PC original, while the N64 port by Raster Productions underwent more drastic changes, having most of its levels completely rebuilt, and being noticeably shorter than the other versions due to cartridge space constraints.
  • The N64 and Dreamcast versions of Rainbow Six were at least decent adaptations of the PC version. The PlayStation version, by contrast, was almost completely reprogrammed, which turned out to be disastrous. Gone was the tactical planning map and the multiple-team action. Instead, players were limited to using three operatives per mission, who could either be assigned to seperate insertion points or teamed up. AI and play controls were sub-par, and graphics were worse than most early PS1 titles.
  • Renegade (aka Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun), to make up for the downgraded graphics and sounds compared to the arcade original, added new stages, hidden power-ups, a bike-riding segment and branching paths for the final two stages. The final stage in particular is now set in a labyrinth-like building where the player must go through a series of rooms populated by enemies from previous stages in order to locate the final boss. A wrong turn in this stage can lead the player to a previous area, including the very beginning of the first stage.
  • Rockman Battle & Fighters is a version of Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Since the system couldn't obviously replicate the specs of the arcade boards, the visuals are completely redone in a simpler and smaller style, almost akin to the 8-bit days of the series, while not sacrificing the gameplay. Notably, they were the only way to play those games on a console until the release of proper ports of the arcades in 2004.
  • Rush'n Attack (or Green Beret) features a different plot on the NES from the arcade version, along with new stages and different bosses, but most notably a 2-player co-op mode (the arcade version only allowed alternating play). The game's arcade-only sequel, M.I.A., followed suit by adding 2-player co-op as well.
  • Rygar is a straightforward side-scrolling action game on arcades. The NES version starts with a linear stage that may seem a straight port at first but then opens to reveal a free-roaming world.
  • Section Z was originally a flying 2D shooter released for the arcades in 1985 consisting of five stages (three side-scrolling levels and two vertically-scrolling ones, although all played from a side-view). The so-called "sections" in the game were simply short corridors that the player proceeded throughout the entire game until reaching the titular Section Z, where the final boss awaits. The NES version, released almost two years later in 1987, turned the sections into fully-fledged areas with branching paths and hidden rooms. There are three stages consisting of 20 sections each, but since the Sections are now numbered (starting from Section 00) instead of being alphabetized like in the arcade game, the final area is now Section 59 instead of Section Z, rendering the game's title meaningless.
  • San Francisco Rush was reprogrammed on the PlayStation due to the system's lack of an FPU. No need to guess how it turned out.
  • The Second Samurai was released on the Amiga in 1993 and is rather similar to the first episode, both in the visual style (including a main character who looks a bit goofy) and in the large levels full of collectables. The Mega Drive version, released in 1994, is a brand new game with a completely different visual style, new music, and less open levels with a more arcadey gameplay. The two versions have basically just three bosses and an Unexpected Shmup Level in common.
  • Shinobi on the Sega Master System gives the player a health gauge (instead of making him a One-Hit Point Wonder), adds more melee and ranged weapons, and changed the input method for Musashi's ninjutsu techniques (due to the lack of a third button). It also made the bonus rounds more frequent (occurring between stages, rather than after boss battles) and changed their purpose from gaining extra lives to accumulating ninjutsu techniques.
    • Shadow Dancer on the Genesis was also vastly different from the arcade game. Whereas the play mechanics remained almost identical to the arcade version, the stages were completely different and only two of the four bosses (a fire-breathing armored warrior and a sawblade-wielding female assassin) were kept from the arcade. There was also a Master System version released around the same time in Europe that was much closer to the arcade version, but featured only 8 of the arcade version's 15 stages (counting the boss battles, so in reality there are only four stages) and reduced the role of the player's canine companion to a special attack only.
  • Sonic Blast Man was originally an arcade game released in 1990 consisting of five selectable mini-games in which the player must hit a punching pad as hard as possible in three turns. The game would measure the player's strength based on how hard the punching pad was hit and after the third turn, it determines whether the player has failed or succeeded. This wouldn't have translated well to home consoles, so the Super NES version released in 1992 was a Final Fight-style Beat 'em Up with bonus stages adapted from the arcade version that required the player to rapidly rotate the D-Pad to build up strength before punching the target.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was originally going to be ported to the Wii as well, but the people at Sonic Team soon realized they couldn't feasibly do it, even with a graphics downgrade. Instead, the group in charge of the port repurposed what they had and created Sonic and the Secret Rings out of it.
  • Splinter Cell
    • The original Splinter Cell was developed for the Xbox and PC by Ubisoft Montreal and then ported to the PS2 and GameCube by Ubisoft Shanghai. The PS2 and GC versions differed from the Xbox and PC originals with smaller level designs and the use of pre-rendered videos in the place of real-time cutscenes, due to their lack of RAM in these consoles. To compensate for these changes, the PS2 and GC version each offered their own exclusive content: while the PS2 version has an extra mission set in a nuclear plant, the GC version offers support for GBA connectivity in order to use an exclusive in-game item. The two sequels, Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, would feature similar differences among the same platforms.
