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Thread: Is It Me, or Does the Nintendo 64 SUCK?!

  1. #1006
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    26 pages -- and that's with maximum posts per page turned on; I have no idea how many it'd be otherwise -- to end up with:

    "A Black Falcon loves anti-aliasing, thinks it adds detail (despite the fact that information theory says it can't), and doesn't know (or understand) what pixelation is."

  2. #1007
    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturndual32 View Post
    They had videogame mags at your library?, cool!. Thats unheard off, were i live, hehe.
    Well, one, Nintendo Power. It was nice that they kept subscribing to it all the way from the early '90s until at least the mid '00s, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoZeedeater View Post
    Because you have a reputation for Nintendo system bias here so getting most of your console gaming news from Nintendo Power instead of a multi-format mag doesn't help that image
    Like most people, I wanted to read gaming magazines for the platforms that I had, not for systems I didn't -- which, in the '90s, meant the Game Boy, GBC from late '98 on, and PC. Sure, during the 4th generation I played more Genesis than SNES because I knew more people with the Genesis, but I wasn't going to be buying some magazine for a platform I didn't own.

    For instance, I stopped subscribing to NP in early '97 because I didn't think it was worth the money when I could still read it from the library and the amount of pages in the magazine about the Game Boy kept dropping, because the GB was in the middle of its multi-year slump (that Pokemon later rescued it from). I didn't want to pay for it to read about N64 games I couldn't play. The PC Gamer subscription I kept a lot longer -- I bought various PC gaming magazines in '96 (I got at least seven or eight that year, trying out the options), then after deciding that PCG was the best one, I subscribed to PCG in early '97, and stayed a subscriber for four years before ending it in mid '01 because the magazine was getting thinner and less good, and internet connections faster so downloading demos was more feasible than it had been in the past. PCG US is certainly my favorite gaming magazine ever, particularly the ones from about '96 to '98 when it was at its peak.

    As for console bias, I like Nintendo's systems, the best, Sega's the second best, and Sony's the least. Others are in between -- Hudson/NEC, Microsoft, and such.

    (my post wasn't totally serious anyway).
    Ah, it's hard to tell that kind of thing on the internet...

    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I'm stating the facts. Trekkies brought up some very valid points,
    He stated some facts, but most of his posts are dedicated to insisting that his personal opinion on a subjective issue is right and mine is wrong. That's a very different thing.

    signatures
    Those signatures do mean one thing, that this site allows seriously insulting sigs in a way many other forums would never allow. But that you'd actually go and insult people in your sig just because it's allowed isn't something you should be proud of. I'd never do that. I like to debate issues, not insult people...

    You don't even know what the difference is between pixelated and pixels. SNES games all use pixels to draw their images. When a game uses Mode 7 on the SNES, those pixels become (stretched) pixelated and something that was once made up of 8 x 8 pixels could be as large as 16 x 16 pixels by doubling each pixel.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Pixe...odOg8BgA&dpr=1
    You might want to try actually reading my posts before making up nonsensical insults which have no truth to them.

    If you'd read my posts, you'd know that I said that the 'you can see every pixel' chunky-pixel look works great in 2d games, as most SNES games are. The problem is that it looks TERRIBLE in 3d games. That search link there includes many examples of 2d sprite art high in the results, examples of "good" pixelization.

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeJunker View Post
    Can we stop saying low "quality" and stick to saying low resolution, looking at you A Black Falcon. Quality is too broad an adjective when what we're really talking about is how many pixels are actually in the texture maps, the pixel resolution or texel resolution if you want to get really anal.
    I definitely have tried to use the term "resolution", yes, over "quality"; quality should refer to how well-drawn the texture is, not its resolution.

    You can filter all live long day on any hardware that supports it whether software or hardware based but when the texture map is too low in resolution it WASHES OUT, all that love and care put into the texture gone. It's like if someone spilled water all over your water color painting you just put 4 hours into.

    If you can get the texture resolution up to 1 pixel per square inch on N64 the filtering greatly enhances the visuals because the detail is still visible but on N64 that usually wasn't the case, we're talking 1 pixel per 2,3,4+ square inches which is WAY too large no matter how much you filter it. Other than using the Expansion Pak to compensate this texture resolution gulf it was really hard to get the textures to not look like ass after filtering, it was premature of Nintendo to even have that feature without the texture memory and cache to back it up.
    I've said many times that the texture cache is the system's one major hardware flaw, so sure, it was a problem. It just wasn't something which completely ruined the system or something, but it doesn't sound like you think that either.

