9. "I wouldn't say graphics got worse." In response to Reply # 4 Thu May-31-18 07:42 PM by squeeg
But Genesis and SNES games have definitely aged better. Going back to well-designed 2D graphics is far easier than returning to early 3D forays. Detailed sprites with good art direction will always beat out primitive polygons.
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the first-gen 3D consoles were an *amazing* jump. you went from StarFox, where you could count the number of polygons, to something like Wipeout (first-generation PS1)? stunningly different.
when new games came out, the majority of the reviews were solely about the graphics! everyone was slack-jawed for years, and then just when you thought you hit a standard, something like Tekken 3 would come out and blow you away again.
PS1/Saturn/N64 have definitely aged the worst because of frame rate (30 FPS used to be acceptable, and even into the 20s was standard) and high resolution advances. but that era was a graphical marvel for the time.
8. "i'll never forget playing Mario 64 in a Toys R Us preview display" In response to Reply # 6
before the console even came out
I was 12 years old at the time and went in with my dad to buy a birthday gift for a classmate's upcoming party
I had been following all the news I could about the "Ultra 64" and was an avid Nintendo head with a subscription to Nintendo Power etc
and playing Mario 64 blew me the f** away. god damn. it was so impressive that even my dad was like "when does this system come out?" and ended up letting me pre-order it
we had a rule in the house that we couldn't buy the next gen console unless we sold the previous gen one first, and you can bet that my older brother and I started posting up ads at our local grocery store bulletin board the very next day lol
i think all the graphical advances since then have been built upon the foundation set by the N64 and PS1
but that leap from 2D side-scrolling and "faux" 3D (ala Star Fox) to full on 360 degree movement (Mario 64) was INSANE
On June 23, 1996 -- the system's launch day in Japan -- the N64 became the first home console in history to feature an analog stick as its primary control scheme for interfacing with video games. Three months later, on September 29, the system would make its way to North America. No one at the time knew quite what an impact this new control scheme would have on this burgeoning industry, but it wouldn't take the world long to figure it out.
Though now it seems the transition from D-pad to analog was a no-brainer, at the time it was a bold move to say the least. Atari and Sony had flirted with the technology in the past, each releasing some form of precursor to the concept. However, the only game company that can claim to have pioneered and popularized the now-standard control device for three-dimensional games is Nintendo.
It was a gamble, as the company effectively wagered the success of an entire system on this gray piece of plastic. If gamers had rejected it in favor of the D-pad, their shiny new system would have lost the one thing that allowed it to shine above the competition. The company as a whole might have faded into obscurity.
Luckily for Nintendo, the gamble paid off.
This new controller, which marked a huge departure from the NES and SNES days, allowed gamers to aim with precision, and to manipulate game worlds and characters more accurately than ever before. Unlike Nintendo's patented D-pad, which only supported eight different directional inputs, the analog stick allowed for full 360-degree control. Console gamers could now affect 3D games in ways that previously only PC gamers could, as well as in ways that no gamer had before.
The One That Started it All:
While having only one thumbstick on a home console controller now seems blasphemous, when the system first launched it was a revolution. This new control scheme did more than just affect the games themselves -- it started an enduring trend in console development. A year and four days after the announcement of the N64's control set-up, Sony unleashed the Dual Analog controller, a device that worked fine for the Playstation, but wouldn't fully realize its potential until the release of the PlayStation 2.
The original thought that lead to the revolutionary dual analog set up can essentially be boiled down to, "Hey, what if there were two of those things?" As such, even the almighty dual analog setup can attribute its standardization to the N64's analog stick.
Though Nintendo would eventually go on to challenge the concept with the use of motion controls for its wildly successful Wii system, a dual analog interface is still the preferred control method for video games (even Nintendo is jumping back on board with the upcoming Wii U). In other words, this one, seemingly trivial innovation in many ways defined modern gaming. Not too shabby, right?
