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Porting Disaster / Handhelds

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Handheld consoles are more likely to suffer this trope, due to many games going cross-platform and needing to accommodate the lower-powered (and lower resolution) hardware.

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    Game Boy, Game Boy Color 
  • Animaniacs was a port of Konami's Genesis/Mega Drive game by Factor 5. Most of the gameplay was intact and the graphics, although taking an obvious hit due to the Game Boy's limitations, were clear and inoffensive. However, the game cut out the entire "Space Truckin'" stage and most of the final stage due to limited cartridge space and was clearly designed with the Super Game Boy's sound capabilities in mind, meaning that portable players were "treated" to some of the most obnoxiously high-pitched songs ever to come out of the Game Boy's sound chip.
  • The Game Boy Color version of Cannon Fodder suffered from the system's technical limits; it's not very easy to manage a squad with only two buttons and a 160x144 pixel screen. It's really only notable for its impressive opening intro.
  • Contra: The Alien Wars is a port of the SNES game Contra III that lacks the dual-wielding weapon system (admittedly due to the lack of buttons on the Game Boy), several boss characters (including the one-eyed brain at the end), and the entire motorcycle-riding stage. Although it's a bit unfair to expect a Game Boy port of an SNES game to live up to the original, this doesn't excuse the fact that the graphics, sounds and mechanics are all worse than Operation C (the previous Contra game released for the Game Boy), with a much slower playing speed to boot. The port was handled by Factor 5 rather than Konami themselves, which may explain some things.
  • Crystalis on the GBC is a complete butchering of the NES original — the original soundtrack was replaced, the controls were messed up, and then the game's framerate problems, plot changes, and other flaws cause most who have played the original to either deny its existence or wish the rating system went down to zero. One of the port's biggest flaws came from an attempt to simplify gameplay; the main character wields four elemental swords, which he needs to switch between as certain creatures have immunity to certain elements. For example, poison bugs can't be hurt with the Sword of Wind. Apparently, they didn't like the constant need to change swords, so instead they made it so all swords can hurt any creature, it's just that the wrong element does less damage. There is no audible way of telling if you're dealing partial damage, so it actually makes the game harder, since you don't know if you're using the right sword or not.
  • Dragon Slayer: Take a PC game that's already a multi-hour problem to beat (as in, longer than 4 AA batteries will last you), remove any kind of save system, and actually slow down the pace of the game. You now have Dragon Slayer's Game Boy port.
  • Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone was handled by Sales Curve instead of Technos, and rather than being a Reformulated Game like the GB version of the original (or a Dolled-Up Installment like the second), it's a straight port of the arcade version — and a pretty awful one at that. The player only has three moves (the basic punch and kick plus a jump kick, no consecutive attacks or grappling moves like in the previous GB games) and the game is almost impossible to complete in one life due to poor hit detection and the fact that the enemies have Mercy Invincibility when they recover after a fall. The player can purchase the hurricane kick move and a sword from item shops like in the arcade version (only with in-game currency instead of credits) and they even managed to botch that up (the sword cannot be carried over to another stage, making it a pointless item, the hurricane kick is about as effective as the standard jump kick and all the extra playable characters are missing). To top it off, the graphics are worse than the first two games, with bland character designs and stiff animation, only one sound effect for everything and the music is annoyingly repetitive (with the same three tunes played throughout the entire game).
  • Donkey Kong Country had a Game Boy Color remake that was a very admirable effort in terms of visuals and presentation, but unfortunately, it shows how some games just aren't meant to be on some systems. The game is much, much harder than the original due to numerous Fake Difficulty offenses: the controls and physics are very touchy and unnatural, the hit detection is rather buggy, and the screen is way too zoomed in, making it very hard to react to anything coming at you especially in any auto-scrolling sections like the minecart levels. People who know the original SNES game or the GBA remake like the back of their hand have reported getting very frustrated with this version and earning repeated game overs even on the easier levels. Further making this inexcusable is that the Donkey Kong Land series proved the style of gameplay could work perfectly well on the handheld (without any color, at that).
  • Foreman For Real wasn't exactly a great game to begin with on 16-bit systems (albeit it was an improvement on its predecessor, George Foreman's KO Boxing), but could boast some impressive-for-the-time digitized graphics. The Game Boy version obviously couldn't duplicate these, but did manage some large, detailed sprites by the standards of the system; unfortunately, this came at the expense of an abysmal frame rate, unresponsive controls and hit detection that's so broken that most of the fights end up being reduced to the boxers flailing around aimlessly and maybe every once in a while registering a single punch, with the end result that it's virtually impossible to win any fights by knockout.
  • Galaga: Destination Earth, rather than porting the complex 3D environments of the PC version, plays more like the original game in the Game Boy Color version by Pipe Dream Interactive. The only problem is... they didn't quite do it right. There is very little skill involved, as once you get your second ship, you can blindly fire forward and clear wave after wave, even without the double-damage power-up. However, if the enemies get a shot off, there is roughly a 50% chance it will hit you. Even if you're on the other side of the playing field. In addition to a lack of music and only three settings, not to mention a nigh-useless password feature, it's simply a trainwreck of a port.
  • Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 received GBC ports which, although impressive in how they were able to fit entire city maps on a cartridge as well as having a reasonable framerate, were mainly let down by horrible music and clunky driving controls which made the games very tedious to play. Although an effort is shown here, the attempt at trying to capture the feel of the superior PC/PS versions is weakened by the GBC's limited hardware.
  • The port of Lemmings for the original Game Boy was, for the most part, a direct port of the NES version, and so does not fit here. The Game Boy Color Lemmings and Oh No! More Lemmings... didn't fare nearly as well. The graphics are terribly downgraded, several levels are arbitrarily switched around (this includes making Across the Gap, a difficult level, from the Crazy difficulty, the second level of ONML), the Lemmings move at a ridiculously slow pace that makes clearing some levels nearly impossible, and the perfectly fitting and catchy soundtrack was replaced with something much more generic and boring.
  • Marble Madness flings you back to the second stage after you beat the fifth, either because of a programming error or because the final stage doesn't even exist in this port. Have fun playing through the middle four stages until you run out of time or batteries, whichever comes first. The Game Boy Color version does have the final level... but you'll be lucky to ever reach it, as the ball controls and physics are just terrible, and the game ramps up the difficulty to unfair levels by reducing the time given to you in each maze. Adding insult to injury, the soundtrack is given an awful-sounding remix (the original Game Boy version just used the NES soundtrack), with several stages getting the wrong bits of music entirely.
  • Mortal Kombat actually has very good graphics for a Game Boy game. But the biggest problem was how slowly and jerkily it ran; special moves don't work unless you press only one button in the sequence per second. The game was made sluggish and unresponsive, and the fatalities were just completely ruined. Mortal Kombat II came out on the same system one year later, but it was actually kind of good, which makes you wonder just what completely failed with its predecessor.
  • Mortal Kombat 4 on Game Boy Color was a mess compared to console ports. While the Game Boy Color was obviously not going to do the 3D graphics like the consoles were doing, it still doesn't excuse the choppy animation, the horrible music and sound bytes, and compressing the Fatalities of the Arcade games into poor cutscenes. Click here for a reference.
  • Populous has almost indecipherable graphics that split up on three different screens (you have to switch) what you see in the PC/SNES version on one screen.
  • The Game Boy port of Puyo Puyo (1992), instead of being developed by Compile like most versions of the game, was farmed out to Winky Soft, a company probably most notable for kickstarting the Super Robot Wars series. Sadly, Puyo Puyo isn't the best showcase of their talents—it's pretty clunky and slow compared to most other versions of the game, and has rather poor graphics and sound for a game released in 1994 (six years into the Game Boy's lifespan). Worse, the different kinds of Puyos the player is supposed to be matching all look very similar to each other due to technical limitations; their different colors, shapes, and facial expressions all turned out to be understandably difficult to convey on the Game Boy's tiny monochrome screen. The Game Boy ports of the sequels were done in-house and turned out significantly better.
