The Year Without a PC Port Wishlist

Christmas has pretty much always been my favorite holiday, especially when I was a child. I was a greedy little boy while I was growing up: one of my favorite holiday traditions was always writing up my list to Santa on my computer. Sure, some years I’d get overzealous and start thinking about it as early as August, but I’d always have a lot of fun just writing the list itself. I’d always try to sort things in the order I wanted them, but that was actually part of the fun for me: one week I’d really want some action figures, the next some new video game caught my eye. The downside to starting a list that early is that as time goes on, new items catch your eye. Even the greed of a child has its limits, so I would often have to pare down my list, trimming the items I could “do without”. (Gotta love child logic, am I right?) In a sense, I think those PC ports lists I wrote for a long time were the evolution of that favored Yule tradition, but eventually I got tired of doing them. Too much wishing, not enough getting. I’ve taken a hiatus on them and now, it’s been over a year. Instead of making an entirely new one, why not look over my previous works and analyze them a little? This year, I’ll be recounting my 5 favorite success stories, my top 10 most wanted and the game on each list I’d consider the most important (excluding those on the aforementioned lists) plus a brand-new one for good measure!

Before we get started (fittingly enough, with my favorite success stories), I’d like to start with some recent successes as well. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released on PS4 earlier this month and it will also be hitting both the Xbox One and Steam in March. Meanwhile, Garou: Mark of the Wolves was also recently released on PlayStation consoles via CodeMystics, but surprise, surprise: an entirely different port hit Steam soon after, from the good folks at DotEmu. In fact, it was such a surprise, I actually had to change a list entry because of it. The DotEmu port is less fancy than the CodeMystics port, but apparently, not only does the Steam version have a more solid netcode, but it’s also getting immediate bugfixes to iron out some of its bizarre glitches. Funny how that works. I expected that to be the last bit of news I got on the PC end of things, but I was wrong: The Legend of Dark Witch 2, another game I’d been salivating over the prospect of seeing a PC port is announced to be hitting Steam sometime during “Q4 2016”. One last big surprise for me.

You’ll also remember that this past April, I did an “April Fools’ Day” article, revolving around 10 PC games I’d like to see receive console ports. Well, like many of my jokes, this one ended up biting me in the ass. During the PlayStation Experience, Ys Origin (the only PC-exclusive Ys game) was announced to be hitting both PlayStation 4 and, amazingly enough, the Vita on February 21, 2017 with the port being handled by the good people over at DotEmu who are utilizing XSEED’s English translation and coming up with original French, Italian, German and Spanish translations as well. (As an aside, DotEmu’s also bringing a favorite of mine – the NeoGeo classic Windjammers – to the same platforms. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a PC port down the line!) You’d think that would be enough, but the world wasn’t done having fun at my expense: soon after, it was revealed that the indie platformer Kero Blaster would also be coming to the PS4, thanks to its publisher Playism. They’ll also be bringing Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight to PS4, though release windows for both titles have not been announced.

Here Comes A New Challenger!?

Before we get onto my lists, my good friend SNES Master KI has a few words regarding that April Fools list and “PC-to-console” ports in general:

SNES Master KI here.  As mentioned, there was an April Fool’s day list of PC games that needed console ports.  Since I’m the one who genuinely cares about that, I’m just going to quickly pop in and name my favorite success story and most wanted game that’s still at large from said list.

Favorite Success Story: Ys Origin (PS4/Vita)

Nothing against Kero Blaster, but I didn’t know what it was until Icepick told me.  Ys, on the other hand, is a series that I’m interested in but have barely gotten to play, my experience limited to the TurboGrafx-16 version of Ys I & II (via Wii) and the awful SNES version of Ys III.  The refined gameplay style of recent 2D Ys intrigues me, and the footage I saw of Origin made me wish it was on consoles.  My wish was granted, and next year I’ll get to start at the very beginning of the story with Ys Origin on PS4 (and Vita… but you don’t have to play that).

Most Wanted Game Still at Large: Undertale

This seemed all but guaranteed to reach consoles at one point, but things have since gone silent.  I’m hoping this simply means that it was moved from the rumored Wii U to Switch and that we’ll have an official announcement soon.  Regardless of its status, Undertale’s Earthbound inspired feel and unique battle system has intrigued me and I very much want to play it on a platform where I can fully enjoy it.  I really wish this was easier to port to consoles, that’s the only real regret Toby Fox should have, but it needs to be done regardless.

