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Games that pushed its console's hardware to the limit
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Ethane



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject: Games that pushed its console's hardware to the limit Reply with quote

I've always enjoyed reading about and playing games that were considered to be the end-all when it came to squeezing every drop out of the hardware for the console it was published on, and I'm fiddling around with a little project on my own about them. This forum seems like it'd be a prime place to ask about this. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Atari 2600: Solaris (or Double Dragon)
Atari 5200: Rescue on Fractalus
Colecovision: ?
Intellivision: ?
NES: Recca
Master System: ?
Turbografx-16: Sapphire (Arcade CD)
Sega Genesis: Ranger-X
Super Nintendo: ?


...aaand, I'm gonna stop there for now. So for each system, which game do you think acheives the "holy crap, I didn't know this system could do this!" factor?
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adaml
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Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Games that pushed its console's hardware to the limit Reply with quote

Ethane wrote:
I've always enjoyed reading about and playing games that were considered to be the end-all when it came to squeezing every drop out of the hardware for the console it was published on, and I'm fiddling around with a little project on my own about them. This forum seems like it'd be a prime place to ask about this. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Atari 2600: Solaris (or Double Dragon)
Atari 5200: Rescue on Fractalus
Colecovision: ?
Intellivision: ?
NES: Recca
Master System: Predator
Turbografx-16: Sapphire (Arcade CD)
Sega Genesis: Ranger-X
Super Nintendo: ?


...aaand, I'm gonna stop there for now. So for each system, which game do you think acheives the "holy crap, I didn't know this system could do this!" factor?


Was Star Fox a game that pushed the SNES to its limits?

I remember reading about a Colecovision game that looked better than an NES game, but can't recall which one it was.
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Mezase Master



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donkey Kong Country trilogy for Super Nintendo.
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Evan



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ask any snes emulator developer, and they will tell you that the DKC series and Star Fox did not push the snes to any limit (Star Fox uses the Super FX chip, which is a coprocessor). A better example might be something like Rendering Ranger, which has amazing graphics and no slowdown.

From what I have been told, the true answer is Kirby's Dream World 3.
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GDRI



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master System: I don't know. Power Strike II?
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StriderVM



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:53 am    Post subject: Hmm Reply with quote

NES : Joy Mecha Fight (Technical)

A 2D fighting game that runs at 60FPS, ultra smooth animation (By sort of cheating) and very playable.

Nintendo 64 : Perfect Dark (Bruteforce)
Star Wars Battle for Naboo (Technical)

Perfect Dark had too many things going for it that the FPS suffered terribly, even at times slower than Goldeneye.

Battle for Naboo has really high resolution and a rally long draw distance, and with no fog as well.
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Xkeeper



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 318
Location: Henderson, NV

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evan wrote:
Ask any snes emulator developer, and they will tell you that the DKC series and Star Fox did not push the snes to any limit (Star Fox uses the Super FX chip, which is a coprocessor). A better example might be something like Rendering Ranger, which has amazing graphics and no slowdown.
Could be worse, like SMRPG. That used an entire fucking SNES processor. In addition to the one in the SNES!

...or so I hear.
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Ethane



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's always Star Fox or Virtua Racer (Megadrive) but I'd rather hear about the games that didn't have to rely on a co-processor or the like.
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shawnphase



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 189
Location: baltimore, md

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer Carnival '92 - Recca.
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ProgrammingAce



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 578

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know much about you kids and your new-fangled carts, but for the newer systems:

Xbox:

(Brute Force) Halo 2 : Microsoft had to bend the certification requirements to allow halo 2 to pass. The debug versions of halo2 took up so much ram that microsoft had to release a special version of the XDK so bungie could continue development. Of course, this is all because the engine ran like shit. Notice nobody ever licensed the halo 2 engine...

(Technical) 3 way tie. Periah, Scrapland, and Ninja Gaiden Black. Any of these could have passed certification as an xbox 360 title.


PS2:

(Brute Force) Gran Turismo 4 : The shear number of calculations going on behind the scenes is amazing considering how shitty the Emotion Engine really is.

(Technical) Black : The PS2 version is even more solid then the xbox version. This was truly the high point of the renderware engine.
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Evan



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xkeeper wrote:
Evan wrote:
Ask any snes emulator developer, and they will tell you that the DKC series and Star Fox did not push the snes to any limit (Star Fox uses the Super FX chip, which is a coprocessor). A better example might be something like Rendering Ranger, which has amazing graphics and no slowdown.
Could be worse, like SMRPG. That used an entire fucking SNES processor. In addition to the one in the SNES!

