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Bringing a game to another platform often doesn't end well; less frequently, the port is better or, at least, nothing that makes you miss the original. Some titles, however, cannot be considered simple ports - they're closer to completely new games. Important features are added (or missing); the gameplay has had substantial changes; most or all levels are changed; the visuals may have undergone a radical facelift; it may even belong to a different genre now. In the end, even if they are supposed to be the same game (and the publisher markets them as such), they share only the basic characters, stories, and maybe the fundamental gameplay elements. You may be a veteran of a game and still find a fresh challenge in the new version - the package is the same but the ingredients are not, or are mixed in a way to give a new flavor.

This phenomenon can happen for a number of reasons, but the games it invests can be roughly divided into two categories.

  • Reformulated port: the game was supposed to be a port, and may have been so at the beginning of development, but became very different. Often hardware constraints make a straight port simply impossible; it's also not uncommon for a porting team to have no access to the original code and assets, so they have to develop from scratch. Other times, a port from a less powerful platform is seen as a chance to add features that couldn't just be implemented originally.
  • Concurrently developed: the game has been developed concurrently in several versions for many platforms. They are all marketed with the same title and, while one may be the "main" version, each is its own game and is tailored to its platform's capabilities and control interface. Some are stripped-down versions of another, while others may even belong to a different genre. This is somewhat common for Licensed Games, though those which were made by different companies for different platforms (e.g. Aladdin) should be technically disqualified even though they share a title.

Mind you, a game under this trope may not necessarily be better than the original version, or just be good firsthand - this page doesn't take overall quality into account.

Examples of Reformulated Game include:


Reformulated port

  • Powerslave, also known as Exhumed in Europe and Year 1999: Return of the Pharaoh in Japan. Although the three versions (PC, Playstation and Saturn) were released together, development started on the PC using the Build engine, best known for powering Duke Nukem 3D. Lobotomy Software then decided to try their luck on consoles but, upon realizing a straight port was impossible, they developed the Slavedriver engine and ended up making practically another game. While PC Powerslave is forgettable and has overly long, boring levels, console Powerslave is one of the best early console FPSes, and loses some nicer textures in favor of faster action, full 3D movement and smaller, open-ended levels with new weapons and abilities to discover in order to advance, predating Metroid Prime by over five years. Also, in a fun twist of irony, Slavedriver would later be used to port Duke Nukem 3D on the Sega Saturn.
  • Star Trader was a PC 88 Shoot'Em Up with many cutscenes, adventure portions and a non-linear plot - unfortunately the shooting part, which was supposed to be still its core, was done badly. A later Sharp X 68000 version has much better graphics and gameplay but is just a straight shooter.
  • Popful Mail was originally released on PC 88 and PC 98 computers, then brought to consoles a few years later. The Turbo Grafx 16 CD version is the one that stayed closer to the original but the other two (SNES and Sega CD) are very different both from it and from each other, sharing only story, characters and the basics of side-scrolling gameplay.
  • The original arcade version of Rygar is a decent but shallow and ultimately forgettable action game. The NES version starts with a linear level that may seem a straight port but then opens to reveal one of the earliest Metroidvanias.
  • The arcade version of Bionic Commando was a cute platform game with a wire-swinging mechanic in lieu of the traditional jump button. The NES version, while maintaining the basic play mechanics (but more refined), is a non-linear game that alternates between classic action levels and neutral zones to take a breath and find useful objects and information, has a more complex story, and also an incredibly graphic villain death that wasn't censored. It's considered among the best action games for the NES and, unsurprisingly, it is the version that was remade as Bionic Commando: Rearmed in 2008.
  • The first iteration of Golvellius (basically a Zelda clone with some neat elements added, like side-scrolling dungeons), developed by Compile on the MSX, has extremely bland graphics and sound and suffers for the system's notorious problems with scrolling. Sega remade the game on the Master System with polished play mechanics, improved graphics, a completely new layout for dungeons and overworld, and some additions like new sub-bosses. Compile took note and made a remake for the MSX2 (known among MSX fans as Golvellius 2): different storyline, awesome intro and ending screens, graphics similar to the Master System version but less cartoonish, and yet another complete renewal of overworld and dungeons.
  • All of the versions of Novastorm have different bosses, level design, gameplay mechanics and cutscenes. Even the Sega CD version, which is the closest to the DOS original in the bits of FMV it uses, has completely different enemy placement and upgrade system for the player ship.
  • The PC version of Killing Time has different graphics and level design. The plot is the same, but has two endings very different from the 3DO original's Downer Ending.