  • Resident Evil for the Game Boy Color was going to be this, ridiculously ambitious as it was (there was just no way to properly convey the atmosphere of the game with the low resolution and limited color array of the Game Boy Color). However, for this precise reason, Capcom pulled the plug on the project before it made it to stores. ROM dumps have been found of it that demonstrate the incomplete game; it's very poor in comparison to the PlayStation version, but unlike Resident Evil Gaiden, it at least tries to replicate the original's real-time combat system.
  • Rockman 8 by Makon Soft attempts to port Mega Man 8 to Game Boy but falls flat. Mega Man's gameplay is broken, the stage graphics are mismatched, the music is horrible, and the bosses are not the actual bosses from the original name. While the graphics themselves are not bad, the graphics are in 2½D even though Mega Man treats them as 2D graphics.
  • Star Wars: Yoda Stories. The original PC version is a casual game with randomly generated levels meant to be played in short bursts, which sounds like it would suit a portable console perfectly. Unfortunately, every problem the PC version has - jittery controls, bad collision detection and unclear objectives amongst many other issues - are exacerbated by the GBC's hardware limitations and the variety from the PC version is significantly downgraded, turning what could have been a passable portable time-waster into a near-unplayable mess.
  • The Game Boy port of Street Fighter II. It looks and sounds nice, but the porting team was clearly more devoted to recreating the look of the game than the feel, so everything else suffered. While the simplified moves and character lineup (only nine characters, with no E. Honda, Dhalsim or Vega) can be forgiven due to the system's obvious limitations, the unresponsive controls, single-digit framerate and slow-as-molasses physics considerably affect the gameplay— leaving it playable, but far more watered-down than it needed to be.
  • A bootleg game developer once tried to port Super Mario Bros. 3 to the handheld system under the generic title Super Mario 3 Special, but had incredible failures in many aspects. Firstly, all songs in the game are really badly arranged. When you boot the game, you're surprised by a really loud background music, the map "theme" is just a long beeping sound, and then there's the stages. Instead of having a full set of stages, this port only offers five stages, and you don't need to complete one stage to unlock a new stage. You can't jump properly (if you jump while walking, Mario can't control his movements in-air), the Raccoon Leaf is almost useless as you can't fly with it, the music blocks have no effect, the fourth stage is essentially Unintentionally Unwinnable, the castle theme is completely unfitting, and there aren't even bosses or a proper ending after finishing the castle.
  • Toy Story shared the same layout on consoles and PC (with various design and/or level changes), pre-rendered 3-D graphics, a nicely varied soundtrack, and challenging (but not unbeatable) stages. The Game Boy version, however:
    • Was frustratingly slow — Woody moves and jumps like he's on the moon.
    • Had a more grating and repetitive soundtrack.
    • Had awkward hit detection, particularly when trying to use Woody's pull-string as a weapon or a grappling hook.
    • Had some poorly blended graphics. With the original Game Boy's unlit green screen, the gameplay was all the more aggravating due to the complex textures and sprite designs.
    • Removed many levels, including all that were outside the "platformer" realm (the overhead racing levels, 3-D maze, etc.) and the boss fights (Nightmare Buzz, regular Buzz Lightyear, and the notorious Claw).

  • Duke Nukem 3D was actually a pretty admirable effort in many ways, and easily the most graphically advanced title on the system. Unfortunately, the wasn't anywhere near powerful enough to handle the Duke. Consequently, the game got turned into a Rail Shooter, and the whole thing became one Luck-Based Mission due to the crappy controls and unbelievably slow framerate.
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the is a lousy port with grainy graphics that tend to blend into the backgrounds, combined with a single-digit framerate, the inexplicable absence of Scorpion and Sub Zero — indicating that despite the "Trilogy" name, the game is actually ported from the release version of Mortal Kombat 3 — heavily simplified moves that reduces the gameplay to button mashing with bizarre physics, and no music whatsoever, with only sporadic, lousy sound effects accompanying the action.
  • Resident Evil 2 was also an admirable effort, being a fairly faithful conversion of about 1/4 of the original game. It only included an extremely stripped-down version of Leon's scenario, with a separate version containing Claire's scenario cancelled. In addition to the predictable weak graphics and sluggish gameplay, there is no music and much of the story is removed. Please note that this is some time after the vastly superior Game Boy Color port of the first game was axed for "quality concerns". See it for yourself here.
  • Sonic Jam is practically an In Name Only version of the Saturn original. There is nothing from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and only two levels each from the other three Genesis titles. On top of that, the graphics are barely adequate, the music sounds like a drunk guy playing a keyboard for the first time, and Sonic handles more like an actual hedgehog than his speedy self. It's one of the most widely maligned Sonic games ever made, beating out the infamous '06, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and the GBA port of Sonic 1.

    Game Boy Advance 
  • Bubble Bobble: Old and New is a compilation release that includes a port of the original arcade game. It's an utter disaster — you can either look at a blurry or squished-down view of the whole level or not see part of the level, at all. The controls are also off, and the soundtrack is a terrible, tinny remix of the classic original. This is a result of Taito losing the source code (according to this). Deaths and squishing yourself with bubbles also does not match the arcade implementations. In the port, when you die, you still fall, but you freeze in mid-air when you start spinning out upon death, plus there's a mix-up of death sprites (which include the standing "stunned" sprite). And they called the second player Bobblen, not Bobblun as it should be.
  • Contra Advance: The Alien Wars EX is technically better than the earlier Game Boy version, but still a butchering of the original SNES game. Not only does it still lack the dual-wielding weapon system (even though the player still carries a second rifle on his back), it also removes the mega bomb power-up that was previously kept in the original Game Boy version (which were activated in that version by pressing Select). The character sprites and backgrounds are lifted straight from the SNES version, but many of the larger bosses (like the tortoise and the skeleton robot) were squished to fit into the smaller resolution of the GBA, yet the player's sprite was left unchanged. Because of this, a lot of the larger enemies are harder to avoid than they were in the original due to the lack of space to maneuver. While the motorcycle stage is kept this time, along with all the bosses missing from the previous Game Boy version, the two overhead Mode 7 stages were replaced with two side-scrolling stages ported over from Contra: Hard Corps. However, the replacement stages were designed with the play mechanics of Contra: Hard Corps in mind, which featured a slide move that was not carried over to the GBA port, an ability that was almost necessary to avoid certain attacks used by the bosses in these new stages.
  • The Europe-exclusive GBA port of Comix Zone suffers from a janky framerate compared to the Genesis version, which breaks the flow of the whole game. Enemies rarely die as they did in the original, and they just poof out of existence. Jump and attack are reversed which may throw off some players, all the enemies can be beaten by uppercutting them over and over, and lastly, some cutscenes are wrong, with the most glaring example being the Game Over cutscene, as the villain goes from his "real-life" form to his comic form. Manfred Linzner of Shin'en Multimedia converted Howard Drossin's original soundtrack, along with new compositions; the "conversions" sound heavily distorted.
  • The Japan-exclusive Darius R was an attempt to port the original arcade game to the GBA. Darius was famous for using three 4:3 screens linked together in a seamless playfield so obviously converting it to a system with a single 240x160 screen would've been difficult, but not impossible- the game's PC Engine and the homebrew-turned official Genesis versions prove it is possible to put Darius on a single screen without compromising on playability. However unlike those versions, Darius R did not resize the sprites or redesign the levels accordingly, leading to massive Screen Crunch and all the problems that come with it. That alone would've consigned this version to obscurity, but the game is also infamous for its atrocious soundtrack, consisting of a grabbag of discordant, out-of-tune rearrangements from all over the series with seemingly no regard to having the songs be appropriate to the context they're used in (The peepy stage 1 theme "Captain Neo" is now used for one of the final bosses, for instance). What makes it all the more perplexing is that some of the developers were involved in Gradius Galaxies, an actually respectable GBA shooter.