So, as KI has said his piece, let’s get on with the main event:

Top 5 Successes

This list will detail my top five games that managed to get released on PC. I judged these games based on how much I wanted to play the games in question, how well the PC ports turned out and how “important” I considered each release: whether it represented a shift in the way a company viewed PC releases or if it just seemed like an impossible dream come true. As opposed to talking about the games themselves, I’ll be reflecting more on how seeing these ports become a reality has made me feel.

5. Blazblue Continuum Shift & Chronophantasma EXTEND – Arc System Works (Various)

Admittedly, it was a toss-up between these two and the Steam releases of King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition and 2002 Unlimited Match. In the end, I decided to give the edge to Blazblue simply because it represented a shift in Arc System Works’ view on PC gaming in general. When I started these lists back in 2014, the only representation they had on PC were two barebones Guilty Gear ports from way back when and a recent re-release of the original Blazblue with the netplay gutted. Now? Arc System Works is doing a lot for the PC market, having announced 5 games this year alone and landing a sixth (Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator) this month. That’s a stunning turnaround, people.

4. Eschatos – Qute (Arcade, Xbox 360)

This was one of those games I just threw on the list for laughs, honestly. I was really fascinated by the footage I had seen for Eschatos, but as I knew next to nothing about its developer Qute and the fact that it was a Japan-exclusive title with only an Xbox 360 home release to show for it, I pretty much felt it had no chance to see it hit PC, let alone America, and ended up picking up a cheap import copy on Play-Asia. What a fool I was! Soon after, the nice folks over at Degica Games announced a Steam release with all the extras and I’ve been following that publisher’s work ever since.

3. Tokyo Xanadu – Nihom Falcom (PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4)

Technically, this one didn’t actually make a list: I also have a running list of games I’d want to remember for future lists, stuck in a perpetual limbo – now on a handy-dandy Google Drive spreadsheet! Tokyo Xanadu was one of those games I wanted to remember during my hiatus period, so it went on my list. At the time, it was a Japanese exclusive Nihon Falcom game, with no plans for a Western release and only set for release on both PlayStation platforms. It’s another of their recent 3D action-RPGs, like the most recent Ys games, this time taking place in a more contemporary Japanese environment. I’ve heard the setting compared to Atlus’s Persona series on many occasions and from what I’ve seen, it’s accurate.

This past July, however, not only was it announced that it would be coming westward via Aksys Games for Vita, but there was also a PC port in development for Steam. I’ve got no actual information on who’s handling said port, but I have heard information that games Aksys have handled on Steam were ported by the original developers. If this is both true and the case for Tokyo Xanadu, then it is huge news for me: it means that Falcom’s coming back home to PC development. Since July, no new information on Tokyo Xanadu has come to light, so we’ll just have to see.

2. Double Dragon Neon – Majesco/WayForward (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

You never forget your first. Well, I guess technically this might even be my “zeroth” (“nullth”?) success story. Double Dragon Neon was on my original list back in 2014 and the funny thing is, the PC port managed to get announced between the time I finished writing the article and when it was posted. So, I had to quickly edit the article to reflect that new information. (Kind of makes the Garou news fitting in retrospect, right?) I was so happy when it got revealed and it made me hope that I could consistently hit a 10% success rate from there on out.

1. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

It couldn’t be anything else. Eschatos felt like an impossible dream due to obscurity. Double Dragon Neon felt exhilarating because it happened right around the time I posted my first list. Those pale in comparison to things like legal issues. When I was getting bored of the grind of coming up with my PC port wishlists way back when, I decided to come up with a list strictly consisting of licensed games I’d love to see revived as PC ports. I named most of my lists by number, but that list was always “List A”. I always figured List A would always just be a list that remained dormant permanently. Apparently, Marvel Entertainment and Capcom didn’t feel the same. Sure, it’s technically not coming out on PC until March 2017, but it’s happening and because of that, List A is no longer shares the embarrassing title of “least successful list”. Yes, somehow the list with nothing but games that would require entirely brand-new licensing deals to be set up in addition to the arduous task of porting them to PC has had more games released than one of my other lists. Pathetic, right?

Best of the Rest

Originally, when I came up for the concept of this article, it was just going to be the final list. However, once I devised it, I realized there was way too much representation from specific lists and not nearly enough from others. I didn’t want to reduce the authenticity of the list in question, so after a good brainstorm session with my good friend SNES Master KI, I decided to do a second list: one with the top game from each list. Now, as the overall list is given top priority and first choice for the games on each list, this means that an entirely new game was chosen for each list that is actually represented on the top 10 overall list. Hence, “Best of the Rest”. That way, you get to see more games represented than otherwise. Unfortunately, I’ve only done 9 lists over for PC ports, so in order to make things more even, I decided to add one game that hasn’t presently appeared on any official list: my top choice from my working list of games for future lists.