    • The fourth entry in the series, Double Agent, was a special case. The game was released across seven platforms, being made during a console generation transition. The version released for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and is generally known as Version 1, while the version for the original Xbox, PS2, Wii and GameCube was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and is known as Version 2. The two versions follow the same general plot outline, but differ significantly in the missions they feature, their play mechanics and how the story ultimately plays out. Version 1 is considered to be the canonical version since that's where Conviction continues the story from. It goes even further in Version 2, in that the PS2, GameCube and Wii versions had at least some of the levels truncated due to memory constraints, though they are otherwise identical to the Xbox version barring graphical sacrifices.
    • Mobile entries in the series were loose cinematic side-scroller adaptations of the source material, often featuring a similar premise but with a vastly different story. For instance, the Gameloft-developed mobile phone version of Double Agent focuses more on Jamie Washington as the main antagonist instead of Dufraisne, as well as the attempted nuclear bombing of the Cozumel cruise ship. Ditto with the smartphone adaptation of Conviction, though the enhanced capabilities of smartphones allowed for a far closer narrative to the source material than what was possible in earlier entries.
  • Star Trader was a PC-88 Shoot 'em Up with many cutscenes, adventure portions and a non-linear plot - unfortunately the shooting part, which was supposed to be still its core, was done badly. A later Sharp X68000 version has much better graphics and mechanics but is just a straight shooter.
  • Streets of Rage was a side-scrolling Beat 'em Up for the Sega Genesis that was later ported to the Sega Master System and Game Gear. Despite the fact that the Master System and Game Gear are virtually identical in terms of hardware specs, the two 8-bit versions of the game were substantially different from each other rather being ports of the same game. Particularly, the SMS version featured all three playable characters (the GG version was missing Adam), whereas the GG version had a 2-players mode via link cable (the SMS version was 1-Player). The SMS and GG versions of the sequel (Streets of Rage 2) were also different from each other.
  • Strider II, the U.S. Gold-produced sequel to Strider (not to be confused with Capcom's own arcade sequel Strider 2), was originally released in 1990 for various home computer platforms in Europe (specifically the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and the ZX Spectrum). Strider II was later remade for the Mega Drive and Sega Master System in 1992 with redesigned stages and gameplay mechanics much closer to the original Strider arcade game. The Genesis and Game Gear versions were released in America under the title of Strider Returns: Journey from Darkness.
  • Sunset Riders was as accurate a port of the arcade game as possible on the SNES (save for the lack of 4-Player co-op and added modesty to some of the female NPCs). However, the Genesis version had a smaller ROM size than the SNES version and only contained two of the main characters (Billy and Cormano) and half of the bosses. Rather than making a straight port, the stages were completely redesigned, the bonus stages were changed and a new versus mode was added.
  • Super Dodge Ball (aka Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu) is vastly different on the NES from the original Arcade Game. In the arcade version, the player's team consisted of one adult character as the captain and three children. Only the adult characters have power shots and the health gauges shows the number of team members remaining rather than the health of each character. In the NES version, everyone is now the same size, but each player (not just captains, but all the members of a team) now have two power shots, individual stats and health gauges. The NES version also adds two new foreign teams not in the arcade version: India and Russia.
    • The PC Engine version, subtitled PC Bangai Hen (PC Extra Edition), plays like a combination between both versions. The graphics, character roster and stages were based on the arcade version, but it adds elements from the NES version such as individual power shots and health gauge for each player.
  • Super Mario Maker was ported from the Wii U to the 3DS. It lost the Mystery Mushroom costumes, amiibo compatibility (meaning the player cannot access the Big Mushroom, which the developers made no compensation for its availability), and the ability to upload/download levels through the internet; but gained a new tutorial, a Super Mario Challenge mode, and levels could now be exchanged through local wireless or StreetPass.
  • Super Meat Boy Forever is a reformulated version of the original Super Meat Boy, specifically designed for mobile devices in order to avoid turning the original game into a Porting Disaster. It is not exclusive to phones/touch screens, however, as it is also available on Steam.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time received two console ports in 1992.
    • The SNES version is a straight conversion of the arcade game, lacking the 4-player co-op mode but adding one new stage (the Technodrome) and a few additional bosses: namely the Rat King, Slash (who replaces Cement Man as the boss of the prehistoric level), pirate versions of Bebop and Rocksteady, and Super Shredder (who replaces the regular Shredder as the final boss).
    • The Genesis version (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist) on the other hand played more like a remixed version of the same game. The plot is different and while some of the stages and bosses were lifted from the SNES version, others were completely new. The new bosses included the human version of Professor Stockman (last seen in the first arcade game and its NES conversion) and Tatsu (Shredder's bodyguard from the first two live-action films). Hyperstone Heist is notably the only Turtles game to feature Rocksteady (based on his incarnation from the first arcade game rather than the pirate-dressed version in the SNES version) without his partner Bebop.
  • The Terminator for the Sega CD been a straight port of the Sega Genesis game by the same developer with the addition of a CD-quality soundtrack and grainy cinematic sequences like other Genesis-to-Sega CD. Instead, it is a completely different game with better graphics and improved play mechanics. The manual even specifies that it's more than "just an upgrade."
  • Titan Warriors was an unreleased NES game by Capcom initially intended to be an updated port of Vulgus (the company's very first game) titled Neo Vulgus. The game ultimately ended up being unreleased in any form.
