Technically & artistically impressive games

Emulation of old consoles and arcades.

Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 19:09

d1stortion wrote:Inb4 people who are going to tell that this shit had awesome 3D compared to the puny PSX ;).


PSX has actually useful 3D with normal framerates, unlike these hyper craptastic attempts at 3D cards. And I should know, as I have it plugged in right now to my CRT 100 Hz TV with a Wipeout 3 CD inserted. Most people today plug it into a "super ultra great zomg HDTV" and then get surprised they get input lag and horrible jaggies. PSX is jaggy, but not THAT jaggy, I bought it from a friend who had it plugged in to a LED TV for 20 Euro and I was very nicely surprised when I plugged in to my TV. For 1994 technology, the games look fantastic.

The problem with Trident cards, Laguna 3D etc. is not performace (evn through it is simply CRAP), not even resolution, but the very fact that they cannot even properly rasterize polygons. Look at that mess, not even a single texture is rendered properly. Sure, PSX lacks Z buffering, but it is actually way more visible in a "HD" emulator capture than on the real 320x240 or 512x240 CRT screen.

S3 Virge at least had the saving grace of having good image quality and decent speed in 320x240. Laguna3D cannot be saved by 320x240, as it has a fundamentally bad rasterizer. S3 Virge was just a slow card, but Laguna3D/Trident 3D cards are shitty in general.
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby leileilol » 2013-5-20 @ 19:23

The PSX probably would look better in the context of 1994 technology - on PC, all that did 3d was that crappy Matrox card which didn't do textures, and two of the worst fighting games ever to showcase for it. Voodoo and PCX were currently in gestation at the time.

of course, the affine texturing of the PSX is an eyehurt and the lack of alpha blending, but at least the PSX could do nifty pixel buffer effects leading to stuff that looks like early pixel shaders. Water puddles in Crash 3 are a nice example of this, and of course the water and ninja suit effects in MGS. N64 could do a bit of this as well (seen most obvious in Perfect Dark at various places including menus, spy cams etc) and it wasn't until 2001 with pixel shaders that we started to see this kind of stuff on PC.
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 19:47

leileilol wrote:The PSX probably would look better in the context of 1994 technology - on PC, all that did 3d was that crappy Matrox card which didn't do textures, and two of the worst fighting games ever to showcase for it. Voodoo and PCX were currently in gestation at the time.


True, and also, even "accelerators" like Ati Rage were way below the PSX in performance.

Compare the original Wipeout for the PSX http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRSVrkzDyuA to the ATI Rage version running on a Pentium 133 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG3hd1humM0 . It takes an ATI Rage Pro just to make it properly playable . On the original Rage card (footage starting at 1:08) it is literally a slideshow, especially with texture filtering on (with texture filtering the FPS goes into low single digits, footage from 1:29). True, on PSX it runs in 320x240 in 16-bit color, and on ATI Rage I at 512x384. However he shows 320x240 footage later and it is STILL less smooth than the PSX version!

Now, this is how Wipeout 3 looks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAW-wfe3RT4

This is a game that runs in 512x384, on a PS1, with better graphics than original Wipeout so the ATI Rage really has no excuse.

Here is Need for Speed 3 for the PSX:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InCAxQo_lNw

It runs in low resolution, but otherwise is perfectly playable. Now look at the NFS 3 video on the Laguna3D. The vast majority of 3D wannabees on the PC were steamrolled by a 1994 gaming console with 33 Mhz RISC processor. It is almost as if 3dfx paid them to make their videocards intentionally shitty to boost Voodoo sales :D .
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 19:53

A less drastic example is Battle Arena Toshiden.

PSX version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp9zMbZKRgs

It runs in 640x240 resolution, at 30 fps, it even has a special 60 fps mode where it renders without textures.

PC accelerated versions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9Zqy5BZQ1E

All except for the 3dfx version are choppy, 15-25 fps at best, on a Pentium 133 Mhz, and most of them have resolution only a bit higher than the PSX version.

"PC rockz consoles suxors" might be true in the PS3/Xbox 360 generation, but it simply wasn't true in the past. Getting even further back you get consoles dramatically better than PCs, for example in the NES era PCs were CGA and most PC games horrible ports.
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby leileilol » 2013-5-20 @ 19:56

Tobal 2 might be worth a look, i think that's in 512x480 at 60fps. Of course there's a whole lack of texture for the most part and there's an obvious lack of Z when someone's off the ring. XD
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 20:00

leileilol wrote:Tobal 2 might be worth a look, i think that's in 512x480 at 60fps. Of course there's a whole lack of texture for the most part and there's an obvious lack of Z when someone's off the ring. XD


Yeah. But remember, most PC early 3D accelerator games, even Mechwarrior 2, did not have Z buffering or many textures at all. In fact even 3dfx Mechwarrior 2 lacks textures on the mechs and plumments to below 15 fps during explosions or mouse moving the torso (granted, due a to a bug).