  • Earthworm Jim had an absolute train wreck of a GBA port. A huge chunk of sprite animations are cut from the game, the physics are broken, the ray gun and helicopter head sound effects are replaced with muffled-sounding ones, the music sounds like distorted versions of the SNES version's music, the A button is used as the fire button and B is the jump button and it is impossible to change, the graphics are messy, and the remaining sound effects from the original are distorted and their pitch is changed. It's outclassed in almost every way by the 8-bit Game Boy and Game Gear ports (both consoles that are orders of magnitude less powerful than the GBA), which is just pathetic.
  • Earthworm Jim 2 has most of the same problems as the port of the first game, fixing very few things from its predecessor, and boasts a fair share of issues of its own. The graphics are slightly improved from the previous port, but many sprite animations are still cut out of the game. The 3D-ish floor in the level "Puppy Love" is glitched up, and the music still sounds like distorted versions of the SNES version's music but with parts of the songs cut out. This port is widely known for its broken password system that loads a game where you instantly die for no reason.
  • The American/Australian/Japanese 1.0 version of Final Fantasy IV Advance has major bugs, such as letting characters get a second turn immediately after attacking. Another glaring error has the Draculady and Miss Vamp hovering 8 pixels from the top of the screen. Many of the new weapons are bugged and classified as armor. All of these glitches were fixed in the Japanese 1.1 and European versions.
  • Klax/Marble Madness, or at least half of it — the Marble Madness port in the pack is a lazy mess and literally half the game it used to be. The controls are unpolished, the marble teleports to the other end of the chute (instead of rolling down it), and the wave in Stage 3 is absent. The worst feature is that the game ends after Stage 3. There's no excuse for this, besides the game presumably being rushed, considering that ports for older systems managed to contain the whole game. At least the Klax port is good, despite also repeating after level 3.
  • Medal of Honor: Underground was an excellent World War II first-person shooter on the PS1. The GBA version is... not. As you can see in this video, there are no redeeming factors to this game. The graphics look awful, and can best be described as the visual equivalent of baby vomit; horrendously low-resolution textures, terrible framerate, and the character sprites blend into the textures, making it nearly impossible to tell where enemies are. The controls would be fine if there weren't such a horrific disconnect between command and action. Sometimes, your actions aren't even recorded. The sound is equally terrible, with heavily distorted voice samples and a soundtrack that sounds like an orchestra of farts. The FMV segments of the PS1 game are removed and replaced with boring-ass still-frame illustrations with text beneath them. And the AI is ridiculously stupid; in one mission you have to stay within four feet of your brother lest he lose track of where the hell he is and just stand around like a dumbass.
  • Midnight Club had a downright atrocious GBA port, also handled by Rebellion. The game was a straight port of the PlayStation 2 version, but the problems don't stop: The music is ear bleedingly terrible, the voices sound strangely high-pitched, the AI is ridiculously simple and worse yet, there's no in-game map. The only good points are the title screen theme and the graphics.
  • Mega Man & Bass is one of the better GBA ports (the hilariously bad translation of the Robot Database aside). The screen's understandably smaller, and the sound quality isn't as good (though the soundtrack has also been tweaked a bit, and some people actually prefer the GBA soundtrack over the original Super Famicom one), but one thing that's never been defended is that Bass' dash command has been changed from its own dedicated button to double-tapping left or right, making it more awkward to use.
  • Mortal Kombat Advance. The previous Mortal Kombat ports for the Game Boy and Game Gear were never exactly good (Mortal Kombat II notwithstanding), but Advance, a "port" of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, was a trainwreck. Poorly done sprites, poorly ported music, AI that hovered between being stupidly easy or stupidly hard (especially Scorpion, who can easily ruin your game as early as being the first opponent), and various other screwups make this port a complete and utter mess. It was the first game in Electronic Gaming Monthly to receive a total 0 rating. Not a surprise, since Midway farmed this job out to a third party, with no involvement from Ed Boon's MK team, to churn out the game in four months to make a quick buck on the license. After this, it's no wonder that Midway hired Other Ocean to handle the DS port, which was much better. Advance was released at the nadir of the series' Audience-Alienating Era and as a symptom of the franchise's overexposure at the time, which led to its official hiatus till 2002 and Deadly Alliance came out.
  • Phantasy Star Collection ports Phantasy Star II and III perfectly, but the original game has two major issues. First, it will randomly crash upon exiting a battle — not too often, but often enough that any given playthrough will encounter it at least once. Second, the evasion stat was messed up completely. In an overlap with Good Bad Bugs, at specific levels, each character cannot be hit by any attack. However, the corollary is that at all other levels the characters cannot evade even one attack.
  • R-Type III features poor collision detection, missing features, and a broken and illogical scoring system, all the apparent result of the developers not having access to the source code. They also replaced the excellent music with a terrible new soundtrack.
  • Rock n' Roll Racing has two noticeable issues on the GBA, never mind that they left out Golden Earring's Radar Love (which was added to the Genesis version of the game): Firstly, the BGMs have been abridged (i.e. cut short and looped horribly, destroying the mood and the Rock 'N Roll part of the game). Secondly, it overcompensated for the GBA's lack of backlight so much that palette swap animations in some screens seem uniform and no longer animated (this is most noticeable on the car upgrade screen with a maxed-out car).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis was the first game to get a Rebreak score from Exo Paradigm Gamer, for quite a few reasons:
    • The game has music which sounded like a cheap MIDI version of the original (already synthesized!) music in the Genesis version, a high degree of Screen Crunch and horrible physics, but the most notable problem was frequent slowdown... in a Sonic game... ported to a system that's actually more powerful than the original. The porting team based the port on an earlier Java mobile port (itself a Porting Disaster in its own right), leading to hilarious glitches ensuing. A good Musical Slapstick Montage of some blatant glitches is here.
    • The same person behind the "Knuckles in Sonic 1" ROM hack, Simon "Stealth" Thomley, made a much superior homebrew GBA port of Sonic 1, that even added Tails and Knuckles as playable characters; proving that whoever made Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis just didn't care. It's no surprise he was called upon to help develop the 2013 remastered version of the game released for mobile platformsnote , as well as Sonic Mania.
    • The Sonic 1 port for the iPod Classic — the old ones that had physical click wheels — was more accurate than the GBA version, despite also having been recompiled from the original code.
    • If you somehow manage to slug through all the problems the game has and reached the end credits, the ending sequence has Sonic's auto runs become messed up because of the reworked physics engine, resulting in one part where he gets hit by an enemy, which doesn't happen in the original game.
    • As mentioned above, this port was based on the Java mobile Porting Disaster with slowdown, screwed-up physics and tinny MIDI music, so this GBA game is a porting disaster of a porting disaster. But at least they brought back the Special Stages, which were cut from the J2ME port.
  • Downplayed with Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper. On one hand, the gameplay has been ported over very faithfully and every character is present. However, the sounds and stages were noticeably cut down and the game lacks endings. The cuts were the fault of Capcom who insisted on the devs using an 8 MB cart for whatever ridiculous reason, while 16 and 32 MB carts were available. They did replace World Tour with a set of options that more or less did the same thing and didn't require you to beat the mode with every single character that you wanted to be able to utilize them.
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo occasionally suffers from a nasty game-freezing glitch, file erasure, or both at the same time.
  • Tales of Phantasia is the first (and only surviving) official English version of the game note . It suffers from awful voice acting and a lazy script that misspelled Ragnarok as Kangaroo, among many other issues. Even if that wasn't enough to turn you away, the graphics, music and framerate took a huge hit even in the Japanese version.