  • Togainu no Chi: True Blood - Many visual novels released for computers intended for adults are often altered for console versions. Often this just involves removing/rewriting sex scenes. In the case of True Blood, the console ports added new characters, scenes and entire routes to compensate for the censorship.
  • Twin Eagle for the NES was produced by a different developer from the ones who made the original arcade game.
  • U.N. Squadron was a side-scrolling flying shooter based on the manga Area 88 in arcades. The player could choose between one of three characters, each piloting a different jet: Shin flew the F-20, Mickey the F-14, and Greg the A-10. The later SNES version differentiated characters by how quickly they leveled up the main weapon and how quickly they recovered from damage; each of the three pilots started with the F-8E Crusader and could purchase tother jets by using the bounty collected from completing missions. Additionally, while the SNES version lacked the 2-Player co-op mode from the arcade, it also added multiple paths between stages and new bonus rounds.
  • Valis: The Fantastic Soldier on the Famicom was a redesign of the PC88 original with branching stages that were easy to get lost in. The game was redesigned again for the Mega Drive and PC Engine Super CD-ROM2in 1992, with a revamped gameplay system much closer to its sequels.
    • The PC Engine CD-ROM2 version of Valis II is also drastically different from its PC98/MSX2 counterpart. Both were straightforward hack n' slash platformers, albeit with different level and boss designs, and the former version had the ability to voluntarily change Yuko's armor during gameplay, along with an MP bar instead of a preset number of uses for each spell.
  • Zanac was originally released on the MSX in several versions with blotchy graphics reminiscent of Xevious, but was greatly reworked for the NES. The NES version was ported back to the MSX2 as Zanac EX.

    Concurrently developed 
  • The Addams Family became four different games by Ocean: one exclusively for the Game Boy; another for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System and Game Gear; a third for 8-bit computers; and a fourth for the Amiga and 16-bit consoles. At least all of these were Platform Games starring Gomez Addams.
  • Alien 3 was released on the SNES and Genesis. Both games are vastly different in pacing, atmosphere and gameplay. The SNES version is a slower-paced Metroidvania that's lighter on gore but has more varied gameplay while the Genesis version offers more streamlined, tense gameplay and ratchets up the violence. Both good examples of No Problem with Licensed Games, but for totally different reasons. There is an NES version too, but it takes the majority of its cues from the Genesis version and feels more like a straightforward if stripped-down port.
  • Animaniacs received two separate licensed games from Konami, one for the Super NES, one for the Genesis (which received a stripped-down Game Boy port courtesy of Factor 5). They share some gameplay elements and themes in common, but are otherwise completely different down to the plot, with the Genesis game being a much more traditional platformer.
  • Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 were released a year after the original PS2 and PC releases on handhelds. While the PSP version is the same game, the Nintendo DS couldn't handle it, so it was changed into a 2D mix of a platformer and brawler.
    • Asterix at the Olympic Games was identical between the PC and console version (bar some graphical differences), with the exception of the Nintendo DS release: the Action-Adventure segments are removed entirely, leaving only the Olympic Games proper and making it a Track & Field clone. There are, however, many more events than the ones found in the other versions.
  • Astyanax (aka The Lord of King) was released for the Arcade and NES at the same time, and both versions were completely different right down to their very plot. Whereas the hero in the arcade version was a medieval barbarian-like warrior who finds the legendary Fire Axe, the protagonist in the NES game is an ordinary high school student who is transported to a fantasy setting.
  • Batman had a set of tie-in games made by Sunsoft based on the 1989 film. The NES version, a Castlevania-inspired platform game, was released first. While the Game Boy and Sega Genesis versions loosely followed the same template, the PC Engine version, which was originally announced as a platformer as well, was retooled into an overhead Maze Game.
    • Batman: Return of the Joker was released in two completely different versions for the NES and the Game Boy; the latter has a closer resemblance to the first NES Batman game. The NES Return of the Joker game was then ported to the Genesis by an American developer under the title of Batman: Revenge of the Joker. An SNES version was also planned, but canceled (a prototype ROM image is available online).
    • The two Batman Returns games developed by Konami, one for the NES and the other for the SNES, were both side-scrolling beat-'em-ups, but that's where their similarities ended. Sega also released its own line of Batman Returns games for the Game Gear, Sega Master System, Genesis and Sega CD. The Sega CD version was a port of the Genesis version with added racing stages, while the Game Gear and Master System versions were almost identical.
  • BIONICLE: The Game is a typical Third-Person Action-Adventure game on console and PC, with an extremely simplified version of the Bohrok and Mask of Light story arcs. The Game Boy Advance version has more emphasis on platforming, an Isometric-perspective, features all thirteen Toa, has more levels, and does not even bother with a plot.
  • BIONICLE Heroes is an Always Over the Shoulder Third-Person Shooter on consoles and PC, with a barely coherent version of the Voya Nui story arc.
    • The Nintendo DS version is a First-Person Shooter about an unnamed silver Matoran-turned-Toa rescuing the Toa Inika, who have been captured by the Piraka and Makuta.
