(Besides the fact that it was a substandard port, like 95% of all PS1 2D fighting game ports!)
I was recently browsing through my copy of EGM #73 (August 1995, unmasked Sub and Kano on cover, MK3 console ports cover story, my first real copy of a game mag!) and stumbled upon a preview for the Playstation/Saturn ports of X-Men: Children of the Atom (which by then was most likely growing long in the tooth, soon to be supplanted by it’s sequel MSH by the end of the year) and read as the EGM editors promised that it would be 100% faithful to the original coin-op (kinda can’t fault them there, no one had any idea at the time that the stock PS1/Saturn hardware couldn’t deliver arcade-perfect ports…enough with the parentheses!) and would be coming out sometime in late 1995/early 1996. As some should remember, both ports were delayed for a while longer and the Saturn port finally came out in the US sometime around Spring 1996 (via Acclaim who published it)…while the PS1 port was nowhere to be found. The rest of 1996 passed and nothing. 1997 came and went…still nothing. By then whoever hadn’t forgotten about the game or it’s port probably gave up on it ever hitting the PS1’s store shelves.
Then, in early 1998 not too long before the Japanese PS1 port of XMvSF (EX) was to come out, with no prior announcement or advertising the PS1 port of COTA FINALLY hit store shelves. And the result after such a long wait and presumed conflicts between Capcom & Acclaim??? Possibly the worst port of a Capcom 2D fighter to the PS1. From what I recall, the port (by Probe Entertainment instead of Capcom of Japan) managed to retain most if not all of the character animation which was unheard of in any other 32-Bit Capcom port…but at the expense of the frame rate which was halved to 30fps and got even worse whenever lots of fireworks went on on-screen. The game literally played like it was underwater. The opening sequence and all of the endings/cutscenes were lazily converted to grainy-ass FMV as well. Needless to say many mags and sites had a field day with this port and shitted all over it as they did with the XMvSF port which came out mere months later. But the hate was even worse for COTA because it already was a dated, 4 year old game that was supposed to have been in store shelves 2 years earlier, and of course the port sucked and would’ve been handled much more differently if Capcom did it themselves (one of only two fighting game ports they oursourced to other developers IIRC, the other being the PS1 port of Darkstalkers which was handled by Psynogsis and was similarly delayed like Saturn COTA was).
I’m just asking, does anyone recall or know exactly why the PS1 COTA port took so long to hit store shelves??? By the time it actually hit store shelves in early '98 it was more of a tax write-off for Capcom/Acclaim than anything. And was anyone intrigued by how this port was handled compared to Capcom’s own handywork??? Even though the framerate dipped to hell, most if not all of the character animation was retained, and after XMvSF even the CPS2 hardware itself cut some corners, and many characters lost a chunk of animation frames in future CPS2 fighting games like MSHvSF and MVC1.
Also, anyone know of any other unique console ports such as this one and the impressive, yet unpolished PS1 Darkstalkers port??? Like the unfinished port of SF2:CE port for Genesis that got canned halfway in favor of the watered-down SNES Turbo port that became Special Champion Edition…