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What's the best arcade conversion of all time?


Couch Corpse
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Soul Calibur was simply stunning. Hands down best arcade port ever.

Has anyone mentioned Pacmania on the Amiga yet? I remember wowing over that. It removed the borders to run full screen and was glorious for 1988

pac-mania_05.png

Pacmania on the Amiga pissed all over the ST version :P

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except, you know, any 3D stuff...

I'm not sure if there was any truth in that, it was an oft touted 'fact' by ST owners. I think it was assumed to be true because the Atari ST 68000 was clocked at 8mhz and the Amiga 68000 was clocked at 7.16mhz to enable it to be compatible with genlocking devices. 7.16mhz was exactly twice the frequency of the NTSC video standard which was 3.58mhz. Fact fans.

As the amiga was big on custom chips I'm sure some of the strain could be taken off the main processor even when running 3d games.

Yours sincerely,

the original amiga owner.

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I'm not sure if there was any truth in that, it was an oft touted 'fact' by ST owners. I think it was assumed to be true because the Atari ST 68000 was clocked at 8mhz and the Amiga 68000 was clocked at 7.16mhz to enable it to be compatible with genlocking devices. 7.16mhz was exactly twice the frequency of the NTSC video standard which was 3.58mhz. Fact fans.

As the amiga was big on custom chips I'm sure some of the strain could be taken off the main processor even when running 3d games.

Yours sincerely,

the original amiga owner.

Nice theory but I don't think any 3D games made use of the custom chips. That's not say they couldn't have though. An Amiga set to PAL actually ran a bit slower at 7.09379. I've no idea what speed a PAL Atari ST ran at but I'm guessing it's a bit slower as well because there's more lines to draw on the TV. God this is geeky ;)

Respectfully

He who didn't ever own an ST but used to play on his brother's a lot.

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I'm not sure if there was any truth in that, it was an oft touted 'fact' by ST owners. I think it was assumed to be true because the Atari ST 68000 was clocked at 8mhz and the Amiga 68000 was clocked at 7.16mhz to enable it to be compatible with genlocking devices. 7.16mhz was exactly twice the frequency of the NTSC video standard which was 3.58mhz. Fact fans.

As the amiga was big on custom chips I'm sure some of the strain could be taken off the main processor even when running 3d games.

Yours sincerely,

the original amiga owner.

I'm an Amiga fan but I read Archer Maclean himself say that the ST had better 3D in an interview for a magazine way back when. Even so, I never actually thought the ST would be capable of smoother 3D than the likes of Combat Air Patrol or No Second Prize for the Amiga. Cue this forum debate and the wonders of Youtube -- finally I can decide for myself -- and I'm sorry Amiga fans, but you can see that the ST version of NSP has a slightly smoother framerate by comparing these two vids:

Having said this, the Amiga version sounds infinitely better and, had the developer's included that beautiful copper-enabled sky from the intro in the actual game, it would've looked a million times better too.

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I'm an Amiga fan but I read Archer Maclean himself say that the ST had better 3D in an interview for a magazine way back when. Even so, I never actually thought the ST would be capable of smoother 3D than the likes of Combat Air Patrol or No Second Prize for the Amiga. Cue this forum debate and the wonders of Youtube -- finally I can decide for myself -- and I'm sorry Amiga fans, but you can see that the ST version of NSP has a slightly smoother framerate by comparing these two vids:

Having said this, the Amiga version sounds infinitely better and, had the developer's included that beautiful copper-enabled sky from the intro in the actual game, it would've looked a million times better too.

I think those videos prove my point, the differences are barely discernible. The amiga video also shows more trackside objects. I recall Jez San arguing in favour of the opposite case with regard to 3d on the amiga. I still think it's a theoretical argument based on clock speeds.

I think I'll refrain further from taking this thread OT.

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The amiga video also shows more trackside objects.

That doesn't explain why it's still not as smooth as the ST version on the parts of the track with fewer roadside objects though. Admittedly, it would be more ideal if there were videos of the same track so we could properly compare the two versions, but based on what I've seen so far I've got a feeling the ST version will come out on top.

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The differrence between ST and Amiga 3D was at least as noticeable as that between Pal/NTSC bitmap games. Not big enough to make you feel your version was terrible if you had the slower machine but enough that if you were used to the faster ST versions playing the Amiga versions seemed like playing through treacle (Hunter/NSP/Vroom/Epic/F1/JWWS are a few good examples)

Back on subject of arcade conversions St Dragon and Dragon Breed I thought were both pretty good conversions on the humble ST.

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  • 2 months later...
Ditto. I still think that apart from the jump to 3D, Soul Calibur was one of the biggest jumps in visual quality we've ever seen in gaming.