    • The GBA version is a mixture of the two formulas above; a Top-Down View Shooter about a silver Toa (who can transform into any of the Toa Mata, and later Nuva and Inika) rescuing the Inika from Vezon.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula received a few versions of licensed games. On the NES, it's a horror-themed Mario clone, complete with ? blocks. On 16-bit consoles, it's a more generic platform with oddly oversized bosses. On the Sega CD, Psygnosis made use of the CD-ROM technology to make a beat-'em-up with digitized backgrounds and FMV cutscenes. Finally, on PC, it's an FPS, if you can believe it.
  • Captain America and the Avengers was released simultaneously in arcades and on the NES by Data East at the end of 1991. While the arcade version was a 4-player beat-'em-up where players could play as Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye and The Vision, the NES version was a side-scrolling platform game where only Cap and Hawkeye were playable and their objective was to rescue the other two. Data East later released a port of the arcade game for the Sega Genesis in 1992.
    • Mindscape later released a set of versions for the SNES, Game Boy and Game Gear. While the SNES version was also a port of the arcade game, the portable versions were actually side-scrolling platformers.
  • Castlevania (NES) and Vampire Killer (MSX2) were released in Japan under the same title (Akumajō Dracula) a month apart, with the same packaging art. While they have very similar stage designs, Vampire Killer focuses more on exploration, as the player's goal is to uncover hidden items in each stage and find the key to the stage's exit.
  • Daikatana on the Game Boy Color is a top-down action RPG that was better received than the critically-panned computer FPS it was based on.
  • Daiva, a space-themed war simulation game by T&E Soft, was released for seven different platforms (all the major Japanese 8-bit computers plus the Famicom and PC98) throughout 1986 to 1987. Each version featured completely different scenario starring a different protagonist.
  • Dizzy Kwik Snax is a completely different game on the Commodore 64 to the ZX Spectrum original. On the Spectrum version you have to push blocks to squash monsters on a single screen, on the Commodore version you have to collect Fluffles and guide them to the exit in a side-scrolling gameplay.
  • Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers had several versions for multiple platforms.
    • Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, PC: practically the same, just some graphical improvements for the latter two, and cutscenes in pre-rendered CGI instead of the game's engine.
    • PlayStation: obvious hit in the graphics but also completely different level design (3D and side-view sections alternate inside and not in separate levels), soundtrack and enemies.
    • PS2 and GameCube: released a few years later, built on a new engine, complete renewal of the levels, an improved version of the PS1 version's soundtrack and new abilities for Donald.
    • The handheld versions (Game Boy Color and Advance) are 2D Platformers and are also very different from each other, with the latter giving more abilities to Donald. Also the storyline plays a bit differently.
  • Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone for the arcades and Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones for the NES shared a parallel development according to series's creator Yoshihisa Kishimoto. Technos outsourced development of the arcade version to East Technology and internally worked on the NES project. As a result, the NES version feels a very similar to previous games, while its arcade counterpart was a bit of a departure. The two versions mainly differed in the playable character roster and how players have access to them: the arcade version have the extra fighters (along with other power-ups such as more health and new moves) available as in-game purchases through item shops in the beginning of certain stages (essentially serving as an early form of micro-transactions), while the NES version has the player acquire two additional fighters (Chin Seimei and Yagyu Ranzou) by defeating them as bosses after the second and third stage respectively. A Japanese revision of the arcade game was later made that ditched the in-game purchases in favor of simply allowing each player to choose their fighter from four character types when starting the game.
  • Dragon Quest XI was originally released in Japan in two versions. The PS4 version was co-developed by Orca (who assisted in the development of Dragon Quest X on various platforms) and runs on Unreal Engine 4 using a third-person camera, while the 3DS version was co-developed by Toylogic, and can either be played with more Super-Deformed 3D models similar to the console version, or 2D sprites in a Three Quarters View similar to the ones from SFC/DS Dragon Quest games. Only the PS4 version of the game was released overseas alongside a Steam port made speficially for the west, although the 2D was later implemented in Dragon Quest XI S, an expanded port released for the Switch.
  • The sequel to Drawn to Life, The Next Chapter, was released both on DS and Wii at the same time but was created by different developers: '5th Cell' and 'Planet Moon Studios'. Both games are extremely different in both tone, plot and gameplay. The DS version is more of a direct sequel to the original, but the Wii version has a more basic plot centred on collecting Artifacts.
  • Dynamite Headdy had a Game Gear version developed in tandem with the Genesis/Mega Drive version. The Game Gear version was predictably a lot more basic, especially when comparing boss battles, and followed a different progression of levels.
  • Fantasy Zone was released on the Master System a few months after the arcade game, but both versions were actually developed at the same time. The Master System version was tailor-made to take into account the lower hardware specs and features different bosses, weapon properties and less enemy bases to destroy. The Famicom version later released by Sunsoft, along with a separately developed NES version by Tengen, both played like a mix between both versions.
  • The Xbox release of Ghost Recon 2 is, despite its name, a sequel to the concurrently-developed Gamecube / PS2 version.
  • The different versions of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter have the same storyline and use most of the same locations in Broad Strokes, but have very different gameplay mechanics.
    • The Xbox 360 version is a Third-Person Shooter (with an optional weapon-less first person view), playing similarly to the aforementioned ''Ghost Recon 2', with added visual aids and Take Cover! mechanics.
