PC games that never got a proper console port?

Reserved for classic gaming discussions.
User avatar
astrodomekid
Posts: 87
Joined: September 10th, 2016, 12:48 pm

PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby astrodomekid » October 5th, 2018, 8:42 pm

Since 2009, I’ve been growing a strong case of nostalgia for older versions of Windows (especially Windows 95). I even got myself a Windows 95 computer that I used for a few years before I had to move it into the shed because I ran out of room for it. For a while, I hoped I would be able to make some room so I could bring it back in, but before I moved it a piece of plastic below the CD drive (where I suppose you could add a second one) detached and fell inward, and I feared that bugs might have crawled in over the last four years. So I’ve been thinking about just getting a set of new vintage computers for gaming purposes; preferably a Compaq Presario 2240 with Windows 95 Plus like they had at my elementary school (minus the Plus package), and a Dell Dimension 8400 with Windows XP Plus just like the one we used to have in the kitchen when I was ten.

Which brings me to my question: what PC games from the early 2000’s or earlier hold a special place among classic PC gamers but just never got the treatment they deserved when converted to console form?

Off the top of my head, the only example I can think of is Carmageddon, which had a mediocre European-only PS1 port and two mediocre sequels on PS4 (and don’t even get me started on Carmageddon 64! :evil:).

Alternatively, if I were to use VMWare or some other hypervisor instead, how could I get the games to work with my Xbox 360/Xbox One controller?

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 2370
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby scotland » October 5th, 2018, 10:42 pm

While I kept the games, I never kept older Microsoft Windows computers. By the time they were replaced, they were running sluggishly. Now I use DosBox and GOG alot for these games.

One game I enjoyed on PC was Mechwarrior II. It was ported to console, but to digital controllers. The game benefited a lot by having a complex mappable joystick and keyboard. Plus, the PC game tossed in buckets of extra readable (not playable) content that was also fun for immersion.

I think other games, like TIE fighter, also benefit from the right joystick and keyboard.

ThePixelatedGenocide
Posts: 187
Joined: April 29th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » October 6th, 2018, 3:54 am

edi Knight 2 isn't the same without a mod that allows your lightsaber to actually cut limbs off. There's also the 'System Shock' series, the original 'Deus Ex', 'Planescape:Torment', plus 'I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream'.

The era was just a bundle of joy and optimism.

Beyond that, Kotaku's readers came up with the best list I've ever seen, with plenty of obscure treasures to balance out all the staples, but since it's Kotaku, their site managed to bug up the list and the staff liked it better that way. So you'll need to click on each entry individually, wait for the comment to load, and then drag the page down to actually see it.

It's a pain in the ass, but often worth it.

https://kotaku.com/the-classic-pc-games ... 1440923931

Verm3
Posts: 78
Joined: April 23rd, 2015, 8:41 am

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby Verm3 » October 6th, 2018, 3:56 am

Pretty much every FPS.

Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem etc

User avatar
C64_Critic
Posts: 112
Joined: April 11th, 2015, 11:51 am

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby C64_Critic » October 6th, 2018, 8:44 pm

Off the top of my head, a quick list of PC games I enjoyed roughly 25 years ago that never got a console port (that I'm aware):
1) Civilization (the original)
2) Star Wars: X-wing (pick any of several in this excellent series)
3) X-Com: UFO Defense
4) Warlords: Battlecry
5) I second Scotland's mention of Mechwarrior II
6) Diablo/Diablo II
7) Also seconding Verm3, pretty much any FPS, which never play the same on a console with a controller as they do on a PC with a mouse and keyboard (Unreal Tournament, Quake, No One Lives Forever, Duke Nuke Em, Half-Life, etc.).
8) Populous
9) Myth: The Fallen Lords (back before Bungie was known only for Halo)
10) Roller Coaster Tycoon

User avatar
Stalvern
Posts: 783
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby Stalvern » October 6th, 2018, 10:07 pm

Don't forget adventure games. No '90s PC game library is complete without Riven, Grim Fandango, The Curse of Monkey Island (the first two games too, but Curse fits the OP's time frame best), The Neverhood (my favorite game of all), or any of countless other adventure classics from the era.