List 1: ReBirth series (Castlevania: The Adventure/Contra/Gradius) – Konami (Wii)

Yes, this is probably as much of a longshot as any of the remaining games on my licensed games list, but Konami recently released a Yu-Gi-Oh game on Steam and are continuing to release most of their major console titles on Steam. Maybe someday they’ll get enough of a kick in the ass to pull their head out of it and start re-releasing some of their old classics. If that day ever happens, I definitely want PC gamers to get their fill as well. Konami’s ReBirth trilogy is a perfect example of the kind of thing I’d love to see. Castlevania: The Adventure was remade from what it arguably the worst Castlevania game into one last hurrah for the “Classicvania” style of gameplay. Contra and Gradius felt like the video game equivalents of Greatest Hits albums, but here’s the thing: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

List 2: Darkstalkers Resurrection – Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

I’m still rather bitter this attempt at a revival failed. Maybe it’s because I bought the game for both platforms (and was more than willing to support it if it had hit Steam as well), maybe it’s because the previous attempts at gauging support for Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom were successful enough to warrant actual sequels. Who knows. More than anything, I’d just love to have these games re-released on a platform that isn’t near death and PC definitely fits the bill.

List 3: Soul Calibur II HD Online – Bandai Namco (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This still strikes me as a missed opportunity. I’m pretty sure it was released during that weird period, when Bandai Namco was willing to release games on PC – but only if they were licensed anime games. That or this hit right before that period. The point is, now I’m sitting pretty with Tekken 7 coming out on PC early next year (possibly with Workshop support) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t Bandai Namco games I feel like I missed out on. I’m not sure if Soul Calibur II is my favorite in the series – it’s pretty close between the first three games in the franchise – but it’s a good game and it’s got online, so of course I’d love to see it hit something a little more permanent than the increasingly discontinued PS3 and 360.

List 4: No More Heroes 1 & 2: Desperate Struggle – Grasshopper Manufacture (Wii)

While most Suda 51 aficionados discovered his mad genius through Capcom’s Killer7, I personally didn’t learn of his genius until I rented the original No More Heroes for my Wii. I love how offbeat the game was, so I eventually bought it and its sequel. There was an attempt to bring a “director’s cut” of the original game to what I generally called the “HD twins”, but there were two things wrong with it: the extra content was lifted directly out of Desperate Struggle and the port suffered, big-time. Given the PC’s proclivity towards off-beat titles due to being the true hub for indie games, I feel like the NMH duology would be a perfect fit for the platform. Hell, if they even want to keep the experience totally authentic, they could even make it compatible with those Razer Hydra controllers – though honestly, I’d be fine with standard controller support.

(This spot was originally going to be taken by Garou: Mark of the Wolves, but you know what happened there.)

List 5: Capcom Arcade Cabinet – Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Sure, it’s mostly a bunch of old Capcom games from before they were famous – with a few of their earliest hits included as well – but the Capcom Arcade Cabinet was a truly fun experience. The “big” games from Capcom’s arcade heyday have seen no shortage of ports and re-releases, and while many of these games appeared on previous collections, they’ve never appeared on PC. Honestly, the only change I’d make would be to sell the complete package alone, as opposed to that weird microtransaction thing they attempted on consoles.

List 6: MegaMan Powered Up & Maverick Hunter X – Capcom (PlayStation Portable)

This is probably an odd thing to say, but I’m kind of sad that Capcom didn’t attempt to exploit their back catalog of games as often as they could have. Case in point: the two MegaMan remakes on PSP – Powered Up being a remake of the 1987 NES classic, while Maverick Hunter X was a remake of the original MegaMan X for the Super Nintendo. These two games did well when it came to reviews, but due to being released so early in the PSP’s lifespan, they both bombed in sales. This was only compounded by “The Day of Sigma”, a companion OVA for MHX that expanded its budget and was only available within the game itself as a bonus. The fact that the twin failures of these games led to Capcom abandoning an entire assortment of similar remakes in the series – which in turn, scrapped the planned redubs for MegaMans X4-6 in the then-recent MegaMan X Collection – only adds to my misery. The fact that Capcom never thought to re-release these games on a platform with a larger audience, especially during their recent HD kick, is perhaps what makes me the saddest.