    • The PC version was outsourced to GRIN and runs on their proprietary Diesel engine. It is a First-Person Shooter that plays similarly to the original PC Ghost Recon, allowing player to order their Ghosts individually (as opposed to the X360 version, where the player can only order their squad as a single unit) and set up complex battle plans, and features fairly unforgiving health and shooting mechanics. Some of the scenarios from the Xbox 360 version do not have equivalents and were replaced with news ones, and a new character was created to explain the mechanics and objectives exclusive to this version. GRIN would also handle the PC version of Advanced Warfighter 2 and make it in a similar style.
    • The original Xbox and PS2 versions are also a FPS, but a much more linear and arcade-like one. The player can only command up to one allied character at a time and protagonist Scott Mitchell, who is quite talkative in the other versions, is mute here. Furthermore, the PS2 and Xbox versions have different level layouts from each others.
  • Goemon: Shinseidai Shūmei ("Goemon: The New Generation") for the PlayStation and Goemon: New Age Shutsudō!! (New Age Sailing) for the Game Boy Advance were essentially the same game, being released two months apart. The two games were part of an unsuccessful attempt by Konami to reinvent the Ganbare Goemon franchise (aka Mystical Ninja) to younger players around 2001-2002. The GBA version is essentially a watered down version of the PS game, with text and still imagery instead of voice acted cutscenes, along with less stages, but it does have some exclusive content to make up for it.
  • The Goonies on the MSX had similar gameplay to the Famicom game, more primitive graphics, and very different levels. As with Vampire Killer, keys played a major role in the MSX version, which also added an EXP bar.
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch got two radically different Sunsoft Licensed Games: a top-down action game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and a typical sidescrolling Platform Game for the Game Boy.
  • While the PC and console verisons of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were collect-a-thon 3D platformers, the Game Boy Color version was a turn-based RPG.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had two radically different versions produced at the same time, one for PC, one for several home consoles including the PS2. The console version was far flashier, while the PC version focused more on an open-world Hogwarts. The former therefore got quite a few more cinematic moments, while the latter focused so much on creating atmosphere that the bigger scenes were necessarily a bit smaller. One example: Upon landing at Hogwarts, Harry needs to get past the Whomping Willow. The PC version has him walking around it in a circle as it lazily lifts and lowers its roots. The console version has a full-on boss fight against the tree, where it viciously pounds the earth and even throws the car at you. Another example: the Hogwarts of the PC version is littered with secret passages, sidequests, collectibles, and Non Player Characters to talk to. Needless to say, both versions have their fans.
  • Jurassic Park got a game on practically every console of the time, and all had vastly different gameplay styles. The SNES version combines a top-down shooter with rudimentary FPS segments, the Genesis version is a side-scroller, the Game Gear game is a totally different side scroller, and the NES and Game Boy games are stripped down version of the SNES edition, with the Game Boy one also throwing in a few side-scroller stages.
  • Kool-Aid Man on the Atari 2600 and for the Intellivision were two entirely different games, largely because Mattel had to produce both of them on a very tight schedule. The 2600 version is set around a swimming pool; the Intellivision version takes place inside a haunted house where two children have to summon the Kool-Aid Man.
  • Last Action Hero is a "good" example of The Problem with Licensed Games in all of its various releases, but it's interesting to see how very different it is on various platforms.
    • SNES / Genesis: a traditional side-scrolling action game with some side-view driving levels.
    • NES: platform game with tiny sprites and some arcade levels.
    • Game Boy / Game Gear: similar to the 16 bit counterparts, but the driving stages are now overhead.
    • DOS: Overhead free-roaming driving stages (predating Grand Theft Auto by some years - you can even run pedestrians over!) and side-view fighting levels. It even has some small clips from the movie.
    • Amiga: based on the assets of the DOS versions, an entirely different game was crafted from them - a scrolling Beat 'em Up with no driving levels.
    • Finally, there was a Sega CD version in the works, which was supposed to use some retouched assets from the DOS version along with pre-rendered backgrounds and cutscenes. Given the lukewarm success of the movie and the other games, it was quietly cancelled.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The handheld versions tended to be quite different from their console counterparts, and for reasons beyond their technically inferior hardware. The DS version of one game in the series included a whole minigame of Light And Mirrors Puzzles not found anywhere in the console versions. The Game Boy Advance version of the second game also featured a more platforming and exploration-oriented game than the console versions, and, in fact, got higher reviews than every other version of the game despite being on the least-advanced system.
  • The tie-in game based on Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Eevents received three main versions—a home console release for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube, and separate versions for Windows and the Game Boy Advance, not to mention an obscure puzzle game for mobile phones by JAMDAT and an even rarer release for Windows subtitled Mini Games. All versions share the same basic premise, but otherwise vary greatly in level design, the gadgets Violet (and in one occasion Klaus) invent and presentation.