    It's not like the PS1 or Saturn were drowning in texture memory, nobody ever has on a console, but given how low resolution ALL the textures were at that point on consoles it would have at least been a nice option on N64 to be able to turn off the filtering when the textures are like 16X16 pixels. As anyone who's tried PS1 games on PS2 or better, texture filtering really isn't that magical.
    It's not like you can't get good graphics through a N64, it's just that Nintendo made it way too hard to achieve than they should have. If the N64 actually behaved like PC 3D accelerator we wouldn't even be having this discussion but it was extremely conditional to get it to perform well so we're just debating apples & oranges just like the Snes VS Mega Drive debates IE. you want color or speed.
    The N64 is better than any reasonably-priced PC 3d accelerator available in June 1996 when the system released in Japan, but of course it looks dated compared to cards from years later.

    Anyway, the N64 does behave somewhat like a PC 3d accelerator circa 1996, just with way worse textures. I mean, the N64's graphics chip was made by Silicon Graphics, then one of the leaders in graphics hardware, and the people who founded 3DFX also came from that same company. (ATI later got some of the people from SGI as that company faded, which is why Nintendo then went to partner with ATI for the Gamecube's graphics.)

    ABF what the heck do you have against pixels, they're a basic element of video game graphics, it's like hating water or steel, why do you think it's so bad to see them? I come across lots of people like this who seem "offended" by the sight of pixels in retro graphics no less , employing all kinds of filters, external hardware, emulation, clone systems to run away from the fact that game graphics are just a bunch of pixels when all is said and done. If all you want is to not see pixels, you win the N64 has filtering.
    As I've said several times now, pixels look great in 2d. But visible chunky pixels in 3d graphics look bad. I don't want to see visible pixels in 3d graphics. It's not about the PS1 or Saturn; I think mid '90s 3d PC games which have that same look are quite ugly looking as well. The massive advances of the later '90s completely spoiled me for the ugliness of mid '90s chunky-pixel textures... going from late '90s PC to the N64 took adjustment as well, certainly -- N64 textures certainly often do not look very good -- but the chunky-pixel look is even worse.

    I actually had Nintendo Power at my library but they stopped not long ago, I can't afford the space or money for mags anymore so I was sad they stopped.
    I bought the last issue of NP just so that I would have it. It was cool how they had a revision of the first issue's cover as the new cover. The poster of all NP covers is nice too. It's too bad the magazine had to end, though... I love the internet, but having paper magazines IS nice sometimes.

    Still thumbs up for libraries as they are still a vital institution iPad people. As far as impartial magazine reviews in magazines dedicated to a specific console ROFL, every magazine about one console can never be impartial by default.

    For me Nintendo Power was just for coverage, reading about what was coming out, the reviews gravitated between bland and false praising like most "independent" magazines and still fall into that place.
    Still I'll take Nintendo Power over most of what's left of gaming magazines these days, other shit looks and reads like Esquire these days. I want my childish looking magazines back please.
    I admit, I don't go to the library nearly as often in recent years as I did growing up... I probably should, I love books. As far as gaming stuff at libraries around here though, there isn't much anymore; I don't think the library here gets any gaming magazines, at least not anymore. Ah well. There aren't many of them anymore, anyway, thanks to the internet... PC Gamer still exists, but not many others. I do have a Game Informer subscription, and have for a couple of years now, thanks to Gamestop giving it out for 'free' with their card that gets you 10% off used games...

    Oh, and as for NP and impartiality, I'm sure they were biased, the magazine existed to help sell Nintendo games after all... but if you look at their reviews, they gave a lot of mediocre scores; it was not some outlet which praised every game. They probably had a stronger bias towards first-party games than third party, but even there sometimes they gave critical reviews.
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 07-23-2015 at 10:49 PM.