  • NES Gauntlet (1985 video game) has structured stage layout, side goals and hidden levels laid out as an adventure with a proper ending. Despite having the same basic engine, it's far different from other versions of the game, which is better known as an endless multiplayer coin-guzzler.
  • This has happened with some visual novels. They may be for 18+ audiences in the computer versions, but altered to be PG-13 in the console versions. Often this just involves removing/rewriting sex scenes; however, new character(s), scene(s) and entire route(s) are sometimes added, as in Togainu no Chi: True Blood.
  • While the first four levels of Donkey Kong's Game Boy remake are rather familiar, the rest of the game shifts into Puzzle Platformer mode with keys, switches and movable ladders and platforms. The physics from the original arcade version are (mostly) intact though.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Special Edition is a parody of this. This fictional Updated Rerelease of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 incorporates some utterly bizarre new features (ostensibly added to take advantage of the new console hardware) including much smarter (and Fourth Wall-breaking) AI, completely new bosses (like a Military Mashup Machine who poses philosophical paradoxes instead of attacking), and a bunch of new gameplay styles (like side-scrolling beat-em-ups, marble games, and dance fights). And the plot is rewritten to be a complete Mind Screw.
  • The NES versions of the first two Contra games are quite different from the arcade originals. The NES Contra features expanded stages with new traps (including pitfalls in the side-scrolling segments) and different enemy placement, while Super C shuffles around the order of the last few stages and bosses, adding three new stages in-between.
    • The MSX2 Contra is even more different, with a whole set of new stages after the initial nine stages are completed, and is notably one of the few Contra games released without the Spread Gun.
  • Battletoads for the Game Boy had similar gameplay and cover art to the NES version, but was largely a different game. This point was brought home when a stripped-down version of the original Battletoads was ported to the Game Boy as Battletoads in Ragnarok's World.
  • Zanac was originally released on the MSX in several versions with blotchy graphics reminiscent of Xevious, but was greatly reworked for the NES. The NES Zanac was ported back to the MSX2 as Zanac EX.
  • Many of the games in the Sega Genesis version of Action 52 are completely different from their NES namesakes. For example, Cheetahmen now involves climbing trees and rescuing cheetah cubs and other animals.
  • The Sega Genesis version of Ghostbusters is nominally a "reprogrammed" version of the Activision Licensed Game. Unlike the similarly credited Sega Master System version, which was a port of that game, this version plays completely differently.
  • The Terminator for the Sega CD might have been just the Sega Genesis version by the same developer plus a CD-quality soundtrack and grainy cinematic sequences. While it does have both of those typical features, it also has entirely new levels and weapons. The manual even specifies that the Sega CD version is "not just an upgrade."
  • Nuts and Milk was originally a Maze Game on the MSX, PC 88 and other Japanese home computers; the NES version completely redesigned the gameplay and levels around Donkey Kong Jr.-style platforming rather than tunneling.
  • Asterix & Obelix XXL 2 was ported to handhelds a year after the original PS2 and PC releases. While the PSP version is the same game, the Nintendo DS couldn't handle it, so it was changed into a Two and a Half D mix of platformer and brawler.
  • The credits for the Famicom game Labyrinth suggest that it's a port of the graphic adventure Licensed Game based on the movie, but it's a simple top-down Action Adventure game instead.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The NES version of Metal Gear began development almost immediately after the MSX2 version was released with a development period that lasted only three months. Some of the changes, like the addition of the Jungle area, were done due to supervisorial mandate, while others, like the removal of the Metal Gear mecha, were done due to hardware constraints.
    • Metal Gear Ghost Babel arguably counts. It was developed under the request of Konami's European branch, who wanted to publish a Game Boy Color version of Metal Gear Solid and the game was released under that very same title in the overseas market. Despite the different plot, the game pretty much plays like a portable version of Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake, but with elements from the original Metal Gear Solid added as well such as scrolling, diagonal mobility, a punch-punch-kick combo and the ability to lean into walls among other things, which is fitting since the original Metal Gear Solid itself was a 3D version of the MSX2 Metal Gear games.
  • All three of the Double Dragon games for the NES were completely different from their original arcade counterparts (in case of the third game, the NES version was developed simultaneously with the arcade game).
    • The first Double Dragon for the NES featured different stage designs (including a couple of new areas) and the addition of an experience point system in which the player must gain all of his moves gradually as the game progresses rather than having all of them usable from the outset. The developers were unable to add the 2-player co-op mode from the arcade version and since the title wouldn't had made much sense without both Lee brothers, the plot was changed so that Jimmy Lee (the Player 2 character in the arcade version) was the main villain. The enemy roster from the arcade version was kept with the exception of the two head swapped bosses: the bald version of Abobo was promoted from sub-boss to boss status, replacing his Mr. T-esque head swap in all instances, while a new enemy named Chin Taimei (a Chinese martial artist) replaced the Lee brother head-swap as the second boss.
