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Thread: Low resolution mode (like X-Men, etc.): Why?

  1. #31
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Stifu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    So I don't think the Genesis hardware was really deficient if you think of it that way, that had the markets supported it, the Genesis could have evolved better, as the all-in-one unit. Instead of it all being abandoned suddenly, as it happened.
    Or maybe the fact the hardware was deficient is what ultimately made it die earlier than it could have.

    The Sega CD + 32x combo just could never have worked, even without the 3D craze. It's one thing to have a single add-on, but two? Way too expensive and inconvenient, both for players and developers.

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stifu View Post
    Or maybe the fact the hardware was deficient is what ultimately made it die earlier than it could have.

    The Sega CD + 32x combo just could never have worked, even without the 3D craze. It's one thing to have a single add-on, but two? Way too expensive and inconvenient, both for players and developers.
    No, I'm saying that if the market didn't go crazy for 3D at that point in time, and so SEGA didn't suddenly abandon Genesis, and if people were still supporting the console: Then sure the Genesis could have kept going, with really interesting games possible for another couple years. New games using the 32x thousands of colors, etc.

    The add-ons could have made sense if the all-in-one unit actually was released. (What was this idea called? Neptune?)

    Then people could buy a newer all-in-one unit, to be the same as the older Genesis plus all its add-ons.

    I think the big problem is that the market interests just didn't evolve that way. Hence SEGA pulled everything, and only pushed the Saturn, it was because the whole market was going crazy for next gen 3D consoles...

    Anyways sure the Neptune(?) could have been great, practically unlimited colors and abilities of the 32x and Sega CD built in, it could have been great.

    The big problem was the direction of the whole market imo, it wasn't supportive of that evolution of the Genesis and its add-ons.

  3. #33
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the 32x and the Sega-CD don't really work well together. The 32x adds extra PCM channels.... but so does the Sega CD, they are redundant. The 32x adds a 256 color framebuffer, but the Sega CD ASIC doesn't generate graphics in a format usable by it, so an additional conversion step is necessary and at that point you may as well just use the 32x CPUs to do it. You also now have a console with a whooping 5 CPUs, the 68k on the MD, the 68k on the SCD, the Z80, and the two SH2 in the 32x.

    As romantic as the idea of a Sega Neptune is... it wouldn't have been a good thing, it would have been a very poorly made mess, as was the genesis with all the add-ons at the same time.

  4. #34
    Hero of Algol
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    Two add-ons, three giant power bricks, several versions of the same games, sometimes by different developers and publishers; lol, Sega was ridiculous with that.
    No way it was going to work. They should've stopped on the Sega CD; at least it had the CD medium as an excuse.

    32X was a very retard idea; even more retard in the context of the Saturn and the shared CPUs (we know how badly it ended up impact production and distribution).

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher Stifu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    Anyways sure the Neptune(?) could have been great, practically unlimited colors and abilities of the 32x and Sega CD built in, it could have been great.
    As far as I know, the Neptune was supposed to be a Genesis + 32x unit, but without the Sega CD. I'm not sure there were plans to have all 3 units into a single one, and I'm not sure it would have made much sense anyway, having both carts and CDs as well as the technical mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    The big problem was the direction of the whole market imo, it wasn't supportive of that evolution of the Genesis and its add-ons.
    And rightfully so. This was just natural selection in action.

  6. #36
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleste View Post
    It's blatantly obvious that, had the Megadrive been able to pick up colors from a 4096 maximum, exactly as Amiga OCS, it would have been in much, much better position in Its late life. Its attempts at rendered graphics might have given DKC a competition of sorts, instead of dropping the ball altogether. Colors was the game changer.
    Dude, that wouldn't have mattered shit if the graphics are still stuck able to only use a small amount of colors, you end up with the same result due to the large steps needed in shading in order to cram in more hues in the same palette. That's literally the whole point being made.

    First you need to have more palettes before you can even consider increasing the color depth.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stifu View Post
    Or maybe the fact the hardware was deficient is what ultimately made it die earlier than it could have.
    There was nothing deficient in Genesis hardware... it's the other way around, it's a victim of its own success, it sold a lot and lasted more than expected. Time wasn't on its side for the add-ons: the barebone Genesis was still keeping head to head with the snes (better in some fields, like sports), the add-ons came too late to develop their own niche.