  3. #1008
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABF
    He stated some facts, but most of his posts are dedicated to insisting that his personal opinion on a subjective issue is right and mine is wrong. That's a very different thing.
    No, he posted pictures of textures that were smooth, yet you nitpicked about seeing a couple of pixels (those pictures he posted enhance that btw) on the edge of a texture. Pixelated is when you can see each individual pixel inside of the texture. There's a big difference. Most of the games on the N64 look blurry, because the source texture is already a blocky mess before AA is applied to it. Like TrekkiesUnite118 said, you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what he is showing you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ABF
    If you'd read my posts, you'd know that I said that the 'you can see every pixel' chunky-pixel look works great in 2d games, as most SNES games are. The problem is that it looks TERRIBLE in 3d games. That search link there includes many examples of 2d sprite art high in the results, examples of "good" pixelization.
    Duh, you dimwit. That's exactly what that search was..."Pixelization".
    Last edited by gamevet; 07-23-2015 at 11:15 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  4. #1009
    Raging in the Streets A Black Falcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    No, he posted pictures of textures that were smooth, yet you nitpicked about seeing a couple of pixels (those pictures he posted enhance that btw) on the edge of a texture.
    I'm really not nitpicking. I'm saying that that kind of thing really bothers me. I think it looks really ugly, and it's not really about just a few pixels, those are just examples; in a lot of games it's really the whole screen, or at least everywhere where there are textured polygons, anyway. Grandia is a great example of that, I can't think of one thing to focus a complaint on because the whole screen, sprites excepted, looks so bad on a technical level. The good to great art design the game has throughout helps, but that doesn't make the problem go away, unfortunately. Or for another example, I have commented before on how bad the (polygonal) characters look in Final Fantasy IX (PS1) compared to the nice prerendered backdrops they're on top of. I like the sprites-on-prerendered-backdrops look of Star Ocean: The Second Story more.

    Pixelated is when you can see each individual pixel inside of the texture. There's a big difference.
    ... In those Virtua Fighter series shots, for example, you certainly can see MANY individual pixels in each texture. The same for Grandia, etc.

    Most of the games on the N64 look blurry, because the source texture is already a blocky mess before AA is applied to it. Like TrekkiesUnite118 said, you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what he is showing you.
    I haven't disagreed with that at all, of course the source textures are low resolution. It's the "and they are so low-rez that filtering them doesn't help" (no, it gets rid of the chunky-pixel look that would otherwise be there) and "that looks so bad I hate it more than anything the PS1/Saturn do" parts I disagree with. On that note, for textures & polygon model image quality that generation, as I think I said before my favorites probably are in the few PS1 games that use high-res graphics like Wipeout 3; then the best N64 textures would be next (BfN, etc.); and down from there, with most 3d PS1/Saturn games being behind most N64 games.

    Duh, you dimwit. That's exactly what that search was..."Pixelization".
    The link was in a section relating to stuff like how Mode 7 stretches a texture over a large area, making the pixels super chunky, not just sprite art in general I thought. But regardless, my point was that those search results show all kinds of things, not just one. There are pictures turned into a super-low-rez block of pixels, there is 2d sprite art, there are some 3d graphics with super-chunky 8-bit-esque pixel-art textures, etc.

    As for Mode 7, yes, Mode 7 objects often are hideously pixelated and look terrible, it's true.
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 07-24-2015 at 02:10 AM.

  5. #1010
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I'm really not nitpicking, I don't think.
    Well, make up your mind on what you were doing.

    I'm saying that that kind of thing really bothers me. I think it looks really ugly, and it's not really about just a few pixels, those are just examples; in a lot of games it's really the whole screen, or at least everywhere where there are textured polygons, anyway. Grandia is a great example of that, I can't think of one thing to focus a complaint on because the whole screen, sprites excepted, looks so bad on a technical level. The good to great art design the game has throughout helps, but that doesn't make the problem go away., unfortunately. Or for another example, I have commented before on how bad the (polygonal) characters look in Final Fantasy IX (PS1) compared to the nice prerendered backdrops they're on top of. I like the sprites-on-prerendered-backdrops look of Star Ocean: The Second Story more.
    The rest of us think that a piss-poor(minimal color)texture map smeared over with AA looks like ass. Grandia looks great to me; I don't see how (bad) AA would make it massively better looking. I'd much rather have a brick that has detail (and color change) to its form, over a brick (with minimal color variance) that looks so blurry, that I think that my eyesight is failing me.