      • Note that the Master System version released shortly after the NES version played more like a stripped-down version of the arcade game in comparison, while still sharing some of the same hardware limitations as the NES version (such as trying to adapt the arcade game's three-button controls into a two-button controller).
      • The Game Boy version released a few years after the NES version plays like a remixed version of the NES game, featuring different stage designs with new traps and new moves and weapons for some of the enemies.
    • The arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge was essentially an improved version of the first game with new backgrounds and traps, new music, new looks for most of the returning enemies, a new boss for each stage and a two-way attack system instead of the punch and kick buttons used in the original game. The NES version shared many of the elements from the arcade version, this time restoring the 2-player co-op mode that was missing from the first NES game, while featuring completely different stages, comic book-style cut-scenes, new moves, a few new enemies, and a new final boss battle complete with a happier ending than the one featured in the arcade version.
      • There were two other versions of Double Dragon II: The Revenge released exclusively in Japan. While the Mega Drive version is a straight port of the arcade game (and not a very good one at that), the PC Engine version is a remake of the Famicom game with new graphics, new music and anime-style cut-scenes, as well as enemy patterns and weapons that are much closer to the arcade version.
    • Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones for the NES is almost a completely different beast from the arcade game Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone. Whereas the arcade game featured item shops which forced players to use actual money to purchase all the extra characters, moves and weapons (unless they were playing the Japanese version, which lacked the item shops and allowed players to choose their character from the get-go), the NES version simply gives the player access to additional characters by having two of the bosses join the player's party after being defeated, essentially acting out as extra lives.
  • Castlevania: Dracula X (aka Vampire's Kiss) for the Super NES is based on the Turbo Grafx 16 game Castlevania Rondo of Blood, but since the original game was on a CD-ROM (540 Megabytes) and the Super NES version is on a 16-Megabit (or 2-Megabyte) cartridge, a straight port was pretty much impossible and Konami instead made a different game with the same play mechanics, but all new stages.
  • While the Master System version of Shinobi featured the same stages and enemies from the arcade version, it also added a life gauge system (instead of the one-hit deaths from the arcade game), as well as new weapons obtained from rescuing hostages in addition to the gun and sword that were already available in the arcade version. The SMS version also required players to earn their ninjutsu techniques by winning the bonus rounds between stages instead of just having them by default and the input method is different (due to the SMS controller's lack of a third action button), but the player can now hold four stocks at a time rather than just one per stage.
    • The Sega Genesis version of Shadow Dancer was also vastly different from the arcade game. Whereas the play mechanics and system remained almost identical to the arcade versions, the stages were completely different along with all of the bosses (although some of them were similar to their arcade counterparts). There was also a Master System version released around the same time in Europe that was much closer to the arcade version, but featured only 8 of the arcade version's 15 stages (counting the boss battles, so in reality there are only four stages) and reduced the role of the player's canine companion to a special attack only.
  • The Genesis version of E-SWAT, much like Shadow Dancer, was also vastly different from its arcade counterpart. The stages are completely different and while the game plays almost identically at first, when the player eventually obtains the E-SWAT armor, the play mechanics change as well. Whereas the player's abilities didn't change that much in the arcade version when the player obtain the E-SWAT armor (aside for the addition of a machine gun as the new main weapon and a few sub-weapons), the E-SWAT armor in the Genesis versions is equipped with an afterburner that allows the player to fly around for a limited time, as well as switchable main weapons in addition to the default shot. Much like Shadow Dancer, E-SWAT also received a Master System version that played more like a scaled-down port of the arcade game.
  • The MSX version of Ganbare Goemon: Karakuri Dōchū features completely different level layouts from the Famicom version and most notably a unique Player 2 character. Whereas both versions have an alternating 2-Players Mode, the Famicom version simply has both players controlling Goemon, whereas Player 2 in the MSX version controls a different character named "Nezumi Kozō" (the Rat Brat). While Nezumi never appears in any other Goemon game, his character design was used as the basis for Goemon's sidekick Ebisumaru, who was introduced in Ganbare Goemon 2.
  • Valis: The Fantastic Soldier for the Famicom was a redesign of the PC 88 original with nonlinear branching stages that were easy to get lost in.
  • The Famicom Disk System version of Monty on the Run changes a whole bunch of things around from the ZX Spectrum version. Most bizarrely, Monty is not a mole in this version.
