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How have early 3D games aged in your opinion?


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Poll: How have early 3D games aged in your opinion? (61 member(s) have cast votes)

How have Early 3D games aged to you?

  1. Like a Fine Wine (Mostly Fine) (11 votes [18.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.03%

  2. Like Generic Soda (Mixed) (29 votes [47.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.54%

  3. Like a mild seizure. (Mostly Horrifying) (21 votes [34.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.43%

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#1 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:47 PM

Of course not just graphically but overall.

From the 3DO to PSX,(and some early DC games and PC from 1990-1995(and the last year's of other computer platfirms in the same time frame like Amiga etc.) The days of early 3D were interesting to say the least.

In my opinion I think one of the biggest problems of early 3D games are the controls. A game with bad controls that scored high was praised and this would result in a vicious cycle were other developers would jump on the bandwagon with the same crappy controls instead of actually improving or changing them entirely.

We had a ton of games play like Alone In the Dark/Resident Evil. We had a ton of games attempt to control like Crash 1. And that set-up in Syphon Filter 1 is horrible.

The next big thing to me depends on the platform. Late PSX games for a decent job making pleasing visuals but mid and early psx games and almost all Saturn games are so pixelated it hurts my eyes. Jet Moto 1 is a perfect example. N64 trades pixelation for flat coloring and blur which is nothing more but swapping two problems.

It was interesting to experience as the technology came. But looking back I would say most pre-Xbox/PS2 games consoles or computers alike have aged like sour milk 5 months past expiration.

#2 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:49 PM

That is not to say I believe a the games gave aged badly. Cartoon Style games especially did a decent job trying to make up for visiual problems. Parappa is a good example of this. Though the controls are lacking quite a bit.

#3 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:56 PM

Generally ok. They did pretty good if you realize they have a charm all of their own. And then there's the curiosity factor. A lot to study and reminisce about.



#4 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:05 PM

Games with a smooth frame rate and plain textures look best to me. Star Wars (1983), Tempest, I Robot, Hard Drivin', Virtua Racing -- Great.

Titles that tried to push things farther than the hardware could take them, like the early PlayStation and Saturn games you cite -- meh

Slow, ugly, blurry/chunky, like C-rated games of the time -- blecch

Even relatively clean, fun designs like Goldeneye or Mario 64 look like Minecraft now. Sigh.

#5 BillyHW OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:20 PM

Stunts.  X-Wing.  Virtua Racing.  StarFox.  Doom.  GoldenEye.  

 

They all still play great to me.



#6 Tanooki ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:24 PM

I'd call it a mixed bag but it depends not as much on the system on the whole but the particular game.  Art style has some obvious play into it, as would be choices on how to display stuff as some makers abused what CRTs did to tinker their visuals which end up looking rotten or missing/breaking effects on flat panel computer/tv screens.



#7 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:37 PM

I just recently about a year ago went back and played the first Tomb Raider for PS1 on my 55"(I never got around to beating it a long time ago and since playing all the others on PS2 and on I wanted to go back and play that one) and had no problem with the graphics even on a screen that big.  I still enjoyed the heck out of it.



#8 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:04 PM

Controls are usually the bad opoint of early 3D games. Especially the camera placement.

3D games with jumping mechanics are the most prone to this, with distance being extremely hard to tell, and for some games that require jumping on higher platforms, the game being picky on whart he consider a succesfull or failed jump.

 

I know I'm going to get many hate for this, but for that camera issue, the most horrific offender to me is Super Mario 64.

Mixing "2D controls" and a camera that move around was the most horrible idea ever.

Some parts of Super Mario 64 are unplayable. How do you want to make jumping puzzle when the camera suddenly spin 90° and send you in the void before you can react?

 

For graphics, I don't have much issues. They are what they are. In fact most of the time old 3D games impress me, probably because there were so many poorly-made games with blurred textures and crappy blokcy models, and then a game would come and have sharp textures and well-modelled models.



#9 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:33 PM

It all depends on the game. I think most have aged poorly, but others have fared better. Framerates and visual style help a lot, so games like Wipeout 3 and F-Zero X still look nice, fluid games in my eyes, whereas games like Hang On GP and Crash 'n Burn do not.

 

Take the high-end PC stuff from the time as well like Quake and it has aged somewhat well too, particularly with the scaling resolutions, excellent detail and shading. Take it a step further with a modern source port that smooths out the kinks and it definitely falls into "aging like a fine wine" territory.



#10 Exhuminator OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:47 PM

The camera is the deciding factor for me. First person or fixed perspective camera stuff still plays well. Games with a floating camera are a complete mixed bag. Some of those old PS1 and N64 games' cameras are a nightmare.