    The link was in a section relating to stuff like how Mode 7 stretches a texture over a large area, making the pixels super chunky, not just sprite art in general I thought. But regardless, my point was that those search results show all kinds of things, not just one. There are pictures turned into a super-low-rez block of pixels, there is 2d sprite art, there are some 3d graphics with super-chunky 8-bit-esque pixel-art textures, etc.

    As for Mode 7, yes, Mode 7 objects often are hideously pixelated and look terrible, it's true.
    It doesn't matter where the link was. It clearly shows in the google box what the search was.

    Mode 7 is a prime example of what happens to an object (sprite), once you stretch it out; It becomes heavily pixelated.
    Last edited by gamevet; 07-24-2015 at 01:16 AM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  6. #1011
    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    . I think it looks really ugly, and it's not really about just a few pixels, those are just examples; in a lot of games it's really the whole screen, or at least everywhere where there are textured polygons, anyway. Grandia is a great example of that, I can't think of one thing to focus a complaint on because the whole screen, sprites excepted, looks so bad on a technical level.
    Show me another game from 1997 that looks better with the same game style. For 1997 3D, it looks fine. There's minimal pixelization, no warping, no seaming, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    ... In those Virtua FIghter series shots, for example, you certainly can see MANY individual pixels in each texture. The same for Grandia, etc.
    Specifically point to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I haven't disagreed with that at all, of course the source textures are low resolution. It's the "and they are so low-rez that filtering them doesn't help" (no, it gets rid of the chunky-pixel look that would otherwise be there) and "that looks so bad I hate it more than anything the PS1/Saturn do" parts I disagree with.
    Filtering may help those crappy N64 quality textures if they weren't filtered. It doesn't however make them look better than the higher quality textures you see on the Saturn and PS1. That's the point.

  7. #1012
    Road Rasher BladeJunker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    We've had endless discussions describing the many aspects of the N64's texture issues. Summerizing by something like "quality" saves us from rehashing the details. It's not just a resolution thing. There's the excessive tiling, small swatches stretched painfully far, lack of variety, etc... all before it gets filtered.

    There are some games with nice sharp textures which don't look pixelated for the resolution. Most just happened to be on PSX/Saturn.
    I'm sorry but you can't escape the endless discussions or summarize anything specific under a highly generic term. The problem with Quality is I've often heard people say "It really looks bad, it has PS1 quality textures." or "The PS1 has low quality texture maps." completely disregarding the skill of art put into them. You got be specific, the more general you get the more misinformation gets spread, it's damaging to the mind share of the internet.

    It's mostly resolution, resolution is everything when it comes to texture maps and 3D graphics in general, pixel resolution, poly resolution, screen resolution. Tiling even excessively is inevitable at this level of 3D graphics hardware, more so on consoles which had far less memory than PCs in the same time era. You can lessen excess tiling in 2D graphics on any of the consoles of the 90s but the need for optimal polygonal geometry pretty much ties your hands at how repetitious texture maps are on N64,PS1, or Saturn.

    You can't avoid pixelation in texture maps much, the camera is always getting too close to the texture maps and the pixels get huge. The only ways to avoid that is 2.5D platformers where you tend to keep the camera wide angle at all times. Another is fighting games where the texture maps are much higher in resolution than is typical because you're only texturing 2 people and an arena rather than spreading it over several assets, allowing the camera to get close to the fighters without much pixelation.

  8. #1013
    Road Rasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Show me another game from 1997 that looks better with the same game style. For 1997 3D, it looks fine. There's minimal pixelization, no warping, no seaming, etc.
    Grandia looked/looks great. I used to drool over my Game Fan mags when watching screenshots of Grandia on it. I doubt the N64 could do it justice, due to the quality and variety of textures, and more importantly the benefits of the CD format. It was one of those very special engines that made great use of the VDP1 and VDP2 combo, and thus, makes it dificult to 1:1 replicate even on more powerful systems that do 3d the more usual way.

    What Zelda Ocarina of Time means to N64 fans, Grandia means to me as a Sega Saturn fan.

