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Porting Disaster / Computers

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Ports on computers can be disastrous either due to older computer systems lacking certain capabilities that consoles or arcade machines have, developers undermining the higher-end capabilities of newer ones, or simply not bothering to program the game in question to run properly on a computer.

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    Apple II 
  • Bubble Bobble on the Apple II suffered from some rather inconsistent Hit Box Dissonance. Sometimes the player can jump through walls they shouldn't be able to. Sometimes Bub can be right next to an enemy and yet the Collision Damage won't trigger while other times just looking at an enemy will count as a hit. It only gets worse when the Monstas/Belugas start appearing.
    Commodore 64 
  • Bionic Commando had two C64 versions — one by Capcom USA and one by Software Creations UK, both based on the arcade version. The Software Creations version is a glorious aversion of this trope, pretty much porting the game as well as the C64 would allow, and sporting a superb remix of the soundtrack by Tim Follin. The Capcom version is astoundingly half-assed. There's only one music track, much blockier graphics, jerkier scrolling, sluggish movement, and absolutely no swing physics.
  • Cisco Heat features a truly abysmal framerate, non-transparent sprites for the AI cars, and generic backgrounds that look nothing like San Francisco. For proof that racing games can be more gracefully converted from sprite-scaling triple-16-bit-CPU arcade hardware to the relatively puny 8-bit C64, see Power Drift and Buggy Boy.
  • Enduro Racer has graphics that would be acceptable but for choppy and inconsistent scrolling: The player bike and the roadside stripes move at a decent rate, unlike everything else on the road.
  • Hard Drivin' wasn't designed for the hardware it was being ported to and is often noted as the worst port of the game in existence. It moves at a snail's pace in both framerate and actual driving speed and the controls often had you skidding across the road during even the slightest turns. The incredibly butchered physics engine, the very short draw distance, and the relatively inaccurate drawing scheme and monochrome nature of the 3D engine itself didn't help matters.
  • Jet Set Willy, a port of a ZX Spectrum game, tried to stretch the levels and jumping distance to fit the C64's higher graphical resolution. The result was oddly asymmetric Jump Physics and 100% Completion being impossible. You could still technically reach the ending sequence, except that the porting team didn't program that in.
  • The Legend of Kage suffered massive graphical and audio downgrades when it was ported from the arcade to many home consoles and computers. The C64 version is largely considered the worst port out of them all.
  • R-Type has a serious problem on tape: Even if you only survived for a minute, you still had to rewind the tape and wait five minutes for the game to reload.
  • Rastan Saga was a port of the arcade version. While they did a decent job of the music, the gameplay was destroyed:
    • Enemies would constantly spawn if you stood in the right spots, summoning swarms of enemies that you would likely be unable to pass without damage.
    • The hit detection was also broken, often causing you to die from enemies that were "attacking" with melee strikes that were out of reach.
    • The bosses had no visible markers if you were hitting them properly, nor was there any way to dodge their attacks reliably.
    • The weapons (with the exception of the golden sword) offered no change from your standard blade, so no throwing axe, no extending mace, no reason to bother with any weapon aside from that golden blade.
    • Last, the landscape was altered slightly, causing one of the jumps in a late-game level to be impossible to clear.
  • Renegade III The Final Chapter, an already terrible ZX Spectrum game was made even worse by a draining health bar that you regenerate killing enemies, which is a chore with the awful collision detection.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a port of the NES version. The reduction of the audio quality, the password Copy Protection, the likelihood that more than five sprites on-screen would cause severe flicker... all these might be forgivable. But the biggest problem was that they attempted to emulate the NES controls on a joystick. With only one fire button available, they decided to assign both tasks to that button. To attack, you would very briefly tap the fire button, while jumping required you to hold it down instead. This made it nearly impossible to defeat the mini-boss of the first stage (Bebop), much less completing the game, as holding the button for any length of time longer than that brief period would result in a tiny hop instead. Combined with the short-range weapons of this game...
  • Ultima VI was butchered horribly on the C64. Because the C64 system was so immensely popular, Origin kept porting their Ultima games to the system even after the hardware couldn't handle them anymore. While Ultima V was a complete port that lacked only music (and had even that — and very good, too — on the Commodore 128 in native mode), Ultima VI was designed for the much more powerful computers then available, so a lot had to go.

    ZX Spectrum 
  • The ZX Spectrum version of Count Duckula II is hideously ugly, especially considering its 1992 release date. The Commodore 64 version is actually quite colorful, but on the Spectrum everything that moves in the main Platform Game section is black on solid white backgrounds, even the tomato juice that can be fired into enemies' faces. While such graphical compromises were typical of the system, in this case they don't really make things move more smoothly. Instead, the already sluggish gameplay becomes a flickering nightmare, with the jack-in-the-boxes actually skipping some of their animation frames.
  • Kung Fu Master has backgrounds about as well detailed as those in the Commodore 64 version, but given the ZX Spectrum's graphical limitations, this comes at a horrible cost: The game moves along at a snail's pace, and kicking and punching enemies results in nasty flickering as the differently colored sprites come into contact.
  • Sqij! was originally an undistinguished Shoot 'em Up written for the Commodore 64. The ZX Spectrum version is far, far worse. It starts by locking the Spectrum into Caps Lock and then only checking for lower-case letters; the only way to move is to "poke" the gamenote  and disable the caps lock. It runs far more slowly than the Commodore version because it's mostly written in BASIC. Not only that, but until 2016, there was thought to be only one room in the game; without killing both enemies, going left leads to nowhere, while going right crashes the game. The overall impression is that it was written by someone whose acquaintance with the original game extended to having it described to them over a bad telephone line.

    Amstrad CPC 
  • With varying degrees of awfulness, the scourge of "Speccy ports" must be mentioned first. Due to certain hardware similarities, it was easy to port games from the ZX Spectrum to the CPC. But as the CPC was a less popular system (at least in the UK), most developers didn't bother touching up the graphics to use its superior capabilities. So there was a multitude of games that looked no better than those running on that far weaker machine.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins received an absolutely horrible CPC port. As if the game wasn't hard enough already, the Amstrad version ups the ante by removing the armour. Yep, in this version of the game Arthur is a One-Hit Point Wonder, touching any baddie will kill you instantly. Also, the zombies respawn at a ridiculously fast and constant rate, and the version of the music is enough to induce nightmares. Check it out here, but make sure you swig some brain bleach afterwards.
  • OutRun has its CPC port handled by Probe Software. The programmers really had no excuse, as far better driving games had already been available on the CPC for years. How bad was it? Well....
  • Psycho Soldier on the Amstrad had graphics like the Commodore 64 version (though slightly brighter). The gameplay, however, was unbearably slow and choppy, even with the replacement of continuous scrolling with Flip-Screen Scrolling.
  • Count Duckula 2 takes the already awful ZX Spectrum conversion, keeps all of that version's issues and turns it into something that makes E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Superman look like Chrono Trigger. Stuart Ashen took a look at it in the book Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of.
  • Zynaps: The Amstrad CPC conversion may be superficially good-looking, but the vertical resolution of the gameplay window is somehow less than that of the ZX Spectrum version, despite the fact the ZX Spectrum's native display resolution has 8 fewer pixels vertically. This results in less maneuvering room for the player's ship, aggravated by its having a larger collision box which makes the final stage unwinnable without cheating.
  • The Amstrad conversion of Los Angeles SWAT, an urban Commando-like game which originated on Atari 8-Bit Computers, is notably incompetent even by the low-budget standard of Mastertronic (who released this game under their Entertainment USA label). The continuous upward scrolling slows gameplay to a crawl, the controls are stiff, sound is outright nonexistent, and shooting one type of person can crash the game.

  • Fantasy Zone was a port of the Master System version of the game, except worse in just about every conceivable way. Garish graphics, slow, stuttery gameplay, badly ported music, and inexplicably altered bosses (the boss of world 7, which even the Master System portrayed as splitting apart and reforming while trying to crush you, was turned into a generic "move around and shoot projectiles" boss no different from any of the others) are among the major flaws.
  • Green Beret, a port of the side-scrolling action game by Konami, plays incredibly slowly and stiffly in its MSX version. Konami UK was responsible for this port, which was never released in Japan.

    Atari 400/800/XL/XE 
  • BROS, a peculiar knockoff of Super Mario Bros. for Atari 8-bit computers, suffers from very stiff jump physics that make it hard to time jumps and dodge obstacles (not helping you press up on a joystick to jump and move, even if you try to do a diagonal jump), and Mario has no weight or momentum when moving (but a bit of mid-air direction control, oddly), which, combined with bad collision detection (apparently from loading the digitized sound effects each time a coin is grabbed, making you clearly pass through other ones when you fall) results in a platformer rife with Fake Difficulty.
  • Jet Set Willy, despite coming out on 8-bit Atari systems three years after the Spectrum original, was actually inferior with a "worst of both worlds" approach to graphics, poor animation and bugs that meant the game couldn't be completed. Although the new music from Rob Hubbard was praised, it wasn't enough to save the game from the critical panning it received.

  • Bad Dudes had EGA graphics, tiny characters, and no clock speed adjustment, which means the game is unplayably fast on computers made just a few years after its release.
  • Castlevania had lackluster controls, and the holy water did not stun enemies, losing its strategic advantage.
  • Contra had CGA graphics, PC speaker sound effects, and (the kicker) completely unresponsive controls.
  • Mega Man X had a pretty spotty PC port, having lower-grade music and sounds than the SNES original, as well as removing the various Ride Armors around... despite being on CD-ROM and not limited by cartridge space. It also came with a gamepad modeled after a Sega Genesis 6-Button controller for whatever reason. The X3 PC port thankfully avoided these problems, not to mention had high-quality remixed music. The original did have a Windows port, but it was released only in Japan.
    • The gamepad (which also came with a PC port of Super Street Fighter II) was especially bizarre. Only the bottom row of buttons seem to actually work with the game. Try changing the controls to use any of the top three buttons and they're totally unresponsive. The same goes for other DOS games. Basically, you got a 3-button gamepad that looks like a 6-button gamepad.
    • The music is especially bad because the person responsible for writing the MIDI versions apparently didn't know how to use the drum channel, resulting in all the drums being random thumping on various melodic instruments. This, in turn, causes a bizarre situation where the music actually gets worse the better your soundcard is. The real reason of this is technically caused by lazy porting and hardware limitations of the PC: The SNES' SPC700 is a wavetable synthesizer, while most PC sound cards only have an OPL2-based FM synthesizer (similar to that of a Sega Genesis, but much more limited in that a Genesis also has a PSG for percussion — which the PC doesn't have, and could also use the OPL2 for digital audio — which the PC can't). Combine that with the fact that some games are optimized for the AdLib sound card (which has an even more crippling limitation of not being able to handle percussion well) and you have an audio-centered porting disaster in the making. Yes, there were better sound cards on the market (and even wavetable synth cards) when that game came out. For some reason, though, many PC game developers and porting houses just didn't care until the mid-'90s.
  • Ninja Gaiden II has the same problems as Bad Dudes on PC.
