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Thread: The Neo Geo was just a glorified Genesis.

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    People overlook how much of a difference ROM size makes. The largest Neo Geo games were 708 megabits. The largest Genesis games, barring one-off exceptions, were 32 megabits (Super SF2 was 40). Few Neo Games were that small. If you were to limit the Neo Geo to around that size for games, it would still have its advantages, but it would no longer seem to blow the Genesis away. Andro Dunos is 34 megs, and doesn't exactly smoke Genesis shooters.


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    not a real fan Raging in the Streets old man's Avatar
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    Using Andro Dunos for a comparison is like using Trevor McFur for a comparison.

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    Bite my shiny, metal ***! Hero of Algol retrospiel's Avatar
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    I think the SCD library gives a hint at how important ROM size is. Final Fight CD or Silpheed look much closer to what's available on NG than most MD games released at that time.

    That said, it's a miracle they managed to squeeze games like Revenge of Shinobi, Golden Axe, Sonic, or Quackshot into mere 4 Mbit.

    There was a huge jump in graphics in 1992 when most games got released on 8 Mbit cartridges and the first 16 Mbit games came out - like Streets of Rage 2.
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

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    I remain nonsequitur Shining Hero sheath's Avatar
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    ROM size was tantamount back then, and even was for CDs. Doubling ROM size had a huge impact on anything from graphics to sound and gameplay. The jump from 512KB games to 1MB games was huge. The jump from 1MB to 2MB was huge, the jump from 2MB to 3MB was fairly important as well.

    This was true across the board for consumer consoles. The Master System and NES saw a huge increase in gameplay, audio and graphics from the typical 128KB games to 512KB games. PCE games could be stereotyped by their ROM sizes, and the jump to 256KB Super CD games was huge. The jump to 2MB Arcade Card CD games was really impressive though, creating extremely close conversions of NEO GEO games and more.
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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    I think the SCD library gives a hint at how important ROM size is. Final Fight CD or Silpheed look much closer to what's available on NG than most MD games released at that time.

    That said, it's a miracle they managed to squeeze games like Revenge of Shinobi, Golden Axe, Sonic, or Quackshot into mere 4 Mbit.

    There was a huge jump in graphics in 1992 when most games got released on 8 Mbit cartridges and the first 16 Mbit games came out - like Streets of Rage 2.
    The Sega-CD is also a good example for the opposite. Look at how much was lost in Neo Geo to Sega-CD fighting game ports. For that matter, look at how much was lost in Neo Geo CD ports, with it's massive load space. I think that the Genesis ports of SFII are much closer to what's available on Neo Geo.

    But the Neo Geo is a unique system in general, not just when compared to the Genesis. It has less background/tile layers than the SMS, but even a 4 meg Neo Geo game could do 10+ overlapping background layers. The Neo Geo can't do 3D polygons, but the Genesis has loads of polygonal games. And as much as cart size is one of the biggest factors in the quality of Neo Geo games, the AES/MVS can also animate more, and faster than the Genesis ever could. It was designed to take advantage of crazy cart sizes more than the Genesis was.

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    Bite my shiny, metal ***! Hero of Algol retrospiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    The Sega-CD is also a good example for the opposite. Look at how much was lost in Neo Geo to Sega-CD fighting game ports. For that matter, look at how much was lost in Neo Geo CD ports, with it's massive load space. I think that the Genesis ports of SFII are much closer to what's available on Neo Geo.
    No doubt about that. SCD introduced a completely different bottle neck into the equation, which would be the amount of data you can provide at once. That's where cartridges were superior to CDs, the entire ROM is available for access at all times.




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    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    Simply competing with the size of the NES library was part of why Sega so wrongly chose to offer SMS retrocompatibility instead of better RAM/processing/audio/whatever, but the viability of conspicuously downgraded arcade ports must have convinced them that high expensive fidelity was needless.
    No. All Sega consoles were compatible to their predecessors.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    I still maintain (as I did in another NeoGeo thread) that the MD would have flourished at $300 launch price given correct Playstation style marketing and the same game prices we actually saw, as it wasn't the Neo's hardware price alone that put it out of reach---$200+ a pop for games was what really did it.
    No objections here. Sega was at the right place at the right time, and they had EXCELLENT software. Whether the hardware itself was 10x more powerful than the NES or 1000x times was not that important (at least for the US market).

