Author Topic: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?  (Read 1617 times)

SignOfZeta

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2017, 04:51:19 PM »
The fair question is, how does the FX rate against the Playdia?

elmer

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2017, 05:09:40 PM »
Princess Crown, by the way, also does a lot of animating with rotation/scaling/warping. The main character's sword, for example, is actually just one graphic that gets manipulated like crazy.

The stuff that I saw on YouTube ... like the sword ... just looked like things that could easily be done with sprites, or on a high-priority background layer (without rotation). I missed the scaling in the game, wherever it was.


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From a player's standpoint, I don't think that the PC-FX is best remembered as a system that could have kept up with the Saturn and Playstation graphically in 2D if it had only had the support. I try to appreciate it more as a dream-machine for people of the 16-bit-era school of design.

IMHO ... that's the realistic way of looking at it.

It could have easily held its own against Sega's rumored 5th-generation 2D-gaming sprite machine ... but then Sony appeared over the horizon, and Sega saw the Playstation specs and sh*t in their pants, and they started randomly throwing hardware into the Saturn design until they believed that it could compete.

The horrible everything-including-the-kitchen-sink and only-jokingly-called-a-design that they came up with, is an absolute monstrosity compared to the simple elegance of the Playstation ... but it sure is an interesting system, and very powerful if you can afford to spend the time to tailor your design to its hardware.

The PC-FX has a lot of excellent capabilities, I really like what I see in those design docs ... but it was primarily designed for a different war than the one that it ended-up fighting in.

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2017, 10:45:08 PM »
The fair question is, how does the FX rate against the Playdia?

I have a Playdia! D:

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2017, 10:47:28 PM »
Symphony of the Night is a tough one.

The PC-FX basically couldn't do a straight port. Whether it could do a "good-enough" port really depends on where you draw the line. The game is chock full of graphical flourishes that probably would have to be cut from a PC-FX port. Tons of things rotate and scale. Alucard himself seems to be animated with the help of multiple rotating limbs.

Princess Crown, by the way, also does a lot of animating with rotation/scaling/warping. The main character's sword, for example, is actually just one graphic that gets manipulated like crazy.

From a player's standpoint, I don't think that the PC-FX is best remembered as a system that could have kept up with the Saturn and Playstation graphically in 2D if it had only had the support. I try to appreciate it more as a dream-machine for people of the 16-bit-era school of design.

Minus the sound hardware, of course.
IIRC Symphony of the Night is actually 3D as 2D, on both PS1 & Saturn, so I doubt the PC FX could handle it at all.

Was there ever a 3D add on planned for the FX?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:15:31 AM by Artabasdos »

SamIAm

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2017, 12:00:21 AM »
IIRC Symphony of the Night is actually 3D as 2D, on both PS1 Saturn, so I doubt the PC FX could handle it at all.

This...makes little sense, I'm afraid.

There is nothing in the game's core logic - the physics, the collision detection, the AI -  that would have necessitated or even had any use for a Z-axis. The same goes for the vast majority of the graphics. Only a tiny number of objects and effects, like the clock tower at the very beginning of the game, use what might be described as real 3D. These things would be mostly impossible on the PC-FX, it's true, but they're just ornaments. If anything, the developers probably had do extra work to adapt those objects to work in the main 2D engine.

You might have heard that the Playstation does all 2D as 3D because it slaps 2D graphics onto 3D polygons and displays everything from one locked perspective. This is kind of true. I don't know, I'm not a programmer and I'm not deeply familiar with the hardware. I'm guessing, though, that this only makes a very superficial difference in the way a 2D Playstation game is processed, e.g. that you have to add some perfunctory Z-axis coordinates but not actually do any math with them.

Anyway, 3D is not the reason why the PC-FX would have trouble doing a close conversion of Symphony of the Night. Lack of rotation and scaling support in the graphics hardware is.

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Was there ever a 3D add on planned for the FX?

Yep. They had a chip lined up and everything. There was a board they released for PCs called the PC-FXGA that was aimed at hobbyists, and it actually had the chip in addition to the rest of the PC-FX hardware. Here is a video of the demo game that came with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XowO7i8Pxg

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2017, 12:12:59 AM »
IIRC Symphony of the Night is actually 3D as 2D, on both PS1 Saturn, so I doubt the PC FX could handle it at all.