  • Street Fighter got a DOS port... the less said about it, the better. The characters were rendered at an approximate height of twelve pixels, Ken was replaced with a palette swap of Ryu, only a single punch and a single kick button were available, and while the computer could use special moves, the player couldn't.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn't exactly excellent on the NES, but its PC port featured broken controls (e.g. making it nearly impossible to jump precisely), jumpy framerates, cheap enemy placement, etc., and was, in fact, unwinnable without the use of cheat codes due to a design flaw in the sewers of Area 3 (there's a jump that's too wide with too low a ceiling). Also, despite what the manual said, you'll never find a single Boomerang or Shuriken in this port.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game also suffered on PC, with only one single tune playing through the entire game, awkward controls and enemies that can cheaply wail on you when they're not supposed to. Let Scary-Crayon elaborate on both games.
  • Oscar, as with the SNES port of the game, was a port of the Commodore Amiga version (like so many games from the time). It itself had features cut, as this opening video from the Amiga version shows us. Hear! Stereo sounds that put AdLib and SoundBlaster audionote  to shame note . See! Fluid smooth background animation along with an animated title logo! Despair! As you realize that the PC version had mediocre sound and a barely passable 16-bit static title logo. Also, like the SNES version, the title screen music was a rewritten horrible sounding MIDI train wreck instead of that awesome-o piece on the Amiga version.
  • The PC version of Uncharted Waters: New Horizons technically got the shortest stick of all the ports of the game, with a crippled MIDI track that's only optimized for the AdLib music card, inability to support Sound Font enabled cards like the Gravis Ultrasound or SoundBlaster AWE32 for instrument samples even though both cards were already released when the game came out (which could've made the game music sound just as good, if not better than, the SNES port if the game supported it and the PC has the card installed), and not only had the least amount of graphical effects of all the ports, it even failed at simple graphical effects like smooth screen scrolling. Additionally, the game used only EGA colors instead of VGA color, causing less colors to be available to the game and resulting in duller graphics. For a game that came out in late 1994 when VGA was common and EGA was already on the way out, and the common sound card was the marginally better, music-wise, OPL-3-based SoundBlaster 16 (which supported stereo MIDI and enhanced percussion compared to the OPL-2-based original Soundblaster and AdLib), the game has "lazy port" written all over it.
  • Rayman (1995), while playable, is missing many graphical effects from the console versions, has more limited palettes, removes some frames from the sprites' animations, remaps crouching to an unintuitive and awkward key combination, has a jerky framerate on the FMVs, and handles the music awkwardly: whereas previously, each world tended to have multiple level BGMs that were spread across its multiple stages, the PC version had one per world that combined all tracks into one, starting the next one when the current one finishes playing. Even worse, some of those tracks had totally different moods one from another, so now you have the forest music which changes from a cheery theme to a urgent-sounding track for no reason. An enhanced version called Rayman Gold that included an Expansion Pack with extra levels was released later, but it removed the FMVs, and some versions lack the music altogether. Yet another enhanced version, Rayman Forever, followed, but the FMVs were still missing, and many music tracks were removed to make space in the disc. As if that wasn't bad enough, the game's code wasn't altered to reflect this, so now some areas in the game lack BGM, while others plays the wrong track; for instance the forest levels use the cave music now! Even the version of Rayman Forever suffers from these problems despite being officially labeled ‘the definitive version of the first Rayman game' by the website. Fortunately, fan patches like "Rayman Plus" restore nearly all the music and FMV sequences of the original, while adding a few extra touches like modernized screen resolutions and filtering to make the game look like the animated painting it was meant to be.
  • The PC port of the Robocop arcade game was a mess. The graphics were massively simplified and animations were cut: Robocop was unable to draw and sheath his gun, his melee attack was changed from a one-two punch to what looked like an attempted handshake while his pistol hovered in front of him, not moving. Enemies faced similar animation limitations. The music and voice clips from the arcade machine were entirely cut out and replaced with weak audio. Hit detection was quite glitchy, especially with the Cobra Gun: its shots would frequently fail to properly hit enemies or vanish partway across the screen. Of particular note was the enemy who held a hostage: you were supposed to wait until he pulled her back to shoot, but often your shots would somehow still kill the hostage without harming the enemy. Finally, enemy grenades were supposed to roll across the floor in a straight line but would instead home in on you if you jumped over them. Considering that they also rolled faster than you could run, they were effectively impossible to dodge.
  • Karnov was released on PC in 1989, and most PCs of the time just didn't have the graphics hardware to draw a smooth side-scrolling background. If you had multiple enemies on-screen and it was scrolling, the game would slow to 1/2 to 1/3 of its normal speed unless you had a top-of-the-line computer. This ended up greatly reducing your needed reaction time, making the game trivial to complete.
  • Bubble Bobble had EGA graphics and AdLib musicnote , which were fine for the time, but the game breaker here is that faster PCs actually had an opposite effect on the game speed: the faster the PC, the slower the game. On a 166 MHz Pentium, the game would run at an unplayable one frame per second. Comparatively, the game ran perfectly on a 12 MHz 80286. The bug appears to manifest if you use a CPU faster than a 486DX-33. A fan-made patch to fix the issue exists however.
  • Mad Dog McCree featured poor controls (mouse clicking was no substitute for pointing a light gun) and FMV scenes that were nothing to write home about. When ALG finally released the PC Gamegun, its accuracy was horrible. All the PC ports of other American Laser Games titles suffer from the same issues.
  • Tomb Raider was originally developed for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation. When it was ported to PC, the quality of the FMVs was severely decreased, the reflection effect on Golden Lara was removed, and worst of all, all of the game's music was removed except for the title screen theme and cutscene dialogue (which was stored as CD audio). Ambient sound was added to the levels as a compromise, but an entire game published without its music was ridiculous. This was made even worse when the Sold Out Software version of the game was released, some copies of which were missing the few remaining CD audio tracks. So, during cutscenes, gamers would be "treated" to the characters silently bobbing their heads at each other. This was remedied by a patch that not only restores the missing tracks, but also all the tracks from the PS1 and Sega Saturn versions of the game. Justice has finally been served!
  • Twisted Metal lacks transparency on PC, and increases the resolution but in turn scales down the UI to a microscopic size. The almost unknown PC port of Twisted Metal 1 did replace a single weapon to make one of the characters viable, though.
  • Wipeout loses the light effects on PC, which wouldn't be so terrible if they weren't what made it such a graphically awesome title in '95. It also acquired a peculiar kind of flickering track bug. Lastly, the opening cinematic had a random probability of locking up certain PCs while playing...
  • Metal Gear received a DOS port, based on the NES version, which is apparently impossible to complete without cheating (the level 7 key card can't be obtained in normal gameplay). It also features ear-stabbing music, dubious AI, one-time-only item pickups, and a possible oversight that allows you to bail out of the final boss fight.
  • Interplay's The Bard's Tale Trilogy games were all originally written for the 8-bit Apple IIe, and subsequently ported to various 8-bit and 16-bit platforms, in the latter case with much improved graphics. There were a few teething issues, especially with the Amiga versions, but otherwise the porting for the first two games was pretty competent... and then came the notoriously terrible 16-bit versions of The Bard's Tale III. Some of the MS-DOS port's more egregious problems:
    • The playing interface was extremely awkward compared to the other games. You couldn't speed up message scrolling speed, meaning you had to either wait several seconds or hit Enter after every single combat message (of which there could be dozens or hundreds). The movement keys inexplicably wouldn't let you move through doors; you needed to press a special command key, forcing you to use two hands for navigation instead of one. The status window wasn't always cleared properly after certain messages, meaning you couldn't be sure which status messages were actually current and which were not. Finally, the spell-casting interface was just painful. In previous games you could either select the spell by name from a list (which took longer but allowed you to see the available spells), or type a four-letter spell code, which required you to know the code but allowed for very quick casting. Here, however, you were given the worst of both methods: you always had to select the spell from a list... but the list only showed the four-letter spell codes! This meant you were not only required to know all of the spell codes, but you still had to scroll through a long list every single time you cast a spell (and the list of cryptic spell codes meant it took longer to find the right one).
    • The frequency of random combat encounters was insanely high compared to the previous games (and 8-bit versions of this game), and any action could trigger one, such as turning around or even ending a previous encounter. It wasn't uncommon to move to a new dungeon square and get hit with two or three consecutive fights before your next move! Multiply that by every square of every dungeon, and the result was that many people just found the game unplayable.
    • On the flip side, many monsters were completely unable to use their (supposed) special attacks, or in some cases to even attack at all, making them hilariously ineffectual; this even applied to some of the major boss fights.
    • Many of the items in the game simply didn't work at all.
    • Bard songs only lasted a single combat round, and weren't cumulative – thus severely breaking one of the game's signature features.
    • Anti-magic zones would extinguish light (which they shouldn't), but for some reason didn't prevent spell-casting (as they should); various other special zones didn't behave as they were supposed to either.
    • The entire game would crash if too many characters were created in the Refugee Camp.
    • The Amiga version (the only other 16-bit port) reportedly also shared many of these bugs. When the trilogy was re-released years later, emulated versions of the 16-bit ports were used for the first two games, but the original 8-bit Apple IIe version was used for The Bard's Tale III, in spite of its inferior graphics; evidently the publishers concluded that the 16-bit version was broken beyond redemption.
  • Kyodai's obscure 1989 DOS port of the first Ys game, retitled Ancient Land of Ys, is hands down its worst conversion, with muddy graphics, an unbearably jerky framerate on par with the NES version of Hydlide, and no soundcard support, restricting the sound and the previously iconic music to the ear-grating PC speaker.

    Microsoft Windows 
  • Acceleration of SUGURI X-Edition HD by Rockin' Android, which is a port of the PlayStation 3 version that was in turn a port the original PC version and its expansion pack, was rushed to Steam and the numerous bugs at launch shows. The game had issues with crashing frequently, online multiplayer that barely worked, compatibility problems with Windows 8/8.1, screen flickering problems in fullscreen, broken Steam Achievements, and the game still used the outdated DirectInput API for controllers which was a problem for XInput controllers. Rockin' Android later released a patch in 2014, but only for the Steam release (DRM-free releases did not get any patches whatsoever), which fixed a few of these issues, however, it introduced longer and frequent loading times between matches instead, which wasn't present in the DRM-free release of the HD version found in select Indie Royale bundles or even the original 2006 version of the game.
  • Assassin's Creed II has extremely clunky copy protection; users who legitimately bought the game and then used the crack to get rid of it anyway consistently report that the game runs exponentially better, going from a chugging slideshow at low or medium detail settings to completely smooth while maxed out and running at 1080p. Those who simply pirated the game get a product that is not only less annoying but actually works better than those who paid for it. The online-only DRM was later removed from the game, but it still suffered from poor mouse control due to aggressive acceleration, and controller support for the newer XInput gamepads was shoddy and required a third party fix to function correctly.
  • Assassin's Creed: Unity has became notorious for its poor optimization, alarmingly high system requirements (GeForce GTX 680 is the minimum video card requirement) which will bring high-end machines to their knees, and many game-breaking bugs. The port also suffers from a bad LOD system, and the profile for machines running SLI is broken. Add this, to stuttering even on machines with the recommended requirements, and Ubisoft still hasn't fixed these issues even after updates. While the console version doesn't run well by any stretch, the PC port is unplayable.