I enjoy most good PS1 games, and even 320x240 is perfectly OK on a normal (not any superscaled HDTV crap) TV. And my TV is actually quite big for a CRT. On the other hand, I cannot imagine enjoying any game on cards like Laguna3D in hardware mode, those cards are just too crappy.

There are actually many games that run at 512x240 on the PS1. Crash Bandicoot runs in 512x240 and looks like Voodoo level stuff and it has a software Z buffer, Colony Wars is also awesome and at 512x240, hell, when I zoom using my TV zoom function in a 512x240 game I CANNOT see individual pixellation on this composite connection. Spyro games run at 320x240 I think, but have a software Z buffer and software texture smoothing, N64 style (but not so blurry). Many people who have written off the PS1 because of the horrible jaggies it gets on LCD TVs that cannot even properly decode resolutions below "480i" (as 240 line display on TVs is in fact based on a trick). They should really get a CRT TV and play it. This is not nostalgia filter, hell, I got my PS1 for retrogaming just a month ago.
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby vetz » 2013-5-20 @ 20:14

Nice of you to link my videos ;)

Didn't know the PSX version of Toshinden ran at 640x240? When I did the research for that episode I couldn't find that information. I thought it was 320x240.

I agree that up until the Voodoo area began the Playstation was ahead of the PC on 3D graphics, unless you ofc had a very powerful Pentium for brute force in software mode. You also have exceptions like the SEGA games on the Nvidia NV1 ran much better than their Saturn counterparts even on a Pentium 100.
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby leileilol » 2013-5-20 @ 20:18

Most of the reason for the 240 part of the resolution is to avoid interlaced flicker, and I think the limited 30hz-or-less framerate PSX is often known for has a lot to do with Sony insisting for it with a more equal experience between PAL/NTSC regions IIRC (as i've read about it in some random SDK development guidelines document before, with scattered "It must be like Ridge Racer or better" references)
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 20:23

vetz wrote:Nice of you to link my videos ;)

Didn't know the PSX version of Toshinden ran at 640x240? When I did the research for that episode I couldn't find that information. I thought it was 320x240.

I agree that up until the Voodoo area began the Playstation was ahead of the PC on 3D graphics, unless you ofc had a very powerful Pentium for brute force in software mode. You also have exceptions like the SEGA games on the Nvidia NV1 ran much better than their Saturn counterparts even on a Pentium 100.


Hey, I am actually a big fan of your videos :) .

Here is the source on Battle Arena Toshiden PS1 http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/PS1RES.htm
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 20:25

leileilol wrote:Most of the reason for the 240 part of the resolution is to avoid interlaced flicker, and I think the limited 30hz-or-less framerate PSX is often known for has a lot to do with Sony insisting for it with a more equal experience between PAL/NTSC regions IIRC (as i've read about it in some random SDK development guidelines document before, with scattered "It must be like Ridge Racer or better" references)


25 fps is rather smooth on low resolution, blurry picture the PSX has on a CRT. Many PC gamers played the games at much less, 10-15 fps, even less in some cases, which is definitely not smooth.

And yes, 240p is there because 480i produces tons of flicker and PS1 does not have a flicker filter to my knowledge. You can see the flicker in the 640x480 Ridge Racer Turbo/Hi-spec, which runs at 640x480 and 60 fps (it is a remake of the original 1995 Ridge Racer). Plus, text is already hard to read for me in Colony Wars which is just 512x240, so going much further would be actually worse for composite cable users like me (the guy from i bought it from had no other cables, the quality is OK tho).
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby d1stortion » 2013-5-20 @ 20:29

Wipeout 3 runs in a fancy 512x512 mode I think. Also it's about the only PSX game with a widescreen option although I'm not sure how much of it is just stretching.

Anyways this has turned into yet another console vs. PC thread :lol:
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 20:31

d1stortion wrote:Wipeout 3 runs in a fancy 512x512 mode I think. Also it's about the only PSX game with a widescreen option although I'm not sure how much of it is just stretching.

Anyways this has turned into yet another console vs. PC thread :lol:


I won't say that. I have played PC games all my life and this PS1 is literally the only console I ever owned. I am just putting things into perespective and debunking any possible "but PSX is worse than [instert horrible early 3D card]" here.

