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Thread: Can Sega-16 Beat the Last of the Genesis, Sega CD, & 32X Libraries in 2018

  1. #991
    Hero of Algol
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    So, giving more info on my experience with the 32X version:

    - The AI is certainly more aggressive and relentless than in the Genesis version.
    I'm a bit shocked that this information is not usually cited in reviews, "ultimate comparisons" and other crappy content generated by well-paid youtubers.
    This is very relevant IMO, given that both PS1 and Saturn versions have poor/buggy/unfinished AI; and the SNES/Genesis versions are a bit of a walk in the park once you learn how to really play the game.
    Best renditions of the NBA Jam TE in terms of gameplay are really the Jaguar and 32X ones, with the Jaguar allegedly having the upper hand (I have a Jaguar here and I want to check this info as well).

    One of the key differences to the Genesis version is how much the AI is capable of following/challenging you while you're in a turbo run to the basket.
    No matter if you increase the difficulty in the Genesis version, it isn't capable of matching the patterns of the 32X's. I tested it myself.

    The 32X AI is really tough on you with the 3-point shooting. 99.999% of the time they'll get it right, so you really need to learn how to play defense otherwise you'll get quickly thrashed by several teams.
    In the Genesis version it's not so rare to see the AI going for an "ugly shot" from the 3-point line; that never happens on the 32X on Normal difficulty.
    Non-forced errors are super rare in the 32X version, if you want to have the chance of a rebound, you better work your ass off on defense first and then run to the basket hoping for a chance of rebound. I said a chance.

    I'm not familiar with the gazilion of different arcade revisions and their subtle changes, but I suppose that both the 32X and Jaguar versions are using a later revision of the AI and rules when compared to the SNES/Genesis versions.
    At least these are the kind of changes that would make all the sense in terms of prolonging the game's life as a money maker for the arcade owners.


    - As I hinted above, some underlying mechanics/rules of the game are a bit different in the 32X version.
    When you're "on fire", you can really hit those 3-pointers with all the confidence 'cause in the vast majority of the time they'll work. This is a bit different in the Genesis version, where the "on fire" status boosts your chances but doesn't really guarantee it.
    The ranking provided by the "on fire" status is definitely more significant the 32X version, also 'cause regularly your 3-point shooting is harder to work on the 32X version.


    - There's a key difference with the "goaltending" usage too (again, I have to assume that people never mention this 'cause they review games after playing them by 10 minutes or so).
    In the 32X version, if you commit goaltending it counts as a step towards the "on fire" status. While on the SNES/Genesis version it breaks your streak.
    And it works both ways, so if the 32X's AI commits goaltending in your shot, it breaks your streak (unlike in the SNES/Genesis versions).

    I really need to check the Jaguar and maybe even the arcade revisions to see it's something unique to the 32X version or not.
    But, then again, it forces you to be more proactive in your way of playing, just like the other changes; so I tend to believe it's not a bug.


    - The behavior of the AI in the closing moments of the quarters is also noticeably more aggressive in the 32X version.
    It's almost impossible to run with the ball from your area if there's less than 10 seconds on the clock. The AI will jump you, holmie.

    They'll beat you up with no mercy, so, you either have a very fast player with no injuries and try to run fast, or just shoot the ball to the opposite side straight away, 'cause you'll most likely get the ball stolen from you and dunked in your face after getting beaten down.



    - Your hail mary shots at the buzzer will fail 99.999% of the time while the AI's will be dead on 99.999% of the time.
    The AI shooting at the buzzer just doesn't seem to be so blessed during the overtime; in any other period, just assume they'll score if they throw the ball before the buzzer.


    - As a result of the tougher and more aggressive AI, you gotta be fucking violent if you want to succeed. You better beat the shit out of the opposition and manage the injuries better than them otherwise you'll hardly win.

    - The in-game sound needs to be investigated. 'Cause it seems to use a less-polished rendition of the Genesis version.
    The same GEMS tracks have better stereo separation on the Genesis and even some better instruments and there's no white noise mimicking the crowd's noise when the PCM sample used for the real crowd noise is stopped by a move announcement sample.
    In the Genesis version, they smartly transition the crowd roar PCM sample to a PSG-based white noise when they need to play other PCM samples.

    IMO they probably retouched the Genesis version sound system prior to the final build but never brought over those changes to the 32X side of things.
    Despite the 32X version have been released later, I wouldn't be surprise if the build dates or at least the code changes to that part of the game were older than the Genesis one.

    Other than that, the 32X version sounds way better in the pre-game screens using sampled music.

    - Graphically, the 32X version is way better but the Genesis-generated backgrounds could have made better use of color. It's a shame 'cause it could have looked closer to the Jaguar one and less rosy/rainbow-ish than it does.
    Last edited by Barone; 10-05-2020 at 07:58 PM.

  2. #992
    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    This is fantastic stuff, Barone -- I especially love your observations about the AI and the way that goaltending is handled differently with regard to the "on fire" streak. Those subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) differences are so frequently overlooked, especially in sports games.

    Getting close on the 32X front, as we're now down to seven games left! I really need to dig out Toughman Contest again.

  3. #993
    Hero of Algol
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    This is fantastic stuff, Barone -- I especially love your observations about the AI and the way that goaltending is handled differently with regard to the "on fire" streak. Those subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) differences are so frequently overlooked, especially in sports games.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I really need to check the Jaguar and maybe even the arcade revisions to see it's something unique to the 32X version or not.
    But, then again, it forces you to be more proactive in your way of playing, just like the other changes; so I tend to believe it's not a bug.
    So I've briefly checked the Jaguar version:
    - Goaltending works the same way as in the 32X version.

    - The AI when set to Hard or Extra Hard behaves closer to the Normal or Hard setting of the 32X's but none of Jaguar's difficulty settings offer the same blitzkrieg and dead on hail mary shots in the closing moments of a quarter as the 32X version does since the Normal level (easy and extra easy don't use that, which is also interesting).

    - Aside from being better/more aggressive at clutch moments, the 32X's AI also execute plays far more quickly when you compare its upper difficulty levels with the Jaguar's; turbo passes and all.

    - The Jaguar port has surely more non-forced AI errors on shooting than the 32X's, but it also applies more random errors on your attempts of shooting and dunking than the 32X's.

    - Also, about the sound, Jaguar has far more voice clips in-game and even has samples for each player's name. I guess the reuse of the Genesis version sound engine really hurt the 32X's in terms of how much more space the samples for Genesis games usually take.

  4. #994
    Road Rasher Night Driver's Avatar
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    Illuminating dissection of NBA Jam TE.

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