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First post, by chinny22

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I knew nothing about this till LGR's video today
https://youtu.be/_WQTGCBZ1FM

I'm really surprised out of all of Apogee's platformers Crystal Caves is the first to get the official HD treatment.
It doesn't have that massive following like Duke does yet in the last 10 years this is the game I keep coming back for that EGA/PC speaker low tech Nostalgia hit.

I mean I'm not going to get it. I don't have a steam account and perfectly happy with the original, but it looks to be well done and glad it's getting some attention.

Reply 1 of 12, by newtmonkey

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It's definitely an interesting game to choose for a remake, but I suspect their better known games are now owned by other companies. I actually do like the look of the remake... simply adding colors does actually make the game look quite attractive, and I definitely prefer this approach over upscaling or even redrawing it in a higher resolution.

Having said that, I'm in the same boat. I won't get this because I'm happy to play the original game.

Last edited by newtmonkey on 2020-10-09, 19:26. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 12, by WolverineDK

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I think it is wonderful, they have made an HD remake. But saddened and disappointed. They have remade it in Unity, it begins to be a VERY cheap way of making games. Yes there are games that are brilliant, made in Unity, but Unity just makes it feel cheap in the long run. Sorry if I am the only one who feels that way, I am sadly just tired of it.

Reply 4 of 12, by VileR

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newtmonkey wrote on 2020-10-09, 16:36:

I actually do like the look of the remake... simply adding colors does actually make the game look quite attractive, and I definitely prefer this approach over upscaling or even redrawing it in a higher resolution.

Agreed. But seeing as they kept the low-res look, I suspect that they're sorta confused about the concept of acronyms.

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If they stylized it like the "High Density" lettering on 3.5" disks, at least there'd be the lulz factor to it.

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Reply 5 of 12, by chinny22

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WolverineDK wrote on 2020-10-09, 16:57:

I think it is wonderful, they have made an HD remake. But saddened and disappointed. They have remade it in Unity, it begins to be a VERY cheap way of making games. Yes there are games that are brilliant, made in Unity, but Unity just makes it feel cheap in the long run. Sorry if I am the only one who feels that way, I am sadly just tired of it.

Haven't played any Unity games so not familiar with the feel but know what you mean. I found certain games even from the 2000's have a PC/PS/Xbox Works on all 3 stands out on none of them feel. that cheapened it a bit. Games were fine just missing a certain quality.
But low volume game like this I'm ok with it.

Didn't mind the music, it is reto but as LGR said jus the wrong retro. Adlib type soundtrack would have been better option.

Reply 6 of 12, by appiah4

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WolverineDK wrote on 2020-10-09, 16:57:

I think it is wonderful, they have made an HD remake. But saddened and disappointed. They have remade it in Unity, it begins to be a VERY cheap way of making games. Yes there are games that are brilliant, made in Unity, but Unity just makes it feel cheap in the long run. Sorry if I am the only one who feels that way, I am sadly just tired of it.

This post is full of so much wrong it makes my head hurt.

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Reply 7 of 12, by dr_st

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Yeah, I agree. Some oldschoolers just don't like it that making games (and programs in general) is not as hard as it used to be, and that programmers no longer have to deal with massive constraints in memory and processing resources like they did in the past. As a result, the barrier to entry is much lower, and we can get more amazing things done much faster. This is good!

Except, as was already mentioned - I don't see what's "HD" in it. The fact that they touched up the pixelized text in a few tiles and applied what amounts to a standard upscaling filter with smoothing? The only thing "HD" are the new menu graphics.

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Reply 8 of 12, by digistorm

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<rant> Because computational power has become (more) cheap and abundant, programmers got lazy and lost the ability to optimize in favor of feature creep and ease of use. So we keep buying and spending to be able to run software that would have worked as well on what we had. So we keep creating e-waste and heating the planet because the programmers don’t need to optimize their code. And at the same time we miss out on potential performance and experience because a lot of our computational resources are now spent on the programmers lack of skill. Great! </rant>

Reply 9 of 12, by Gered

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Cool rerelease / semi-remaster overall. Haven't played it myself, only watched the LGR video on it (I don't really buy anything on Steam, so meh). I like the graphics updates overall, nicer looking but still in the spirit of the era. Feels like what the game would've looked like back then if Apogee had, a couple years after it's original release, updated it for 256 color VGA modes.