Textures also play a part. Some PS1 games have beautiful textures and look good even in 320x240 (like Spyro or Ridge Racer Type 4), while others have textures that look like someone took a wooden plank and spread concentrated shit all over it (like Road Rash 3D [not the original PS1 Road Rash port from 3DO, but the "updated" version])
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby d1stortion » 2013-5-20 @ 20:37

Yup but this thread was rather meant for discussing the arbitrary Direct3D issues on my setup! :lol: Maybe a mod can split the offtopic so we can continue talking about technically impressive console games there? :wink:
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Re: Early Direct3D vs. early OpenGL vs. Glide

Postby m1so » 2013-5-20 @ 20:39

d1stortion wrote:Yup but this thread was rather meant for discussing the arbitrary Direct3D issues on my setup! :lol: Maybe a mod can split the offtopic so we can continue talking about technically impressive console games there? :wink:


That would be good :) but it's not about just console games, just discussing early 3D devices in general.

The best looking (in my opinion) mid-3D software engine that ran very fast on relatively slow hardware was the Build engine. Sure, it was technically "2.5D", but it had detailed, realistic levels (no flat Wolfenstein 3D stuff), and could run in beautiful 800x600 SVGA on a 133 Mhz Pentium. I had a 133 Mhz laptop that I spent thousands of hours playing Duke Nukem 3D on, and I had it always set on 800x600 and it never had a hiccup. Compared to something like 320x240 software rendered Quake it is something beautiful, hell, it looks good in Dosbox even now, and I am on an LCD monitor. The only drawback of it is the lack of proper mouselook.

It seems the PCs had an edge in high resolution "2.5D" Build style rendering while consoles had an edge in low resolution "true 3D" rendering. That is probably why the Duke Nukem 3D port for PSX looks and plays awful, runs in 320x240 and goes into 15 fps land every time more than 3 enemies appear on the screen. This drawback is in fact why Duke Nukem 3D was ported into a "real" 3D engine on the Sega Saturn, where it runs at a solid 30 fps, even through the Saturn port is still much worse than the PC original.
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby leileilol » 2013-5-21 @ 00:47

Quake deserves love too, it tried bilinear filtered lightmaps and did it with a surfacecache so it'll only do that lightmap blending+filtering work once per update (with dynamic lights that can cause it to update often). Abrash optimized the hell out of that and it was for a while the only feasible way to approach software lightmaps in real-time. Unreal did a similar method, and this also directly influenced Thief's software renderer

When you've hacked the software renderers as much as I have, you gain a new appreciation for what they worked with in the limits then. If it weren't for Abrash we wouldn't have seen Quake in 1996 :)
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby d1stortion » 2013-5-21 @ 00:49

Yeah the PSX Duke port is painfully slow at times. PAL version is even worse than NTSC I think. Still I played through all of it :lol: some interesting spoofs in those exclusive levels.

Also I doubt Build ran great on a 133 MHz Pentium in 800x600. Here it runs on a 233MMX and you can see some stutter here and there. Probably just 640x480 as well. Blood gets really laggy even on P3s in 1024x768.

I bet K6 CPUs do pretty good at Build, not far off from a P6.
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby m1so » 2013-5-21 @ 10:11

I remember it perfectly, it was 800x600 because the laptop LCD screen had no scaling. 320x240 and 640x480 games were not full-screen on the laptop because of this (if I wasn't at home and it wasn't connected to a proper CRT monitor). It ran smooth, and by that time, my main machine was already a 1 Ghz Celeron so I knew what was smooth and what wasn't. It was so fast probably because it was an IBM Think Pad with a SCSI bus. I saw a guy on Through the Looking Glass saying that he run System Shock 2 on a Pentium II 266 Mhz in 1024x768 and it run perfectly because of his SCSI bus. On IDE systems, this game run with occasional jitteriness even on Pentium II 450.
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby m1so » 2013-5-21 @ 10:55

Also, the version of Duke in the video is said to be the original unmodified one. Duke Nukem 3D before version 1.5 had a nasty bug that slowed the game down drastically in later levels, it is described here http://www.3drealms.com/tech/duke3d.html

The major bug was fixing a memory corruption error that definitely caused a 'slowdown' bug. This bug probably fixed various other things like some random crashes, and save/load problems. While it might not fix everything, memory corruption is the worst possible bug, and this one was fixed and the slowdown/massive caching seemed to go away. If you still experience lots of disk caching when playing the game, load Smartdrv at DOS before you play the game. Typing "smartdrv 4000" works well. NOTE: You will need more than 8 megs to do this.
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby silikone » 2013-5-23 @ 07:34

The PSX never ceases to impress me, but the PS2 seems so weak for its time. Xbox easily takes the lead in that generation of consoles.
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Re: Technically & artistically impressive games

Postby Aideka » 2013-5-23 @ 09:38

silikone wrote:The PSX never ceases to impress me, but the PS2 seems so weak for its time. Xbox easily takes the lead in that generation of consoles.

You have to remember, that Xbox came out a lot later than PS2, also PS2 was made to compete with Dreamcast. Xbox was made to compete with the PS2, so it had to be better hardware wise.
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