  • Strider II, the U.S. Gold-produced sequel to Strider (not to be confused with Capcom's own arcade sequel Strider 2), was originally released in 1990 for various home computer platforms in Europe (specifically the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and the ZX Spectrum). Strider II was later remade for the Mega Drive and Master System in 1992 with redesigned stages and play mechanics much closer to the original Strider arcade game. These two versions in particular were the versions that were released for the Genesis and Game Gear in America under the title of Strider Returns: Journey from Darkness.
  • Section Z was originally a shooting game released for the arcades in 1985 consisting of five stages (three side-scrolling levels and two vertically-scrolling ones, although all played from a side-view perspective). The so-called "sections" in the game were simply short corridors that the player proceeded throughout the entire game until reaching the titular Section Z, where the final boss awaits. The NES version, released almost two years later in 1987, turned the sections into fully-fledged areas with branching paths and hidden rooms. There are three stages consisting of 20 sections each, but the since the Sections are now numbered (starting from Section 00) instead of being alphabetized like in the arcade game, the final area is now Section 59 instead of Section Z, rendering the game's title meaningless.
  • The NES version of Legendary Wings made several changes from the arcade version, including adding a health gauge system where getting hit by an enemy simply reduces the player's shooting power by one level instead of dying in one hit.
  • Sonic Blast Man was originally an arcade game released in 1990 consisting of five selectable mini-games in which the player must hit a punching pad as hard as possible in three turns. The game would measure the player's strength based on hard the punching pad was hit and after the third turn, it determines whether the player has failed or succeeded based on whether or the accumulated strength of all his punches has reached the required level. This wouldn't have translated well to home consoles, so the Super NES version released in 1992 was a belt-scrolling Beat'Em Up with bonus stages adapted from the arcade version that required the player to rapidly rotate the D-Pad to build up strength before punching the target.
  • The NES version of Renegade (aka Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun), to make up for the downgraded graphics and sounds compared to the arcade game, added new areas, hidden power-ups, a bike-riding mini-game and branching paths for the final two stages. The final stage in particular is now set in a labyrinth-like building where the player must go through a series of rooms populated by enemies from previous stages in order to locate the final boss. A wrong turn in this stage can lead the player to a previous area, including the very beginning of the first stage.
  • The NES version of Super Dodge Ball (aka Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu) is also a vastly different game from the original arcade game. In the original arcade game, the player's team consisted of one adult character as the team's captain and the rest of the team as children. Only the adult characters have power shots and the health gauges only shows the number of remaining players each team has. In the NES version, everyone is now the same size, but each player (not just captains, but all the members of a team) now have two power shots and individual stats, while the status display now gives each team member his own health gauge. The NES version also adds two new foreign teams not in the arcade version: India and Russia.
    • The Turbo Grafx 16 version, subtitled PC Bangai Hen (PC Extra Edition), plays like a combination between both versions. The graphics, character roster and stages were based on the arcade version, but it adds elements from the NES version such as individual power shots and health gauge for each player.
  • Fighters History: Mochizuki Kiki Ippatsu, the Super Famicom-exclusive final game in the series, began development as a port of Fighter's History Dynamite.
  • While the SNES version of Sunset Riders is accurate to the arcade version for the most part (save for the lack of 4-Player co-op and added modesty to some of the female NPCs), the Genesis version was released on a smaller cartridge size than the SNES version and only contained two of the main characters (Billy and Cormano) and half of the bosses. Rather than making a straight port, the stages were completely redesigned and a new versus mode was added.
  • Capcom's Famicom game Makaijima (aka Makai Island) was initially planned as an original game that was being developed alongside a Famicom port of their arcade game Pirate Ship Higemaru. The Higemaru port ended up being absorbed into the Makaijima project, resulting in Makaijima ending up as a pseudo-sequel to Higemaru.
  • The unreleased NES game Titan Warriors by Capcom was initially intended to be an updated port of Vulgus (the company's very first game) titled Neo Vulgus. The game ultimately ended up being unreleased in any form.
  • Streets of Rage received both a Master System and a Game Gear version that were very different from the original Genesis game. However, instead of making a single conversion of the same game for both platforms like they did with the Sonic games, they developed separate conversions for each platform. The Master System version is single-player only, but has all three characters and the special attacks, while the Game Gear has a 2-player mode, but lacks Adam and the special attacks.
    • Streets of Rage 2 also received 8-bit versions for the Master System and Game Gear and like its predecessor, both versions were different from each other. The Master System version is single-player only again and since the SMS controller has less buttons than the Genesis one, megacrush and special attacks have different input methods now. The Game Gear version on the other hand, has a 2-player mode (but is missing the one-on-one duel game) and replaces the megacrush moves with super moves that are performed by holding down the attack button. Game Gear version also has enemy characters exclusive to that version, including a Predator-clone. Both versions are missing Max.