Keep in mind also that the late '90s had an absurdly wide margin of performance between PCs and consoles (Dreamcast excepted); if you can, you should pretty much always go for the PC version of a game over the PlayStation or N64 version. Sometimes, PC ports of console games will have weird issues that make them worse (the three PlayStation Final Fantasy games have reportedly awful PC ports), but the rule of thumb basically works overall.

Other miscellaneous recommendations:
Abe's Oddysee – More famous on the PlayStation, but I prefer the PC version for its higher resolution.
Dark Earth – A unique post-apocalyptic RPG/survival horror hybrid that I've been meaning to check out.
Descent 3 – Absolutely brilliant 3D level design.
Earthworm Jim – The best version by a mile of one of the decade's best games.
The original Fallout games – I only watched my friend play them a few times, but they were really cool.
Homeworld – Classic strategy game; I've never played it, but it has a serious cult following.
Incoming – Dumb-as-rocks arcade action with some of the most excessive explosions ever.
MDK – 3D run-'n'-gun by the same developer as Earthworm Jim.
Pod – Kickass racing game if you can get it to work.
Thief: The Dark Project – Fantasy stealth masterpiece.

djc
Posts: 46
Joined: September 24th, 2016, 3:42 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby djc » October 7th, 2018, 1:00 am

Some of my all-time favorites are:

Batman Returns (the PC port is a point & click which follows the movie very closely with really good for the time graphics).

Phantasmagoria (another point & click although a game featuring a violent FMV rape scene probably wouldn't be a good fit on a console :D )

Others are Rise of the Triad, Descent, the various Star Wars games (e.g. Tie Fighter, etc...), most of the early Apogee games (Commander Keen, Duke Nukem 1 & 2).

User avatar
Stalvern
Posts: 783
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby Stalvern » October 7th, 2018, 2:53 am

astrodomekid wrote:Alternatively, if I were to use VMWare or some other hypervisor instead, how could I get the games to work with my Xbox 360/Xbox One controller?

I just remembered this part of the post. If you want to play old games on a new machine, your best bet is Good Old Games, who sell patched versions of classic PC games that are compatible with modern systems. For games that they don't have (or that you already own and don't want to purchase again), Microsoft has a free VM called Virtual PC that works very well; you'll need to set it up with a Windows 98 ISO, but that's quite easy to find. ;) To use a 360 controller, you'll probably need something like JoyToKey. JoyToKey isn't free, but its $7 price is very reasonable and is a small fraction of what you're already planning to invest in this.

Hope this helps!

PS: I wanted to avoid recommending games that were already mentioned, but I have to second Quake (the perfect FPS), Deus Ex, Roller Coaster Tycoon, System Shock 2, and MechWarrior 2 (MechWarrior 3 is very good too and looks like a million bucks).

User avatar
AtariToday
Posts: 58
Joined: January 12th, 2017, 6:51 am

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby AtariToday » October 11th, 2018, 7:27 am

I used to spend countless hours playing Red Baron on our PC (It was a Packard Bell desktop if you remember those. ha!). My PC gaming back then consisted of Red Baron and logging into various BBS lines to play door games like Legend of the Red Dragon and Planets: The Exploration of Space. Great times!

User avatar
ptdebate
Posts: 970
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Re: PC games that never got a proper console port?

Postby ptdebate » October 11th, 2018, 11:01 am

AtariToday wrote:I used to spend countless hours playing Red Baron on our PC (It was a Packard Bell desktop if you remember those. ha!). My PC gaming back then consisted of Red Baron and logging into various BBS lines to play door games like Legend of the Red Dragon and Planets: The Exploration of Space. Great times!


Our first PC was also a Packard Bell. I remember how ungodly expensive it seemed at the time. I was quite young at the time so I don't remember gaming on it. My serious PC gaming days started with the hobbled Windows ME machine we bought next (Pentium III if I recall correctly). I was able to run Tachyon: The Fringe, which blew my mind at the time. It actually had an online multiplayer space dogfighting mode which seemed pretty advanced for the time.


Return to “Classic Gaming”