  • Tekken Advance is a downplayed version, as while it is a rather good semi-port of Tekken 3, it is still flawed. The sprites were 3D models ripped from Tekken 3, shrunken and distorted to accommodate the GBA, with rather awkward results. Gameplay-wise, although the game remains fun to play, it is far less intuitive than the main Tekken games, due to its relatively inefficient button mapping. Instead of adapting the traditional limb-based gameplay used in the main games, they opted for "Punch, Kick, Throw, and Tag", which leads to much confusion when one goes from playing a main Tekken game to playing Tekken Advance. Throws and grapples are still a part of gameplay, but given that all characters are 2D sprites, these moves are merely represented by still-frame images of your character performing the move on a generic placeholder character.
  • The GBA ports of Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5, dubbed Ulala's Cosmic Attack, are ambitious as all hell in attempting to bring over entire Dreamcast games to the small screen (and with considerable success). Unfortunately, they suffer from ugly graphics, inferior audio (which, in two games absolutely revered for their fantastic soundtracks, is unacceptable), and delayed (in Space Channel 5's case) or downright awful (in Jet Set Radio's case) controls.
  • The GBA port of Wolfenstein 3-D suffers from slowdown and framerate issues, poor controls, muddy graphics, and doesn't play the background music despite having a full soundtrack within the game's files and crediting the composer, with no way to play the game with music without tinkering with emulator settings or using a fan-made patch. It's especially frustrating since the GBA ports of Doom and Doom II have none of those issues despite using a more advanced game engine.

    PlayStation Portable 
  • Angry Birds has random framerate slowdowns and glitchy controls. It's a PSP port of an iPhone game, which really shows how rushed the port was.
  • Sony had the brilliant idea to release an enhanced port of the first Ape Escape as one of the launch titles for the PSP, simply titled Ape Escape: On the Loose (or Ape Escape P! in Europe). While the game updates the visuals, the minigames, the voice acting and add some extras, it also manages to botch the controls thanks to the lack of a second analog stick. Every single gadget is now used with the face buttons instead. And because of it, doing something as simple as attacking an enemy feels very cumbersome compared to the original game. And good luck trying to catch the monkeys thanks to the awful controls. You're going to miss it a lot.
  • The port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night included in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles is fairly decent, except with a crippling flaw: Certain areas and events will freeze the game if certain familiars are active at the time, especially when going to confront the Succubus and the cutscene after freeing Richter Belmont from his Demonic Possession. However, the glitch which allows you to skip Death at the beginning and keep your starting equipment has a new and far easier way to execute.
  • When Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 was ported from Xbox 360 to the PSP, it was generally understood that the graphics would be less impressive in the transition from console to handheld. Less acceptable were the increased loading times, the absence of any form of multiplayer, the removal of most of the new mini-games (including jet ski racing, water slide, and tug-of-war), or the over-simplification of the volleyball mini-game.
  • Dynasty Warriors looks like a mix of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires and Dynasty Warriors for the GBA despite being a PSP game, and to add more insult, the crossover Warriors Orochi games don't have these errors. The models are prone to glitching, which usually happens when using the bow. Sometimes, the game doesn't even remember if you were on a horse or not; it may or may not spawn you with a horse.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics' isn't that much of a disaster, in fact probably being a Polished Port outside of one strange oddity: the game's framerate cuts itself in half for any special animation (such as spells) plays. This can dramatically slow down some mid to late game fights due to most enemies (and yourself) using some special move. While the heavy script rewrite from the original (and from the Japanese version) is a debatable aesthetic issue, the slowdown makes rather long fights even longer. This is especially odd considering the PSP has superior hardware compared to the original PS console. It is suspected that the slowdown is intentionally done in order to load the game's sometimes rather long animations in a timely fashion. But the most Square has said when approached about the later Android/IOS ports lacking this slowdown is that things were "working as intended."
  • Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis got an especially atrocious PSP port. Not only were the loading times ridiculously long, but almost everything you did caused the game to lag for several seconds, whether it be bringing up the menu, switching characters in and out during battle, or even something as simple as jumping on the field. Sometimes it would get so bad that the game would just completely freeze up. It is somewhat alleviated by installing the game digitally.
  • Puzzle Quest was a decent port overall (like the DS version), but it's the only one with a major bug: The companion system doesn't work. It is also one of the extremely few PSP games which will occasionally crash to the XMB. The game has an option in the main menu that says "Exit", but all it does is crash the game on purpose so that the PSP throws the XMB up. On the Vita, it throws up an error and ends the emulation. This is the only game on PSP to do this.
  • Spectral Souls: Ressurrection of the Ethereal Empires is a direct PSP port of a PS2 original: done so without re-optimizing the game for the PSP's processor. Thus the PSP is trying to play a PS2 game and the result is Loads and Loads of Loading for even the most simple of things, including reading dialogue.
  • The PSP port of Tales of Eternia suffered from a Game-Breaking Bug in the European version; half the copies crashed after Volt, a mid-game boss. If your copy had this bug, it would crash at the same spot every save file, effectively making the game unplayable. Even if your copy did not have this bug, the ending cutscene has the voice lines mixed and untranslated dialogue.
  • Tomb Raider: Anniversary is impressive, especially for the time; it's a whole PS2 game with all the level designs, features and secrets intact, squeezed into a PSP disc. The graphics are downgraded by a fair amount, but the game still looks good and runs fine. Where does it go wrong? The controls are altered due to the PSP having fewer buttons, which makes actions that were already cumbersome on the PS2 even worse; lock-on aiming and the adrenaline boost (two techniques that are necessary to play the game properly) are much harder to figure out, leading to frustration for new players. However, the camera is the biggest problem; in a game that demands patience and precision, not being able to see the levels clearly is massively annoying, leading to many blind leaps of faith and trial-and-error gameplay. The long loading times every time you die is just the cherry on top.
  • Umihara Kawase Shun was a port of a PS1 game. The PSP version nevertheless is riddled with bugs and features a very screwy physics engine. This led Japanese fans to boycott the port. The DS port is almost perfect, with accurate adaptations of both the Super Famicom and PS1 originals and wireless support for sharing replays despite the DS being technically weaker than the PSP.

    Nintendo DS 
  • Bubble Bobble: Revolution includes a port of the original arcade version that was an utter disaster — it has the same problems as the GBA port. A result of the real-life case of No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup (according to this). Apparently, whatever plans the developer used for this port came largely from their GBA port. Not only that, the American version of the game contains a Game-Breaking Bug in the new mode where the boss in Level 30 is nowhere to be seen, making it unplayable, Eventually, the copies were recalled.
  • Burnout Legends was an excellent PSP game, but the DS version suffers from muddy graphics, broken physics, and ear-bleeding sound design.
  • Elf Bowling 1 & 2 weren't exactly known for being excellent games even on the PC, but the problems arose when you had to pay for the DS versions despite the original versions being obtainable for free. While certainly not a good move, that alone wouldn't make it a Porting Disaster. Even setting that aside, however, it loses some animation and sound effects found in the original versions and lowers the overall graphical quality, while adding nothing that wasn't already in the PC versions. The games were pretty minimalist in the first place, so there's no reason this had to happen.
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey was originally a solid console game based on a series of PC flight sims that were also critically acclaimed. In the DS version, however, the controls are sluggish and the D-pad is ill-suited for controlling a plane in three dimensions. some stages are unwinnable because the enemies can't be damaged, and the campaigns are just a series of missions that can be played in any order the player wants (which is just as well, considering the last flaw).