  • In a wider sense, the PC version of every major Assassin's Creed title since Black Flag onward suffers from an issue that makes the game incapable of progressing past the opening splash screen if not installed to the C: drive, which in the following years has caused complaints from users with custom PC builds that use smaller, more expensive SSDs as their native OS drives for a speed boost. Closer examination shows that the cause of this apparently lies with the sound files, and can be overcome by hosting only them on C: and creating symbolic links to them in an external install location. However, Ubisoft support seems to be completely unaware or uncaring about this, since every time the issue is brought up they seem to be in the dark about it, and useful advice on the matter can only be obtained from other users.
  • Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book on PC suffers from a single glaring flaw: complete abhorrence for keyboard support (which is the way that most PC players play video games). You can use any controller you like, but the keyboard setup is unintuitive, takes three hands to use properly, and worse, can't be remapped in any way.
  • Batman: Arkham City had its PC versions delayed for well over an entire month, and had little to show for it upon release. It had ridiculously unoptimized graphical settings, forces Direct 11 despite its infamous bugginess, contains crippling DRM and sometimes has problems with connecting to Games for Windows Live for absolutely no reason. The latter two were finally removed entirely in a 2013 patch that coincided with their removal from its predecessor Arkham Asylum. Also, there's an issue with the Game Of The Year edition that prevents the disc from running at all, citing an AppID issue. It's unclear whether this was a humongous error of judgment or a backhanded way of driving people to Steam.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The PC port had even more problems than the aforementioned Arkham City at launch, with widely reported optimization problems, frame rates capped at 30 and regularly dipping as low as 10, and missing graphics options compared to the console versions. Many angered customers left negative reviews on Steam and Metacritic, and not only was Steam's new refund option for digitally purchased games put through its paces, but services like Green Man Gaming that previously had no refund policy made a special exception to allow players to return Arkham Knight. Response was so bad that WB Games suspended the game's sale less than 2 days after release to buy themselves time to fix the game. Subsequent patches added some missing graphical features and reportedly ameliorated the problems for some, made them worse for others, and had no appreciable effect for the majority. Since being rereleased on October 28, 2015, the game still had technical issues for many players. WB Games offered no-questions-asked refunds to anyone who purchased the game or its season pass through the end of 2015. Reportedly the sorry state of the game was known well in advance of its initial PC release and the suspended sale period did almost nothing to help it. Arkham Knight also used nVidia's proprietary Gameworks technology, making the game run slowly or not at all on AMD cards. The game was supposedly fixed in 2016, but several minor and major issues are still there.
  • Battlestations: Pacific uses GFWL in an otherwise pretty good port and unlike most other games in Steam, it wasn't patched out as of 2019. While being dormant might be a non-issue, installing it in Windows 10 might just didn't work, except the GFWL is bypassed in a way that the client isn't actually used.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg's PC port, released in 2006 (three years after its original Nintendo GameCube release), suffers from poor optimization, which causes framerate issues on many video cards, severe screen-tearing problems (due to having no V-Sync) and very limited controller support. The sound mixing is also inferior to the GameCube version of the game due to using different audio code. The launcher's settings are too basic, the only graphics settings to change the framerate to 30 FPS or 60 FPS, resolution and a clipping option which doesn't seem to do anything. Most controllers are incompatible with the game, as it doesn't support analog triggers and many analog pads. For example, the Xbox 360 controller's analog triggers will not work. There are also missing visual effects from the original release. For instance, fog that obscures the player's view in a few of the later levels is absent which makes the level too easy.
  • BioShock 2 is another game that was plagued with both Games for Windows LIVE and SecuROM (2K claimed the latter was only programmed to prevent preordered copies from being playable before the official release, but that doesn't mean it won't ever have technical issues), but it was a badly coded port to begin with. It eats up 100% of the available CPU clock cycles at all times, even when it's idling in the menu screen, and there's flagrant texture pop-in if you're using a GPU without a lot of video memory — both problems that the first game, which runs on the exact same engine, didn't have. Apparently the whole thing was ported from scratch by a different team than the first game. In addition, some of the default key bindings are different from the first game for no discernable reason (Use is F instead of E, despite E not being used for anything, for example), attempting to rebind any keys used in the hacking minigame (like F) caused the minigame to not work at all, and the game didn't even have controller support despite being a port of a console game! Those issues, at least, were finally ironed out in a 2013 patch that also removed the DRM and switched the multiplayer system to Steam, as well as unlocking all the multiplayer DLC free of charge and giving existing players Minerva's Den as well since they had no way of knowing who had already bought it and who hadn't. Oh, and also the vending machines didn't talk and still don't, but a lot of users consider that one a good thing.
  • The Steam version of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger lacks online multiplayer. But even if you have someone to play with locally, the controller assignment screen only lists one input device, so local multiplayer is also impossible. That's right: a fighting game with no multiplayer whatsoever, despite being released several years after its fully functional console version. The only reasons to get it are its story mode and the fact that it comes with a digital version of the soundtrack. Fortunately, ports of later games are equal to their console counterparts.
  • Bloons Tower Defense 6 on Steam is a clear example of a very hastily rushed port. It has a multitude of bugs, ranging from good (such as the multiple heroes glitch, as the developers forgot to accommodate that the shift key, which lets you place down multiple towers at the same time, also done the same to heroes and you can only normally place one of them down per game) to bad (like the game failing to load beyond the title screen unless you delete the game folder inside your Steam userdata folder) and design issues, such as how the UI for the game isn't designed in mind for PCs, has a micro-transaction for double cash mode that costs $18note , among other complaints.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops is infamous for the disastrous launch of its PC version. On release, a line in the servers' config file that hadn't been set properly caused every online game played to lag terribly. This was fixed after a few days, but the game still had some obvious problems with its renderer (not present in any of the previous current-gen titles that use the same engine) that cause ridiculous framerate drop when shadows are enabled and when sounds are played for the first time. Still, the game was much more playable, especially if you were willing to live without shadows. A few days after that patch, a second patch was released that was supposed to improve server browser functionality and fix several bugs with the browser. The patch did this... but also reintroduced all the problems the first patch fixed.
    • The 2013 installment Call of Duty: Ghosts has suffered similar problems. Framerate issues, narrow field of view (a fan-made tool was made, but was promptly taken down by Activision), and using way too much CPU power than it should (its minimum requirement lists 6 gigs of RAM when fans have found out the game itself would probably only need 2 or 3 for itself at minimum).
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops III also has serious issues: Even on high-end machines, the framerate can dip into the twenties or teens for no apparent reason, and the switch between 30 FPS in cutscenes and 60 FPS in gameplay is downright jarring.
  • Cars 2: The Video Game is this on the PC. While the models of the characters were okay, the scenery was terribly downgraded so that some of the features were missing or just simplified.
    • This certainly has something to do with the game's target audience, as relatively fewer children have access to higher-end systems with dedicated graphics cards, instead making do with whatever low-end prebuilt their parents bought for them or as the family system, often running off a crappy Intel GMA or HD Graphics integrated GPU if not a low-end Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon.
  • darkSector was actually a fan-made PC port that got adopted by the publisher and sold for cash on Steam. It definitely shows. The graphics are usually off if you run the game in widescreen or on anything other than the default resolution, and if you use custom key bindings the quick-time prompts still give you the WASD prompts.
  • The Dark Souls trilogy has a storied history of this:
    • Dark Souls had its long-anticipated Prepare to Die Edition PC port developed by FromSoftware. The problem: they had never done so in-house before (the earlier port of Ninja Blade had been farmed out to a third-party porting house), and they openly admitted to having significant issues with the port about a month before release. In short, the release was basically the Xbox 360 version with an expansion. The frame rate is locked tightly at 30 FPS, and even then slight framerate lag is notable; the provided keyboard controls are particularly atrocious, designed to have two hands on the keys at all times—having an Xbox 360 pad is a must; mouse control (what there is of it) is skittish, the buttons can't be rebound, the sensitivity can't be adjusted, and the camera vertical range is shorter than if you were using a controller's thumbstick.
      • The resolution is locked to 1024×720, same as the console versions—even though the game has higher resolution support, running it at 720p or higher simply upscales the image to fit; multiplayer is a crapshoot, with summons failing for unexplained reasons and summon markers popping in and out of the world at random; and despite being sold on Steam from day one, the game relied on the controversial Games For Windows Live DRM for achievements and multiplayer sessions. This reliance on Games for Windows Live has also proven to lead to problematic installations, leaving some users unable to even launch the game, let alone experience any gameplay. This could be considered a game-breaking bug but the game doesn't start to begin with for some people. However, in December 2014, an update came out for the Steam version that ports the multiplayer components and achievements to Steamworks, thankfully removing the reliance on Games for Windows Live for multiplayer sessions and getting rid of any quirks related to it. Owners of the retail and GFWL digital editions were also allowed to redeem their original serial codes on Steam. It should also be noted someone made a fantastic fanpatch that fixed almost all of the above issues, but it's a bitter pill to swallow that a fan had to fix the port for the developers.
      • Fortunately, nearly all of these issues were fixed from the outset with the port of Dark Souls: Remastered , which is overall a Polished Port.
    • Dark Souls II has a much more improved port compared to the first game, but it too had its own host of issues at launch, including poor mouse controls. Also, due to the fact it's running at 60fps, it has a horrible PC-exclusive bug that caused weapon degradation speed to double, as it was tied to the frame rate for some illogical reason.
    • The PC port of Dark Souls III on launch also had significant technical issues, particularly the infamous "bonfire crash", and compatibility issues leading to poor performance. It didn't help that the game's anti-cheat system was utterly broken, sometimes banning players from online play simply for switching between online and offline mode. Now, on the other hand, the port is actually pretty good, as all the technical problems were patched out by the start of 2017, and is a marked improvement over the first two games.
  • DC Universe Online has one egregious issue on Windows: If you're planning to play the game with a gamepad, you'd better have an Xbox 360 controller. Have anything else (like one of those cheap USB DualShock 2-controller look-alikes or even a PlayStation 2-to-USB controller adapter?) You may find that the camera is stuck looking up, due to the fact that the right nub is handled differently from Xbox 360 controllers on these controllers. No thanks to the fact that the game does not provide a way to remap controller buttons and axes.
    • You can still work around that problem with a 360 controller emulator, although since this is an online game it might be seen as a cheating tool. But then you consider the fact that the only other platform the game came out for is the PlayStation 3, whose controller is similar to the DualShock 2 save for the L2 and R2 buttons being pressure-sensitive triggers. Also, if they see gamepads as a cheating tool, wouldn't it be a better idea to not allow gamepads at all (and while at it, force the players of the PS3 version of the game to use a USB mouse and keyboard too?)
    • A later version of the game attempted to fix this issue. The good news is, these controllers are treated like the DualShock controllers they are and the screen no longer sticks to the floor looking up anymore. The bad news is, it has a minor glitch that fails to read the right nub correctly— the camera now pans in a spiral motion due to being still reliant on XInput and thus not able to see the axis properly. This is fine if your character doesn't have the power of flight. Otherwise you'll find yourself returning to the mouse and keyboard pretty often.
    • And this was also the case with numerous other games, too, as they now make use of the XInput API. Especially the ones released alongside the Xbox 360 versions.
