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Retro Gamer 229 - Pilotwings


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7 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

Nice to see some slightly more positive coverage of a certain streaming service specialising in retro games!

Well it’s better than it was at launch so it’s only fair we give it another look. 

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On 19/01/2022 at 14:37, strider said:

We did initially think about limiting chips, additional memory etc but decided against it in the end. I think it's a solid list overall and have no problem if people don't agree with it. I'll fight everyone who says Super Aleste doesn't deserve to be on there, mind.

Why would you want to limit chip games? To the average person who owned a snes, their copies of mario kart, pilot wings and Starfox / lylat wars etc were "snes games" what else would they refer to them as?

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24 minutes ago, bplus said:

Why would you want to limit chip games? To the average person who owned a snes, their copies of mario kart, pilot wings and Starfox / lylat wars etc were "snes games" what else would they refer to them as?

Well it was a discussion we had, that's all. We talk about all sorts of elements when we put a feature together and we had the discussion about what did and didn't qualify. Ultimately we came to exactly the same conclusion you did. Most people have no idea there can be special chips inside their NES games, let alone titles like Pilotwings. Like you said, they're just games to them.

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8 minutes ago, strider said:

Well it was a discussion we had, that's all. We talk about all sorts of elements when we put a feature together and we had the discussion about what did and didn't qualify. Ultimately we came to exactly the same conclusion you did. Most people have no idea there can be special chips inside their NES games, let alone titles like Pilotwings. Like you said, they're just games to them.

 

I think it would've been crazy to exclude carts with extra chips. It's what games were meant to do.

Have you ever done a feature just looking at enhancement chips? Obviously they were common on the NES and SNES but didn't seem to be used much elsewhere, which is why the SVP stands out on the Mega Drive.

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:

 

I think it would've been crazy to exclude carts with extra chips. It's what games were meant to do.

Have you ever done a feature just looking at enhancement chips? Obviously they were common on the NES and SNES but didn't seem to be used much elsewhere, which is why the SVP stands out on the Mega Drive.

Shame more wasn't done with SVP, virtua racer blew all the super FX stuff outta the water!

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3 hours ago, strider said:

Well it was a discussion we had, that's all. We talk about all sorts of elements when we put a feature together and we had the discussion about what did and didn't qualify. Ultimately we came to exactly the same conclusion you did. Most people have no idea there can be special chips inside their NES games, let alone titles like Pilotwings. Like you said, they're just games to them.


but it’s an article on SNES games that “pushed the limits”

 

chip games didn’t push the limits of they Snes, they included CPU’s 7x faster than the stock.

 

the only thing chip games on SNES pushed was the price up.

 

 

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What chip would that be? Edit - One of the SuperFX chips. Except it's not a CPU and can't do CPU things. It's more akin to a GPU in modern parlance.

 

By any definition, none of the SA1 games pushed the limits of the SNES. The most common are DSP games where the chip did... some maths! Big deal!

 

I wonder is Street Fighter Alpha 2 on there? That used a chip to decompress all the animation data, but as ports go, it's pretty damned amazing.

 

I hope Yoshi's Island listed :D I'll pop into town and grab a copy at the weekend. 

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1 hour ago, ulala said:

I really think doom pushed the stock SNES, pushed it right to its limit 

 

no idea how it did it

 

A remarkable achievement, but arguably that’s a game that wouldn’t have been possible without the Super FX GSU-2 chip.

 

Edit: I didn’t mean to sound snarky with this remark. I would broadly agree with you that SNES/SFC games that didn’t use custom chips are not given enough due. I’m not surprised to see games like Pilotwings, StarFox, etc. in a list about “SNES games that pushed the limits of the console”, but there are some games on the platform, such as the Ganbare Goemon games, that achieved stunning results on stock hardware.

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11 hours ago, DeDeDe said:

 

A remarkable achievement, but arguably that’s a game that wouldn’t have been possible without the Super FX GSU-2 chip.