  • Legend of Kay is a port of a PS2 game featuring Ninja Gaiden-esque fighting, racing levels, a solid plot and a soundtrack by Virt. The DS version rips all of that out for random spider jumping, a complete butchering of the script, crappy MIDI files, and the complete elimination of the battle system that made the original fun to play in the first place.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night suffered from a lot of issues on the DS, foremost of which was its graphics. Whilst ambitious, its attempt at a third-person 3D perspective really stretched the capabilities of the DS, which resulted in very ugly and choppy environments and characters. The narrated cutscenes featured a very poorly rendered voice that only vaguely talked about the plot. A lot of the plot was left out, leaving most of the game very confusing as to what was going on, which, if you didn't understand what's going on, lead to a surprisingly large amount of Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. On the flip side, the music was at least decent.
  • The DS port of LEGO Star Wars II is absolutely atrocious. Awful frame rates, game-breaking glitches, terrible graphics, and dramatically stripped content result in a game that's a shell of its former self and straight-up painful to play. Making this port look even worse is that the port of its successor, The Complete Saga, does a considerably better job adapting the console LEGO Star Wars games to DS.
  • Myst has its DS version seriously hampered by a couple of issues. First, the DS' screen resolution is much lower than that of a PC; even with the "magnify" feature added to the DS port, some of the text within certain scenes is still barely readable. Even worse, though, the PC version used context-sensitive mouse cursors to point out when the mouse was over a hot spot; the DS has no equivalent to this at all, which led to aimless screen-tapping to try to figure out what to do. In a game like Myst, that's going to happen quite a bit — it's not that straightforward with AltTags... and there are Game Breaking Bugs in the port.
  • Rayman DS was a very sloppy cash-in port of a great game. The graphics are incredibly blurry and pixelated, the framerate jitters, and the music was taken from the N64 version's MIDI tracks (which is either a good or bad thing depending on who you ask). Gameplay was also affected by the DS' lack of an analog stick, not to mention the game-breaking bugs (some of which could activate during cutscenes). Nobody cared about fitting the game to the DS hardware. Even worse is that Ubisoft did the same thing to the same game again on the next console!
  • The Settlers II stores data the whole time while you're playing until there is no space left on the cartridge and the game crashes. Scrolling is slow and makes an annoying noise, the game lags and the button to zoom in and out often disappears due to the data overload. One chapter also has a glitch that deletes your saves when you choose it—which the developers recommend you use in case the zoom button disappears. What made matters worse is that it was released a few months after Anno 1503 which showed that you can successfully port RTS games to the DS.
  • As part of their never-ending quest to port the Genesis Sonic games to every platform imaginable, Sega released a Compilation Rerelease called Sonic Classic Collection on the Nintendo DS. While not exactly horrible, instead of being native ports, the games run under emulation, and it turns out the DS didn't quite have enough CPU power to handle this. Most Sega Genesis games output a higher resolution than that of the DS's screens, and instead of cropping the screen, Sega opted for squashing the screen vertically, resulting in a hideous look. This music sounds off and often glitches up. Finally, the framerate often lags when the action gets too fast, or when there are too many sprites on screen. Additionally, the version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had its options menu cut off, making it impossible to access the sound test and input that game's cheat codes, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3's Competition mode was removed, resulting in its exclusive courses Dummied Out, even though there was an option to play a single-player time trial on said courses. Lastly, the framerate is poor. To make matters worse, the games actually ran better and more smoothly in the emulator this "port" was based on, released before this collection.
  • The DS port of Syberia was made from the already bad smartphone port which suffered from a lot of missing expository text that turned things into Moon Logic Puzzles, rather than the original PC version.
  • The DS port of Zoo Tycoon is ugly, glitchy, and bare-bones in comparison to the original. The PC game had roughly 20 unique starting maps whilst the DS game has three generic featureless grass maps. There's a tutorial mission that is nigh-unwinnable because an animal you need to please has an enclosure that's too small, and the game refuses to let you expand it.

    Nintendo 3DS 
  • Asphalt 3D is a port of Asphalt 6: Adrenaline with severe framerate problems. The AI is even worse than in Asphalt 6, the crashes go all over the track, Game Breaking Bugs run rampant, and the 3D only serves to exacerbate issues. IGN rated it a 3/10, even worse than Asphalt Injection (see below).

  • The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: The New 3DS port is full of lag and glitches not found in other versions. Updates only made the game more unstable, with one meant to fix game freezes resulting in a ludicrous amount of crashing. To add insult to injury, the Play Station Vita port of the same game (released almost a year prior) is a near-perfect adaptation of the original without any content cut or sprites redrawn - all of that without requiring an enhanced, more expensive model of the console.
  • Dragon Quest X's 3DS port, which is cloud-streamed, suffers from several issues, including the inability for some people to even log in and play the game, nigh-unreadable text thanks to the console's low resolution, constant maintenance, and sound problems.
  • The port of Mega Man 5 on Mega Man Legacy Collection suffers from major performance issues such as slowdown and frame skipping when compared to the other games of the collection, or its Virtual Console release on the same platform for that matter. Oddly enough, Rockman 5, the Japanese version note , doesn't exhibit this problem.
  • While the 3DS port of Luigi's Mansion was otherwise well-received, people have criticized the controls, most notably the horrible utilization of the C-Stick (the little nub on the New 3DS that acts as a second circle-pad). For starters, people have had trouble aiming with the C-Stick even at max sensitivity, and it's almost impossible to aim downwards without jamming your fingernail into the nub. This is especially frustrating when trying to catch Boos, which requires you to manually keep your vacuum stream on them to deplete their HP while they move around the room. And the multiplayer mode this port added as its major selling point is considered irredeemably bad by most. The framerate is inconsistent, even when both players use the New 3DS models; at the best of times, it hovers around 20 and dips into single-digits if things get too busy. When the framerate isn't causing issues, the game is very unbalanced and clunky with two players, since the original (tailored for single player) wasn't modified at all to account for having a second playable character, with tiny cluttered rooms that are difficult to navigate with two people. Lastly, bosses go down almost effortlessly with two players going after them—while the original game was fairly easy on its own, the two-player mode makes the game almost trivial.
  • Rayman 3D was yet another port to Nintendo's handheld, this time from the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2. While it was (thankfully) improved over the DS version, it was still a subpar port; some framerate issues persisted, some graphic effects were removed (while very few were added), and it suffered from some irritating glitches. The most egregious glitch is the inability to collect the final Lum in the game, due to a trampoline platform acting as a regular surface. At this point there was no excuse; the 3DS is perfectly capable of playing the original game properly, unlike the DS.
  • The otherwise great Rayman Origins was ported to the 3DS without much concern for the console's lower-powered hardware and screen capabilities. As such, the framerate is noticeably jittery, the graphics are blurry, washed out, and too small to make out, and the audio quality suffers. The 3D effect is nearly non-existent, too.
  • Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed suffered an abysmal port to the 3DS. Unlike the DS version of the previous game, which used a custom engine to achieve 60 FPS (something not even the consoles did), the 3DS version of ASRT attempts to port the complete console game. The results are not pretty- graphics have been severely downgraded and the framerate regularly dips into the single digits. As a side effect, the controls are not responsive. Even the mobile port runs better...
  • Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS suffers from baffling design decisions. For starters, there's no ability to upload levels, so instead the only way to share them is through StreetPass. Although it's possible to play levels from the Wii U version, there's no way to search for them, so the only way to play them is through the (dubious even on the Wii U) in-game filtering. There's also no Mystery or Big Mushrooms, so levels that used them are unplayable. It also suffers from slowdown, and it's one of the few first-party games on the system to have no 3D functionality. On the plus side, it does feature a heavily expanded single-player campaign.

    PlayStation Vita 
  • Asphalt Injection is another port of Asphalt 6 (geez!) released on the Play Station Vita as a launch title, and while it isn't as broken as Asphalt 3D, it doesn't fare much better. The graphics are pleasant to look at, but it suffers from Fake Difficulty thanks to horribly botched collision detection (it is almost impossible to wreck if you glide onto the walls), and the police AI fare just as bad as in 3D. The racer AI doesn't even try to take you down, making the "Under Pressure" mode seem and feel pointless (in that mode you have to survive while the AI racers are supposed to wreck you, even though they don't). While IGN gave it an acceptable 6/10, EGM gave it a savage 3/10, citing how pointless Injection really was, and that there was no need for yet another port.
