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Reply 20 of 41, by Jo22

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BardBun wrote on 2021-01-29, 20:24:

Almost all +90's consoles in Germany had a SCART cable or an adapter that combined the 3 cables into SCART.
However the quality was only "alright" unless you went out of your way and bought a proper special SCART cable that sort of sent a different video signal to the TV which way 100 times clearer and sharper.

Sure, that's entirely true, I think.

Though at least here, both the RGB SCART and S-Video cables were optional.
They were not included in the SNES box, but were third party accessories for enthusiasts.

I'm afraid kids at the time didn't even know what RGB was. 🙁
Unless they were members of, say, Club Nintendo (I was, too, by coincidence) and thus from time to time got
a magazine with the latest news and ads in the mail.
Or did read any other games magazines of the time.

Or dialed into online services like AOL, CompuServe or BTX.
Or visited the internet, mailbox/BBS systems.
But then again the, they were like enthusiasts again.

Note that I didn't say RGB is generally bad,
just that the game's designers took advantage of RF/Composite. 😀

In fact, I'm a long term fan of both emulation and LCD technology (though I have a soft spot for monochrome CRTs). ^^

For example, early in the mid-90s, my father got me a Casio LCD TV (handheld type) that I loved.
So I basically grew up with LCD technology (Gameboy also had it).
This stuff was very expensive and we weren't rich at all.
We were simply lucky, because that model was a demonstration model that was shown in in the store's window.

So well, it's just.. SNES games like StarWing used a checker board pattern to simulate transparency or tones of gray (see the wings of the Arwing). And on raw RGB, plending pixels together doesn't work.. 😔

A similar issue appears with FMVs in low-res.
They look horrible on a modern screen, but look okay on a period correct screen (I also dislike that term a bit, btw)..

So in order to perceive these games without looking awful (and ruining old memories thus),
a monitor setup of the time is required.
- Or a very, very splendid emulation of it. I'm looking forward to this.

It will make look things more organic and masks imperfections.
This doesn't mean that you can't use a Sony PVM etc.
Simply consider using both connections (RGB/AV) depending on the game.

Modern TVs have an option to select whether Composite/CVBS or RGB signals should be received from SCART.
Since SCART's RGB uses Composite for it's "Sync" component, it should be available any time in RGB cables.

If that's not an option, just connect a higher quality RF cable to the modern TV, too, so you can switch from RGB to RF if needed.

What's also troublesome : Different generations of the SNES required different RGB cables (with/without capacitors). 🙁

Edit: Quote fixed.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 21 of 41, by Joseph_Joestar

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-01-29, 20:18:

RGB was used in Europe since the 80s, yes.
But it was a luxury, not the norm. Many cheaper and existing TVs still lacked it.

From my experience, only the cheapest European TVs didn't have a SCART port during the '90s. It was pretty much standard for any mid to high range TV set and was fairly popular for connecting VCRs and satellite receivers (SatTV was a thing back then).

And while SCART cables weren't included with contemporary consoles by default, they were readily available for purchase in most shops that sold console games and accessories. I still have Sega MegaDrive and Sony PlayStation SCART cables (not adapters) from that time which output proper RGB. Granted, their image quality isn't as good as what you get from places like Retro Gaming Cables today, but it's still leagues above RF and Composite.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 22 of 41, by domomex89

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When I first played Day of the Tentacle I thought it was one of the best games ever...
But when I played like the third time I started to realize how average the game is.

The graphics and characters were okay but the story was pretty weak.
Day of the Tentacle is basically Zak McKracken but you solve puzzles in a isolated era instead of exploring the world outside of you.

Sure there were a bunch of adventure games released back in 93 that had rlly bad stories but there were a lot of adventure games that had better built stories than DOTT.
I think that 93 was a bad year for LucasArts adventures

Reply 23 of 41, by SteveC

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I just noticed DOTT is on the Xbox as a re-release... dare I play it?!

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Reply 24 of 41, by megatron-uk

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I think we can agree to disagree on the composite/RF vs RGB thing - for lots of us in Europe we were used to RGB SCART/Peritel (even if the consoles didn't come with a cable as standard, most stores stocking them had them on the shelf alongside), so seeing games in relatively blurry output is not normal for us. Also the television standards in Europe just didn't have the colour issues that the US had with NTSC, so again, rainbow outlines, nasty dot crawl and other limitations of the US TV system was not a memory that a lot of us share.

I can only remember two TV's that my parents owned which didn't have a SCART socket - one was an ancient black and white, manually tuned thing (probably from the late 70's), and the other was the first small portable that we got in the mid-80's. Everything after those was SCART, even the little 12" and 13" portables, and it was just assumed that your VCR (or satellite receiver, if you had one) was connected by such a connection.