 

Edit: I didn’t mean to sound snarky with this remark. I would broadly agree with you that SNES/SFC games that didn’t use custom chips are not given enough due. I’m not surprised to see games like Pilotwings, StarFox, etc. in a list about “SNES games that pushed the limits of the console”, but there are some games on the platform, such as the Ganbare Goemon games, that achieved stunning results on stock hardware.

 

 

exactly.

 

It's ridiculous, in an article about snes games that "pushed the limits", to see Doom share the same page to Street Racer

 

The thing is, there are no limits to what the snes could do, or megadrive, or any of those consoles if you plugged enough external processors in it. That's what the 32x is doing, you just have to buy the contraption once instead of having a game rom inside it and you have to buy separate ones.

 

Same with the Sega CD. If you glue Thunderhawk in the machine, its basically a plug in thunderhawk cart and "pushes the limits" of the megadrive.

 

It should have been an article about fantastic programming techniques and amazing results, like Donkey Kong Country, super aleste and Street Racer.

 

Instead we got Super FX 2 and Starfox 2

 

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2 hours ago, ulala said:

 

 

exactly.

 

It's ridiculous, in an article about snes games that "pushed the limits", to see Doom share the same page to Street Racer

 

The thing is, there are no limits to what the snes could do, or megadrive, or any of those consoles if you plugged enough external processors in it. That's what the 32x is doing, you just have to buy the contraption once instead of having a game rom inside it and you have to buy separate ones.

 

Same with the Sega CD. If you glue Thunderhawk in the machine, its basically a plug in thunderhawk cart and "pushes the limits" of the megadrive.

 

It should have been an article about fantastic programming techniques and amazing results, like Donkey Kong Country, super aleste and Street Racer.

 

Instead we got Super FX 2 and Starfox 2

 

We'll just have to agree to disagree. I'll stand by the list and plenty of readers seem to be enjoying it. The great thing about lists is they drive debate and that's exactly what this is doing. 

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13 hours ago, DeDeDe said:

 

A remarkable achievement, but arguably that’s a game that wouldn’t have been possible without the Super FX GSU-2 chip.

 

Edit: I didn’t mean to sound snarky with this remark. I would broadly agree with you that SNES/SFC games that didn’t use custom chips are not given enough due. I’m not surprised to see games like Pilotwings, StarFox, etc. in a list about “SNES games that pushed the limits of the console”, but there are some games on the platform, such as the Ganbare Goemon games, that achieved stunning results on stock hardware.

Ganbare Goemon 3 is in the list 👌

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3 hours ago, ulala said:

 

 

exactly.

 

It's ridiculous, in an article about snes games that "pushed the limits", to see Doom share the same page to Street Racer

 

The thing is, there are no limits to what the snes could do, or megadrive, or any of those consoles if you plugged enough external processors in it. That's what the 32x is doing, you just have to buy the contraption once instead of having a game rom inside it and you have to buy separate ones.

 

Same with the Sega CD. If you glue Thunderhawk in the machine, its basically a plug in thunderhawk cart and "pushes the limits" of the megadrive.

 

It should have been an article about fantastic programming techniques and amazing results, like Donkey Kong Country, super aleste and Street Racer.

 

Instead we got Super FX 2 and Starfox 2

 

 

This is all absolute bollocks, sorry.

 

If this were true, why isn't the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 as good as the Saturn version? Why are the sprites so much smaller? Why are backgrounds missing? Why does it have a weird pause at the start of fights? Why does it have slowdown? I thought adding extra chips to SNES carts removed all limits?

 

Personally I don't consider the Mega CD or 32X to be the same thing at all as sticking some extra chips in a SNES cart, but if we're going down that route, why is the palette on Final Fight CD so limited compared to the SNES cartridge version?

 

I don't disagree that it would be great to look at titles that pushed the limits with programming techniques and so on without enhancement chips on the SNES, but it is a bit daft. Nintendo purposely designed the NES and the SNES to have enhancements in the cartridges.

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18 hours ago, bplus said:

Shame more wasn't done with SVP, virtua racer blew all the super FX stuff outta the water!

 

Not really. VR was so cool and smooth for sure, but Stunt Race FX had far more impressive physics and was far more varied. Sure, it wasn't as smooth but it felt more advanced. 