  • Axiom Verge shows its problems the moment the player starts the game on the Vita. First of all, the game takes almost a minute to load the title screen. But it gets worse: the game suffers from long loading times between gameplay and cutscenes, especially when the player starts a new game. When you approach a secret area, the screen becomes fuzzy; thanks to the Vita's small screen, the fuzzy effect can cause the game to look ugly, and it drops the framerate, too.
  • Borderlands 2 on the Vita is a good effort, but unfortunately, the console can't handle the game. The graphics are downgraded, the framerate is poor (20 FPS), co-op is reduced to 2 players, and it's very crash-prone. And Gearbox also forgot to increase the size of the text in your inventory in-game, requiring you to hold your Vita pretty close up to your eyes to be able to read the description of your weapon or skill tree. Later patches took the Vita version from 'unplayable' to merely 'really bad port.'
  • The PS Vita version of Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours, like its PS4 and Windows counterparts, has a port of Dariusburst Another Chronicle. Unfortunately, DBAC was designed for arcade cabinets using two 16:9 monitors side by side, and while it's feasible to play it on a single sufficiently large screen if you're playing on a PSTV, PS4, or a PC, no aspect ratio adjustments are made for the Vita, and as a result, the 32:9 HD picture is crammed onto a 5" 960x544 display on which it is impossible to see anything. Not just that, but because the Vita version only supports a single player, you cannot participate in multiplayer-required Chronicle Mode missions on it.
  • The Jak and Daxter Trilogy is a compilation of the three Jak and Daxter games originally on the Playstation 2. They were ported from the HD Collection on the PS3 to the Vita. That's great if you're okay with bugs, extremely poor framerates for most of the gameplay (which can often go into single digits) and sound glitches. An even bigger slap in the face is that the first Jak and Daxter ran well. The second and third game, however, are unplayable.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: HD Edition is a Downplayed case. It is still perfectly playable and does quite look great on the PS Vita. However, the framerate is often reduced to 30fps as opposed to the 60fps on the PS2 version.
  • Minecraft is quite broken on the Vita. Aside from suffering from a highly limited world size, before the first patch, the game would randomly create a "Crashed" duplicate save. But what takes the cake is that the auto-save system will corrupt the save file if the game is closed incorrectly, as the Vita uses a different way to close games.
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip is missing the online multiplayer mode found in the PlayStation 3 version of the game despite being a port of that version, which was a reason some people did not buy the game. Loading times have been increased, the frame rate is lower making the game slow down especially in the later tracks in the championship mode which runs at half speed, and slightly convoluted controls for creation modes. Black shadow lines will appear randomly on tracks, if you add a tunnel to a track in Track Studio all tunnels for the rest of the session will be covered up by terrain visually, and a prop found in the Advanced Props Pack note  is rotated 90 degrees on tracks created on the PlayStation 3, messing up tracks that used that prop especially if it was used as a fence in the track.
  • While most of the gameplay and content was kept intact, Mortal Kombat 9 on the Vita suffered from severe graphical downgrade - not only failing to live up to the relative visual fidelity the handheld was known for at the time but also barely competing with some of the past-gen PlayStation Portable fighters.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault was a title that featured Cross-Buy, meaning that if you bought the PlayStation 3 version you'd get the Play Station Vita version for no additional cost. It's a great deal...aside from the fact that the Vita port released half a year later with connection problems, framerate issues, and entire colors straight-up missing. Sony tried to make up for this by giving people who bought Full Frontal Assault free copies of Ratchet: Deadlocked HD, a much worse Porting Disaster.
  • The Secret of Mana remaster actually manages to retain near-identical visuals to the PlayStation 4 version, only differing in that the resolution is lower, shadows are simplified and some of the textures are reduced in quality. Unfortunately, this graphical near-parity comes at the expense of performance, as the game chugs along at a frame rate barely above 20fps, with matters being made worse by unresponsive controls and load times that can be quite long.
  • The Vita version of Terraria suffered two major Game Breaking Bugs in its history. The first one, which emerged after the 1.2 update, corrupted all worlds that have the fireplace item. The second caused the game to crash when you attempted to save, and it wasn't fixed until January 2016.
  • Vib-Ribbon was released as a digital download in the "PSOne Classics" range on the Vita store. The game itself is rare and elusive, and the game looks great on Vita and plays very well. Unfortunately, the Vita version has a crippling problem; it's missing the CD custom level feature. On the PS1 and PS3 versions, you can use CDs from your own collection and the game will generate unique levels for them. The Vita does not have a CD drive, and there is no method to import music. As such, the Vita version is stuck with the game's default soundtrack only, which only offers less than an hour's worth of gameplay.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus suffers from a massive amount of issues. Loading can take up to three minutes (the game can even freeze while loading a big map, forcing you to restart the game) from startup to actually playing the game, and load times are still pretty long once you actually start playing. There are plenty of graphical glitches, which occasionally include not showing where a character's movement becomes dashing (which prevents them from taking another action) and the smoke from smoke grenades becoming invisible (with no sign when it wears off). The framerate also stutters now and again. Using any item in a soldier's inventory when they're in cover has a chance of them clipping into it and being stuck and unable to move, even with explodes destroying the thing they were stuck on. And lastly, even if you do manage to get through everything, it tends to crash later on in the game! The fact that the game was quickly announced and released shows the effort put into this version.
  • Ys Origin: Unlike the PSP ports, which were developed by Falcom, this port was developed by Dotemu. The result is a mess: missing sound effects, unresponsive controls (which rarely happens, and when it happens, it can get you killed), a broken timer at the save screen and several frame drops, which happens a lot during boss battles. In fact, the framerate suffers so much during boss fights that can render the game almost unplayable. The two biggest examples of this are during the fight against Zava and against the True Final Boss in Toal's route.

  • The iOS/Android Final Fantasy ports by Square Enix:
    • The 2012 port of Final Fantasy to the Android platform. Support for tablets is abysmal, the music looping doesn't work as expected, and the gameplay was altered without the game being adjusted to compensate. It was pulled in 2021 and replaced by the Pixel Remaster version.
    • The iOS port of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, which has pretty bad lag on devices older than the iPad 4 or iPhone 5S (and even on these newer devices, it sometimes randomly crashes if you've updated to iOS 8.0), and only comes with 13 characters and two songs; you have to purchase the rest of the game's content separately (which, altogether, equals over $100 — for reference, the 3DS version, which already includes all of this content except some of the songs — some of which are exclusive to iOS, and some of which are DLC on both platforms — currently retails for $25 to $30). Event Music Stages are also completely omitted from the port. And oh, if you have upgraded to iOS 11 and don't have an older device to fall back on, you can kiss the game goodbye- it won't work on devices past iOS 10 and Square isn't going to update it anymore...
    • The initial ports of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI both suffer from an inconsistent art style that mixes cartoonish flatly colored sprites with vastly more detailed backgrounds and enemy sprites, which looks awkward at the best of times. In some places, the background tiling is clearly visible, since no care was taken to make sure the transitions between tiles were seamless. On top of that, the original version of Final Fantasy VI not only featured a glaring typo in the very first scene of the game (which wasn't even in the Game Boy Advance port the game takes its script from) but a glitch in the cutscene where Kefka fights General Leo would cause the entire game to crash, a severe headache for players who hadn't saved in a while. Both issues were later fixed in a patch. Due to the touch-screen interface, there is a directional control to move the party around. This works a little clumsily but fine for most of the game, but there are a couple of sequences (the Opera and Zone Eater's Belly) where fast and precise movement is required, making this port harder than it needs to be. As with the original game, these ports were replaced by their Pixel Remasters in 2021.
