Console Franchises That Didn't Fair So Well On Handhelds
Almost every smash hit series has an awkward portable game.
Bringing a respected video game franchise to a handheld system comes with a certain amount of risk, given the platform. Publishers (at least ones that care) must go to great lengths to make sure the console experience translates to a portable, then invest the necessary resources.
Thanks to advances in technology, the process has become easier. Just look at Konami's Metal Gear series. Not only did the company release a quality effort on Game Boy Color, but also a handful of critically acclaimed hits on PSP, with the 3DS version of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D on track for a 2012 release.
Other intellectual properties, though, haven't faired nearly as well. If anything, the following are blemishes on an otherwise impressive track record.
With this in mind, here's a list of console franchises that came up short on portable systems.
On N64, Nintendo's jet ski racer impressed players with realistic waves and cool special effects. The physics were so good, that many considered Wave Race to be the benchmark (at the time) for video game water.
The Game Boy edition, meanwhile, was a standard issue racer that lacked the awe-inspiring effects of its big brother, largely due to a top down perspective and lack of processing muscle.
After dominating sales charts with GoldenEye 007 on N64, Rare followed that up with Perfect Dark, a futuristic first person shooter known for its variety of weapons, gadgets and addictive split screen multiplayer.
Game Boy Color Perfect Dark, on the other hand, was a third person blast fest with sloppy controls, unimpressive graphics and a boring narrative. It feels like a poor man's Metal Gear.
Aside from the sweat-filled Super Nintendo Mortal Kombat, the series has made quite an impact on consoles, from the bloody Genesis original to this year's gruesome reboot. Bottom line, only home systems can display the gallons of blood, decapitations and disembowelments that put this franchise on the map.
As for the handheld Mortal Kombats, good luck. Things got off to a terrible start in the 90s with a string of atrocious Game Boy ports. Then we suffered through Mortal Kombat 4 on Game Boy Color, the horrid Mortal Kombat Advance for GBA and most recently, the lackluster Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 for iPhone and iPad.
In most cases, the handhelds simply lacked the requisite number of buttons and power to do Mortal Kombat justice. As a result, players put up with limited move sets, paper-thin rosters and plenty of watered down fatalities.
WWF/WWE...wrestling games in general
There have been quite a few wrestling duds across all platforms, but at least we can rattle off ten console games worth playing, starting with Pro Wrestling on NES and going all the way through the celebrated N64 games to last year's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 11.
Like Mortal Kombat, handheld wrestling titles lack pizzazz. In most cases, players only have a handful of superstars and options to choose from. Then, when a company like THQ attempts to deliver a console quality game in the palm of your hand, it's usually plagued by extremely long load times and choppy play.
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