  • Banpresto's arcade beat-'em-up Denjin Makai was ported to the Super Famicom under the title Ghost Chaser Densei. The Super Famicom version only has half of the character roster (Makai, Iyo and Belva) and is missing a few stages and bosses as well, but the story was expanded a bit and the characters were given new moves.
  • Haja no Fūin ("Seal of the Dark Lord") is a Japanese RPG by Kogado Studio originally released in 1986 for the PC88 and ported to various other formats (such as the MSX2 and Famicom). The Master System version, which was the only version released overseas (under the title of Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord), featured numerous changes such as a new overworld with explorable towns.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time, the second Ninja Turtles arcade game, received two console versions in 1992.
    • The SNES version is a straight conversion of the arcade game, lacking the 4-player co-op mode but adding one new stage and a few additional bosses: namely the Rat King, Slash (who replaces Cement Man as the boss of the prehistoric level), pirate versions of Bebop and Rocksteady, and Super Shredder (who replaces the regular Shredder as the final boss).
    • The Genesis version (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist) on the other hand played more like a remixed version of the same game. The plot is different and while some of the stages and bosses were lifted from the other two versions, others were created specifically for the Genesis version. The new bosses included the human version of Professor Stockman (last seen in the first arcade game and its NES conversion) and Tatsu (Shredder's bodyguard from the first two live-action films). Hyperstone Heist is notably the only Turtles game to feature Rocksteady (who was based on his incarnation from the first arcade game rather than the pirate-dressed version in the SNES verison) without his partner Bebop.
  • Cosmo Police Galivan was originally a Metal Heroes-esque platform shoot-'em-up released by Nichibutsu for the arcades in 1985. The 1988 Famicom version was a Metroid-type action game, while its 1993 Super Famicom sequel, Cosmo Police Galivan II: Arrow of Justice, was a belt-scrolling beat-'em-up.
  • The Genesis version of Kaneko's rollerskating beat-'em-up D.J. Boy lacked the 2-Player co-op mode, but added item shops between stages that allowed players access to more health and power-ups. Some of the stages and enemies are also different and the premise was also changed from recovering a stolen boombox to a more standard "rescuing the kidnapped girlfriend" plot.
  • The Master System shooter Bomber Raid originally began development as an 8-bit conversion of the Sega arcade game Sonic Boom.
  • The NES version of Rush N Attack features a different premise from the arcade version, along with new stages and different bosses, but most notably a 2-player co-op mode (the arcade version only allowed alternating play). The game's arcade-only sequel, M.I.A., added 2-player co-op as well.
  • Garou Densetsu: Dominated Mind is a PS1 port of Real Bout Fatal Fury Special that removes the lane-jumping system and added new super moves and combos.
  • Mighty Final Fight is an NES conversion of Final Fight that came out late during the platform's lifespan (in fact, it came out almost two years after the SNES conversion of the first game and around the same time as Final Fight 2). While the NES version is 1-Player only and all the characters have been chibified, the play mechanics were translated almost accurately, with only a few moves missing, and all three characters were present (no need to buy a second version for Guy like on the SNES).
  • U.N. Squadron, a game based on the manga series Area88, was a horizontal shooter for the arcades where players could choose between three pilots (each with his own jet) and buy sub-weapons and other power-ups before each stage. The SNES version, while lacking the 2-players co-op mode from the arcade, expanded upon everything else by adding other purchasable jets (with the tradeoff being that each pilot now starts with the same default jet), multiple paths between stages and the ability to switch sub-weapons on the fly.


Concurrently developed

  • In general, several home console games have had handheld versions, released at the same time, that became 2D platformers or top-down action games. This is especially true of movie tie-ins or games based on very popular I Ps.
  • Daikatana for the Game Boy Color is a top-down action RPG that was better received than the critically-panned FPS it was based on.
  • Spider-Man 2 on consoles is a great free-roaming game and is considered among the best titles (if not the best) based on the wall crawler. The PC version by another developer, unfortunately, is a lousy, limited action game.
  • Similarly, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is a 2.5D brawler on Play Station 2/PSP, and yet another brawler on the DS but with upgrades that allow to reach new areas. Each of these versions features its own storyline and more Marvel characters than the free-roaming one for the "bigger" systems.
  • Strider. Its CPS arcade incarnation is a straight action game, is a classic on its own right but the NES version, whose production started roughly at the same time, was a free-roaming action adventure game. The plot is also much closer to the tie-in manga, with most of the same characters. Versions of Strider were later released for the Sega Genesis, Turbo Grafx 16, X68000 and even the original Play Station, but these were all ports of the coin-op.