This...makes little sense, I'm afraid.

There is nothing in the game's core logic - the physics, the collision detection, the AI -  that would have necessitated or even had any use for a Z-axis. The same goes for the vast majority of the graphics. Only a tiny number of objects and effects, like the clock tower at the very beginning of the game, use what might be described as real 3D. These things would be mostly impossible on the PC-FX, it's true, but they're just ornaments. If anything, the developers probably had do extra work to adapt those objects to work in the main 2D engine.

You might have heard that the Playstation does all 2D as 3D because it slaps 2D graphics onto 3D polygons and displays everything from one locked perspective. This is kind of true. I don't know, I'm not a programmer and I'm not deeply familiar with the hardware. I'm guessing, though, that this only makes a very superficial difference in the way a 2D Playstation game is processed, e.g. that you have to add some perfunctory Z-axis coordinates but not actually do any math with them.

Anyway, 3D is not the reason why the PC-FX would have trouble doing a close conversion of Symphony of the Night. Lack of rotation and scaling support in the graphics hardware is.

Quote
Was there ever a 3D add on planned for the FX?

Yep. They had a chip lined up and everything. There was a board they released for PCs called the PC-FXGA that was aimed at hobbyists, and it actually had the chip in addition to the rest of the PC-FX hardware. Here is a video of the demo game that came with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XowO7i8Pxg

Here, this explains it a bit. AFAIK the Saturn version is handled in the same fashion, so is inferior to the PS1 game. No doubt had they built it from the ground up on Saturn it would have surpassed thevPS1.

That's pretty impressive. Looks around the 3DO or 32X level of 3D!

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2017, 01:01:08 AM »
Also, this is a pretty nice example of the PC FX graphics wise.

https://youtu.be/4AtEpkZm3BI

elmer

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 05:20:57 AM »
Also, this is a pretty nice example of the PC FX graphics wise.

You might want to watch this video instead ...



pc_kwajalein

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2017, 09:49:53 AM »
Also, this is a pretty nice example of the PC FX graphics wise.
You might want to watch this video instead ...

That shit is utterly amazing. I admit I've never heard of Choujin Heiki Zeroigar before this thread, but it's hitting on all the right notes for me.

My past-life would've surely led to our demise, and I had left it not a moment too soon. Our escape, though dangerous, had gone well. The train ride, sunlight, and passing snow-covered pine trees came together in a flickering show of our bright, new future together. Her head rested on my shoulder as she soundly slept to the gentle rocking of the passenger car. We felt freedom. We felt peace.

Gypsy

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2017, 10:20:25 AM »
Zeroigar rocks and even has an English patch.

elmer

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2017, 11:10:10 AM »
I'm curious to know how he found the unlock for the energy-cheat ... I thought that I'd hidden it pretty well.

He makes the game look way too easy ... which it isn't.

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2017, 02:29:43 PM »
Also, this is a pretty nice example of the PC FX graphics wise.

You might want to watch this video instead ...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF0nHRXhTPA


Cool stuff. Makes me wanna pickup an FX even more!

exodus

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2017, 11:53:27 AM »
Bit of a side-note, but here's a cool thing to read about the PSX vs Saturn versions of SotN! http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/cv-sotn/documents/nocturne-port.htm

SamIAm

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2017, 02:02:47 PM »
I had actually googled that just before.

On one hand, I could certainly buy that the Saturn version has more slowdown because they did sloppy retrofitting on the original Playstation code.

But on the other hand, the conclusion that SotN is really a 3D game and the Saturn has trouble with it because it's bad at 3D seems like it's probably a big oversimplification, and in more ways than one.

But I'll leave it at that.

You should all go play Zeroigar.  :)

Artabasdos

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Re: Saturn vs PC FX; Which was the better 2D machine?
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2017, 06:28:58 AM »
I had actually googled that just before.

On one hand, I could certainly buy that the Saturn version has more slowdown because they did sloppy retrofitting on the original Playstation code.

But on the other hand, the conclusion that SotN is really a 3D game and the Saturn has trouble with it because it's bad at 3D seems like it's probably a big oversimplification, and in more ways than one.

But I'll leave it at that.

You should all go play Zeroigar.  :)

Yeah, but is Zeroigar as pricey as some PCE stuff?