  • The iOS and Android ports of Dragon Quest VIII are locked in portrait orientation, an extremely odd choice for a semi-open world RPG.
  • The Mega Man series hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to porting the console versions to smartphones:
    • The port of the original Mega Man X on iOS. The sprites have been redrawn at a higher resolution, which sounds good, except that instead of actually hiring decent artists to redraw the sprites, as they did with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, most of the sprites look like Capcom just ran the SNES sprites through some kind of graphical filter software. No new colors or detail have been added, making quite a few of the sprites look worse than the SNES version. Some of the animations have lost frames, looking choppier than the original, some of the music is lost, and the visually interesting graphical font used in the SNES version is replaced with a boring generic font. The levels don't scroll smoothly anymore, rather being divided into discrete sections with loading between them. The stage alterations, one of the things that set Mega Man X from other action games at the time, are also completely absent — Flame Mammoth's stage is always on fire, Storm Eagle's ship doesn't crash into Spark Mandrill's stage, etc. This is inexcusable considering Maverick Hunter X, a remake for a system less advanced than even the original iPhone, managed to include them.
    • The original iOS port of Mega Man 2. Mega Man jumps higher than normal and falls much slower, some animations are off, the intro to the boss theme gets cut off, Wily doesn't jump out of his saucer before the final battle, the end credits were removed for some unknown reason. And yet with all these faults, it's still a much more playable port than...
    • The Mega Man Mobile series of games in 2016, which are ports of Mega Man, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. However, all of these games share the same problems. For one, the framerate is barely a quarter of the NES originals — unless you enable a "turbo mode" which boosts it up all the way to, sadly, a third of the NES versions — and for another, the games' controls are very unresponsive, leading to frequent deaths. The music and sounds are significantly slower and lower-pitched than they should be, on account of Capcom apparently using the 50 Hz PAL versions as the basis for the ports instead of the 60 Hz originals. On top of that, there are no proper screen transitions either; the screen blacks out momentarily each time you move to the next room. And they charge upwards of $4 USD for each individual game, or $24 for all six of them - you can get the far superior Mega Man Legacy Collection for only $15, almost half of that. Oh yeah, and the games use the same action icons from the iOS port of Mega Man X.
  • The original releasesnote  of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on the iPhone. The original iPhone's hardware may well have been plodding for a modern smartphone, but it still had a 400MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM versus the Megadrive's 7.6MHz CPU and 64KB of RAM. Yet both Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 were awful, stuttery messes compared to the originals despite running on vastly superior hardware. This was due to the use of emulation. In 2013, Sega commissioned Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Simon "Stealth" Thomley to develop new mobile ports using Whitehead's Retro Engine, the same used in the digital version of Sonic CD - these ports have smooth framerates, perfect audio and the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles. And in Sonic 2, a fully-playable version of the infamous Hidden Palace Zone.
  • The Japan-exclusive Android port of Sonic Advance. Only Sonic is playable, the controls are all mapped to one virtual D-pad (minus the action button), the music is replaced by cheap MIDI files, the sound effects seem to be missing, and certain effects are missing (such as the lights at the beginning of Secret Base Zone Act 1).
  • The first three Ace Attorney games initially came to iOS (and Android in Japan) with a grab bag of imperfections. Game-breaking bugs, much slower animations (and several lost frames of animation), characters that no longer blink, a missing theme for Pearl, recycling the original GBA soundtrack (despite the soundtrack being remastered for the Nintendo DS and the WiiWare ports) and the complete removal of the explanation for the fingerprint system. It also has multiple typos, bad text formatting and multiple mixed-up item descriptions, as can be seen here (contains spoilers for the first game). Thankfully, Capcom later fixed most of these mistakes and took great care when they ported the games again to the 3DS and other consoles in 2014 and 2019 respectively, which by contrast, are widely regarded to be Polished Ports. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Capcom would later announce in 2022 that the updated port will replace the original port on mobile devices.
  • The iOS and Android versions of the Grand Theft Auto series are decent for the most part, apart from the different and sometimes frustrating control scheme, but what's even more frustrating are some bugs and screwups such as framerate issues, and the fact that War Drum Studios, an outside developer Rockstar commissioned to port the games, hastily compressed the textures for Mali GPU users (e.g. Galaxy S2 and some versions of the Galaxy S3) making it look like as if it came off Minecraft. Squeezing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas into half the size of its original 4GB version was quite a feat, but while some won't mind the lower-bitrate audio, other GTAForums users noted that War Drum could've encoded it better. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is no better than San Andreas, because apart from having the same problems as the previous games, it also has very limited graphics settings & compatibility issues with some phones & tablets (particularly with Mali GPU devices), where the game refuses to work anywhere past the main menu. The fact that the port of Liberty City Stories was made by a different studio, Lucid Games, instead of the usual War Drum Studios, doesn't help.
  • The 2014 iOS port of Tales of Phantasia was offered for free, which should have raised flags right away. Difficulty settings were cut entirely, so you were permanently locked into the real game's Harder Than Hard setting. This meant that enemies could, and would, beat your ass six ways to Sunday unless you paid a visit to an added shop beforehand, which had among its merchandise a special item that would resurrect a slain party on the spot with a temporary stat boost. The catch - the gear for sale in this shop could only be bought via microtransactions, forcing you to pay real money to get far in the game. And not only were experience gains slashed to make level grinding even more tedious (which, naturally, the aforementioned cash shop sells items to expedite), but the number of save points were drastically cut down just in case you thought you could brute-force your way through. As an extra kick to the groin for the people that did pay for IAP in the game repetitively to progress, it was pulled from the iOS store on August 28, 2014, just six months later. That's bad enough as it is, except that the game also required an always-on Internet connection and was not playable offline, and your games were saved on Namco's servers, meaning once the game was pulled, all you were left with was a useless space-waster on your iDevice.
  • The initial Android release of Cytus has audio sync issues, which is a Game-Breaking Bug in nearly every Rhythm Game; the issue is not present in the iOS version, which was released first. Fortunately, the version 4.0.4 update added a timing calibration feature.
  • It's not that Firaxis didn't give it the old college try with the iOS port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it does have quite a few problems: The graphics have been immensely scaled down (to the point that it looks like it's running on the Unity engine, whereas its PC counterpart ran on Unreal Engine 3), about 80 maps were cut, it has a large tendency to crash on older iDevices, and the DLC didn't get ported at all... until 2014, when Enemy Within finally got ported across — iOS gamers had to wait a full year.
  • Tomb Raider is a great game with complex, frustrating controls. When the game was ported to iOS without making any touchscreen concessions, the results were predictable...
  • The Mini Man's Android port. Lampshaded on the game page: "sloppy and unstable Android port". The bugs: The music kicks the bucket after each death for the next five levels; it's also a random mess of songs from the Internet because the Android exporter of Multimedia Fusion can't play MIDI, the songs are picked randomly every five levels. The controls are also broken, and the game is a direct port from PC, but it uses the PC levels and controls "slapped" on Android.
  • Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff for Windows Phone 8 works fine. That is until you complete District 8 and cannot unlock District 9. District 10 doesn't even appear on the map. That's right, they couldn't even be bothered to finish the port.
  • BioShock on iOS is exactly what you'd expect. The graphics were downgraded from the PC and console versions, and touchscreen controls are clunky. The game is no longer available from the App Store, though that has more to do with iOS 8.4 causing the game to no longer work.
  • The mobile version of One Finger Death Punch is technically very well done, with the responsive controls and satisfying combat of the original. What renders the game nearly unplayable is the move to a Freemium model. Buying the (cheap) PC/XBLA version gives you the whole game, but on Android and iOS, it's a free download with all the worst features of free-to-play. Unless you pay, unlocking content takes an insane amount of grinding. Unless you pay, you'll only ever have one or two hit points, even though standard levels of the original give you ten. Unless you pay, you can only play for five minutes before you have to put it down for an hour.
