GamesBeat

The trouble with porting: A story of woe and frustration

Most gamers are excited for ported games. Mass Effect 2's release only on  Xbox 360 and PC made PS3 gamers wait for the most critically acclaimed space epic seen in recent times, which ended up in updated graphics among other additions. The recent announcement of L.A. Noire's transfer over to PC has many excited for good reason. But sometimes, the original creation is lost in translation during the porting process. And sometimes, that port is very lacking. 

Mass Effect 2: Now on Playstation 3! Now quit whining.

I was excited to finally get around to Shank. I had been meaning to give it a try after hearing non-stop positive reviews for this action-packed side-scrolling platformer. I made one mistake that completely ruined the experience though.

I played it on PC.

For myself, being a predominantly PC player, it felt like a good decision. After a good two minutes in, it turned out as a very bad decision. The controls were god awful. It was just a cluster and whirlwind of all the awkward hand positions imaginable. It got to the point where I kept thinking to myself I couldn't come up with this control map even if I tried. 

facepalm

So I went to the settings and reconfigured the hot mess that was my keyboard. I then found that, no matter how you configure the control map, there are so many different necessary controls that there will be an awkward outlier button that screws up the whole operation. I finally found the most preferable layout and set on to continue my frustration in-game. 

Ten minutes later, I was trying to forget the anger and just go to sleep. And the next day, mercifully giving it another shot, I tried again. To find the keyboard snapped back to it's barbaric beginnings ( meaning I couldn't save my preferred layout.) 

I then grabbed an Xbox 360 controller to see if this would mend my troubles. I soon gave up trying to get the damn thing to work so, in the end, I uninstalled. 

The only likeable piece of this game was the artwork. It mixes grindhouse action with graphic novel artwork and silky animation. Although red, black and beige do get boring after a while. 

shank

"Come at me, bro."

I went back to the internet and made sure to look for the PC reviews for Shank. This time I noticed the mentions about the awful controls on PC. 

Porting video games is a very risky endeavor. Sometimes it turns out fine (Burnout: Paradise was great fun both on PC and console.) Sometimes its painful, ( ^^^.) It really just depends. 

Porting games is almost never really awful, it just feels different. There might be something missing. 


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