Fighting games on the previous consoles got progressively better as they went on. Think of it this way:

Virtua Fighter - flat shaded polys, <30fps, low-res, simple backdrops

Tekken - textured but low-poly, 60fps, hi-res, 2D backdrops

Toshinden - textured spheroids and polys (with quite poor quality characters in stills), low-res, 2D backdrops

Tekken 2 - Textured higher poly characters, better backdrops but lower res

VF2 - Textured high poly characters but it was often too easy to see where their limbs join, 2D backdrops (unlike the arcade), 60fps but only ambient lighting

Fighting Vipers - Finally some 3D elements in stages and directional lighting, but VERY low res

Soul Edge - 3D backdrops with moving parts, along with effects like grass in the wind, but low-poly, poorly textured, unstable framerate

Tekken 3 - Richly detailed characters but technically simple backdrops, low-res

Fighters Megamix - Same problems as Fighting Vipers

Last Bronx - Low-res, 2D backdrops beyond the surrounding "fence"

Fighter's Destiny - Low res, poorly detailed characters, poor spot effects

Every N64 fighter APART from Fighter's Destiny - Low res, vaseline-o-vision

So put those together and we have a list of features:

  • Framerate (best 60fps)
  • Character detail (best high)
  • Backdrops (Worst 2D, better 2D with 3D elements,best a lot of 3D elements)
  • Textured characters (worst flat shaded, better low quality textures, best high quality textures)
  • Lighting (worst ambient, better directional, best a combination of these)
  • Smooth animation (worst poor, better like Tekken 3, best is extremely fluid)

No game did all of these on 32-bit machines. Tekken was hi-res and proceeded to get lower as the series went on. Character textures improved, but directional lighting (present in VF1) for example was left out of VF2. Plus, apart from Soul Calibur and a few others like Bloody Roar, backdrops were nearly all 2D.

Actually Bloody Roar 1 was something of a freakish aberration, as it did manage to do relatively high res, detailed characters at 30fps with 3D backdrops, but I suppose it was still 30fps. You also had others like Kensei: Sacred Fist that managed to do 60fps at high-res with relatively detailed characters, but its backdrops were simplistic.

Soul Calibur then walks onto the scene and grabs the holy grail. It's 60fps, with highly detailed characters, has backgrounds with LOADS of 3D elements (check out the Venice level), brilliantly textured characters with bits of moving hair and clothing, lighting both from a direction and from the sparks when weapons clashed, and I don't even need to mention how spectacularly the characters were animated:

Soul Calibur just stood on a peak above ALL other 3D fighters of the time and said "You know those best visual features you all have? I have all of those, together, and each one is better than the best you've got!"

It was an absolute marvel.

Pretty good post, but I'd like to correct you on Tekken 2 and 3 PS versions. 1 and 2 were arcade PERFECT, but not high res (neither was the arcade). 3 on the PS WAS high res (640x480) but lacked 3D backgrounds. I dont even think the arcade version was high res, but Im not sure. One obscure game people forget about was the Ridge Racer 1 remake released with Rage Racer (I think thats the game it was released with) as a bonus game-- unlike the original, the remake differed in that it was BOTH high res, AND full 60 fps! Apparently the devs learned so many optimisation tricks on the PS1 by that time they were able to do it at double the res and frame rate of the original release, which is pretty amazing. I'd say that version is the best RR arcade port ever released.

About N64 fighters, I agree, the ball was dropped for most of them, but MACE: The Dark Age was a REALLY good translation of the arcade, slightly lower res and less stable frame rate, but it was impressive. Also, Mortal Kombat 4 for the N64 was a very good translation with perfect 60 fps graphics (despite lower detail) and none of that anti aliased muddiness present on many N64 fighters.

I'd like to nominate Soul Calibur 2 on PS2/Xbox/GCN as well. While the PS2 had some slowdown, the GCN and Xbox versions were absolutely rock solid and beautiful. On GCN @ 480p on my TV the game just looks incredible, the visuals are super crisp and look very high res compared to some other GCN titles even at 480p. Better graphics than the arcade version.

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Didn't Tekken 1 introduce a load of glitches, and run at a lower resolution, like 2?

Also, where is this Soul Calibur 2 arcade you speak of?

You've never seen a Soul Calibur 2 arcade?? I've played one here in Louisiana before. Look at this. The graphics were definitely not as good looking as the GC and Xbox versions, in my opinion.

Soul%20Calibur%20II.JPG

Also, I think Tekken 1 and 2 were pretty much identical to the arcades-- neither 1 nor 2 (that I can remember) in the arcades ran at a 640 x 480 resolution. They were also 240p, Im pretty sure. This is a screen grab from the arcade of Tekken 1. I'm almost 100% certain it and Tekken 2 ran at a lower resolution than Segas Virtua Fighter 2, which looked much sharper. It ran at 496 x 384 (which is still less than 640x480). I think Namcos System 11 ran at a strange res of 512 x240, basically a stretched version of 240p (playstation 1 "standard" res)

tekken1-fin.gif

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