Complaint about Saturn section

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Complaint about Saturn section

Postby Suetonius » Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:46 am

In your mini-review of Doom, you wrote "the Saturn's lack of 3D power doesn't help this already blocky game" Well, I doubt that the Saturn hardware is the actual problem, for example the Saturn version of Exhumed was in fact superior to the PSX version. Not to mention awesome Saturn conversions of Quake and Dunk Nukem 3D. I put the blame on the developers, Rage. Because the Saturn can do 3D when properly programed for (more examples are Sega Rally, Virtual fighter 2, anarchy in the Nippon, Virtua Cop 2, Tomb Raider etc) Well, that is just my opinion. I would like to hear some feedback.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:46 am

I agree... the Saturn technically had the better specs than the Playstation, but Sega were the only people that knew how to milk it -- all the games save one you listed were Saturn (I hate Tombraider, so never played the Saturn version). True there's a fine line, but the result is still pretty much the same. I should probably reword that though... I do appreciate your honesty.
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Postby Ganelon » Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:57 am

Err, couldn't the Saturn only handle about 3/5 the texture-mapped polygons and 2/3 the flat-shaded polygons that the PS could? Given those specs, I'd say the Saturn was certainly limited in 3D power. For example, I doubt R4 and Omega Boost would've looked as pretty as they did on the PS without the higher limit of polygons that the PS had. Certainly, developer inexperience with the multi processor system hurt and so did the lack of hardware 3D transparencies. Doom for one really should have been visually equivalent since I doubt it used much of the Saturn's resources. However, I don't think that factor rings true for other, more graphically intensive games.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:42 pm

Well, I think on paper technically the Saturn DOES have more potentially, but as before, tapping it is an entirely different story. On paper, my old fiber connection in Tokyo could've allowed me to download gigs every minute. In actuaity though, it wasn't happening. Check around the Assembler forum. I think it's been stated time and time again that the Saturn was a flat out beast, just largely in part unused, unfortunately. I would be interested in seeing a list of 3D games that looked better on the Saturn than the Playstation.
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Postby Suetonius » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:11 am

I do not know of many 3D games that were superior on Saturn as opposed to PSX. The only ones I can think of are Exhumed (aka Powerslave in the USA) Quake and Duke Nukem 3D. All three were develpoed by Lobotomy. Anyway, have you played any of those three games yet? You should try Exhumed/Powerslave, even if its just to remove doubts over the Saturn's ability to handle smooth 3D graphics. Ganelon Some of the later Saturn games had transparancy effects (such as Sonic R) However, you are right in that most Saturn games do not have transparancy effects. I know that Sega used a technique to get around the Saturn's low polygon count, this was used in games such as Virtua Fighter 2 in which they combined 3D and 2D graphics to great effect (I remember playing these games in '95 and thinking that they looked better than anything on my PSX)

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:13 am

kill_bill wrote: Some of the later Saturn games had transparancy effects (such as Sonic R) However, you are right in that most Saturn games do not have transparancy effects.
Unless I see some pretty strong proof otherwise, these are tricks to get around lack of transparancies. Again, you'd probably need to ask some of the hardware nuts on Assembler. They fight about shit like that all the time. :)
I remember playing these games in '95 and thinking that they looked better than anything on my PSX)
Indeed. VF2 was unbelievable. EDIT: I changed Doom's writeup a bit. Should be a bit more PR now. LMK what you think. Oh, yeah -- I've not played Quake or the others on the Saturn. I'm kind of under the impression those games should be played on the PC... so yeah, my bias kinda shows when I do writeups for their console counterparts.
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Postby Ganelon » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:26 am

Gaijin Punch wrote: Unless I see some pretty strong proof otherwise, these are tricks to get around lack of transparancies. Again, you'd probably need to ask some of the hardware nuts on Assembler. They fight about shit like that all the time. :)
There's definitely ways to get transparencies on the Saturn. I only said it couldn't do hardware 3D transparencies, just as the PS2 can't do hardware anti-aliasing. It's just up to the programmers to develop the transparency algorithms and in some cases, they were probably just too confused by the multi processors/limited by time to bother. Yeah, VF2 really looked better than anything the PS had out at that time. And Daytona USA looked a lot better than Ridge Racer as well. So what is the most impressive 3D Saturn game anyway? Panzer Dragoon Saga? Nights?

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:31 am

Yeah.. HW transparencies... should've mentioned that.
So what is the most impressive 3D Saturn game anyway? Panzer Dragoon Saga? Nights?
I would say VF2 b/c of the frame rate, but it's far from my favorite game. PD saga looks nice, but the colors just hurt my head sometimes.
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Postby Suetonius » Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:59 am

Maybe we should start a new thread about Saturn graphics, since lots of people are overlooking this thread since it is not in the main forum. Plus it is getting a little off topic (after all Doom is on trail here!) The best looking Saturn game I have played is Tomb Raider. Even today I am impressed by the detailed solid graphics. The only negitive point is that the framerate is a little slow (that, and the gameplay is boring) Anyway back to Doom. Thanks for changing the wording on the review,, Gaijin. I think that the new wording is spot on. The Saturn port of Doom was simply a sick joke. It runs at 5 frames per second! For Christ sake, even the Atari Jaguar had a better port of the game! That pile of waste would look more at home on the 3DO!