  • Syberia was butchered in its conversion to Symbian and Windows phones, with a lot of explanatory text removed that reduced several puzzles to Moon Logic. This bad port was then ported to the Nintendo DS.
  • All the mobile ports of Five Nights at Freddy's suffered from being dumbed down in numerous ways, while this is understandable as those games are technically impressive for Clickteam Fusion standards and most of the features (like the perspective object that gave the games a 3D-ish look) aren't supported in the exporters, a lot of content was cut and redone. For example, the minigames are toned down, and in some cases completely cut. A majority of the animations for flipping the cameras, getting attacked by the animatronics, etc. have been reduced. And in some cases, the ports had certain unique issues. Five Nights at Freddy's 4 suffers from framerate issues when the game runs on certain devices with jerky controls, which makes the difficulty worse. The short-lived Android port of Five Nights at Freddy's World is the biggest candidate, due to the overworld and combat being loaded on the same frame, it runs extremely slow, can crash on devices that are powerful enough to run Sister Location (which is already a technically impressive game), the already annoying loading times have been increased from 5 to almost 10 seconds.
  • The Android version of Stern Pinball Arcade was so buggy that Google forcibly removed it from its Play Store before it was made publicly available. Then in 2017, Farsight Studios dropped the ball on the iOS version too: if you updated your device past a certain version, all of the game-specific sounds stop playing, and the Heads-Up Display becomes empty, rendering these games unplayable. Stern Pinball Arcade has gone through years' worth of updates that add in more tables without any of these glitches being addressed, so it's safe to assume that Farsight will never fix them.
  • DoDonPachi Unlimited was ported by Mobirix, who turned the game from Bullet Hell to Freemium hell. The game mechanics, such as lasers and the bursting system, are completely ignored, you start with a downgraded ship, the characters, costumes, ships, upgrades, and the Harder Than Hard fillers need to pay for using coins and rubies, which are obtained from daily rewards, but the daily rewards never pop up, which means once you grab your first day 30 rubies they will never appear again. Stages 3-5 are completely absent, and the True Final Boss can now be reached without any requirements. However, you still have to pay the coins that you've just farmed from your playthroughs to fight her, especially the two 2nd loop stages, which also need to be cleared.
  • The Android version of American Girl's WellieWishers Garden Fun app was a complete and utter disaster when it was first released. Sure, it ran on several devices, but some reviewers complained how it flat-out crashes to the home screen just after the game loads and before any gameplay could commence. It was made even more egregious when version 1.1 was rolled out - apparently American Girl forgot to upload the updated OBB archives for the game as only the client is downloaded and not the 211 MB OBB package, resulting in a black screen or an outright Interface Screw. And forget about using the 1.0 OBB file either, it won't work. It doesn't help that AG got bit by the Freemium bug as well, a business model which has gained controversy especially with children playing mobile games. Most of the issues with the app were ironed out, however.
  • Feral Interactive's port of GRID Autosport promised "console-quality" visuals for iOS and Android, yet when the game was released, not only that it barely looked any different from the likes of what you can download off app stores, baked lightmaps and all, it suffered from choppy framerates even on devices as powerful as the iPhone X. One could imagine the disappointment ensuing from investing in a thousand-dollar device only to end up with a game that is graphically no better than a Wii title. Some remarked that Real Racing 3, a mobile game from 2013, had better visuals than Autosport and performed better on devices that are significantly less powerful.
  • The iOS/Android port of Slay the Spire is notoriously shoddy. The game features many issues, including inability to mute sound during the opening loading screen, constant connection issues that can set a run back several floors if cell service/wifi are weak, and a nontrivial chance that closing the app in your phone's OS will delete your run entirely. The standout issue is the control scheme; cards are extremely sticky once tapped, making it annoyingly easy to play a card while trying to drink a potion or read an enemy intent. This particularly noticeable on high Ascension runs, where correct sequencing can make the difference between survival and defeat. This problem is exacerbated by tapping a card being how one reads it, making the cards the player is least familiar with the ones most vulnerable to this problem.

    Other Handhelds 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit) for the Game Gear, ported from the Sega Master System, is a game that is infamous for frustrating a generation of young Sonic fans. The game looks fine and controls decently enough, but what kills the game is the level design; the levels were obviously designed with the Master System's full screen in mind. Other Sonic games on Game Gear actually took the reduced screen size into account and adjusted the levels accordingly. Sonic 2 didn't even bother, so levels that were already fairly difficult on Master System were made flat-out obnoxious on Game Gear, with enemy placement and deadly hazards being much more difficult to see and respond to. What makes this worse is that the Master System version didn't get a release in America or Japan. The Screen Crunch is so bad that this game is the picture for that page.
  • Sonic N for the Nokia N-Gage was a fairly faithful port of the original Sonic Advance in many ways, but still fell badly compared to its predecessor. This was partly due to the N-Gage simply being poorly suited to running this type of game (the vertical aspect ratio of the screen and the weird control layout being the major issues), but the game was also an Obvious Beta on top of that. In addition to the whole game crashing at times, Sonic could actually run off the edge of the screen, often resulting in him dying one way or another. The worst part, however, is the sound, which has been so horribly compressed it sounds like they recorded it straight from the GBA's speaker.
  • A lot of games ported to Symbian/J2ME (those old flip phones) ended up suffering due to the hardware not really being up to the task. This is because JAVA is a huge bloated language unfit for things where quick response is required, coupled with optimizations of the OS on the phones actually dictating how well a game would run- if the OS on your phone isn't updated, you're in for a bad time. And this was a time where updating your phone's OS meant bringing it back to the service center, so most people just didn't bother.
    • Street Fighter II's J2ME port. The original was for arcade hardware with six buttons, so it's understandable there would be some cutbacks. What's less understandable is the abysmal collision detection, physics, and relentlessly cheaty and overpowered AI fighters. The game uses only two keys, one for punching, one for kicking, meaning you have a lot less variety in how you attack, though at least you can remap the controls. On top of all that, Vega/Claw suffers from a Game-Breaking Bug where he can get stuck in the air, never to come down, even when you deplete his health.
    • Bubble Bobble features wonky bubble physics, sluggish controls, and terrible collision detection, not to mention time freezing when you die. Like Sonic Genesis, this port was made for the series' 20th anniversary, but also like Sonic Genesis it's hardly worthy of that distinction.
    • Sonic Advance's J2ME port by Gameloft is somehow even worse than Sonic N. It has drastically different (and worse) controls, the level art has taken a noticeable hit in quality, and there's severe Hitbox Dissonance. And there are only four zones.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on J2ME are noticeable downgrades from the original Genesis versions with Screen Crunch, broken soundtrack loops (with the soundtrack done in cheap tinny MIDI), constant slowdown, terrible keypad controls, missing Special Stages, and broken physics. And it goes From Bad to Worse since this version is the basis for the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis on GBA, which takes this broken version and breaks it even further. A porting disaster of a porting disaster. At least the GBA version brought back the Special Stages.
    • Ghosts 'n Goblins. Despite being a mostly well done port, only three levels were ported. That, and the game isn't intuitive to play on a keypad. Even if you own an N-Gage which has a dedicated D-Pad, this game, which is already Nintendo Hard to begin with, is borderline unplayable due to its sadistic keymappings which maps movement to the number keys instead of to the navigation keys.
    • Puyo Pop Fever DX is a port of Puyo Pop Fever with (understandable) cutbacks to the graphicsnote ... and despite all the cuts to the visual presentation, it still manages to have single-digit framerates and laggy controls, which is a death sentence in an action-puzzle game like this. And even though it's named DX, there is no new content whatsoever.