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. While the 360/PS3/PC versions are the same game, the Wii version has a different storyline and different powers for the Prince. The PSP version is a 2.5D platformer with yet another storyline.
    • The Game Boy Advance version of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2D platformer, whereas the console/PC versions are 3D.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron is a third-person shooter. Transformers: Cybertron Adventures, considered to be the Wii equivalent and having the same characters and story, is a Rail Shooter.
  • World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks and War Jetz were both released simultaneously for the original Playstation and Playstation2. The two versions have different levels and controls, especially in the case of War Jetz.
  • The 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Master System and Game Gear were radically different from the 16-bit originals on the Mega Drive (the 8-bit versions of Sonic 2 actually preceded the 16-bit version in some regions). The more limited hardware didn't allow for the same speed, which resulted in different level layouts, premises and soundtracks. Both still hold up well and the Game Gear versions in particular are considered more challenging due to their lower screen resolution.
  • Sonic Unleashed was developed in two versions: 360/PS3 and Play Station 2/Wii. While it met a generally lukewarm reception, the Play Station 2/Wii version was better received: despite the obvious hit in the visual department, reviewers praised the better camera, better Werehog levels, and the Wii version's well-implemented motion controls.
  • Castlevania 1986 (NES) and Vampire Killer (MSX2) were released in Japan under the same title (Akumajō Dracula) at nearly the same time, with the same packaging illustration. While they have very similar stage designs, Vampire Killer focuses more on exploration, as the player's goal is to uncover hidden items in each stage and find the key to the stage's exit. The games known as Haunted Castle and Super Castlevania IV in the west, as well the Japanese X68000 game later ported to the PS1 as Castlevania Chronicles, were all released in Japan under the title of Akumajō Dracula as well, but they were released years apart from each other.
  • Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets had two radically different versions produced at the same time, one for PC, one for several home consoles including the Play Station 2. The console version was vastly superior both graphically and gameplay-wise. One example: Upon landing at Hogwarts, Harry needs to get past the Whomping Willow. The PC version has him walking around it in a circle as it lazily lifts and lowers its roots. The console version has a full-on boss fight against the tree, where it viciously pounds the earth and even throws the car at you.
  • The handheld versions of the games in The Legend of Spyro series tended to be quite different from their console counterparts, and for reasons beyond their technically inferior hardware. The DS version of one game in the series included a whole subgame of Light And Mirrors Puzzles not found anywhere in the console versions. The Game Boy Advance version of the second game also featured a more platforming and exploration-oriented game than the console versions, and, in fact, got higher reviews than every other version of the game despite being on the least-advanced system.
  • Even ignoring the portable version, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3, and 4 had different versions, one for the Play Station 2/Xbox/Gamecube, and one for the PSX with different goals and levels, done by different companies. Same thing happened again with the PS 360 version of Project Eight and Proving Ground being different to the Wii S 2 version.
  • The MSX version of The Goonies had similar gameplay to the Famicom version, more primitive graphics, and very different levels. As with Vampire Killer, keys played a major role in the MSX version, which also added an EXP bar.
  • Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers has several versions.
    • Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PC: practically the same, just some graphical improvements for the latter two, and cutscenes in CGI instead of the game's engine.
    • Playstation: obvious hit in the graphics but also completely different level design (3D and side-view sections alternate inside and not in separate levels), soundtrack and enemies.
    • Playstation 2 and Gamecube: released a few years later, built on a new engine, complete renewal of the levels, an improved version of the Playstation version's soundtrack and new abilities for Donald.
    • The handheld versions (Game Boy Color and Advance) are 2D Platformers and are also very different from each other, with the latter giving more abilities to Donald. Also the storyline plays a bit differently.
  • The Commodore 64 version of Dizzy Kwik Snax is a completely different game to the ZX Spectrum original. On the Spectrum version you have to push blocks to squash monsters on a single screen, on the Commodore version you have to collect Fluffles and guide them to the exit in a side-scrolling gameplay.
  • Dai-Ma-Shikyō Galious, the Famicom version of Knightmare II: Maze of Galious released a few months after the MSX version, has a similar game system as the MSX version, but the stage designs are substantially different, with a much smaller environment to explore.
  • Capcom released in 1989 two very different Licensed Games based on the movie Willow for arcades and for the NES. The Arcade Game was a typical side-scrolling action game, while the NES version was an Action RPG which offered more inventive play mechanics, though the arcade game was more faithful to the movie.
