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Favorite 4:3 games from the XP-era?

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First post, by Shponglefan

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Curious curious what everyone's favorite games from the XP-era that are specifically designed for 4:3 aspect ratio?

Last edited by Shponglefan on 2022-04-11, 16:50. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 1 of 23, by Joseph_Joestar

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:28:

Given the transition from 4:3 to widescreen happened in the early-mid 2000's, I'm curious what everyone's favorite games from the XP-era that are specifically designed for 4:3 aspect ratio?

I think you've got that slightly wrong.

It was rare for games to natively support widescreen resolutions until about 2004. From that point onward, widescreen support gradually became more and more common. If you check the PC Gaming Wiki, you'll see that many early to mid 2000 era games need third party patches or INI tweaks to support widescreen resolutions. Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004) and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (2005) are two notable examples.

With the advent of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and the phasing out of CRT TVs, widescreen started becoming more commonplace among PC games as well, since many of them were developed for multiple platforms.

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Reply 2 of 23, by Shponglefan

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:44:

I think you've got that slightly wrong.

It was rare for games to natively support widescreen resolutions until about 2004. From that point onward, widescreen support gradually became more and more common. If you check the PC Gaming Wiki, you'll see that many early to mid 2000 era games need third party patches or INI tweaks to support widescreen resolutions. Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004) and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (2005) are two notable examples.

Admittedly my memory is probably a bit fuzzy in terms of time line, although I do recall some games getting patched around that time-frame (FEAR comes to mind).

At any rate, I'm really curious about what games people enjoyed that were specifically made for 4:3 from that era.

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Reply 3 of 23, by Cuttoon

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Mind you, before 16:10 and 16:9 widescreen, there came 1280 x 1024 for 17 and 19" TFTs, which is neiter wide nor 4:3 but 5:4.
And IIRC, most earlier 3D games would support that as it is a standard VESA mode.

Games, myself, no idea about that era - played only HL1 mods back then, CS and DOD - which alredy did widescreen in the pre-Steam era, IIRC?

Warcraft III only did 1024 x 768, if we are to believe mobygames. But I wouldn't even call 2002 the XP era.
Unreal tournament 2003 as well, but I'm rather sure the UT2 engine supported custom resolutions from the start:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/unreal-tournam … t-2003/techinfo

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Reply 4 of 23, by Sombrero

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-04-11, 16:58:

Warcraft III only did 1024 x 768, if we are to believe mobygames.

I'm 90% certain I played Warcraft III @ 1280x1024 back in the day, I remember thinking the game looked like shit and upped the resolution above 1024x768 which was my default back then. Haven't played it since but I did get the game couple months ago so I guess I could check what it supports.

As for OP's question:
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
- Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

There are others but I'm not 100% sure are they solely 4:3/5:4.

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Reply 6 of 23, by RandomStranger

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Either of these 3:

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Knights of the Old Republic II Sith Lords
Grand Theft Auto Vice City

The first 2 still don't support 16:9, Vice City does, but at least for me the crosshair is off-center which makes it difficult to aim at longer ranges.

Edit: for GTA:VC I mean the crosshair itself is on-center, but the guns shoot to the bottom left from it.

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Reply 8 of 23, by RetroGamer4Ever

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4:3 gaming was around well into the XP-Vista era. It wasn't until the XP Media Center days that widescreen began to take hold, due to HTPC/living room gamers using plasma/DLP/projection TV sets and also gaming on consoles. I was working retail at that time, selling computers, and 16:10 widescreen was rapidly taking hold on gaming/multimedia laptops, but desktop monitors were still very much the old 4:3, with some exotic 16:10 media/gaming displays hitting the shelves, often with expensive soundbar add-ons available. Once Windows Vista came out, the slow move to 16:9 began and it took hold with Windows 7, quickly becoming the norm after that was released.

Reply 9 of 23, by Meatball

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-12, 22:16:

4:3 gaming was around well into the XP-Vista era. It wasn't until the XP Media Center days that widescreen began to take hold, due to HTPC/living room gamers using plasma/DLP/projection TV sets and also gaming on consoles. I was working retail at that time, selling computers, and 16:10 widescreen was rapidly taking hold on gaming/multimedia laptops, but desktop monitors were still very much the old 4:3, with some exotic 16:10 media/gaming displays hitting the shelves, often with expensive soundbar add-ons available. Once Windows Vista came out, the slow move to 16:9 began and it took hold with Windows 7, quickly becoming the norm after that was released.

