No one really likes to hear about ports. People get hung up on which platform will provide the best value. For remasters, it’s a game that’s already been released and, for fans of the game, now I’m expected to buy it again?
When I think about ports I expect one of two things now:
- Built-in DLC and added features
- Horribly disfigured games that struggle to run on the new platform
When we’re getting the bonus features, we’re getting the “Ultimate”, “Complete”, or “Remastered” versions of a game that’s already been released and enjoyed the spotlight on another console. Let’s look at The Last of Us Remastered. Critically acclaimed game getting a rerelease in the form of remaster for the next generation of consoles. It had to bring a lot to the table in order to get another chance to dominate the charts and make it’s way into people’s game library... again. Increased graphics and performance, DualShock 4 utilization, included DLC, in-game commentary, and remote play on PS Vita.
On the other hand, we get ports like Bayonetta on PS3, or Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. These games didn’t add any new features, which is an initial strike against them, but they couldn’t even run properly on their new platforms. I mean, did any of you play the original Bayo PS3 release? It killed the series for me it was so poorly implemented. I had to load to get into the Start Menu... then had to load to get out of it!
When developers tried to port to the Wii U we got a degraded game that may have taken advantage of the unique GamePad. It was a lot of work for developers to port PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One to the Wii U, only for it to run poorly and have one cool new feature.
The best thing that the Nintendo Switch has going for it is that it supports Unity and Unreal Engines, and doesn’t have any fancy gimmicks. The very nature of the Switch means developers don’t have to add any little tricks to make it stand out from the rest, or to make it appeal more to a specific market. If they can get their game running on the Switch, they’ve already got access to the most unique feature available for console games right now...
When I looked through the list of games that were releasing for the Switch during it’s Launch Year, I was surprised. When the PS4 and Xbox One revealed their lists, filled to the brim with remasters, I rolled my eyes hard. What would these remasters provide me that the originals didn’t? However, when I saw Disgaea 5, Mario Kart 8, and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on the list I was excited. Sure, D5 and MK8 come with all their DLC, but the thing I was most excited about was that I can play these in a mobile setting.
Now when games get a release on Switch, as opposed to other consoles, they’ve inherently got something the other platforms don’t. A handheld mode that opens up a whole new avenue of play.
So what about you? Do Switch ports/remasters stand out more to you because of the handheld mode, or do you still wish for more?
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Evan Chambers is a fellow video game connoisseur (specializing in the Nintendo variety). He occasionally writes other articles and reviews that you can find here, catch him on Twitter at @EvanChambers. He also streams on Twitch here.