  • The arcade and NES versions of Captain America and The Avengers by Data East were both released by the end of 1991. While the arcade version was a 4-player belt-scrolling beat-'em-up where players could play as Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye and The Vision, the NES version was a side-scrolling platform game where only Cap and Hawkeye were the playable characters and the game's objective was to rescue the other two. Data East later released a port of the arcade for the Sega Genesis in 1992.
    • Mindscape later released a set of versions for the SNES, Game Boy and Game Gear. While the SNES version was another port of the arcade game, the portable versions were not belt-scrollers but completely 2D.
  • The Licensed Games for the NES and MSX based on Rambo: First Blood Part II were both made by Pack-In-Video, and are Action RPGs of very different kinds. The MSX game plays in Top Down View, while the NES game is a side-scroller.
    • While Ocean Software obtained the Rambo III license from Taito, the game they ended up releasing for various computer platforms was an overhead shooter that played nothing like the arcade game Taito eventually released, which was a Cabal-style shooter where Player 2 controlled Colonel Trautman.
    • Sega also produced its own set of Rambo III games for its consoles. While the Sega Genesis version of Rambo III was an overhead action shooter similar to Capcom's Mercs, the Master System version was an Operation Wolf-style gun shooting game that required the Light Phaser gun.
  • Last Action Hero got a tie-in that is a "good" example of The Problem with Licensed Games, but it's interesting to see how very different it is on various platforms.
    • SNES / Genesis: a traditional side-scrolling action game with some side-view driving levels.
    • NES: platform game with tiny sprites and some arcade levels.
    • Game Boy / Game Gear: similar to the 16 bit counterparts, but the driving stages are now overhead.
    • DOS: Overhead free-roaming driving stages (predating Grand Theft Auto by some years - you can even run pedestrians over!) and side-view fighting levels. It even has some small clips from the movie.
    • Amiga: based on the assets of the DOS versions, an entirely different game was crafted from them - a scrolling Beat'Em Up with no driving levels.
    • Finally, there was a Sega CD version in the works, which was supposed to use some retouched assets from the DOS version along with pre-rendered backgrounds and cutscenes. Given the succes of the movie and the other games, it was quietly cancelled.
  • Asterix at the Olympic Games is the same game (bar some graphical differencies) on various platforms, with the exception of the Nintendo DS release: the Action Adventure part is removed entirely, leaving only the Olympic Games proper and making it a Track And Field clone. There are, however, many more games than the ones found in the other versions.
  • Sega released both, a console game and an arcade game based on Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. They had some common elements, but the former was a Shinobi-like Platform Game, whereas the latter was an isometric Beat'Em Up that could be played by up to three people (each controlling a palette swapped MJ).
  • Kool-Aid Man for the Atari 2600 and for the Intellivision were two entirely different games, largely because Mattel had to produce both of them on a very tight schedule. The 2600 version is set around a swimming pool; the Intellivision version takes place inside a haunted house where two children have to summon the Kool-Aid Man.
  • Ys IV was developed in tandem for the Turbo Grafx 16 and Super Famicom. Both versions were developed by separate companies based on a rough outline written by Nihon Falcom. There was also a third version planned for the Mega Drive that ended up becoming Vaporware.
  • Tecmo began development of the arcade and NES versions of Ninja Gaiden at the same time and ended up creating two completely different games. While the arcade version is a 2-player belt-scrolling Beat'Em Up with emphasis on acrobatic moves, the NES version is a Castlevania-style side-scrolling platformer with a wall hanging play mechanic and cinematic sequences. The later Master System, Game Gear and unreleased Sega Genesis versions all claim to be "reprogrammed" versions, yet each one is an original game.
  • The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the NES came out almost at the same time as Konami's popular arcade beat-'em-up of the same title. When Konami decided to adapt the arcade game to the NES as well, they had to retitle that version Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game to make it clear that it was a different game from the first NES title and a port of the arcade version.
    • Konami later used the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters for a set of fighting games released for the NES, SNES and Genesis at the end of 1993. Each version was a unique game featuring its own character roster and fighting mechanics.
    • The Game Boy Advance versions of Konami's first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games based on the 2003 series, as well as the Nintendo DS version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare, were completely different games from their PC and console counterparts.
    • When Ubisoft got a hold of the Turtles license, they made a series of tie-in games based on CGI TMNT movie for various platforms. The PC and home console versions were ports of the same game, but the portable versions for the GBA, DS and PSP were all unique. The GBA version in particular, rather than being a 3D action game like the others, was a 2D belt-scrolling beat-'em-up inspired by the older Konami games.