  • Dead Rising 2 requires Games for Windows Live on PC. Most Games for Windows Live titles run fine and players who don't care about GFWL see it as a minor annoyance. Dead Rising 2, however, often has problems talking to the GFWL wrapper; it may not even realize it's there, in which case, the most you can do is play the game without saves. Also, if your computer just met the minimum requirements to play the game, you'd be lucky to get 10-15 FPS. Anyone who was playing the game with more... questionable methods reported that they had no such slowdowns on the same hardware. GFWL strikes again. But hey, at least you got achievements!
    • Note that GFWL on Dead Rising 2 and Off the Record has since been disabled in favor of Steamworks. However you still cannot change (or even look at) key bindings (except when combination attack cards and tutorials were shown).
    • Even after the Steamworks change, there are still glaring issues, especially if one tries to play online. Dead Rising 2 is extremely picky, and will crash on start-up every time unless the system's sound settings are just right. Even if that's set up the way it wants it, Terror is Reality will still consistently crash during the final round, rendering it pointless as best. Off the Record somehow manages to be even worse, though. The Proto Man costume that's supposed to be obtained for achieving a Bronze Medal on all single-player challenges isn't, as due to a bug it never unlocks and co-op is incredibly unstable, as loading a save is pretty much guaranteed to disconnect the client provided they don't crash as soon as they join in anyway, and with no justification whatsoever, the game will blatantly ignore what you ask it to do, as trying to match into story mode may get you thrown into Sandbox Mode anyway, and vice versa. At least playing offline works.
  • Sadly the case for Deadly Premonition, which was a particularly lazy port in the first place (lacking graphic options and even controller support for a game originally designed with controllers in mind) with game crashes aplenty and numerous issues with various graphic cards cropping up. Got so bad the lead designer, Hidetaka “Swery65" Suehiro, offered a Backhanded Apology via Twitter. Thankfully, however, the gaming community have come up with fixes and mods in order to make the game playable as it seems an official patch is unlikely at this point.
  • The developers of the mobile game Deus Ex: The Fall showed only a minimal amount of effort with the PC port. Even before starting the game, one will notice that the awkwardly-placed keys are unrebindable and that the graphics cannot be adjusted save for anti-aliasing and resolution. In the game itself, almost every playable level is filled with low-res textures, constant screen-tearing, and Loads and Loads of Loading. The player can also forget about smooth gameplay, with horrible FOV issues (such as firing a gun causing the camera to zoom in and out), bizarre and inconsistent mouse sensitivity, and frequent AI glitches and issues with guards and other NPCs. Moreover, when engaged in a conversation, lip-syncing is weak and some NPCs don't move their mouths at all. TotalBiscuit takes a look at the port. After several months with no word, the devs did release a patch to allow rebindable keys.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0 (pre-Gold Edition): Other than the game being released on Steam as an Allegedly Free Game with almost $900 worth of DLC at launch (which was rectified immediately after and the total DLC cost was reduced to a more manageable $130), the game was also not kind to lower-end PCs. Unlike most games at the time, the latter problem couldn't be remedied by lowering the texture settings or the resolution (which is locked at 16:9), because the game didn't even let you do that.
  • The Windows port of DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu is missing all of the intentional slowdown from the Arrange A mode that is present in the Xbox 360 version, significantly inflating the mode's difficulty. The Black Label Arrange Mode was hit with the opposite problem (too much slowdown, enough to be a detriment to most players), but was patched, while Arrange A still forces players to brave the Bullet Hell patterns with no speed reduction whatsoever.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara was re-released on Steam, and they did try to make Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer a selling point, but the problems with the port were so great that almost nobody wants to mess with it. For one thing, there's no support for local multiplayer and no support for gamepads, but more damningly, the majority of the keybindings are set. You can't change the movement buttons from the arrow keys to WASD, and even if you change the action buttons, you can't change the buttons you use to confirm or cancel on the main menu. Furthermore, the graphics are worse than the graphics from pre-existing arcade emulators, making many wonder why they even bothered with porting it.
  • Final Fantasy VII had several issues when the PC port came out in 1998. The music was all converted into MIDI format, making the instruments sound worse than the NES version of Final Fantasy III (the most jarring result is that "One-Winged Angel" doesn't have lyrics unless your sound card is from a particular wavetable sound card family — namely, either the SoundBlaster AWE32 or AWE64 line. Egregiously, other wavetable cards like the equally popular Gravis Ultrasound or lesser ones like the Trident 4DWave aren't supported). The pre-rendered cutscenes — which didn't always sync properly with the in-game sprites in sequences where they overlapped — needed a special Windows 95 codec to run, and yet this codec isn't on the install disc. The game itself had rather high system requirements for something meant for a Windows 95 machine (Windows 98 would be another matter, except the game wasn't made for it). It only gets worse from there: On more modern systems, there are game-code/OS compatibility issues, crashes (before/after FMVs, on quitting...), speed and graphic artifact/rendering issues, and basically the whole thing is a mess unless you use a handful of fan-created mods. These issues normally wouldn't be held against a game that's over 10 years old, except that as of 2010 it's still being sold in this format as part of the EA Classics line.
    • The digital re-release in 2012 also has its share of issues. Occasionally, the game doesn't detect saves, several users had trouble with activating the game, and the music is still MIDI-quality, despite being released fourteen years later and space not being an issue. Fortunately, the latter is relatively easy to fix, but it makes one wonder why Square Enix didn't do anything about it.
    • It also had rare but noticeable problems with certain textures and models. The textures used for the Quake IV spell may sometimes glitch out and the models for JENOVA Synthesis and Bizarro Sephiroth may glitch out to the point where you have two models overlapping with each other and when you kill them, only one of the models goes through its proper death animations while the "extra" model is left alone.
    • The game was also released a year later in July 2013 on Steam, except it's the exact same version as Square Enix's 2012 re-release, which includes the low-quality MIDI music and other glitches. It wasn't until October 2013 that the original soundtrack was finally added in a patch.
  • Final Fantasy VIII ironed out most of the problems with the PC port of the previous game, but there are still two issues: firstly, the game does not work with video cards newer than a Radeon 9000 or GeForce 6800 in hardware acceleration mode, which means most modern hardware. Secondly, like VII, the game also has unusually high requirements for something meant for a Windows 98 machine (requiring a 233 MHz Pentium MMX with 64 MB of RAM minimum and a 300 MHz Pentium II with 128 MB for optimum performance). The biggest problem was that, like VII, it's still being sold on store shelves as an EA Classics title, even as of 2010. Most of the problems are corrected with a fan-made launcher, which also allows you to play the game with custom resolutions. Coupled with the fact that the PC port featured much better quality character models, the game ends up looking much better than the original, although it still needs a relatively high-end system.
    • This game, Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy IX all have a major aesthetic flaw; the CG-rendered backgrounds (which make up 95% of the games' areas), very much a selling point of all three games and which have aged fairly well even today on the console versions, were not re-rendered for higher resolutions. They'll still 640×480 (at best), and for VII and VIII, the backgrounds all looked extremely pixelated and lacking in detail on what would be a large monitor at the time of release. Playing them today on a monitor with an even higher native resolution will make the problem exponentially more pronounced. Even IX, which unlike its older brothers didn't have an earlier PC port to draw from, falls prey. It also makes a jarring contrast with the 3D models rendered over them. You might think that Square Enix would at least go through the trouble of implementing a filter to address this issue in the digital releases, but alas....
    • Square Enix also quietly launched a Steam port of Final Fantasy VIII towards the end of 2013. Aside from the fact that it was launched with absolutely no marketing at all, it still required the user to activate the software with Square Enix like Final Fantasy VII above. And oh, it still used MIDI music and the background graphics are still 640×480. Worst of all is that the cutscenes and videos that play in the background are still at 15 FPS, but the other assets are at 60 FPS, causing certain areas to feel weird. This was eventually fixed in Final Fantasy VIII Remastered.
    • The original PC version was also released without any way to quit the game from within. The only way to close it was to alt-tab out or alt-f4, and if you didn't know about either of those (not a far stretch of imagination for the late 90's for every day PC users to not know it) then your only option was to turn off the computer.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has a Steam release that takes up an alarming amount of space (60 gigabytes. This was in 2014, when games surpassing 30GB was considered huge), has no graphical settings whatsoever, is locked at 720p, barely has rebindable keys at all, and much like the MGS2: Substance port below, pressing Esc exits to desktop while in fullscreen (pressing Esc while windowed brings up a confirmation menu) and you're expected to know this already. On top of all this, there's no multithreading, meaning the game doesn't take advantage of multiple CPU cores and runs abysmally on most hardware configurations. And the Asian release has one extra gotcha- it's only available in Japanese in the region when the PS3 version is available in English in the region.
    • A patch released in October 2014 fixed the "pressing Esc at full screen exits without confirmation" issue, and a patch in December added a scarce few graphics options including custom resolutions, but the other issues remains unresolved.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has shown to have similar issues XIII had, only having the graphics options that came with XIII's patch. For some people, it actually runs worse than XIII.
  • From Dust shipped with the same maligned DRM scheme as other contemporary Ubisoft PC games, even after the developers had previously announced that it wouldn't, deleting and rephrasing their original announcement on the game's own forum. Coupled with minimal visual options (no choice for anti-aliasing or any way to disable the 30 FPS limit on the display) and some baffling performance issues and Game Breaking Bugs (one level is very nearly unwinnable because the tides change much faster than on the console version), the PC release was a public relations disaster for Ubisoft, with Steam giving out refunds to disgruntled players for the first time since Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Gears of War's PC port had one horrible, horrible flaw. Occasionally, players' saved games would disappear, never to be seen again. The developers, Epic Games, also forgot to renew the certificate on the game's copy protection, leading everyone's copy to declare that the game was pirated and refuse to boot on January 28, 2009. This was fixed just over a week later, on February 6. During that time, only pirated installations of the game could still play!
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game's PC version has no multiplayer. While that can be ignored, what can't be ignored is the horrid mouse acceleration that makes it unplayable unless you use a controller (or use 3rd party fixes, fixes that assume you have a Logitech-brand mouse). The PC version also has no achievements, unlike the other Realistic versions.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier had a PC port which was delayed several times, was actually canceled at one point (with the free-to-play Ghost Recon Phantoms at one point envisioned as the "PC version" of Future Soldier), and finally came out a full month after the 360/PS3 versions. Despite the long development time, it has laziness written all over it. The launch-day problems are so numerous that a necessary list includes but is not limited to:
    • Limited graphical settings.
    • Poor, crash-prone performance, even on high-end PCs, sometimes with a nice memory leak to destabilize any system it's installed on for good measure.
    • Insanely long load times.
    • There's no way to change settings in-game at all without having to quit to the main menu (resulting in even more agonizing load times). At the very least, this is a problem in the console versions too — its "in-game manual" feature, despite being advertised as "more convenient" than leaving your spot in front of the TV to look things up in the manual, forces you to quit back to the main menu to access it.
    • If you have a controller plugged in (or in worse cases, simply have its driver installed), then the mouse — which was working perfectly in the menus — refuses to work in-game.
    • Control remapping is broken beyond belief. As in, trying to rebind an action causes an unrelated action to be unbound, to say nothing of the reports of the game not saving the keybindings at all.