  • The versions of The Lion King for SNES, Genesis, MS-DOS, Game Boy, and NES were all more or less ports of each other of varying quality and accuracy, with the SNES and Genesis being the closest to each other, while the DOS version had minor downgrades and the Game Boy and NES had blatant cuts due to technical limitations. But the versions released for Game Gear and Master System, while nearly identical to each other, were essentially a completely different game with similar gameplay. Level designs are different, there is no roar meter, the notorious ostrich rides are almost completely gone, The Stampede uses the same platforming engine as the rest of the game instead of a unique one, and Return to Pride Rock is reduced to a Boss-Only Level. Additionally, several things which were present in prototypes of the main version of the game but were changed during development were retained in the Master System/Game Gear version, so things such as the hyena AI, the names of certain stages, and the overall look of The Elephant Graveyard are different between versions as well. This approach paid off, as while the genuine attempts at porting the 16-bit game to 8-bit hardware caused the game to suffer and lose content, the Game Gear/Master System version was much better suited to its hardware and is generally considered a better experience than the actual 8-bit ports as a result.
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland had two games produced by Capcom. The arcade version was simply titled Nemo, while the NES version was titled Little Nemo: The Dream Master.
  • The Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. All the games (bar Sochi 2014) have a console version and a handheld version. The ones with the most drastic differences would be London 2012 since the Wii version was like the first 2 games allowing you to play as any character in any sport with each sport presented in a form similar to their real life counterparts while the 3DS version only had 4 characters playable per sport (Heroes, Girls, Wild Ones, Tricksters & Challengers being the five character types) with some sports being like their real life counterparts while others just taking a small part of the sport and turning them in to quick-fire minigames.
  • The Game Boy Advance version of Max Payne is a 2D overhead isometric shooter that tries to follow the original game as closely as possible.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers received a series of tie-in games around the time the first season ended. Although the versions released for the Nintendo platforms were published by Bandai, the Sega versions were first-party products. The Super NES and Game Boy versions were both side-scrolling action games, while the Sega Genesis and Game Gear versions were fighting games, each completely unique. A Sega CD version was also released which was an Interactive Movie game which used FMV clips from key episodes of the series.
    • MMPR: The Movie also received its own sets of tie-in games. While the SNES, Game Boy and Game Gear versions were similar to their respective predecesors, the Genesis version was a side-scrolling beat-'em-up that actually covered both, the events of the film and the latter half of Season 2.
  • Michael Jackson's Moonwalker was released for the Genesis/Mega Drive and arcades at around the same time by Sega. They had some common elements, but the former was a Shinobi-like Platform Game, whereas the latter was an isometric Beat 'em Up that could be played by up to three people (each controlling a palette swapped MJ).
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the N64 was developed in-house by Williams Entertainment, while the PlayStation version was commissioned to Avalanche Studios and developed in parallel, which in turn would end up serving as the basis for the later developed Sega Saturn and Windows PC ports. While the N64 version had to cut the unmasked Sub-Zero from the vanilla version of Mortal Kombat 3 due to the limited memory of the cartridge format (he was still part of the roster in a prototype build, but was replaced with Johnny Cage in the retail build, who was a last minute addition), the CD-ROM-based versions takes advantage of the extra storage by not only having both versions of Sub-Zero, but also alternate versions of Kano, Rayden, Kung Lao and Jax from the first two games (incidentally the only fighters from those games that didnt change actors between installments), as well as Goro and Kintaro. On top of that, almost all the characters are unlocked by default on the CD-ROM versions, whereas the N64 version still requires cheat codes for Human Smoke, Motaro and Shao Kahn. However, the N64 version does have exclusive content not in the CD-ROM versions, such as Fatalities for Shao Kahn and Motaro, new background animations for some of the stages, a 3-on-3 versus mode and new Friendship animation for Nightwolf (replacing the Rayden morph from Mortal Kombat 3), on top of lacking loading times (which was an issue for Shang Tsung's morphing abilities in the CD-ROM versions). To make up for the omission of the unmasked Sub-Zero, the masked version has the ability to use some of his special moves in the N64 version, turning him into a sort-of hybrid of both characters. Both versions of Trilogy also have an exclusive hidden fighter, while the CD-ROM versions have Chameleon, a male ninja who could use the abilities of all the other male ninjas, the N64 version has Khameleon, who could do the same with the female ninjas, although the latter was a more fleshed out character, as she had an official backstory and ending.
  • Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 was similar on both the GameCube, Windows PC, and Xbox, but those versions were markedly different from (and generally not as good as) the PlayStation 2 version.
  • Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, the 2010 version, the Wii version is instead a Mission-Pack Sequel to NFS Nitro with downgraded environment details but slightly upgraded car models.
  • Ninja Gaiden was simultaneously produced for the arcade and NES by Tecmo, and ultimately two completely different games were created. While the arcade version is a 2-player Beat 'em Up with emphasis on acrobatic moves (the joystick had an action button on top for grabbing ledges), the NES version is a Castlevania-style side-scrolling platformer with a wall hanging play mechanic and cinematic sequences between stages.
  • Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color. The former was a first-person shooter, while the later was played from a top-down perspective. The GBC version also served as a prequel for the N64 game, despite sharing the same name.
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. While the 360/PS3/PC versions are the same game, the Wii version has a different storyline and different powers for the Prince. The PSP and DS versions are 2.5D platformers with yet each having their own storylines.
  • Rambo had two Action RPGs based on the second film (Rambo: First Blood Part II) released by Pack-In Video. The MSX game plays in a Top-Down View similar to Hydlide, while the NES game is a side-scroller similar to Zelda II.