I used to be disappointed 16:10 never took off like 16:9 - in addition to the real estate, one could play games at 1600x1200 resolution. However, since we have 2560×1440, I can play the old 4:3 games at 1600x1200 and 1920x1440 now.

Back to the thread, I can't think of an early XP game off the top of my head, so I'm going with "American McGee's Alice" (released about 8 months before XP went to manufacturing). Close enough, and it is one of my favorites.

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Reply 10 of 23, by mastergamma12

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Knights of the Old Republic for me.

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Reply 12 of 23, by creepingnet

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I used to play Robot Arena 2: Design & Destroy, The Sims, and Postal 2 all in 4:3. Still do sometimes too if I'm playing them on Wine on my ThinkPad T61.

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Reply 13 of 23, by dr_st

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Meatball wrote on 2022-04-12, 22:40:

I used to be disappointed 16:10 never took off like 16:9 - in addition to the real estate, one could play games at 1600x1200 resolution.

1920x1200 is probably what you meant. There are plenty of games that run well in that resolution. My main desktop has had a 24" 1920x1200 monitor for years.

Meatball wrote on 2022-04-12, 22:40:

However, since we have 2560×1440, I can play the old 4:3 games at 1600x1200 and 1920x1440 now.

Yes, that's nice. I recently upgraded that 1920x1200 to a 27" 2560x1440, and 4:3 scaling works quite well. Sometimes the monitor does it by itself, in other cases the nVidia GPU does it.

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Reply 14 of 23, by Meatball

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dr_st wrote on 2022-04-22, 09:38:
1920x1200 is probably what you meant. There are plenty of games that run well in that resolution. My main desktop has had a 24" […]
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Meatball wrote on 2022-04-12, 22:40:

I used to be disappointed 16:10 never took off like 16:9 - in addition to the real estate, one could play games at 1600x1200 resolution.

1920x1200 is probably what you meant. There are plenty of games that run well in that resolution. My main desktop has had a 24" 1920x1200 monitor for years.

Meatball wrote on 2022-04-12, 22:40:

However, since we have 2560×1440, I can play the old 4:3 games at 1600x1200 and 1920x1440 now.

Yes, that's nice. I recently upgraded that 1920x1200 to a 27" 2560x1440, and 4:3 scaling works quite well. Sometimes the monitor does it by itself, in other cases the nVidia GPU does it.

No, I meant 1600x1200. My comment was not about how well a game ran, it was toward the 4:3 aspect ratio.

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Reply 15 of 23, by dr_st

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Ah, I understand your comment now. 😀

Indeed, 1920x1200 has at some point been overtaken by 1920x1080, as the latter became the standard resolution for all monitor sizes between 21.5" and 23.8", and was even featured on some 27". However, even today 24" 1920x1200 monitors are being made.

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Reply 16 of 23, by Meatball

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dr_st wrote on 2022-04-22, 10:33:

Ah, I understand your comment now. 😀

Indeed, 1920x1200 has at some point been overtaken by 1920x1080, as the latter became the standard resolution for all monitor sizes between 21.5" and 23.8", and was even featured on some 27". However, even today 24" 1920x1200 monitors are being made.

Yes, I can see my comment wasn’t the clearest.

It seems like there has been an uptick in notebook computers available with the 1920x1200 resolution, which is great.

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Reply 17 of 23, by BEEN_Nath_58

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I enjoyed playing Call of Duty 1 and Need for Speed Most Wanted then. Good times, when you didn't need to have online connectivity primarily and we wouldn't look at the graphics settings that much.

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Reply 18 of 23, by FFXIhealer

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Hah! No one's yet mentioned F.E.A.R., one of my favorite FPS from the Windows XP era, also limited to 4:3 resolutions without INI hacks or other patches.

Other games I enjoyed from this era include Doom 3, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Half-Life 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare... not all of which were limited to 4:3. Final Fantasy 11, The Elder Scrolls Morrowind and Oblivion, Phantasy Star Universe... You know, now that I'm thinking about it, I lost out on a lot of good games like Far Cry 1 and 2 during this time because I spent WAY too much time "playing" Final Fantasy 11.... if you can call standing around for hours not doing anything "playing."

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Reply 19 of 23, by dr_st

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FFXIhealer wrote on 2022-04-25, 18:55:

Hah! No one's yet mentioned F.E.A.R., one of my favorite FPS from the Windows XP era, also limited to 4:3 resolutions without INI hacks or other patches.

Incoming... Unknown Origin FTW 😁

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