My gripes:

  • The mixing of high-res graphics (text) and low-res graphics (basically everything else). This bothers me soooo much when developers do this in "HD" releases like this. Do not mix pixel sizes when the overall game is using low-res pixels! Aaaarrggghhhh!!! If they didn't like the original font for, say, legibility reasons (just a guess at what they might have been thinking), there are still plenty of ways that they could've tweaked the font but still kept it in the style of the original game.
  • As has been mentioned already, the music. Who the heck thought NES 8-bit style was a good fit? Should've been in an Adlib style for sure. Really dropped the ball with that one. That being said, judging it by its own merits, the music does sound good. Just not in the proper style of the game.

Also throwing in my $0.02 on Unity. I dislike the Unity bloat that has permeated the industry today in general too (in my mind I draw a possibly-somewhat-apples-to-oranges comparison to how Electron is becoming more and more commonplace for cross-platform application development... for many of the same reasons in @digistorm's rant post above). But! Developers use it for a good reason. It does cut down development time significantly as consumer expectations continue to grow and grow. And there have been a number of examples of studios doing really quality work with Unity, so it is a bit unfair to say that a Unity release is automatically "cheap" somehow. Sure, some are. But not all.

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Reply 10 of 12, by VileR

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If you were to see the game, without knowing what engine/toolkit it's built on, would you be able to tell that it's Unity just based on the look and feel? Or do you need to read that bit of information to decide whether you're "saddened and disappointed" or not?

This isn't even a rhetorical question. I don't play many recent games so I really don't know. As long as it doesn't place any obvious artificial limitations that force your hand and constrain what you can do, I don't see the problem.

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Reply 11 of 12, by gerry

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digistorm wrote on 2020-10-12, 14:46:

<rant> Because computational power has become (more) cheap and abundant, programmers got lazy and lost the ability to optimize in favor of feature creep and ease of use. So we keep buying and spending to be able to run software that would have worked as well on what we had. So we keep creating e-waste and heating the planet because the programmers don’t need to optimize their code. And at the same time we miss out on potential performance and experience because a lot of our computational resources are now spent on the programmers lack of skill. Great! </rant>

I'd think most modern games are developed as a relatively small 'game logic' core with various 'industry standard' graphics, sounds and other libraries added. The tools used would be focussed on multiplatform compatibility and library integration. This has enabled games like GTA 5, Skyrim etc to exist on consoles and PC's. They are binary monsters and undoubtedly contain lots of unused code, unused data and also have various inefficiencies on each platform - but the time and effort to optimise them beyond general optimisation would mean late launches and increased prices

it's part of why very old games are interesting too - the idea they were created by very small teams using intriguing optimisations for specific platforms (which also render them unable to run on later platforms 🙁 )

Reply 12 of 12, by WolverineDK

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-10-12, 12:55:
WolverineDK wrote on 2020-10-09, 16:57:

I think it is wonderful, they have made an HD remake. But saddened and disappointed. They have remade it in Unity, it begins to be a VERY cheap way of making games. Yes there are games that are brilliant, made in Unity, but Unity just makes it feel cheap in the long run. Sorry if I am the only one who feels that way, I am sadly just tired of it.

This post is full of so much wrong it makes my head hurt.

Oh I am sorry, do you want an Advil ?

What I meant is this: Take for an example Open XCOM, which is an open source reimplementation of XCOM/UFO Enemy Unknown and Terror From The Deep, there they have programmed the engine from the bottom up from probably de-compiling and what not you have of knowledge upon the original games, including hex editing and all that jazz. And they have made it compatible with the original games. And even made it possible to make mods for Open XCOM, which I think is bloody great. Another one which is a bit sad, but not because of the remake , but because of certain source code limbo is Blood: Fresh Supply. Which is a brilliant remaster , that is running on the KEX engine instead of the "Blood" version of the Build engine, and that is because of the source code legal limbo. Which sucks. But Blood: Fresh Supply rocks big time, so I am not complaining about the game or the KEX engine at all. The reason why I think it would be great if the Blood version of the build engine was released, and or for that matter Redneck Rampage is because it would be smashing to see some cool mods for it , just look at the Quake engine games, and the mods for them.