    • Even if you get the mouse to work in-game, it's handled poorly, especially with additional mouse buttons (or even the mouse wheel button) not working in-game. This is made even worse during the Forced Tutorial early on where it requires you to view through the scope (you cannot even just fire at all until you'd somehow get to do it), which is bound to the aforementioned third mouse button that doesn't work in-game. Coupled with the impossibility of control remapping and you get a port which anyone without a gamepad are rendered incapable of progressing through the first mission.
    • Instead of fixing any of the mentioned issues with the 1.2 patch, not only was performance actually worse, it forced lower resolutions in the configuration file. And for a decent percentage of its players, with each further patch it somehow kept getting worse. At one point they even had to change things so that the weapons unlocked for the campaign through playing Guerilla mode on consoles were just added to your list of rewards for finishing specific missions, because they were somehow completely incapable of fixing the PC version's issues with tracking these achievements - quite an accomplishment given that, even on the platforms the devs actually cared about, updates frequently failed to fix bugs at best and introduced new ones at worst.
    • XP users who preordered the game were screwed over even worse — until the game had actually been released, there was absolutely no word that the game required Vista or Windows 7 to run (hell, most sites that aren't Steam still listed XP as supported for months on end), leaving the aforementioned users paying at least 50 bucks for a terrible port that they couldn't even play at all. Ubisoft did originally promise a patch that will allow the game to run on Windows XP, but this naturally devolved from "three weeks after release" into nothing but repeatedly broken promises of release after "the next title update" — it took nearly a year since the console versions' release for that to finally come out.
  • Grandia II has cutscene encoding problems similar to the PS2 version (needlessly duplicated frames, creating the illusion of "hanging" attack cutscenes), badly downsampled and compressed cutscenes (resolution somewhere around 256×192 or similar, with countless artifacts), and on top of that, requires an obscure codec to play them.
    • Grandia II Anniversary Edition, while more or less decent for a port, has several glaring flaws. The game is full of bugs and glitches, some of which are game breaking, such as Millenia's first boss battle being impossible to end due to a looping bug preventing her from performing the attack that's supposed to signal the end of the battle. The music during battles cuts out completely after a single loop. Finally, the much touted addition of the original Japanese audio isn't at all synced with the onscreen text's autoscrolling, which was designed with the English dialogue in mind, meaning many conversations end up being cut off abruptly, making it almost impossible to keep up with the dialogue.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV is a particularly infamous PC port. At release, it not only had noticable performance issues and a clumsy mouse and keyboard interface, but Rockstar also decided to package the game with an extra piece of software known as the Rockstar Social Club, a utility created to handle the game's multiplayer connectivity, which in its original iteration would run on top of the game (along with SecuROM and the infamous Games for Windows Live) and nag you to log into it not only whenever you wanted to play, but on startup as well. The controls couldn't be changed (a feature that has been standard even in the DOS era). It was so bad that Steam gave out refundsnote  to angry gamers. Since the game's launch in December 2008, many of the game's performance issues have now been ironed out, and Rockstar Social Club has been integrated into the game software itself... almost a year and a half after launch.
    • Version ran at an acceptable framerate and is generally recommended by most gamers on low-end systems (at the cost of not being able to sign in to multiplayer, which went down in 2014 with Games for Windows Live anyway). This wasn't the case with and — despite Rockstar's claims about the shadow mapping system being "less memory-intensive", it actually has worse performance than the previous versions. A lot of mods for the game are also incompatible with anything after
    • And even to this day, GTA IV still couldn't run fluently on all but high end PCs made in the past few years. Getting it to run at 1080p 60fps or more apparently calls for a GTX 1060 and a high-end Core i5 or a Core i7-6700K - both of which came about at least seven years after GTAIV - which is ironic considering how games released almost ten years after GTA IV look and perform even better.
  • Guitar Hero III was touted to be playable on laptops, for the first portable Guitar Hero experience (until the DS version). Too bad that, on some computers, the game chugs down to unplayable speeds, apparently unrelated to the computer's specs. The Copy Protection seems to at least be partially responsible, too. And that's why Frets on Fire exists.
  • In a bizarre case of a port to the same platform having problems, the Half-Life expansions were rereleased on Steam with the original soundtracks missing and mysteriously replaced with the same tracks from the original game. No explanation was ever made as to why, but apparently it wasn't irreconcilable because Valve finally got around to patching them back in... in 2013, when it was submitted as a bug report on the GitHub they had set up to track bugs with their new Linux ports, and the staffer basically said "Huh. Dunno why that was. Here you go." All was not right with the world, however, as said port somehow broke the ability to actually finish Opposing Force — the player is supposed to be teleported to the finale when the final boss dies, but that didn't happen, and then that had to be remedied.
  • Compared to the PC port of the first game (which only lost the co-op mode and has minor visual bugs regarding shadows, but gained a new weapon in multiplayer and a free demo that people are still playing almost two decades later), the PC version of Halo 2 by Microsoft Games Studios was damn poor. Many keys couldn't be bound to commands because they were pre-reserved by Games for Windows Live functionality (almost a big "screw you" to all non-WASD keymap users), and network connectivity was patchy (another big thank-you for Games for Windows Live). Worst of all, the game could only be played on Windows Vista, and even despite Windows 7 and up are technically able to run it, they still require the same sorts of workarounds as XP needed, since Microsoft quickly dropped support for this game and the concurrent Shadowrun. The most infuriating part is that, this being a port of a 2004 game that uses a much older version of DirectX than Windows Vista offers, nothing in the game code requires Vista to run except for one small line in the installer that prevents people from installing and running the game on any other OS. To compound the issue, the "Halo 2 Editing Kit" was extremely gimped. The ability to modify vehicles, weapons, and tons of other functionality were removed, including creating custom tags. This means it's impossible to use the official tools to make new single-player content, and greatly reduces the amount of map modification possible; one of the few reasons why you might prefer the PC version of a game over a console version. Oh, and it's terribly optimised. This port was so badly botched it's probably the primary reason it took a solid decade for any main-line Halo games to make it to PC again, with the only offerings on the platform between the 2007 port of Halo 2 and the 2018 remaster of Halo Wars being ports of mobile games. The ironic contrast here was that Halo 2's PC release, alongside the cross-play-compatible 2007 Shadowrun, was intended to headline increased support for PC gaming from Microsoft, but both performed so badly (whether in and of themselves or because they required Vista in its early, heavily-buggy days) that it instead resulted in the opposite situation, with first-party Microsoft-published games remaining exclusive to the Xbox until nearly a decade later, with the advent of Windows 10 and the Xbox One, and even then the fact that several first-party Xbox One games are also available on PC through the Windows Store is never actually brought up unless they sell through Steam as well (compare the almost-unadvertised PC releases of the Halo Wars remaster and its sequel to the hype surrounding the PC port of The Master Chief Collection).
  • Interstate '76's Updated Re Release on GOG Dot Com came with a plethora of issues due to the game's update from Windows 95 not being particularly good; the game was originally designed to run on the "Glide" video wrapper (versus DirectX or OpenGL), which was last updated more than a decade before the GOG version's release - instead, the GOG version runs without any wrapper by default. Technology Marches On causes the game to run in what is essentially turbo mode on modern CPUs to the point where everything from physics to the AI breaks, causing jumps to be impossible, flame weapons to not have the range they're supposed to, and NPC characters driving at 10mph while their wheels spaz out. It's (mostly) playable with a fan-made launcher designed to counter the issues.
  • Iron Man, an already mediocre game to begin with, was based on the PS2 version rather than the superior Xbox 360 or PS3 ones, just for starters.
  • Just Cause 1. Not only is it a glitch-ridden, crash-prone mess, it's based on the original Xbox version—so it lacks the far superior lighting system from the Xbox 360 version. A side by side comparison is just humiliating.
  • L.A. Noire is a lagfest when running the PC port on certain setups with the default multithreaded renderer on. Adding the -str commandline argument on launch cures the problem somewhat, but it still doesn't completely eliminate all the issues from the game, adding to the fact that it was locked at 30 frames per second, citing limitations with the game's facial animation system.
  • Left 4 Dead 2, specifically the "No Mercy" campaign from the original, which Valve had problems porting. The third map in the campaign has a shutter door that can only be opened from the inside of the building so that any survivors that get yanked outside can go through the door without having to climb up to the rooftop again. While a Tank can bust the door down, survivors were able to do the same thing with melee weapons, allowing them to bypass the crescendo event. It took Valve several patches to fully squash the problem, but the Grenade Launcher can still destroy the door. Thankfully, this is not a problem in Vs. mode since survivors can't carry over weapons from the previous map and the Grenade Launcher never spawns before the event on this map.
    • The elevator from the fourth map regularly causes players to fall through the floor randomly (can mostly happen if a player goes idle) even today despite several attempts by Valve to fix it. Considering that most issues in the first game got fixed very quickly or were not even present, that looks rather pathetic.
    • There are also issues with the ports of the L4D1 survivors into L4D2.
      • The character models were directly ported over, so they received no graphical upgrades, which isn't a problem, but they use skeletons/animations from the 'L4D2'' survivors instead of their own. This means Louis is now suddenly taller than he used to be while Zoey seems to have shrunk and often suddenly grows two heads when taking out some of the new weapons. The survivors' hands also clip into the models of the pistols and they don't hold items like pills and bombs properly. On top of this, the survivors also have no lines for the elevator scene in No Mercy and have no reactions when being torn up by a Hunter, despite that there are actual sound files for these events present in the game's files. This makes the port of the old characters look like a rush job.
      • Originally, The Sacrifice DLC was only going to be for the original Left 4 Dead, but Valve decided at the last minute to give the DLC to Left 4 Dead 2 players as well with No Mercy as a bonus. This caused the porting to be rushed out with almost zero bug testing.
      • In one of the updates, Zoey (and apparently only Zoey) regained her original animations - and lost all of her animations she uses in The Passing as an NPC.
      • Valve has at least attempted to remedy the survivor dialogue issues regarding Left 4 Dead 2 content such as being attacked by the new special infected and when they use adrenaline shots.
    • There's also other audio issues related to The Passing. When it comes to a line from Louis, saying "That was for Bill!" after killing a Tank, the game seems to be unable to differentiate between that campaign, where Louis is an NPC and Bill is dead, and the other campaigns ported from the first game, where Louis and Bill are both playable and likely to be alive.
    • As part of the Cold Stream DLC, Valve planned to release all of the Left 4 Dead campaigns into Left 4 Dead 2. As with No Mercy, the campaigns had numerous issues when they were released to the PC gaming public as a beta. Nearly all the maps had item density problems, which meant that instead of items spawning randomly by the AI Director, the game wound up spawning items at every single spot that they could appear in. This was fixed over time.
  • Mafia III ended up being a disaster on the PC, with irate players complaining about the game being locked to 30 FPS. On top of that, lower-end systems which are able to run games that are just as graphically intensive as Mafia III are unable to maintain a stable framerate even with the settings turned down to a minimum — forget about playing it on a G3258 or a similar dual-core chip, the game simply goes down to a crawl in city areas, yet in the bayou areas the game seems to run more or less fine. Very soon after release, the framerate cap was removed in a patch (which lead to many players wondering why it was even there in the first place). Other patches also resolved a number of issues, but there are still some glitches and performance problems that are waiting to be fixed.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The game was originally released exclusively on the Xbox 360, but was ported to the PC about half a year later (and also to the PS3 about four more years after that). While there were actual gameplay improvements, such as ten hotkeys for abilities over the 360's three, and generally better controls, rumor has it that the game was tested on one graphics card and one sound driver. The released game was exceptionally buggy, with sound effects and background music dropping out and the game regularly crashing between the transitions of unskippable cutscenes (which were made unskippable because skipping them also crashed the game). It took over a year and a combination of game and driver patches before the game was stable. It also had rather high system requirements for an Xbox 360 port, although most PCs you can buy or build today will run it fine.