    • While Ocean Software obtained the Rambo III license from Taito, the game they ended up releasing for various computer platforms was an overhead shooter that played nothing like the arcade game Taito eventually released, which was a Cabal-style shooter where Player 2 controlled Colonel Trautman.
    • Sega also produced its own set of Rambo III games for its consoles. While the Sega Genesis version of Rambo III was an overhead action shooter, the Master System version was an Operation Wolf-style light gun game that required the Light Phaser gun.
  • Rainbow Six 3, despite using some design elements from the PC version, have a completely different story and vastly different gameplay on the Xbox and PS2, being mostly linear single-squad FPS's rather than plan-based with multiple teams.
  • Ristar was originally released on the Genesis/Mega Drive, with a lesser-known Game Gear version coming out around the same time. The Game Gear's hardware limitations resulted in radically different level layouts and the addition of a new world, Planet Terra (replacing Undertow and Scorch).
  • RollerGames was a short-lived rollerskating TV show that received two separate video game adaptations by Konami. The arcade version attempted to adapt the sport itself into a video game, whereas the NES version was a side-scrolling action game that barely had anything to do with the sports save for the names of the teams (the enemies included molotov-throwing punks, a flying gunship and a Shaolin monk as the final boss).
  • Shadowrun received completely different adaptations for the SNES and Genesis. The SNES game, by Beam Software, is an isometric action RPG starring an amnesiac named Jake, while the Genesis game, developed by Blue Sky Software, is a The Legend of Zelda-style overhead RPG with a protagonist named Joshua avenging the death of his brother.
  • The Simpsons Game was developed for Xbox 360, Nintendo DS Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable. The DS version is the most radically different game of them all, being a 2D sidescroller instead of a 3D platformer.
  • The mobile version of Skullgirls uses the same characters and graphics as the console version but, due to the nature of mobile devices, requires a completely different control scheme and thus different gameplay as well. Because Lab Zero doesn't have the resources to work on the mobile game and their current projects, development was outsourced to Hidden Variable Games, and they wound up crafting a mostly separate story from the original version.
  • The first five Skylanders games had companion titles for the Nintendo 3DS, which were compatible with the same toys-to-life figures as the console versions but had completely different gameplay and plots. For game five, SuperChargers, the Wii version qualified as well, being the same as the 3DS version rather than the other console versions. Averted as of the sixth game, Imaginators, where there is only the one version for consoles and no portable companion.
  • This has been a pretty common process in the Sonic the Hedgehog series:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had 8-bit versions produced for the Sega Master System and Game Gear, both of which were radically different from the 16-bit originals on the Mega Drive (the 8-bit versions of Sonic 2 actually preceded the 16-bit version in some regions). The more limited hardware didn't allow for the same speed, which resulted in different level layouts, premises and soundtracks. The 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in particular is pretty much a completely different game from the Mega Drive one, with completely different levels, enemies and even a very different Excuse Plotnote , essentially serving as a wholly unique sequel to the 8-bit Sonic 1 which happens to share its title with a 16-bit game; Sonic 1 shares some of its levels between versions, albeit in modified form. Both are fairly well regarded despite their limitations and differences, and the Game Gear versions in particular are considered more challenging due to their lower screen resolution and general lack of rings during boss fights.
    • As Sonic 3D Blast was in production (with pretty similar 16-bit and Sega Saturn versions), another department was working on Sonic Blast (not to be confused with the above-mentioned Sonic Blast Man). The only things they have in common are that Sonic, Eggman, and Knuckles are in both of them, and that they both feature pseudo 3-D graphics. They are otherwise totally different, with different stages, soundtracks, story, and overall gameplay style (the former being a non-linear isometric 3-D platformer, and the latter being a traditional linear 2-D platformer where only the art is meant to look 3-D). Even the original titles were different, being Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island and G Sonic respectively.
    • Due to power difference between the different hardware, Sonic Unleashed had two versions in development: 360/PS3 and PS2/Wii. The second had downgraded graphics, no free roaming town areas, shorter and more basic day levels, less worlds and more (infamous) Werehog levels, but also better controls and a more stable framerate.
    • Between 2010 and 2014, as Sonic Team worked on a main series Sonic game for home systems, Dimps would simultaneously develop a game sharing the title, soundtrack, and story on Nintendo handheld systems. This was the approach to Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, and Sonic Lost World. In all three cases, Dimps would receive basic information, music, and gameplay suggestions from Sonic Team, and then Dimps would create their own interpretation. For Dimps's Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, the gameplay closely resembled that of the Sonic Rush games they previously worked on, and Sonic Lost World was in full 3-D with their own stage layouts and gimmicks.
  • Spanky's Quest: The Game Boy and SNES versions were developed by two completely different teams, and have almost entirely different approaches to level design and bonus items. The SNES version requires the player to collect Interchangeable Antimatter Keys, whereas the Game Boy version has neither keys nor doors. It's little wonder that the two versions were released under different titles in Japan.
  • Sparkster was completely different between the SNES and Genesis, despite being released at the same time, having the same cover artwork and almost the same title (the Genesis version was subtitled Rocket Knight Adventures 2 in Japan).
  • Spider-Man 2 on consoles is a great free-roaming game and is considered among the best titles (if not the best) based on the wall crawler. The PC version by another developer, unfortunately, is a lousy, limited action game.