List 7: Guardian Heroes – Sega/Treasure (Xbox 360)

I’ll be honest: I never really played any of the original Guardian Heroes for the Saturn or the Xbox 360 re-release, and I played very little of the sequel – Advance Guardian Heroes for (fittingly) the Game Boy Advance. I do know three things about the game: it’s an early beat-‘em-up/action-RPG hybrid at a time before the former had faded into near-obscurity; it was published by Sega and originally developed by the fine people at Treasure and it’s generally considered one of the all-time best Saturn games of all-time. Seems like a sad fate to relegate it to the Xbox One via backwards compatibility: who knows how long that kind of thing will last.

List A: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 & Origins – Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Truth be told, after UMvC3 was announced, this was not as much of a lock as it had been. While I enjoyed Tatsunoko vs Capcom more than MvC2, the Tatsunoko license seems like a once in a lifetime kind of thing, especially outside of Japan. Having said that, rather than strictly doing re-releases of these previous re-releases, I’d like to see something bigger: a “Marvel vs. Capcom Legacy Collection”, if you would. All the Marvel-licensed Capcom arcade games – from X-Men: Children of the Atom all the way to MvC2; GGPO netcode and with an interface not unlike that of Origins, for all platforms. Of course, that also seems like a pipe dream – so I’d honestly be cool with just some re-releases, but hopefully if they do decide to bring back MvC2, they put some more polish into a new release.

List 8: NieR – Square Enix (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This was probably the toughest choice out of all of these – hell, when I started writing this article, it was still Puyo Puyo Tetris from Sega. I ended up going with NieR for two reasons: Puyo Puyo Tetris is still a Japan-exclusive title and the upcoming NieR: Automata is still on my mind. I just think it’s so weird that they’re doing a sequel to a game that was fairly niche, hyping it up big time and yet, they decide not to do an HD remaster on the two systems it’s coming to. It’s so weird. Oh well, if I don’t hear anything by February, I’ll have to start thinking about other options.

New: The King of Fighters XIV – SNK (PlayStation 4, Arcade)

Anyone who knows me should realize just how obvious this was. I’m really into this game, to the extent where it forced me to buy a PS4 – and that’s the only thing I really intend to use it for at this time. SNK’s been doing their best to hit me while I’m down. In addition to a cool update with enhanced graphics and extra colors, they announced an arcade version: solving, once and for all, the mystery of why the game was labelled “PS4 Console Exclusive”. Just seems like SNK’s doing their best to hurt me…and it’s working.

Top 10 Most Wanted

Here it is – the main event. These are the 10 games that I’ve mentioned from the time I started doing these lists two years ago, that I want the most, but have yet to receive. Honestly, there’s something cathartic about going over these in a pseudo-public setting. Who knows? Maybe reiterating them might have some kind of an effect and we could actually see some of these become a reality sometime next year. I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.

10. Catherine – Atlus (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

I’ll be honest. I’ve never really played any of the mainline games in the Shin Megami Tensai series or its most popular offshoot, Persona. Having said that, I still love this game. A unique puzzle-platformer that requires nerves of steel and a quick mind – Catherine defies explanation. I’ve even seen cases of side tournaments in the game’s multiplayer mode at fighting game tournaments. Catherine is one of those games that I’m going to be sad to see disappear as time goes on. The reason this one falls so low on my list is because Atlus’s Japanese branch is the biggest Japanese developer that’s still holding out on PC development and that’s even under Sega’s ownership. I’m just hoping they decide to come around one day, and when they do, I hope Catherine’s among the first games they bring with them.

9. Dragon’s Crown – Atlus/Vanillaware (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)

Another beat-‘em-up/action-RPG hybrid handled by the developer that brought us Princess Crown, Odin Sphere and Muramasa, while evoking the gameplay of Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons series. With gorgeous hand-drawn 2D graphics, online multiplayer and 6 distinct classes of character, Dragon’s Crown would be the crown jewel of most modern platforms’ collections. While Atlus is still firmly in the anti-PC camp, Vanillaware president George Kamitani has been exploring ways to bring their games to Steam at some point in the future.

8. Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles – Konami (PlayStation Portable)

Despite every synapse in my brain telling me this is the most impossible wish ever, the heart wants what it wants. The Dracula X Chronicles is still 3 great games in one: a remake of one of the best Classicvanias ever, the original PC Engine game it was based on and its sequel. The fact that it’s pretty much affixed to the PSP for all times is a travesty – every system from here on out deserves their shot at it. That includes PC.