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:23 pm

kill_bill wrote:The only negitive point is that the framerate is a little slow (that, and the gameplay is boring)
:D LMAO. Boring being the key word. I've always hated Tomb Raider, although I thought it was cool to look at on the PC when 3DFX first came out with their Glide driver.
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Postby aerithhime » Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:58 am

I played Tomb Raider on Saturn first. I thought it was a good looking 3D game but it was indeed boring so boring that all I did was go wander around to find entertaining ways to kill Laura. Swan diving off the head of the Sphinx was a favorite. Extra points if she gets hit midair by one of the shooting enemies below. :D

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Postby Ganelon » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:48 am

aerithhime wrote:I played Tomb Raider on Saturn first.
That's funny because it was at first announced only as a Saturn game. I wonder how things would be different today if that had remained the case... Yeah, I also find the game boring as hell.

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Postby Suetonius » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:46 am

Well, I guess that the best Saturn graphics that I have seen are in the ShunMue (spelling?) video. Apparently, the game was originally planned for release on the Saturn, but when Sega announced Dreamcast, production shifted to the more powerful system (Sonic adventure being another on of those Saturn games brought to Dreamcast) Have any of you guys seen the video? The graphics in it are simply awesome, and it will remove any doubts over the power of Saturn. check it out at www.sega-saturn.com This video led me to ponder over another question, that is, do you think that Sega should have sticked with the Saturn instead of abandoning it for Dreamcast? After all, the Saturn did ok in Japan. Plus by late '97 the Saturn was starting to prove that it can handle most PSX games (such as in the excellent conversion of Resident Evil) Insted of spending all the millions of dollars on the Dreamcast hardware and launch, Sega should have gave the Saturn one last push. That is, a big advertising campaign, relasing of Virtua Fighter 3, Sonic the fighters, Pal and US conversions of X-men Vs Street Fighter (I know this game is not Sega's responsibility, but if Virgin see that Sega still support the console, they may release it), a European release of the net link would be nice too.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:09 am

I think Sega wanted to be a big player in both markets. The Saturn died such a horrible death in America it wasn't even funny. They were hemorraghing money, so I think the push for the DC was the right move. Little did they know the DC wouldn't get close to the Saturn's level of popularity, which is a damn shame. I saw the Shenmue Saturn video a while ago. Would love to find a build of it somewhere, but I know it'll never happen. Bummer, really. Apparently they got VF3 up to a playable level before scrapping it for the DC as well. :(
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Postby Suetonius » Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:27 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:I think Sega wanted to be a big player in both markets. The Saturn died such a horrible death in America it wasn't even funny.
Perhaps Sega should have just concentrated on the Japanese market. Release Virtua Fighter 3 (after all, the Japanese were crazy about Virtua fighter at that point in time) , and make a few dollars on the side through the licensing of Hentai games.

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Postby Ganelon » Fri Apr 15, 2005 3:56 am

Err, VF3 didn't exactly become the smash hit that Sega and nearly everybody was hoping for.

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Postby Suetonius » Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:14 am

Well, I still think that Sega should have given the Saturn one last major push. By the time that Deep Fear had been released in the UK, we could have also been playing the completed Saturn Virtua Fighter 3, Shenmue Saturn Version and Resident Evil 2. That last game (if completed and released) would have been based on Biohazard 2 Prototype, as the final code was never ported to the Sega console following its initial cancellation. If Capcom had an incentive to continue development of their Saturn conversion with support from Sega, then perhaps the "remake" of Resident Evil 2 could have been released? Sega had no control over Capcom's decision to abort and restart development of Biohazard 2/Resident Evil 2, but they could have at least released whatever was considered to be the finished game? Such a major title would surely have boosted sales of the Saturn in its final days As for Shenmue, more of the series was completed for the Sega Saturn than has been so far released for any other system. AM2 have only revealed footage from the earlier stages of the Saturn game, and their reasons for doing this probably have something to do with maintaining secrecy for the possibility of future installments. The decision to carry Shenmue over to the Dreamcast was made when the Saturn code had reached its final bug testing stages, so it's safe to suggest that the game was around 80% complete (the later stages of development usually involve a game being sent between the testers and programmers to remove coding problems). What can be guaranteed is that each disc would have contained two chapters, and if Yu Suzuki had always planned for the entire saga to consist of sixteen parts then it can be presumed that Shenmue Saturn Version would have appeared on eight discs. The conversion of Shenmue from the Saturn to Dreamcast began in December 1998, though working code was not shown until much later - the "Project Berkeley" video footage that had been packaged with VF3tb in Japan as early as November 1998 was a pre-rendered demonstration that was used by AM2 to have their project approved by management when it was still known as "Virtua Fighter RPG" in 1994 during the game's earliest stages of conceptualisation (this same video was again used to convince Sega that the Shenmue project should be continued on their latest hardware platform).


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