    • The PC version of the game's first DLC, Bring Down the Sky, was released for free, but for some reason still required a CD key. To get the key, one would merely have to register on the Mass Effect website, on a page dedicated to giving out BDtS CD keys... a website that stopped existing by the time Mass Effect 2 was announced. For a long time, players new to the series had to e-mail EA tech support to get a CD-key for the DLC. Fortunately, they eventually fixed it with a new downloadable file for the DLC that doesn't require a key.
    • An extremely obscure design feature of some CPUs that have come out since the game was released causes the graphics to glitch out in certain areas and make the game near-unplayable. Specifically, the section in Port 15 during the Noveria portion of the story campaign uses a form of software lighting to take load off the GPU; presumably it's a concession left over from the Xbox 360 version of the game, where the framerate was already unstable. This uses an ancient instruction set known as 3DNow!, which very few games other than Mass Effect use. Because of this, AMD dropped support for 3DNow! in 2010 and every processor they've made since then does 3DNow! through SSE emulation. This unfortunately means that the lighting in the scene is rendered improperly, resulting in characters not being lit at all. Of course, pre-2010 AMD processors have native support for 3DNow! and don't require emulation through SSE, so the scene is lit properly. However, even more perplexing is that Intel CPUs never supported 3DNow!, and yet they're subject to the exact same issues — pre-2010 Intel CPUs light the scene properly, post-2010 ones don't.
  • Mega Man X7 was ported from PlayStation 2 to PC by KOKO Capcom, who did absolutely nothing to properly program the game for PCs and ported it as is. The end result was a shoddy PC port with ugly low-res visuals, jagged polygonal models, and there's no way to fix that. They don't even include an option to exit the game, you have to close the game by Alt+F4 or Task Manager. The kicker? It has one of the most horrendously awkward control schemes for a semi-2D platformer/3D third-person shooter while forcing you to use keys they want to you use and the game does not support gamepads at all! The game even flat-out fails to run on modern Windows operating systems.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance has a whole laundry list of problems:
    • The PC version (ported from the Xbox version, which itself was a port of the PS2 original) would have been better had it actually been compatible with anything. To play it, it needs to be patched to hell and back. With fan-made patches. It's worth remembering that the Xbox is really just an Intel PC running a tiny Windows-clone kernel with DirectX drivers for its nVidia GeForce 3 GPU. Breaking the game on almost identical hardware with similarly designed software is a special kind of failure.
    • Then there were the issue of the controls. The Xbox version at least had support for the shoulder triggers for slow releasing, but support for anything analog other than the sticks themselves wouldn't be widespread on PC until Xinput hit the scene with the 360. You had to map buttons specifically for "slow" and "weak" versions of specific controls.
    • With the PC port of MGS1, which was an excellent port, you could pause the game and save without having to call Mei Ling for it. In the PC port of MGS2, you can't do that, you still have to call the save frequency on the codec if you want to record your progress, and pressing Esc doesn't pause your game... it immediately quits it. note 
  • Mortal Kombat X had a disastrous launch on Steam. It used a 'streaming installer', which in theory, was supposed to allow you to play the game's content as it came in, instead of waiting for the whole game to install. What actually happened was that on launch, the only assets that were made available was the main menu. The rest of the game didn't even start streaming out until 12 hours after launch. Add to that, you had no control over what assets were installed in what order, and no idea what would be in each pack. So if you wanted to kill time playing single matches with your favorite character, you had to hope he was in one of the first couple of packs, or else you might be waiting a while.
  • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee and Stranger's Wrath are horribly unoptimized for the PC, despite being released at least five years after the original Xbox versions, to the point where people with competent gaming PCs (ones that can run Crysis smoothly at high graphic settings) regularly get less than 30 FPS — and the actual graphics are unchanged. Stranger's Wrath has no visual customization options apart from the resolution settings, ranging from "Low" to "Medium", to "High", and "Ultra", with the latter three being 1024×768, 1280×1024, and 1600×1200, respectively. Both games also have noticable issues with the Xbox 360 controller, which is the default recommended joypad for both: In Munch, the left stick changes the direction that the character faces, but doesn't actually move the character — the arrow keys on the keyboard are apparently still needed for that. In Stranger, the game completely fails to recognize the right thumbstick's button press, which is supposed to toggle the switch between first and third person — a mandatory step in the in-game tutorial. Both games are also ridiculously crash-prone: You'd have to be very lucky to even get to the second stage in Munch, and as of the first week after release, only a third of the playerbase had managed to pass the tutorial in Stranger. And keep in mind, the Xbox itself already has very similar hardware to an IBM-based PC, so you have to be incredibly lazy to botch a port this badly.
    • Stranger's Wrath is now fixed, as of the 1.1 patch. Performance is nigh-flawless on a Q6600/8800 GT/Windows 7 64-bit system at 1600×1200, like it should have been from the start for a five-year-old Xbox port, and you can now select which controller you want and rebind it through an .ini file. Unfortunately, wireless Xbox 360 gamepads are not configured properly by default (which is baffling when the game clearly shows Xbox 360 gamepad controls), and in-game control configuration is still not present. Still, a hell of a lot better than the state it was in at release, and actually quite playable.
  • [PROTOTYPE] is very picky about what qualifies as "recommended system specifications". It struggles with maintaining a double digit frame rate on the menus, not to mention in actual gameplay. There were also issues with audio sounding exceptionally muffled and other issues. Definitely not one of the best ports out there.
    • The sequel's port is also plagued with issues. Some systems would run it just fine, others which greatly exceed the listed requirements would somehow result in a chugging mess, and some would just not run at all. One very common syndrome appears to be a memory leak affecting AMD drivers, due to an unmentioned incompatibility with Catalyst AI, which would cause the game to degenerate into a slide show. Being a 32-bit program, PCs with at least 4 GB of excess memory to spare (builds with 6 to 8 GB or more) might escape the slowdown even as a ton of memory is consumed, but there are also other game breaking bugs, such as a very early mission refusing to progress unless all CPU cores except for one are disabled for the game (on some machines). Additional problems reported include mouse sensitivity being tied to the frame rate; certain fast performing machines would have the mouse-look go crazy even on minimum sensitivity.
  • Not only did the original Windows port of Quantum Break require the divisive Windows 10 to run due to running in DirectX 12, it performed terribly even on very high-end systems, especially with NVIDIA cards. PCs with AMD graphics cards would run the game better, but the performance still isn't great by any stretch. Also, any efforts on part of users to mitigate them were hampered due to how restrictive the Universal Windows Platform, or Games for Windows - Live 2.0 as some would derisively call it, is. The developers eventually gave up on UWP and released a new port on Steam, this time built around DirectX11 and so compatible with older versions of Windows, with considerably better results.
  • The Windows 95 port of RayForce (Layer Section in other regions) has some glaring problems, some of them have gotten worse over time. The game is played on a 4:3 aspect-ratio but the game screen is crunched to a square box. This results in giving the player less viewing area to anticipate enemies or lock-on to them as efficiently than the arcade and the other home ports. Effects from the arcade and home versions are also missing. Some tracks of the game don't play at all, such as the Game Over music, and if you don't have the game disc inserted in your CD drive, then the game will not play since the game will only read them from the disc. The game's frame-rate is also unstable and runs at an unplayable speed, but the .dll files on the disc can fix this issue. The game forces fullscreen mode and its scaling doesn't work properly on newer Windows operating systems, resulting in a smaller game screen despite running in 640×480, and the only way around this through third-party DirectX wrappers such as DXGL or DxWnd.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla ran far too fast on Windows 7 computers (which rather quickly replaced Vista as the go-to modern Microsoft OS), which forced players to use a third party hacking program to slow down the game's refresh rate. Furthermore, the game carried an infamous bug where Games for Windows Live informed the player that a patch was available and was mandatory for online gameplay (even if the game itself was already up to date). Every time without fail, should the player have accepted the patch download, the game's framerate was reduced to a crawl (in the main menu, mind you) and eventually froze. Even Volition's release of a manual patch to fix this didn't work for many, making online multiplayer completely unplayable. On the other hand, the Steam re-release published by Nordic Games, the new owner of the Red Faction IP, doesn't have the aforementioned issues, no longer require Games for Windows Live, and run through Polished Port instead.
  • The Xplosiv version of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, which was made mainly for Windows XP, is a mess. The port has new and unique glitches, such as the background clipping out, Jill walking in the air and the game freezing at random intervals; the game sometimes flatly refuses to start; and worst of all, programming errors accidentally removed both the Mercenaries bonus mini-game (making it impossible to get the infinite weapons and the infinite bullets for every weapon) and the New Game+ save system (which means that you can't unlock any of the epilogues, due to the game not detecting a completed save).
  • Resident Evil 4 on PC was touted to feature GameCube-quality graphics with the extra content of the PS2 version, something that wouldn't happen until the Wii version. Instead, SourceNext (whom Capcom commissioned to develop the PC version, along with the PC ports of Onimusha 3: Demon Siege and Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening) ported the PS2 version of the game as it was, with grainy pre-rendered cutscenes and all, but without the shading and lighting, meaning every environment in the game was lit at 100% brightness with no shadows, thus no atmosphere, and had to have that patched (note that this was the only patch the game received). The game's controls were gimped to boot, to the point where the game could be played on a keyboard and only the keyboard, without mouselook like most PC shooters. Quick-time events were near-impossible to complete if you weren't using a gamepad, because the button prompts were limited to "button 3" and "button 4" instead of the actual keys on the keyboard, and to add insult to injury, they accidentally switched the icons for button 3 and button 4 around, so following the on-screen prompts would actually get you killed. For added irony: The same company also released improved (and Japanese-only) PC-DVD ports of Resident Evil 2 and 3 that are fully capable of running on modern Windows operating systems (Windows XP and above) no problem. Fortunately, the devoted mod community of the PC version of Resident Evil 4 has not only patched all these but released mods that up the graphics above and beyond any other version of the game, give the game proper mouse aiming, and change the quick-time event prompts to match up with most commonly used gamepads such as the Xbox 360 one.
    • The Ultimate HD version released on Steam in 2014, while obviously way better than the older one, also has several problems. Not all the new textures are truly in high definition, so if you select the new set the result is uneven. It misses some graphical effects that were already missing in the Xbox 360 port (which this version is based on), but a modder managed to put them back in within a few hours. Gradients and lighting are not set up well, so compared to the Nintendo and Xbox 360 versions, you get excessive dithering and blinding lens flares. Mouse calibration is imperfect to the point of being unplayable for some, and only the bare minimum of keys are rebindable from the Options menu; to rebind keys such as the ones used in quick-time events (X and C by default), it requires going to the .ini files and editing settings from there, with little-to-no help on rebinding other keys on the keyboard, and some keys cannot be remapped at all.