7. Ys: Memories of Celceta – Nihon Falcom (PlayStation Vita)

This one is particularly bittersweet for me, because technically there already is a PC port for this game – it’s just region-locked to China with some obscene DRM. Chinese software company Joyoland licensed the then console-exclusive Ys games from Nihon Falcom themselves and ported them over to PC, due to the fact that console gaming in China was still a legal grey-area at the time. Since then, laws have loosened, but Joyoland managed to get out Memories of Celceta anyway, despite announcing it two years earlier and going silent until its release this year. Whether it involves XSEED jumping through legal hoops, Joyoland taking matters into their own hands or even Falcom making an entirely new port from scratch, I’d love to see Memories of Celceta hit North American PC marketplaces at some point in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later.

6. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Bandai Namco (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U)

This is my favorite Tekken game of all-time. While I’m happy that we’re actually getting Tekken 7 next year (released simultaneously with the console versions, no less!), I’m still a bit bummed that PC missed out on this classic fighting game. I honestly never thought we’d see a sequel to the original, but it managed to come back even crazier than ever, and it’s a damn shame PC gamers didn’t get to appreciate it on their platform of choice. Guess I’ll just stick to the Wii U version for now.

5. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix – Capcom (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This game is probably my favorite puzzle game of all time. Picking it up on my PS1 from Funcoland in its twilight days is perhaps one of my most oddly vivid memories, as was conquering the Street Puzzle Mode when I was still in school. Most of all, I remember playing this game against all my friends from school and having so much fun with it. It was really cool to see it revived with enhanced graphics and the once Dreamcast-exclusive extra gameplay modes, but it’s kind of a shame that it hasn’t seen any more re-releases since the PS360 days. Granted, at this point, I think it’d be pretty cool if Capcom just re-released the old Windows port on GOG. That’d probably bring me more nostalgia than HD Remix. Of course, as a wise commercial once postulated, why not both?

4. Lollipop Chainsaw – Grasshopper Manufacture/WB Games (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

I mentioned earlier that I love the work of Suda Goichi. Lollipop Chainsaw is one such game I love. I thought it never really got a fair shake, likely because it was the first traditional Suda51 action game to receive mainstream attention, while Shadows of the Damned was more of a traditional third-person shooter in the vein of Resident Evil 4. Regardless, I enjoyed the game, even if it was a bit short. What’s really funny is how WB Games’ reputation on PC has gone from good to utter s*** to recovering. I’m still high on them getting QLOC to handle their Mortal Kombat XL update. Hoping they use them from the get-go on all future Netherrealm PC ports and then some.

3. Splatterhouse [2010] – Bandai Namco (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This is truly an underrated game that deserves way more love. I’d love to see this game re-released on modern platforms in general, but perhaps for a truly weird reason. The graphics still hold up, the gameplay is solid if not a little primitive, the music’s fitting, the story was an interesting expansion of the original. My major issue was the load times – they were abysmal, it would often take roughly half a minute to continue after a death. In my opinion, it was the game’s only real major flaw. Let’s hope Bandai Namco considers a re-release at some point.

2. Ys Seven – Nihon Falcom (PlayStation Portable)

This is the only game that tops Memories of Celceta in terms of being bittersweet for me. Pretty much the same story: Chinese-exclusive PC port handled by Joyoland, hampered by DRM. The PC port’s been out much longer than MoC and it’s generally considered identical to the PSP version, only with support for higher resolutions: exactly what I’d consider the baseline for any PC port. The reason I’m sadder about Ys Seven is that around the time Joyoland originally announced their second Ys port, they also expressed interest in releasing their port of Seven on Steam, utilizing XSEED’s English translation. While the former surfaced, the latter never did. Oh well, maybe someday.

1. MegaMan 9 & 10 – Capcom (Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

I don’t know what else you could’ve possibly have been expecting. Frankly, at this point, I’d want Capcom to do a revamp not unlike the DMC4 re-release they did on modern platforms. Both games packaged together, include all the DLC in the base game and add some new stuff as well. Implement Bass into MegaMan 9, add Roll (base her gameplay on the Powered Up version) into both games, maybe combine both of the endless modes together into something not unlike the Challenge Mode from Legacy Collection. I mean, I’d be fine with what we already have, but if DMC4 can get a bunch of extras, why not MegaMan?

It’s been so long since I’ve done an actual PC ports list. Frankly, I miss it to some extent, but I’ve been having more fun branching out into other things. The re-release articles that have replaced the void of my PC port wishlists are probably more fair in the long run, considering they’re more of a chance for those games to come out, considering it could be on any platform, as opposed to just PC. In the end, the PC ports articles may resurface at some point – but I honestly hope it doesn’t have to, and the way things are going, I may just get my wish.

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