    Quote Originally Posted by sheath View Post
    Hmm, that is very interesting, I suspect StarMist is right. Sega started to de-emphasize its Arcade properties in an effort to draw more third parties to develop for their console. If that is so, there must be a watershed moment where Sega of Japan was either negotiation with or had a fallout with a major third party Arcade developer. At a guess, I would pin this somewhere in 1991, perhaps during the development of the Sega CD. From 1991 on Sega's marketing and general development direction shifted from Arcade at home to being their own all-in-wonder first party console developer.
    Let's not forget that marketing was totally different in Japan and Europe. The arcade/sports focus only applied to the US marketing.

    Japan had TV licenses from the start (Osomatsu-kun, Fist of the North Star, Kujaku-Oh 2, Rambo III) plus the classic Sega brands (Alex Kidd, Phantasy Star, Shinobi), plus sports (Super League Baseball, Super Real Basketball, Super Masters Golf), plus computer ports (Super Daisenryaku, Sorcerian), plus arcade conversion (Truxton, Altered Beast, Forgotten Worlds, Golden Axe). Arcade conversions made up just one fraction of Sega of Japan's launch titles.

    Similar goes for the Japanese software catalog for SG-1000, Mark III, Master System and Game Gear btw.


    Quote Originally Posted by lumclaw View Post
    I doubt we'll ever understand that one. Except for minimal cost of doing so. They continued to keep support for SMS either active (CDX) or latent fixable (Nomad / Genny 3), years after average users considered it dead and buried in the most morbid way possible.
    Seems people at SOJ really loved their hardware and couldn't let go. All those EU exclusive SMS games wouldn't be anywhere near as good if they'd not ooze total and utter love for the hardware. And let's not forget that the same hardware eventually became the Game Gear - which they supported until late 1996 in Japan. Game Gear made it possible to carry on with SMS support until the mid 90s, and that's what they did for the European and South-American market.
    Last edited by retrospiel; 12-25-2011 at 07:37 PM.
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jadty View Post
    The processor speed is on par with the Neo Geo, 32X having 2 processors at 23mhz and the Neo Geo having one at 12mhz, and a Z80 at 4mhz. Due to the different architectures, I'm not sure how they compare to each other and if the speed would make a big difference.
    Using MIPS for measuring processor power has too many problems due to architectural differences... for what it's worth,

    SH2 @ 23 MHz is about 20 MIPS
    68000 @ 8 MHz is about 1 MIPS
    Z80 @ 4 MHz is about .4 MIPS

    The MIPS for the 68000 and SH2 are roughly comparable as they both do similar operations on the same amount of data, but the operations in the case of the Z80 are on 8 bit data, so it's not nearly as comparable as the figure what make it seem. The Z80 may need to do two or four times the work to do the same amount of work as the 68000 or SH2. You could say that in comparing them, the Z80 would more more equivalent to .2 to .1 MIPS of the same scale as the 68000/SH2. It's the same issue when trying to compare the 6502 or 65816 with the 68000.

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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    The Sega-CD is also a good example for the opposite. Look at how much was lost in Neo Geo to Sega-CD fighting game ports. For that matter, look at how much was lost in Neo Geo CD ports, with it's massive load space. I think that the Genesis ports of SFII are much closer to what's available on Neo Geo
    I still have my Neo Geo CD ROM and little was lost on the Vs Fighters on the system and in came music which blew away the MVS/AES versions imo (and they already sounded stunning) The new music tracks in KOF and more so SS were hauntingly brilliant . All it showed was a RAM issue and we can all use games to suite our argument. If you look at Mega CD games like Snatcher, Lunar II, Switch those were games that just couldn't be done on Carts due to the data needed for those games and Eternal Champions on the Mega CD is much better than its Cart based cousin and then there are the Mega CD games (well CD games really) that were better than their Cart/Disc based versions thanks to the extra's that the Medium allowed like with Wing Commander , Popful Mail , Fifa, Dune, even just adding a CD soundtrack could make a world of difference to games like Ecco, Pitfall ECT
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    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    even a 4 meg Neo Geo game could do 10+ overlapping background layers.
    Too bad no Neo Geo game even came close to this. There might be a Neo Geo game out there with 4 BG layers + "sprites" but I would be blown away if there as a game that ever had more. With only 96 sprites per scanline and the Neo Geo needing to use sprites to draw backgrounds, I'm not surprised that most games only use two BG layers. Some use 3 and I've never seen 4 but there might be an example somewhere. It's just that the 96 sprites per scanline is too weak and flicker would come in pretty quickly. Not sure why they didn't give the thing at least 1 real BG layer. It would take 20 sprites to fill just one screen-width of background. The 96 sprite-per-scanline means the Neo Geo has a maximum of 4.8 background layers before flicker occurs. Knocking the resolution down to 304 pixels wide and you can just squeeze in 5 layers. This is without the player or any enemies onscreen at all. If you want the player(s) and enemy(s) onscreen you gotta knock that back to a safe 3.