  • The PC port of Saints Row 2, handled by CD Projekt's Localisation Centre rather than Volition themselves, was so bad that Volition essentially fired them from the port and washed their hands of it, declaring it hopeless (thus the PC version never getting the DLC). The on-foot sequences basically worked, but driving was essentially impossible thanks to an internal game clock that did not know how to adapt for CPU speeds other than 3.2 GHz, which was the clockspeed of the Xbox 360, the platform the game was originally developed for. Thankfully, the game has a fantastic community that has not only brought the game back to its intended speed and fixed thousands of other bugs, but also added plenty of neat content to boot. You can check out the Gentlemen of the Row supermod here. With the fan patch, it still isn't perfect, but it is far more playable.
    • The one thing that can't be fixed is the sound; all of the sound files are compressed to cassete tape quality and mono. Luckily, there is a huge fan-made patch that fixes the radio back to its intended high quality sound from the console versions.
    • The Steam release of the PC version also displays a bizarre issue where, unless both the client and the game are installed to the C: drive, the game will run, but only show the opening titles and not progress past the loading screen that comes immediately afterwards, which would ordinarily lead to the main menu. Oddly enough, years later the Steam release of Saints Row IV, a vastly superior port, would suffer from the exact same issue; the version works on any drive with another, vastly more minor problem instead: graphics settings will revert to default upon the next launch if the game is installed on the C drive, probably because of a protected write area.
    • In October 2019, Volition announced that they had found the lost source code and are working on an official patch that not only fixes performance issues, but also adds the console-exclusive DLCs to the game and several of the extras from Gentlemen of the Row (since the effort is being headed by the mod's creator, IdolNinja, who is now a Volition developer).
  • Shadowrun was a port of the Xbox 360 game released around the same time as the above Halo 2, also required Windows Vista just to install, and again only checked a single line of code. Especially egregious as the game was released prior to Vista Service Pack 1, when the OS was still ridiculously buggy and expensive, and was multiplayer-only. This and the advantage keyboard and mouse controls gave PC players over 360 players ended up killing the idea of cross-platform multiplayer that was touted as one of its main features - it's been almost a full decade before anyone started trying again, and even then it's almost entirely limited to indie devs.
  • Silent Hill 2:
    • The game has what appears to be a horrible, horrible memory leak in the GameTap version. After about 40 minutes of play, almost like clockwork, the game will slow to an absolute crawl. You will take a step, wait five minutes, and then be able to take another step. Seriously. This even applies when bringing up menus, so that if you don't save and quit immediately after the effect starts, it can take nearly thirty minutes to quit the game!
    • Silent Hill 2 has other problems on the PC. On Radeon 9000 series graphic cards (which were the ones produced by ATI when the game was released and were very common), the flashlight doesn't work; turning it on means watching many textures disappear, making it harder to see. The solution could be downgrading to older drivers or adding some lines to a file dedicated to graphic devices, which are equivalent to a hack, for getting what should be a normal feature. In another glitch, you could get CG movies that play all in an acid green and violet palette (and no way around it), and out-of-sync speech during some scripted sequences. There was also the "skipping music" glitch, although there was a patch to fix this — but that patch did not fix anything. Unpacking the patch executable reveals exactly nothing. The entirety of the patch's size is its own .exe.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming features a lot of random crashing on the PC. A lot worse when it will always happen if you simply want to change the resolution. Want to play it with a gamepad? Good luck, because like the Silent Hill town itself, it has a mind of its own. There's the out of sync cutscenes. Finally, the game is locked to 30 fps, when even low cost budget PC monitors run at a much smoother 60 hz.
  • Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure received a hasty port to the PC. The options menu does not allow you to change any graphics settings. The worse problem however, is, that sound often completely cuts out at certain pre-rendered cutscenes, and to make it worse, there was no subtitles feature for these scenes, so you end up with Eon simply mouthing at you or Kaos and Glumshanks mouthing at each other with the player having no idea what's going on. There were also random crashes at various places, such as the beach levels. Possibly due to this, the sequel, Skylanders: Giants, had its PC version cancelled, and none of the rest of the sequels were announced for the PC.
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is most stripped down on the PC, in that it has no exclusive characters, no support for the Metal Sonic/Death Egg DLC, and most damning of all, no online multiplayer. In comparison, the Wii version had an exclusive character and had online prior to Nintendo deactivating their original Wi-Fi service, the PS3 version had DLC and online, and the Xbox 360 version had all three. Thankfully, they learned from this for the PC port of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which has online, DLC support, and exclusive characters from Team Fortress 2.
  • The resolution problems the 2010 Steam port of Sonic Adventure DX had were also repeated in the Steam releases of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episodes I & II as well—the game's native resolution for both titles was always fixed at 1280x720p, and when the user selected a higher or lower resolution, the game's native resolution was actually upscaled or downscaled to the set resolution, rather than rendering the game at the set resolution. It was especially bad in the case of these titles as unlike the SA:DX 2010 port, both games were made with HD resolutions and graphics in mind (the PS3 and 360 versions of these games can run at 1080p with no issue), and they even lacked anti-aliasing options, resulting in the games looking like a very jaggy mess of graphics. It came to a head when the complaints concerning the resolution problems in Episode II were raised in the official Sega Forums when the game was released, upon which the PR manager for the game claimed that a fix to allow the game to be properly display the game at different resolutions would not be possible due to the image "breaking down" if forced to a higher resolution. Within hours of that statement, a fan made and presented a patch that showed that not only could the game be run at a higher resolution than its intended native resolution, the result looked much better than the original upscaling method. And all he did was change a single line of code in order to do it. Another fan similarly made their own patch that allowed the game to support anti-aliasing features based on the user's local graphics cards. Needless to say, an official patch for Episode II was soon released that addressed the former issue not long afterwards.
  • Space Channel 5 Part 2 has gorgeous graphics on the PC, but the music often goes out of synch, making the game absolutely unplayable unless you edit a few settings to fix itnote .
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction was another port brought down by Ubisoft's Copy Protection system. If either you or Ubisoft's Internet connection is anything less than perfect for more than a single second, you are automatically kicked out of the game, and must return to the previous checkpoint upon recovery. As always with copy protection, the pirates had it cracked within - well, okay, it took a month, but the method should patch through to crack every future Ubisoft game using the same tech within a day or two. It also had an issue that affected players who installed the game on anything other than the C: drive. Launching the game from that location would result in just a black screen, while the sound played as normal. Apparently Ubisoft didn't foresee this kind of situation.
  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent had a PC version that, while technically not a port, was clearly based on the Xbox 360 version. Considering that the game was based on the Unreal engine, that Ubisoft had released plenty of PC games before (including every other Splinter Cell game before then, no less, with no issues inherent to the games themselves on systems back then), and that it was a pretty high-profile game, you'd think it would've gone fairly smoothly. Wrong. There are so many problems with this port that a list is necessary.
    • The menus are a confusing mess, and you can't use the mouse on the in-game "laptop" menus (even though you could in the previous games); you need to stupidly press the keys mapped to "use" and "crouch". This wasn't a problem in earlier Splinter Cell PC games. Entering codes for keypad-locked doors likewise requires using the movement and use keys to select and punch in the numbers, rather than using your keyboard's numpad as in Pandora Tomorrow onward or even simply clicking them with the mouse like in every prior Splinter Cell game on PC.
    • The saved games are arranged in what appears to be completely random order. Not alphabetical, not by mission, not by date or time. Also, checkpoints occasionally overwrite saved games and vice-versa.
    • There is no gamepad support except for the Xbox 360 gamepad. This isn't new to the Splinter Cell PC series, and it uses a mousewheel-driven "acceleration" scheme to compensate for the lack of an analog stick. This causes problems, however: the new safe-cracking sequences are affected by the analog stick in a way Ubisoft apparently didn't foresee, and so if you sneak up to a safe at minimum acceleration (the best way to sneak, obviously) on the PC version and try to crack it, you're inexplicably unable to do anything with the safe until you scroll the mouse wheel back up to "re-accelerate". Again, this wasn't a problem with the similar lockpicking sequences in earlier Splinter Cell PC games, or even in this game.
    • The game supports a pathetically low selection of resolutions, not even including full HD or 16:10 resolutions. This is remedied by editing the game's .ini file. Ubisoft's entire team of programmers apparently couldn't figure this out; that or, as some allege, the PC version is prohibited from maximum graphical detail to make the 360 version appear better, as editing the .ini files can also result in improved graphics. Until a patch, it was not even possible to enable anti-aliasing (mind you, that's all that patch did).
    • The "Kinshasa, Part 2" mission is almost guaranteed to crash every time you load a saved game, so you'd better be good at it. According to the guy behind the widescreen-fix patches for the series, this is apparently the fault of the optional minimap, which causes so many problems that loading a saved game after having used it at any point during that mission guarantees a crash.
    • The game would even freeze for no evident reason when viewing some of the training videos for the Versus multiplayer.
  • The first two Splinter Cell games eventually became this. They were directly ported from the original Xbox version, and as such were optimised for a number of contemporary NVidia cards that supported a form of shadow mapping called "shadow buffers", first supported on the GeForce 3 and the NV2A GPU used on the console. While it did work on most hardware at the time, later graphics cards, driver versions and DirectX APIs broke functionality for said buffers, causing spotlights and other projected shadows to no longer work. As lighting and shadows are key elements of the gameplay, playing the original Splinter Cell and Pandora Tomorrow would be an ugly and unpleasant ordeal with a lot of trial-and-error. Fortunately, the first game does have a fallback mode for systems incapable of rendering shadow buffers, but Pandora Tomorrow lacks it, which may account for why it is the only Splinter Cell game unavailable through digital distribution. However, there is now a fan made fix for both of those games.
  • Star Trek: Legacy lags badly on the lowest settings even on the menu screen, even with a good graphics card. None of the controls can be remapped — in fact, there isn't even an in-game guide to the controls. This is horrible because the default control set up forces an egregious use of the mouse in situations where buttons should be (and in the 360 version, were) used.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed had a long-awaited/delayed Windows version that was inexplicably over 30 gigabytes, and has very few options for scaling the game down. It runs fine on a fairly decent rig, but there are no options to tone down the graphics for older machines. The game isn't very well optimized, so while a decent computer will run it with few problems, a mid-range system will choke. The keyboard and mouse controls are also extremely clunky and cumbersome, and the only gamepad supported is the Xbox 360 controller.
    • The game did allow you to rebind the keyboard and mouse controls, so you could pick a setup that was more logical. However, the game wouldn't update the on-screen prompts for quicktime events from the default bindings. Good luck trying to remember what you rebound 'F' to before you die.
  • Tales of Symphonia: The PC port on Steam has the internal resolution locked at 720p, the framerate locked at 30FPS (when the Gamecube version released over a decade before ran at 60FPS), the game crashes often or doesn't start, lagged at the options, config and save menus, has new typos, has the wrong fonts and broken or missing text when selecting languages other than English, and had incorrect button displays for the controls showing PlayStation 3 prompts. The port also had additional VMProtect DRM software and had only six save slots on launch, though some of these problems were patched out and VMProtect was removed entirely while the latter has been fixed.