Back to revisiting games that have ruined your memory of them - I think Doom is one that I should probably never revisit on the same hardware that I first played it on (386-SX40)... as I'm sure that it won't live up to my expectations. I've played the original on later hardware (DX4 and low-end Pentium) more recently, but I should probably never revisit my first encounter with it.

Reply 25 of 41, by Joseph_Joestar

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megatron-uk wrote on 2021-01-30, 15:09:

Also the television standards in Europe just didn't have the colour issues that the US had with NTSC, so again, rainbow outlines, nasty dot crawl and other limitations of the US TV system was not a memory that a lot of us share.

I grew up with SCART as well, but I do recognize that there may be some merit to playing on Composite due to how checkerboard dithering effects blend together. Here's a video which demonstrates this nicely.

Still, to me, improved transparency is just not worth the overall loss in video quality that comes from using Composite video. Especially since I grew accustomed to the clarity of SCART back in the day.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 26 of 41, by Jo22

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-01-30, 15:45:
megatron-uk wrote on 2021-01-30, 15:09:

Also the television standards in Europe just didn't have the colour issues that the US had with NTSC, so again, rainbow outlines, nasty dot crawl and other limitations of the US TV system was not a memory that a lot of us share.

I grew up with SCART as well, but I do recognize that there may be some merit to playing on Composite due to how checkerboard dithering effects blend together. Here's a video which demonstrates this nicely.

Still, to me, improved transparency is just not worth the overall loss in video quality that comes from using Composite video. Especially since I grew accustomed to the clarity of SCART back in the day.

Thanks for link and your feedback.
My point in relation to "not ruining an old game by playing it" merely was, that a modern monitor setup can be part of the issue.
It was not about RGB vs AV per se. That's just another aspect of it that should be kept in mind (I'm also from Europe).

Okay, so please let me rephrase what I meant to say.
Old DOS games like Sam&Max looked nice on, say, a 486 PC with a matching VGA card and a 14" VGA monitor of the time.
Such a game looked well drawn ("organic"), rather than pixelated. Though maybe a bit blurry on some lower end monitors, okay.
If someone now plays that game on a modern PC/flat screen or in an emulator without filters,
the result will not match the good old memories of playing the very same game (mildly sayed).

That's what magazines often do in order to make fun of old games.
They nowadays print a raw video memory dump of a classic and say : "Look how awful these games looked. Things are sooo much better now. Harharhar."
And without knowing the details and setups of a particular era, many people tend to believe this, which is kinda sad,
because the developers had a hard time adjusting all the little details and effects tediously by hand.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 27 of 41, by megatron-uk

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I do think there is a certain generation of gamers that simply don't realise how differently CRT and LCD technologies work, and that if you simply try to play something like a 320x200 DOS game it *should* really be displayed at the size of a postage stamp on a modern LCD display... otherwise it's going to look horrible; even scaled. That's definitely one of the advantages we had in the CRT era - unless you were talking about a GUI interface like Mac OS, Windows or X11, a game at the res of one of our typical DOS games when displayed on a 14" screen would look largely the same as on a 17" or 19" unit.

These days, not so much.

Reply 28 of 41, by Azarien

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megatron-uk wrote on 2021-01-30, 21:23:

if you simply try to play something like a 320x200 DOS game it *should* really be displayed at the size of a postage stamp on a modern LCD display... otherwise it's going to look horrible; even scaled.

Also, modding old 3D games to run in full HD or higher makes the environment look horribly blocky. Lara's triangular bust in TR1 was passable in 320x200 and questionable in 640x480, but in full HD it's just ridiculous.

Reply 29 of 41, by megatron-uk

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Yep - the first generation of texture mapped 3D games (thinking PS1 and some Saturn titles) look absolutely awful these days, they haven't aged well at all (even if they were technical marvels at the time). Contrast that to some of the even earlier non-texture mapped games, flat shaded stuff, and it doesn't look anywhere near as bad.

Reply 30 of 41, by Joseph_Joestar

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Azarien wrote on 2021-01-31, 11:04:

Also, modding old 3D games to run in full HD or higher makes the environment look horribly blocky. Lara's triangular bust in TR1 was passable in 320x200 and questionable in 640x480, but in full HD it's just ridiculous.

In Lara's case, that's mainly due to the low polygon count of her TR1 character model. She looks much nicer in TR2, even though the game engine remained largely the same.