    That said, in retrospective the Sega-CD has to be considered the most successful add-on peripheral of all times (no wait, let's make that second place after the Famicom Disk System), and certainly the best use of CD-Rom for videogaming the west had before SS and PSX.

  8. #38
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Here's an example on how simply having a better master palette doesn't help:



    This a little demo showing Street Fighter 2 characters moving around on an Amiga 1200. It uses AGA Dual Playfield mode and 64px wide sprites, meaning 32 colors onscreen.
    Looks pretty good... except the colors on the characters are wrong because they're sharing the same 16 color palette. And that palette is also used by one of the background layers. Ooops.



    AGA has a much bigger master palette than the SNES, doesn't help

  9. #39
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Dude, that wouldn't have mattered shit if the graphics are still stuck able to only use a small amount of colors, you end up with the same result due to the large steps needed in shading in order to cram in more hues in the same palette. That's literally the whole point being made.

    First you need to have more palettes before you can even consider increasing the color depth.
    If that were true, many Genesis ports would have aged considerably better than their Amiga counterparts. Instead, graphically-wise, it's the other way around.

    My argument is therefore the opposite: Amiga OCS has less colors on screen (less palettes) but more color depth. Now compare the graphics of the many games that the two systems share: you'll see color depth matters.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    AGA has a much bigger master palette than the SNES, doesn't help
    Cool example, except we're not talking AGA and SNES here, but OCS and Genesis.

    You certainly prefer pyron's work on SSFII rather than Capcom's. Now imagine the same artistry and sensibility for color choice, but being able to draw from a color depth eight times larger. (and no, before you ask, of course I'm not implying that it would better the Snes).

  11. #41
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Well obviously you can't make a 16 colors out of 4096 game look better if you make it 16 out of 512. The art has to be redrawn to take advantage of the extra colors. See for example Chaos Engine Amiga vs SNES. I actually like the Amiga version more due to its subtle colors but the SNES one is MUCH more colorful. If the game had come out on the SNES originally, you'd be noticing how barebones the Amiga version colors were.

    The Amiga --> MD conversions turned out substantially better than the MD --> Amiga ones, see Turrican 3, Cool Spot, Puggsy, Wiz & Liz, Lion King, etc... Even some Amiga --> MD ports like Leander turned out substantially better graphically on the MD, even ignoring the added parallax scrolling.
    Despite the huge master palette the Amiga version of James Pond 2 doesn't look much better than the Master System version, because cramming many colors into just 16 slots means you need big steps, which means you are not taking advantage of the big palette.

    The only time the Amiga wins is when the game is entirely designed around a low color, subtle look to begin with. That's a very limited style.

  12. #42
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Well obviously you can't make a 16 colors out of 4096 game look better if you make it 16 out of 512. The art has to be redrawn to take advantage of the extra colors. See for example Chaos Engine Amiga vs SNES. I actually like the Amiga version more due to its subtle colors but the SNES one is MUCH more colorful. If the game had come out on the SNES originally, you'd be noticing how barebones the Amiga version colors were.
    That's what you already wrote when you said "It forces you to be more subdued with colors" but actually, the artistic outcome is definite. The example you make is perfect. One is garish, the other is masterful. Had the garish been the first one, anyone with an education in art would still prefer the second attempt by a mile. I thought it was a given, especially on this boards, than many many SNES iterations of previously released titles suffer from bad art caused by poor choice of the many colors available. Or worse, by adding colors for the sake of adding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    The Amiga --> MD conversions turned out substantially better than the MD --> Amiga ones, see Turrican 3, Cool Spot, Puggsy, Wiz & Liz, Lion King, etc... Even some Amiga --> MD ports like Leander turned out substantially better graphically on the MD, even ignoring the added parallax scrolling.
    Despite the huge master palette the Amiga version of James Pond 2 doesn't look much better than the Master System version, because cramming many colors into just 16 slots means you need big steps, which means you are not taking advantage of the big palette.
    The other way around did turn worse for a miriad factors (sprites allowed etc.), but the point here was another. Just because the megadrive can already display more colors on screen than an OCS or even an AGA in the demo you showed, means the Megadrive was positioned to have a larger benefit from the hypotethical scenario I was talking about. In other words, while the 16 colors of OCS couldn't have survived DKC, the fifty and more of Genesis could have produced something much better than, huh, Doom Troopers I guess, if the master palette had been up to the job. That's all I'm saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    The only time the Amiga wins is when the game is entirely designed around a low color, subtle look to begin with. That's a very limited style.
    You've got it upside down, the Genesis can win only when it does bombastic and garish a la Master System. Sonic and Gunstar are its paramount... Bright prime colors. Try dithering or subdued and you can never reach Darkmere or Hired Guns. It's exactly the opposite.
    Last edited by Aleste; 05-14-2020 at 11:00 AM.