    Another area the Neo Geo is lacking in is color. Theoretically the system has tons of color, but in reality the games themselves did not seem as colorful as many Super Nintendo games and certainly not as colorful as Capcom arcade games. Rarely did you see games with smooth gradients and instead saw dithering used to blend colors.

  10. #25
    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Another area the Neo Geo is lacking in is color. Theoretically the system has tons of color, but in reality the games themselves did not seem as colorful as many Super Nintendo games and certainly not as colorful as Capcom arcade games. Rarely did you see games with smooth gradients and instead saw dithering used to blend colors.
    That's because sprites are still limited to 16 colors, and since they don't have a vertical size limit, most games just used 1 or 2 sprites per 16pixel column.
    Raster effects were also uncommon, which is a shame since the Neo Geo has enough colors to do nice vertical gradients.
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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Too bad no Neo Geo game even came close to this. There might be a Neo Geo game out there with 4 BG layers + "sprites" but I would be blown away if there as a game that ever had more. With only 96 sprites per scanline and the Neo Geo needing to use sprites to draw backgrounds, I'm not surprised that most games only use two BG layers. Some use 3 and I've never seen 4 but there might be an example somewhere. It's just that the 96 sprites per scanline is too weak and flicker would come in pretty quickly. Not sure why they didn't give the thing at least 1 real BG layer. It would take 20 sprites to fill just one screen-width of background. The 96 sprite-per-scanline means the Neo Geo has a maximum of 4.8 background layers before flicker occurs. Knocking the resolution down to 304 pixels wide and you can just squeeze in 5 layers. This is without the player or any enemies onscreen at all. If you want the player(s) and enemy(s) onscreen you gotta knock that back to a safe 3.

    Another area the Neo Geo is lacking in is color. Theoretically the system has tons of color, but in reality the games themselves did not seem as colorful as many Super Nintendo games and certainly not as colorful as Capcom arcade games. Rarely did you see games with smooth gradients and instead saw dithering used to blend colors.
    I didn't realize that Neo Geo sprites could only be 16 pixels wide. The 512 pixel height seems like ridiculous overkill.

    I guess that the vertical strip aspect of the sprites combined with the 96 sprites per scanline limit must be what limits the onscreen colors so much. If a game used small square sprites like tiles, it could begin to display a lot of color, but it would run into sprite limits sooner.

    Although I just threw a number out there, I didn't mean 10 solid screens of backgrounds that you can't see through, as that wouldn't be parallax. I was thinking of the simple and crude kind you see in small cart games. An easy to describe example would be layers of strategically spaced out vertical columns.

  12. #27
    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    The 512 pixel height seems like ridiculous overkill.
    Amiga sprites are unlimited in height :P (and I'm talking hardware sprites, not bobs)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Amiga sprites are unlimited in height :P (and I'm talking hardware sprites, not bobs)
    A8 sprites were also unlimited in height.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    A8 sprites were also unlimited in height.
    TIA, ANTIC, CTIA and Denise were all designed by Jay Miner, so it's not surprising
    They all have unlimited sprite heights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    TIA, ANTIC, CTIA and Denise were all designed by Jay Miner, so it's not surprising
    They all have unlimited sprite heights.
    Yep, which was part of the reason I went from the A8 to Amiga. I rather liked how well the A8 was designed, and the best parts carried over to the Amiga. It was the true successor to the A8, but Atari and CBM kinda swapped 16-bit platforms there.

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