#11 Blazing Lazers ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:14 PM

Lightgun games seem to have aged better than a lot of other early titles, particularly Virtua Cop. It's among the few games from the Saturn era I've never really stopped playing. Of course, I've kept a CRT or two around for those games, and have never tried them out on a modern LCD flatpanel as they usually won't work there. Using them on their intended display type seems to help. Generally, games would otherwise still look okay appear to have aged horribly on newer displays.



#12 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:57 PM

To me, the term "early 3D games" means games likes Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Dark Forces on PC. Those are still fun to revisit, at least for me, even if the 3D graphics are dated.

#13 Newsdee OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:29 PM

I think it makes a difference if the 3D can be enhanced or not. PS2 emulation looks really good with internal upscaling (eliminates jagginess), some games have mods for new texture packs, and sometimes the game engine is recoded.

#14 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:41 PM

If you're talking about consoles and the PS1/Saturn/N64 era, I'd say most of those 3D games have not aged well. Of course there are exceptions, but in those cases it's usually the gameplay that comes through *despite* the graphics. The graphics have become a drag in almost every case; you have to be able to overlook them. This is in contrast with a lot of 2D games from that same era, which can still look great. That's a big reason why the Saturn is my favorite system of that generation, although the PS1 also had some great RPG's that either don't make extensive use of 3D graphics or where it's just easy to ignore them because the story and battle system are so good.

 

Most of the good 3D games of that era have modern sequels that are better in gameplay terms anyway. (Not saying this is true 100%, but maybe 70%.)

 

The first 3D system where I can really look at the graphics now and not be distracted by them is the Dreamcast. They're obviously much simpler in terms of lighting and polygon counts compared to modern games, but by that point 3D games had a much cleaner and more detailed look that I think makes them at worst easy to ignore, and at best lets the style the developers were going for still shine through. The technical limitations don't overshadow everything by that point.

 

I think 3D graphics are one of those things that we were just impressed to have in the early days; we weren't really looking at the visuals critically, we were just interested in the new types of gameplay that 3D opened up. Now that those gameplay styles are long established and in fact kind of passe, it's impossible not to concentrate on the graphics and realize how crap they were in that first generation of 3D consoles.



#15 philipj OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:33 AM

I think 3D graphics are one of those things that we were just impressed to have in the early days; we weren't really looking at the visuals critically, we were just interested in the new types of gameplay that 3D opened up. Now that those gameplay styles are long established and in fact kind of passe, it's impossible not to concentrate on the graphics and realize how crap they were in that first generation of 3D consoles.

 

It was such a new thing back then... Keep in mind that the NES was top dog for well over a decade so any graphics that was better than the 8bit stuff was well welcomed in my book. Those early days were pretty exciting with the, then, new 3D stuff that was surfacing. I definitely spent my college days renting the latest new thing and playing the crap out of it wishing I'd had all of this good gaming during the NES days.

 

Looking back today, I look at good 3D games that I've played in the PS1 and 3DO and view them fondly... They look like crap compared to today's graphics, but considering the technical limitations of those old consoles like the N64, the Saturn, the Atari Jaguar, there were a lot of gems that don't look or play that bad. I actually kind of miss the nostalgic times in a way, but it only serves an appreciation for the new tech that this new generation will never fully know.


Edited by philipj, Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:42 AM.


#16 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:22 AM

NES was top stuff over a decade huh?

I think one of the things PC and 3DO did back then that I always found out PSX/SAT never did much was integrate fmv into the gameplay (killing time for ex.) Which for a few games, especially scrolling shooters, provided a graphical benefit that helped them age better.

PC used prerendered fmv on models at times as well to clean up the pixelation in a few games as well.

One thing I forgot to mention was 2.5D. in those early 3D days 2.5D games showed how primitive the 3D graphics were. Since the view was fixed, like in say Klonoa, the developers had to put a lot of stuff in the backgrounds and fire ground to try an emulate a detailed 2D game and the results usually were not good.

I think the best aged 3,D of that time were 2D games with 3D features it effects in them. Like zooming around it certain bosses that were cgish.

#17 Cafeman ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:10 AM

Most of the early 3D games looked and played like crap. I did find Tomb Raider to be quite good, although blown up on a big HDTV now, the shakey wall textures are very distracting. Mario 64 was the first 3D platformer I saw where the walls looked solid and not a flickering warping texture over an invisible wall. But I find Turok 64 to look awful.