...or so I hear.


Again, Super Mario RPG use the SA-1 coprocessor, so it isn't just the snes that it is testing. Apparently, even though Kirby 3 also uses the SA-1, it uses the snes base hardware to the max.
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goldenband



Joined: 31 Oct 2008
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are we ruling out homebrews? There are a bunch of (relatively) recent Atari 2600 releases that do things that were unimaginable back in 1982. If we're restricting it to homebrews released on cart, Thrust would be the first one that comes to mind.

Otherwise, Solaris is definitely the front-runner.

As for other systems, I always thought that Dungeons of Daggorath, for the original Tandy Color Computer, was a real tour-de-force given when it was released. The RPG Caladuril: Flame of Light is also quite impressive, though mostly in the subtle details (animated backgrounds).

EDIT: Oh, and Blaster for the Atari 8-bit and/or 5200 is pretty amazing, though it wasn't released at the time.
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still find The Adventures of Batman & Robin on the Genesis to be very technically impressive, it feels like it was coded by a bunch of Amiga coding scene dudes.
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B00daW
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skate or Die 2 for the NES.

Not really pushing the console to the max, but uses a rarely-used method of mixing PCM through the $4011 register to modulate PCM samples instead of DPCM. Note the distortion guitar on the title screen via hardware playback.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8TmIxHSBcU

Still one of the things not emulated correctly in concurrent Nintendo emulators: modulated usage of PCM samples.

Not a game, but a demo: High Hopes by Finnish demo group aspekt use modulated PCM effects and created a textured cube by using the effect much like Bayou Billy's title screen to simulate 3-dimensionality.

If the NES was truly pushed to its limits, it could have 4 additional PCM, software-mixed sound channels for generated or sampled waveforms; noted in this thread.
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The Man From P.O.O.T.



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't Burning Rangers the only Saturn game to use true transparency?

If unreleased games count, I think Saturn Shenmue would blow Burning Rangers out f the water.
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Carnivol
gay dickhead


Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 559
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late reply to this piece of necromancy;

ProgrammingAce wrote:

(Brute Force) Halo 2 : Microsoft had to bend the certification requirements to allow halo 2 to pass. The debug versions of halo2 took up so much ram that microsoft had to release a special version of the XDK so bungie could continue development. Of course, this is all because the engine ran like shit. Notice nobody ever licensed the halo 2 engine...

Was the Halo 2 engine even available for licensing?

ProgrammingAce wrote:

(Technical) 3 way tie. Periah, Scrapland, and Ninja Gaiden Black. Any of these could have passed certification as an xbox 360 title.


Scrapland looks nice, but lacks widescreen (iirc) and it also runs like shit, though.

Two (or three, if you want) that are really missing there are:

Conker - Live & Reloaded.
I've been replaying this recently on my 360 and it looks absurdly amazing. If it weren't for the lack of widescreen, this game could've really fooled me into thinking it was a 360 title in every possible way.

Doom 3 + Return of Evil.
How they pulled off Doom 3 on the Xbox beats me. The game runs at a rather low framerate, but supports full widescreen and everything. It really does visually compete well against a lot of 360 shooters. (I still find it funny, though, that Quake IV on the 360 performs so poorly... guess the iDTech 4(?) engine just rapes everything and anything as soon as you have open areas, I suppose.




I'd like to add a GBC title, though.
I don't really think it pushed the system down on its knees, but I still find the fact that this has sprite scaling and rotation to be rather awesome.
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TheRedEye
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Extremely impressed by GTA: Chinatown Wars on the DS right now. I don't know that I'm having fun with the game yet, but technically it's very impressive and so so fast.
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neomerge



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
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Location: Woodstock GA!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People are going to disagree but I was always amazed by the graphics in Willow for the NES. That game just feels like a TG-16 game to me.
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timebombtown



Joined: 18 Mar 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see Chrono Cross on here, so I'll add that. The game's frames-per-second were pretty inconsistent, possibly due to a level of detail and effects that the PSX couldn't quite handle. Then again, maybe the guys at Square were inefficient programmers. Confused
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bon



Joined: 04 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a GBC game, may I suggest Shantae? It has nice color and animation and is just generally great looking.

Concerning Genesis, I'm curious about how Treasure's games (Gunstar Heroes, Alien Soldier, etc.) stack up.

Come to think of it, the Game Gear port of Gunstar Heroes seems pretty damn worth mentioning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXwOlTyLoco
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