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    Road Rasher BladeJunker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I definitely have tried to use the term "resolution", yes, over "quality"; quality should refer to how well-drawn the texture is, not its resolution.
    I appreciate that. It's like Ninja Gaiden rather than Ninja Gay-den.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I've said many times that the texture cache is the system's one major hardware flaw, so sure, it was a problem. It just wasn't something which completely ruined the system or something, but it doesn't sound like you think that either.
    Nooo, it doesn't ruin the system, it's just a pain in the ass, all consoles have a pain in the ass feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    The N64 is better than any reasonably-priced PC 3d accelerator available in June 1996 when the system released in Japan, but of course it looks dated compared to cards from years later.

    Anyway, the N64 does behave somewhat like a PC 3d accelerator circa 1996, just with way worse textures. I mean, the N64's graphics chip was made by Silicon Graphics, then one of the leaders in graphics hardware, and the people who founded 3DFX also came from that same company. (ATI later got some of the people from SGI as that company faded, which is why Nintendo then went to partner with ATI for the Gamecube's graphics.)
    Yeah somewhat like PC with a 3D accelerator but harder, still I'd probably build graphics for the N64 in the same way I would for the Voodoo cards of the same time frame.

    Silicon Graphics, ol' SGI , not the worst company but on good authority from Gammadev over at ewhac on Youtube he has some stories about working with those guys on the cancelled M2 hardware and how lazy they were at chip testing that they would leave entire regions of chip silicon disconnected and forced power of 2 texture maps on every 3D chipset they were involved with.
    I did love my 3DFX cards back in the day though, and I had a few ATi cards so they weren't all bad.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/BolsEwh...sort=dd&view=0
    Some good stories about working at 3DO.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    As I've said several times now, pixels look great in 2d. But visible chunky pixels in 3d graphics look bad. I don't want to see visible pixels in 3d graphics. It's not about the PS1 or Saturn; I think mid '90s 3d PC games which have that same look are quite ugly looking as well. The massive advances of the later '90s completely spoiled me for the ugliness of mid '90s chunky-pixel textures... going from late '90s PC to the N64 took adjustment as well, certainly -- N64 textures certainly often do not look very good -- but the chunky-pixel look is even worse.
    I think we're all a little spoiled with 3D graphics now, a lot of people can't look at those 90s graphics anymore except for a few exceptions. Many just look bad regardless of vintage like Deathtrap Dungeon, that looked bad to me in 1998.

    It was a bad time for 2D in the 90s, western developers insisted on crappy polygon meshes all the time rather than use those old stinky sprites.

    I spent most of the late 90s and early 00s learning how to low poly model because I hated how most developers spent their poly counts. Not much came of it because that's all I could do well as my pixel art and game design work was crap, me and my buddy were going to be the next Id lol. Good times.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I bought the last issue of NP just so that I would have it. It was cool how they had a revision of the first issue's cover as the new cover. The poster of all NP covers is nice too. It's too bad the magazine had to end, though... I love the internet, but having paper magazines IS nice sometimes.
    I remember that issue, should have bought one. Occasionally I find some old gaming mags at thrift for 25 cents. I'd probably complain about print magazines decreasing but it's not like I'm buying them lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    I admit, I don't go to the library nearly as often in recent years as I did growing up... I probably should, I love books. As far as gaming stuff at libraries around here though, there isn't much anymore; I don't think the library here gets any gaming magazines, at least not anymore. Ah well. There aren't many of them anymore, anyway, thanks to the internet... PC Gamer still exists, but not many others. I do have a Game Informer subscription, and have for a couple of years now, thanks to Gamestop giving it out for 'free' with their card that gets you 10% off used games...

    Oh, and as for NP and impartiality, I'm sure they were biased, the magazine existed to help sell Nintendo games after all... but if you look at their reviews, they gave a lot of mediocre scores; it was not some outlet which praised every game. They probably had a stronger bias towards first-party games than third party, but even there sometimes they gave critical reviews.
    Well I don't go that often to the library but when I do it's still an active place in my community, I just hate people who dog the library's relevance in the modern world, they might be all online all the time but that's not he case for everyone. When my last computer died the library was the only place I could get online for awhile, good place to have when you're broke.

    I still pick up PC Gamer once and a while and I used to buy Game Informer often but I haven't liked it much lately. I liked Play(Does that still exist?), but I could only get it at Chapters rather than in supermarkets like I used to.

    Yeah the first party reviews in NP were always the most biased but that was true of Xbox Magazine and Playstation Magazine. Most people find IGN to be pretty worthless and I'd have to agree with that.

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