  13. #43
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    DKC would have looked awful on the MD as well, even with a 4096 (or higher) palette, because the digitized graphics used in DKC require different 16 color palettes per enemy.
    Mortal Kombat would have looked better, and many games would have looked less like a disgusting dithered mess, but the same would be true (even more so) with more palettes.

    Side note, the MD has a mode that's perfect for subtle, dark environments: Shadow Mode. Darkmere would be easy on the MD, in fact it would look better because of more colors (not everything would be green !):
    The one game that uses shadow mode properly:


    But even without it, subtle is not too bad:

  14. #44
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    For the record since we insist on DKC:



    Bootleg game, I know, but they did a surprisingly good job converting the graphics (and this game really needed Diddy Kong, being always an one-hit wonder sucks).

    I still think that 12-bit color without more palettes is a bad idea though. I already regularly skip in steps of 2 instead of 1 with 9-bit because of the need to keep color count low (in order to cram as much usefulness as possible into a palette), going 12-bit is not going to help that situation unless I can also afford to waste more palettes.

  15. #45
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Aleste's Avatar
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    @Kahmahl: (Ex-Ranza, Flink) Yeah, of course, valid examples and many more could be made. But the point remains.

    Look here:

    http://amiga.lychesis.net/knowledge/Comparison.html

    When amiga launches, not in US but in Europe, it already has to "fight" with a rival system and the crucial point of the fight is around the 9bit palette.

    The ST had the earlier start, the Atari name behind it, and let's face it, all the best coders initially. Still, in a matter of months the situation becomes different (from Shadow of the Beast), and that's largely due to 12bit master palette versus 9bit master palette.

    The OCS already won the debate against 9bit palette in its infancy.

    Of course, a little later arrives the powerful Megadrive. It has godzillions of sprites, faster processor, more colors on screen. But it still has the 9bit palette.

    The example you make about Robocod can be reversed and it's perfect. Think to it: a well handled Megadrive can output colors on screen in the numbers of thirty on more. That's TWICE than OCS Amiga! TWICE! Megadrive wiiiinnns!!! ...Except... That double amount of colors is drawn from a pool which is AN EIGHTH of the competitor.

    Here's the (rather garish, rather arcade-inspired, primary color based) Robocod: with DOUBLE the colors on screen, it should look twice as better! But in reality, it looks... slightly worse. That's the point: if you aim for classic videogame aesthetics, 16 colors of OCS are more than apt (to do, say, Ms. Pac-Man, Mr. Do!). If you're a gamer you're set, but if you're an artist, getting back to 9bit palette is appalling. Because that "1/8 color pool" is the primary and thus the workable colors, but also the uglier ones.

    If you read interviews to amiga coders, people like Sorrell or Allan, they were thrilled to jump on Megadrive (despite obviously being more paid, with less piracy, more royalties)... They had faster, bigger, more sprites... Arcade heaven. If you read the interviews to artists though, the people actually using Deluxe Paint on powerful Amigas to make or "demake" even the console ports, the general mood of the interviewer changes quite a bit, I assure you.

    Later in life Megadrive was trying to do things like Ultracore/Harcore or Jurassic Park Lost World... In other ways it was desperately trying to replicate something that on OCS came almost naturally several years before (backgrounds of Agony, Project-X, Alien Breed, Unreal...)

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