  • The console version of Street Fighter the Movie was a completely different game from the arcade game released two months earlier, despite using the same set of digitized sprites. The arcade version was developed by Incredible Technologies (makers of Time Killers and Blood Storm) and played like a cross between Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, whereas the console version was developed internally by Capcom and used a modified version of the Super Street Fighter II Turbo engine. Even the character roster was different between both versions, as Blade and the rest of the Bison Troopers were exclusive to the arcade game, whereas the console versions featured Dee-Jay and Blanka.
  • The Super NES and Genesis versions of Sparkster were completely different games, despite being released at the same time and having the same cover artwork and almost the same title (only the Genesis version was subtitled Rocket Knight Adventures 2).
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers received a series of tie-in games around the time the first season ended. While versions released for the Nintendo platforms were published by Bandai, the Sega versions were actually first-party games. Although the Super NES and Game Boy versions were both side-scrolling action games, and the Sega Genesis and Game Gear versions were both competitive fighting games, they were all completely different from each other. A Sega CD version was also released which was an Interactive Movie game which used FMV clips from key episodes of the series.
    • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Movie also received its own sets of tie-in games. While the SNES, Game Boy and Game Gear versions were all sequels to their preceding Power Rangers games for their respective platforms, the Genesis version of the Movie game was completely different from the first Genesis game, as it was a belt-scrolling beat-'em-up instead of a competitive fighter.
  • Daiva, a space-themed war simulation game by T&E Soft, was released for seven different platforms (all the major Japanese 8-bit computers plus the Famicom and PC 98) throughout 1986 to 1987. Each version featured completely different scenario starring a different protagonist.
  • The Master System version of Fantasy Zone was released a few months after the arcade game, but both versions were actually developed in tandem. The Master System version was tailor-made to take into account the lower specifications of the hardware and features a few different bosses, weapon properties and less bases to destroy. The Famicom version later released by Sunsoft (and to a lesser extend, the NES version by Tengen), played like a mix between both versions.
  • Capcom released two video games based on the Little Nemo animated film that were released in 1990: an arcade version simply titled Nemo (which featured Flip as Player 2 and an ending sequence which spoofs Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Final Fight) and an NES game titled Little Nemo: The Dream Master.
  • Astyanax (aka The Lord of King) was released for the Arcade and NES and both versions were completely different right down to their very premises. Whereas the hero in the arcade version was a barbarian-like warrior, the protagonist in the NES is an ordinary high school student who is transported to a faraway world.
  • Capcom released two games based on Hiroshi Motomiya's historical manga Tenchi o Kurau (The Devouring of Heaven and Earth) in 1989: The arcade version was a belt-scrolling action game where players fought enemies while riding a horse, while the Famicom version was an RPG. Both games had overseas releases under the titles of Dynasty Wars and Destiny of an Emperor respectively.
  • Sunsoft released a set of tie-in games based on Tim Burton's 1989 film version of Batman. The NES version, a Castlevania-inspired platform game, was released first and while the Game Boy and Sega Genesis versions followed the same template, the Turbo Grafx 16 version, which was originally announced as a platformer as well, was retooled into an overhead maze game.
    • Batman: Return of the Joker was released in two completely different versions for the NES and the Game Boy. There was also a similarly-named Genesis game titled Batman: Revenge of the Joker, which was developed by an American team and was also scheduled for the SNES, but was canceled (a beta build of the game is available online).
    • The two Batman Returns games developed Konami, one for the NES and the other for the SNES, were both belt-scrolling beat-'em-ups. Sega also released its own line of Batman Returns for the Game Gear/Master System, Genesis and Sega CD. The Sega CD version was a port of the Genesis version with added racing stages.
  • Konami released two games based on the short-lived 1989 rollerskating game show RollerGames. The arcade version attempted to adapt the sports itself into a video game format, whereas the NES version was a side-scrolling action game that barely had anything to do with the show save for the names of the teams (the enemies included molotov-throwing punks, a flying gunship and a Shaolin monk as the final boss).
  • Turrican originally began development as a Commodore 64 game by Rainbow Arts. Factor 5, who were working on the Amiga version, originally planned their version as a straight port, but then they decided to make it an original game inspired by the C64 version.
    • Turrican 2 was developed the same way as well, only this time the Amiga version was the original and the C64 version was the adaptation.
    • Similarly Super Turrican was released for consoles in two versions. While the NES version handled by Rainbow Arts, the SNES version was done by Factor 5.
  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for the SNES was released at the same month (December 1994) as the arcade fighting game X Men Children of the Atom. Despite the fact that both games were made by Capcom, they're completely different games.
    • While Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems may seem like an example of this, it actually came out almost a year after the Marvel Super Heroes arcade game.
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