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows - Unlike the main console version, which was a Wide Open Sandbox, the PS2/PSP version was a 2D brawler, the DS version was a Metroidvania (the engine of which would later be reused for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions). Each of these versions features its own storyline and more Marvel characters than the free-roaming one for the "bigger" systems.
  • Street Fighter: The Movie was a completely different game on consoles from the arcade game released two months earlier, despite using the same digitized sprites. The arcade version was developed by Incredible Technologies (makers of Time Killers and BloodStorm) and drew many gameplay elements from the Mortal Kombat series (such as tap motions for special moves, which were unusual for Street Fighter at the time), whereas the console version was developed in-house by Capcom and ran on a modified version of the Super Street Fighter II Turbo engine. Even the character roster was different between both versions, as Blade and the rest of the Bison Troopers were exclusive to the arcade version, whereas the console versions featured Dee-Jay and Blanka.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U: Care was taken to make sure both versions played the same and had the same character roster, though the restrictions of the less-powerful 3DS hardware meant certain characters had to be changed or cut for both versions, namely the Ice Climbers. Outside of this, each game had exclusive stages and secondary game modes (3DS has Smash Run, Wii U has Smash Tour), with the Wii U version also supporting up to eight players and having a Level Editor. While fans consider both games to collectively be Super Smash Bros. 4, director Masahiro Sakurai views for Nintendo 3DS and for Wii U as seperate installments (the fourth and fifth, repsectively).
  • Strider was produced as a collaboration between Capcom and Motomiya Kikaku that resulted in a one-volume manga and two video games, a console version for the Famicom and an arcade version for the CP System hardware. The Strider arcade game is easily the most successful of these projects, being ported to a variety of other platforms such as the Genesis, X68000, PC Engine and PlayStation years after its original release, despite deviating completely from the other versions of the Strider story. The manga has never been reprinted since its original 1988 publication and is nowadays only known to hardcore Strider fans, while the Famicom version was inexplicably canceled in Japan despite being announced before the arcade version, although it did see a U.S. release on the NES.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the NES came out almost at the same time as Konami's popular arcade beat-'em-up of the same title. When Konami decided to adapt the arcade game to the NES as well, they had to retitle that version Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game to make it clear that it was a different game from the first NES title and a port of the arcade version.
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters was a title used for a set of Konami fighting games released for the NES, SNES and Genesis at the end of 1993. Each version was a unique game featuring its own character roster and fighting system. Each version also used one of the turtles as a cover character, but because there four turtles, but only three versions of the game made, Michelangelo was the one that was not afforded this privilege.
    • The Game Boy Advance versions of Konami's first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games based on the 2003 series, as well as the Nintendo DS version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare, were completely different games from their PC and console counterparts.
    • When Ubisoft got a hold of the Turtles license, they made a series of tie-in games based on CGI TMNT movie for various platforms. The PC and home console versions were ports of the same game, but the portable versions for the GBA, DS and PSP were all unique. The GBA version in particular, rather than being a 3D action game like the others, was a 2D beat-'em-up inspired by the older Konami games.
  • Tenchi o Kurau (The Devouring of Heaven and Earth), Hiroshi Motomiya's manga adaptation of the Three Kingdoms tale, was adapted into video game format by Capcom. Like Willow and Nemo, they released two games at the same time: the arcade version was a side-scrolling action game where players fought enemies while riding on a horseback, whereas the Famicom version was an RPG similar to Dragon Quest. Both games were released overseas under the titles of Dynasty Wars and Destiny of an Emperor respectively.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and 4 both had different versions, one for the PS2/Xbox/GCN, and one for the PS1 with different goals and levels, done by different companies. The same thing happened again with the PS360 version of Project Eight and Proving Ground being different to the Wii/PS2 version.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron was a third-person shooter released for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, considered to be the Wii equivalent and having the same characters and story, is a Rail Shooter.
  • Turrican originally began development as a Commodore 64 game by Rainbow Arts. Factor 5, who were working on the Amiga version, originally planned their version as a straight port, but then they decided to rework the game completely in order to utilize the Amiga's specs to its full potential. Turrican 2 was developed in a similar matter.
    • Similarly Super Turrican was released for consoles in two versions. While the NES version handled by Rainbow Arts, the SNES version was done by Factor 5.
  • Willow was a side-scrolling platform game in arcades, where the player alternates between controlling Willow and Madmartigan and was pretty faithful to the movie's plot. The NES version was an action RPG that took liberties with the source material.
  • World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks and War Jetz were both released simultaneously for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. The two versions have different levels and controls, especially in the case of War Jetz.
  • While Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems may seem like an example of this, it actually came out almost a year after the Marvel Super Heroes arcade game.
  • Yie Ar Kung Fu on the MSX and Famicom are completely different from the arcade original. They feature completely new opponents for the players, a completely new stage and different victory poses, including a new pose for the FC version.
  • Ys IV was developed at the same time for the PC Engine and Super Famicom. Both versions were developed by separate companies based on a rough outline provided by Falcom, who developed the prior Ys games. There was also a third version planned for the Mega Drive that ended up being canceled.

Alternative Title(s): Same Title Different Game


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