OTOH, the human opponents in that game are blocky as hell and look absolutely terrible in any resolution.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 31 of 41, by gerry

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whilst I appreciate that old graphics often look poor, whether its PS1 3d games or DOS on a non CRT screen, the effect of that diminishes quickly and the game quality / playability stands out. Same with modern games, they can look good but play poorly such that no amount of graphics can save them

therefore i never mind too much about trying to perfect the pixels or obtaining as close as possible an equivalence to original crt and so forth, once its 'pretty good' the game play takes over anyway

Reply 32 of 41, by MrFlibble

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Azarien wrote on 2021-01-31, 11:04:

Also, modding old 3D games to run in full HD or higher makes the environment look horribly blocky. Lara's triangular bust in TR1 was passable in 320x200 and questionable in 640x480, but in full HD it's just ridiculous.

Well, you weren't supposed to catch a glimpse of frontal or side view of her for more than a fraction of a second, most of the time. And the character's motion is simply amazing to this day no matter how low the poly count, so I'm not sure if this point is relevant at all.

Anyway, back to the OP's question, I have more than once played demo/shareware versions of some DOS games and was positively impressed, but once I'd get my hands on the respective full versions sometime later, or went back to the same shareware stuff after a while, but played a bit more/further, I'd get a much more underwhelming impression. First levels (or demo levels) often don't give you a good idea of what to expect next, and some games only seem cool until novelty wears off.

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Reply 33 of 41, by badmojo

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Ah Megarace - I had the same experience with it. But then anything FMV was incredible back in the day; my first CD-ROM drive - 2X SCSI beast - came with a demo CD with some crappy clips of spinning tea pots, etc and even those thrilled me!

Megarace game-play is fun for about 5 mins these days and don't get me started about Lance Boyle 😂

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 35 of 41, by ragefury32

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Just discovered that I have an original copy of Grim Fandango in CDROM format - slipped it into my T21 and realized just how much more I would rather play the remastered version on Steam. Seriously, that original control scheme to control Manuel was just...infuriating.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-02-07, 21:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 36 of 41, by dave343

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When it comes to nostalgia and old games, people tend to confuse remembering the actual game (compared to anything we have today, the graphics are pretty bad) vs the good memories we created while playing them. The latter of which can never be re-experienced.

So when you play older games you have nostalgia for, you’re realizing how bad the graphics and/or game is, and it was just as crappy back then, only we had nothing to compare it to. The disappointment is actually due to the fact the memories we created while playing it are missing and confuse that with the nostalgia for the game. I’m not saying that’s every game, some games do have crappy graphics but we enjoy them today just as much as yesterday.

I have nostalgia for many games, half life series, kings quest, quest for glory series, Gabriel Knight etc. I tired to play Half Life 1 on a MMX based computer with a Voodoo 3 a few years back but you instantly realize how bad the graphics are. Amazing game for its time though. I use to spend up to 12-18hrs a day in the late 90’s playing the very original beta counter strike mod for it.

Like wise I’m currently working my way through the Tex Murphy series, before I play the most recent Tex Murphy Tesla Effect. Currently I’m on Mean Streets which came out circa 1989. The graphics are surprisingly decent for a 1989 game but the gameplay is beyond clunky, almost unbearable. And that’s the thing, if I had played it back in 1989, I’m sure I’d remember it as an amazing game too and not even remember the clunky game play. Anyways I’m ok with that, I just want to play it and understand the story.

So yes, I think we often forget how bad some of our favourite games were, back then we really had nothing to compare them too, and created amazing memories while playing them, so that’s what we miss. Not the bad graphics 😂

That being said there are some amazing games out there that even though they might not have the best graphics, they are still amazing games.

Reply 37 of 41, by TheMLGladiator

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Cap'n Crunch's Crunchling Adventure. I remember completely maxing out my crunchling and after recently finding the cd and playing it again, I have no idea why I played the game as long as I did. I also remember thinking the graphics were good. Probably should have left this one alone.

Reply 38 of 41, by ElBrunzy

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space quest 1 vga remake. I was happy to take the time to redo it recently, as I had found memory of it but never played it much. Although, for some reason it felt rushed and buggy. I had more fun redoing space quest 3 just a tad before. Please do not flame me, I'm just answering the topic with a personal experience of being over enthusiastic from a rosy retrospection, I'm not saying the game is bad.

Reply 39 of 41, by imi

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dave343 wrote on 2021-02-05, 14:26:

When it comes to nostalgia and old games, people tend to confuse remembering the actual game (compared to anything we have today, the graphics are pretty bad) vs the good memories we created while playing them. The latter of which can never be re-experienced.

I would not generalize this though, early 3D games, sometimes maybe...
but 90s 2D pixel graphics aged incredibly well I would not dare to ever call them "bad", it's just it's very own distinctive style and I love it, and it many instances prefer it to various "remasters" monkey island is a strong example here, the remake just completely changes the artstyle of the original and it kinda loses it's soul with that.
same is true for sound imho, never would I say the MI theme on PC speaker sounds "bad", it just has it's own charm and I love it.