  • The PC release of Tangled was left with a half-assed co-op mode where for some strange reason, only the second player can use a controller while player one is forced to make do with a keyboard. Pity the poor little girl whose dexterity is not that refined enough to play as Rapunzel using the WASD keyboard control scheme (you can, however, adjust the default keyboard mapping, though), as what Steam reviews from disgruntled parents can attest—apparently, the porting house responsible for the Windows conversion forgot to note that the game's target audience is small children, not first-person shooter players. And to add insult to injury, the Windows release was left unpatched at 1.0, effectively abandoning it soon after release. Sure, it is a tie-in game, but they shouldn't have released it on Steam at all if they left it at such a sorry state. Though if there is any consolation, a rudimentary online co-op mode is available on the Steam release of the game via Steam Remote Play Together, and best of all, it doesn't require the second player to own a copy of the game, either.
  • Toukiden: Kiwami's PC port has been met with heavy backlash. Video options are sparse (e.g. cannot go beyond 1080p, no 16:10 resolutions) and does little to make the game look any better. The game is locked at 30 FPS, and if you try to unlock the frame-rate, the game becomes unplayable as the animations and physics are tied to the frame-rate so the game runs faster than it should, nor does its Steam page warn customers about this. The game is poorly optimized with demanding system requirements (an i7 for both minimum and recommended) and will sometimes slow down in certain areas even if your machine meets the recommended system requirements. Certain video cards and Windows 8/8.1 combinations cannot run the game at all and crash if you try to play it. Keyboard controls are poorly implemented, using the mouse will sometimes freeze the game when there's no mouse support at all, and despite recommending a gamepad and using Xbox 360 prompts, only a few are supported and analog sticks don't work properly.
  • Although not quite as bad as the aforementioned Game Boy port of Toy Story, the Windows 95 port still is far outclassed by the SNES and Genesis versions. On top of already missing many of the graphical effects and the level "Really Inside the Claw Machine", the controls are heavily mangled from the console versions, with Woody's jumping being much more floaty and less realistic than the console counterparts. His whip also has extremely strict collision detection, making it very hard to actually aim at enemies and adding a ton of Fake Difficulty to an already Nintendo Hard game, and making the bosses nearly unplayable. By far, though, the biggest offender has to go to the RC stages — they were already notorious enough for being difficult due to being hard to control in the console versions, but they are outright unplayable in the PC port, with the controls being so overly sensitive that it's impossible to aim at anything. It does get a red book soundtrack on the plus side, but that's far from enough reason to pull it out of this territory.
  • The PC version of Toy Story 3 was for whatever reason based off the cut-down Wii port of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. A number of levels and cutscenes were omitted, and that's even when a low-end family computer could shrug off those removed levels at low settings anyway.
  • Virtual-ON: Operation Moongate was a decent port but it unfortunately became this over time due to a horrible game-breaking bug where the game crushes after getting a Game Over with any Virtuaroid other than Fei-Yen for some reason and ending a match on Versus Mode due compatibility issues on Windows Vista and later.
  • Viva Piñata has a PC version notorious for slowness and occasional crashes. The worst part of the game is that the coveted Chewnicorn, the game's rare Unicorn Piñata, is colored incorrectly and, due to a lighting glitch, glows black every three seconds.
  • Watch_Dogs on PC was purposely made to run on nVidia hardware, and nVidia hardware only.note  If you don't have nVidia hardware, then you're screwed. You will experience framerate drops and crashing/freezing galore, even if you have a computer that can run contemporary games on their highest setting flawlessly. Also, like many other Ubisoft games since 2012 or so, the game requires the use of UPlay regardless of where you buy it from. Another problem is that modders found that the coding for the absolutely amazing graphics configuration settings shown in the E3 demo were in the game and performed absolutely fine if they were added back into the game, leading to backlash and widespread allegations that the quality was tuned down so PCs didn't overtake the Xbox One and PS4 in graphics fidelity. While the sequel had a slightly better port, it has one major flaw - with some graphics card and processor combinations, the game would refuse to load.
  • Wipeout 2097 lacks a speed limiter in PC versions, causing the game to run out of control on top of the line PCs back in '97, never mind today (this can be fixed with a CPU-killer program, but then you will find out the hard way that Windows Vista/7 require a lot more CPU to run properly than the game). The game also has a different soundtrack that's nowhere near as good as the original's.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was clobbered with negative user reviews on Steam, most complaining about technical issues: poor performance even on high-end machines, constant crashes, save data getting corrupted, and so on.
  • It's ultimately generous of Blizzard to release several of their old games for free on Windows, but the Rock 'n' Roll Racing release was a major mess up, period. The classic songs were removed and replaced with a generic grunge metal soundtrack, and to make things worse, it was actually the SNES version of the game patched to disable the songs and then run on a modified emulator that also provided the grunge soundtrack on its ownnote . This also meant that the game had one long soundtrack that doesn't change through the game and gets annoying quickly enough. Another thing to note is that the game is a demo version. While the free releases of Blackthorne and The Lost Vikings were the full games, for Rock 'n' Roll Racing the people at Blizzard decided to give out a severely cut-down version that, after just three races, unceremoniously dumps you back to the title screen, with no fanfare or anything.
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was released 6 months later than the PS4 port it was based on, and even then, after multiple delays, it was still a lousy mess of a PC port. The resolution of the game is locked internally at 1800p regardless of the resolution chosen, bringing older systems to their knees, the framerate is known to be inconsistent with random stuttering, the background music is prone to distortion upon booting the game, the KB&M controls are generally poor, the controller support isn't great with the game failing to detect buttons on occasion along with button remapping glitches, the game only using 8-way movement despite every other version supporting full directional movement, the game crashes frequently, the lighting model and effects are more washed out compared to the PS4 release, there are numerous typos and punctuation errors in in-game text and the shadows are semi-broken. Add it all together and you have one of the worst PC ports of 2018, at a time when ports like these were meant to have been a thing of the past. Then again it was ported by Nippon Ichi Software America instead of XSEED Games. The backlash from this was so great that NIS actually contracted PH3 GmbH, the company co-founded by legendary software porter Durante after his contract with XSEED ended, to re-do the port, and the result was a complete 180 of the trope and a really solid PC port of the game.
  • The PC version of ZombiU, titled Zombi. Despite coming out 3 years later, it somehow manages to have more bugs than the Wii U version did at launch.
  • Homefront: The Revolution had many bugs and performance issues on all platforms at launch. The PC version was no exception with constant framerate drops.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is reasonably well-optimised and doesn't lack any features, but it is notoriously glitchy and crash-prone, in addition to being a pain in the ass to run. The infamously ill-fated run of the game at SGDQ 2015 highlights just how buggy it is.

  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV had its AI lobotomized at some point during the porting process from the PC, and the computer would send out one day's worth of troops to try to kill a horde of mid-to-high level monsters. This was somewhat amusing in maps where you weren't tasked with the defeat of a specific hero, but when you were... well, you just had to hope that said hero wasn't allowed to move from his starting position, because you didn't get credit for the kill if you weren't involved in the fight.
  • Mafia II, ported by Feral Interactive was just as disastrous as the PlayStation 3 version, not because of the lack of grass and blood but because it was ill-optimised compared to the PC version, churning out 15-20 FPS even on a reasonably powerful Macintosh.
  • SimCity 3000 was not made in-house by Maxis, and its quality reflects this. It was ported by a Ukrainian company that left the entire PC interface (such as the file hierarchy system) intact, all while leaving out other features (such as the Building Architect Tool).
  • SimCity 4 was also outsourced and was released months after the PC version. It was terribly slow to the point of unplayability, left off the official tools that PC users got, and exhibited behaviors that PC gamers would only get if they had a plug-in conflict. In fact, for owners of Intel-based Macs, running the Windows version via a compatibility layer such as Wine or Crossover Games is preferable in every way.
  • The OS X version of The Pinball Arcade was apparently a direct port from the iPad version. This means it has an interface meant for touch screens for a keyboard instead, as well as the iPad's resolution. While some of the issues (but not all) have been fixed, a few specific tables would also exhibit strange behavior—for instance, if one App Store review is to be believed, the ball will occasionally fly right off the White Water table, never to return.
  • The Steam version of RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic (currently the only version of the second game to run on a Mac computer) is considered inferior not only to the second game that it uses the engine from, but even the mobile version. It's actually impossible to quit through conventional means - you have to either press Cmd + Q or minimize the program and do it there. It's impossible to zoom in/out unless if you happen to use your mouse's wheel (good luck if you're only using a laptop). Importing scenarios/rides is impossible to do the "conventional" way because it still uses the instructions from the mobile version. You have to actually go in the actual folder of the game and manually drop them from there - and even then, the game recognizes it as a "suspicious file" (although you can still play the imported content normally) and constantly reminds you to reinstall it.

  • Smash TV has badly redrawn graphics, nearly all of the music cut out of the game, and horribly muffled sound effects.
  • Test Drive didn't do justice to the Amiga's graphical capabilities, had the engines sounding more like 8-bit jets than cars, and there are few other sound effects to speak of. By comparison, the technologically less advanced Commodore 64 managed to pull it off a lot better. As with Defender of the Crown, the inferiority of the Amiga version is likely attributable to inexperience and ludicrous deadlines.
  • Sierra's Amiga ports of its classic games were notorious for failing to take advantage of the machine's graphics and sound capabilities. To wit, A lot of the games were straight ports of the PC version with the music and sound effects ported from the PC Speaker code base instead of the marginally better PC Jr. PSG, Game Blaster or even the AdLib code base, causing them to completely misrepresent the true audio capability of an Amiga. Although some games would later receive updates to have better audio on said port (for example, Space Quest III, which started out sounding like the PC Speaker version but later received an upgrade to improve the music to use 4 channel polyphony with MT-32 samples), it would have been too late and the reputation of the port would have already been tarnished. Additionally, they used the EGA graphics code, which means the EGA palette limitation was retained, instead of seeing a higher resolution palette befitting the Amiga's graphical chipset. This is in contrast to their Apple ][ GS and Apple Macintosh ports, which are often rewrites that can take advantage of the system's enhanced capabilities instead. Lastly, a lot of the ports are written with NTSC Amigas in mind and do not offer a PAL mode, meaning these games actually run slower on PAL Amigas. While the Atari ST version shared the weaknesses of the graphics and integrated sound, it had the saving grace of being able to spit out better quality music through the ST's integrated MIDI out ports, meaning if you have a Roland MT-32 hooked up, the music is just as good as the PC version with the same sound device. The Amiga, lacking integrated MIDI ports, does not offer this luxury. Additionally, PAL Atari STs do not exhibit any slowdown playing Sierra games that PAL Amigas donote .

  • The Linux release of Quake IV requires a CD Key, as well as an existing installation of the Windows version of the game. If that's not inane enough for you, there's another catch: the GOG release does not come with a CD Key. Basically, if you have the GOG release, you're stuck playing in Wine. Thankfully, you already have the game installed in Wine because this port was developed by monkeys.
  • Sega Genesis & Mega Drive Classics on Linux has a nasty bug on some computers where the ROM's video completely cuts out when put in fullscreen, forcing you to play with the smaller Game Room TV. Potentially infuriating but otherwise playable if you meet the recommended specs, but if you only meet the minimum, games played this way can develop severe input delay that worsens as you go, almost immediately rendering most of the games unplayable.

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