The Birth of New Gaming Opportunities:
While considered by many to now be outdated, the N64 controller was at first a dream come true for gamers, even allowing for the creation of new gameplay types. It also offered the first real chance to successfully craft a first-person shooter for anything other than a mouse and keyboard. The ease of aiming with the analog stick helped popularize the first person shooter genre on home consoles, with the fan favorite GoldenEye 007 becoming the first successful non-PC based shooter.
Super Mario 64, a title we'll discuss at length in a future article, was the true revolution in play control that the world was waiting for. This game set the standard for how a character should interact with a 3D environment and, more importantly, what it should feel like for the player to maneuver said character. In fact, it's still considered by many to be the largest leap forward in play control any single game has ever made. That's why it's no surprise that many top developers, such as Gabe Newell and Cliff Bleszinski, have stated that the game was a huge influence to them as creators.
Although developers tinkered with the idea of three-dimensional graphics on the Super Nintendo, they had never wielded the proper technology to fully realize their dreams. Even if the Super Nintendo had come equipped with the horsepower to pull it off, it still would not have been the same without a thumbstick. It took a device like that and a game like Mario 64 to show gamers (as well as game creators) what they could expect from 3D games.
It's true that my take is somewhat hindsight, but I'm also very biased toward good sprite graphics. Even at in the day of the N64 I couldn't understand why people liked the 9 FPS tornado of triangles better than sprites. Titles like Star Fox and Wave Race blew me away at the time, though, no doubt.
>the first-gen 3D consoles were an *amazing* jump. you went >from StarFox, where you could count the number of polygons, to >something like Wipeout (first-generation PS1)? stunningly >different. > >when new games came out, the majority of the reviews were >solely about the graphics! everyone was slack-jawed for years, >and then just when you thought you hit a standard, something >like Tekken 3 would come out and blow you away again. > >PS1/Saturn/N64 have definitely aged the worst because of frame >rate (30 FPS used to be acceptable, and even into the 20s was >standard) and high resolution advances. but that era was a >graphical marvel for the time.
12. "When I went from Atari 5200 to NES my jaw dropped" In response to Reply # 7
First time messing with Gyromite and I was hooked. My shock moments after that was in this order Wave Rave on N64, Soul Calibur on Dreamcast Tekken Tag on PS2 Call of Duty 2 on Xbox 360 in HD since it was the first console game I saw in HD.
Now graphics don't wow me in the same fashion but damn do AC Origins and God War 4 look incredible in 4K.
17. "I'd have to go 16-bit to 32 bit era" In response to Reply # 0
Genesis & SNES to Saturn & PS1. Granted, your early polygon games have not aged as well. But going from sprites to playable polygons by itself was a HUGE jump. Every other console iteration has been evolutionary, as the ability to push more polygons at a faster frame rate and higher resolution continues to up the ante (even within that same console generation). But the 32 bit era was a revolution, as polygons simply couldn't be done (with a few notable exceptions, like Starfox) those 16 bit machines
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19. "Y'all confusing game design/quality with GRAPHICS" In response to Reply # 0
SNES/Genesis to Saturn/PS1 etc may not have been a leap forward GAME wise, but graphically it was easily the biggest
Battle Arena: Tohinden -- as a fighting game it might not have been great, but the first time I dodged some shit by being able to dive into the screen and the camera flipped around!?!? I almost fainted, it was do dope.
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21. "Biggest jump was from 8-bit to 16bit, imo." In response to Reply # 0
Developers and console manufacturers found ways to work within the limitations of the cartridge based system.
Look at the difference between the first Super Mario on NES and Super Mario on SNES. Metroid vs Super Metroid. SNES had mode 7 graphics and Genesis actually had the ability to emulate 3D graphics.
The color palette from the NES was 54 (400+ if you include the tinting effects) while the SNES had 32,000 and could show off 256 colors at once (which is why we got that sick photorealistic Shaq Fu title screen).
And that's not even just in graphics. Sound quality was a major improvement between those generations. Stereo sound, orchestrations/arrangements, simulated voice processing.
The graphical jump from 16-bit > CD-era games was a technological achievement but it's all just throwing horsepower behind proprietary graphic chipsets and making shit more realistic. 16 bit era was devs actually getting complex with the tools they had on hand.