 

 

As for the other argument, sure I can understand it. Games pushing the SNES without chips is perhaps more interesting on a purely technical level. But even now, we are learning the games often had slowdown due to the use of a low ROM chip rather than fast Roms that were available at the time! So the slow CPU wasn't entirely at fault. 

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1 hour ago, Zio said:

 

This is all absolute bollocks, sorry.

 

If this were true, why isn't the SNES version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 as good as the Saturn version? Why are the sprites so much smaller? Why are backgrounds missing? Why does it have a weird pause at the start of fights? Why does it have slowdown? I thought adding extra chips to SNES carts removed all limits?

 

Personally I don't consider the Mega CD or 32X to be the same thing at all as sticking some extra chips in a SNES cart, but if we're going down that route, why is the palette on Final Fight CD so limited compared to the SNES cartridge version?

 

I don't disagree that it would be great to look at titles that pushed the limits with programming techniques and so on without enhancement chips on the SNES, but it is a bit daft. Nintendo purposely designed the NES and the SNES to have enhancements in the cartridges.

 

 

Snes SFA2 could be as good as the saturn version, if they used different cheat chips in the cartridge. 

 

The weird pause isn't the decompression chip doing its work, it's actually the result of bad programming. so you could argue that this game doesn't push the snes to its limit, it actually makes it worse than it should be due to a programming error.

 

The CD 32 is exactly the same thing as snes enhancement chips, its just that it had re-useable chips instead of making the user buy the same enhancement chip each and every time like Nintendo did. Real great for the end user paying for it - thanks Nintendo.

 

You could definitely argue this about the nes. SMB3 isn't pushing the limits of the nes, its using processors to by-pass them.

 

I really wish the article could have been split into two, one about how enhancement chips allowed the SNES to do things that it could not do stock, and a proper article that actually showcased excellent programming that really pushed the stock snes to its limits.

 

So what if Star Fox 2 had great 3d polygons - that wasn't the skill of the programmer at all. Same with Mario kart and street racer. One is a far superior piece of programming and worthy of inclusion.

 

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But the entry for Street Racer in the article specifically pointed out that the game managed to achieve the the 3D effect without the DSP chip, and the one for Star Fox made it clear that the game made heavy use of the Super FX chip. I'm not sure what else they could realistically have done. 

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Even with use of onboard chips, the programmers and scope of the games they designed were still limited by the Super NES memory bus, RAM, tile-based graphics, colour palette, sound chip, screen resolution, etc. It’s not like a Super FX chip turned the Super NES into a Sony PlayStation or contemporary high-end arcade board.

 

(Anyway, there’s another troll identified for my ignore list.)

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6 minutes ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Even with use of onboard chips, the programmers and scope of the games they designed were still limited by the Super NES memory bus, RAM, tile-based graphics, colour palette, sound chip, screen resolution, etc. It’s not like a Super FX chip turned the Super NES into a Sony PlayStation or contemporary high-end arcade board.

 

(Anyway, there’s another troll identified for my ignore list.)

 

Anyone you don't agree with, or offers a contrary opinion is a "troll" or doesn't know what they are talking about.

 

 

 

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Well, you don't know what you're talking about from my point of view. That I disagree with you is unrelated.

 

Ironic that you make that statement since when people comment on Analogue, you quickly state that people just don't get how businesses run or something to that effect!

 

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16 minutes ago, K said:

But the entry for Street Racer in the article specifically pointed out that the game managed to achieve the the 3D effect without the DSP chip, and the one for Star Fox made it clear that the game made heavy use of the Super FX chip. I'm not sure what else they could realistically have done. 

 

 

You are correct, it did point this out,

 

I would have preferred if the article made a clear distinction between games that "pushed limits" through enhancement chips - like Star Fox, doom and Yoshis Island, and those that did remarkable things on the stock SNES through excellent programming, like Street Racer. Perhaps have it in two sections.

 

That would seem reasonable, but i'm glad that the article did point this out in Street Racer.

 

All in all i enjoyed the article, and its ok to have different opinions and talk about them. You cant please everyone.

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