From the Ps1 and Saturn era, some racing and space games still hold up well, to me. Sega's Model 1 and 2 coin ops had a great resolution and 60 fps and still look appealing in a quaint way, as opposed to many weaker efforts that are muddy jumpy messes.

#18 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:30 AM

I think the pseudo-3D texture-mapped games like Doom have aged better than many of the early early polygon-blob 3D games. I didn't like the latter then, so I don't think they've aged as badly as they were always s*** to begin with.

A lot of times they took perfectly good isometric games (which looked good for the time) and ruined them by making the next iteration of them 3D, with bad controls, horrible textures and slow framerates (unless you had the latest hardware)

#19 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:33 AM

To me, the term "early 3D games" means games likes Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Dark Forces on PC. Those are still fun to revisit, at least for me, even if the 3D graphics are dated.


They are kind of fake-3D, but on the plus side, they could run on low-end hardware with no 3D card. They are fun to revisit. Which reminds me, I need my Heretic fix

#20 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:48 AM



One thing I forgot to mention was 2.5D. in those early 3D days 2.5D games showed how primitive the 3D graphics were. Since the view was fixed, like in say Klonoa, the developers had to put a lot of stuff in the backgrounds and fire ground to try an emulate a detailed 2D game and the results usually were not good.

Except Knlona is a full 3D game.

2.5 D games refers to game that use a picture as background (so the background is 2D) and the character model is in 3D a,d move on the background as if it was a 3D background.

Resident Evil and Parasite Eve are good examples of that.

Klonoa have full 3D background items, and It's one of the best-looking PS1 games (probably because they didn't had to go realistic for the items, allowing for a cartoony, simpler design.

 

2.5D :

 

re1-1.jpg

 

3D :

Posted Image

Even if Klonoa play like a 2D game, it is full 3D, like how New Super Mario Bros is.

s13.jpg


Edited by CatPix, Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:49 AM.


#21 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:36 AM

It bears repeating, with the likes of Tubular Worlds, Raptor, Whacky Wheels,Tyrian, Doom, Heretic, Hexen, Quake, Duke3D, and others, it was made clear-in-my-face that the PC was on its way to becoming the best and most versatile gaming machine ever.

 

It was an equal combination of 2D and 3D games that put on a real show. And all of this from a machine that had no sprites, no 3D hardware, and even no special 2D hardware. I don't believe the early games made use of the then-popular "Windows Accelerator" graphics chips' 2D functions. As I understand it, they went as far as using VESA BIOS for faster memory-to-framebuffer transfers and that's about it.

 

In other words, most all the PC games had the world/playfield built up in memory 100% by the processor.

 

And then of course a little later on we started seeing what would later become hi-fidelity classic game emulators, thus eliminating the need for the early game consoles and arcade cabinets.


Edited by Keatah, Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:43 AM.


#22 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:59 AM

I think some 3D games have aged well, but that opinion is tied strongly to my preferences and favorites.
 
A perfect example is Starfox.  I still think the original SNES Starfox looks fine and has a beautiful charm to it.  Meanwhile, I never liked the N64 Starfox 64, felt it already looked dated and ugly when it was new, and think it is absolutely wretched looking now.  So, that's the way my view on what has aged best goes.
 
I think flat shaded games fare better than a lot of the early texture mapped games.  Flat shaded games get away with a sort of cartoon feel while textured games when viewed nowadays seem like they're trying to reflect realism poorly.
 
I honestly think a lot of the better polygon racers have aged well.  I still rank Virtua Racing Deluxe as highly as when it was new.  I still enjoy the original Need for Speed and Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit even though they're pretty pixely nowadays.
 
Polygon fighting games have aged poorly.  Anything before Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast is pretty difficult to stomach nowadays without a strong nostalgic attachment.  I think that after they mature in the PS2 era that they age better, but those early ones are often better left in the past.
 
Polygons overall manage to mature in the PS2 era and hit a minimum acceptable level.  For me, seeing polygon stuff from the PS2 era is kind of like watching a 70s anime.  It looks primitive, but it's OK and still cool.


#23 BassGuitari ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:00 PM

Some have certainly aged better than others, but in general I think the ones that were great to play then are still great to play now, even if they look a little chunkier than we remembered. :P :)



#24 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 PM

It bears repeating, with the likes of Tubular Worlds, Raptor, Whacky Wheels,Tyrian, Doom, Heretic, Hexen, Quake, Duke3D, and others, it was made clear-in-my-face that the PC was on its way to becoming the best and most versatile gaming machine ever.
 
It was an equal combination of 2D and 3D games that put on a real show. And all of this from a machine that had no sprites, no 3D hardware, and even no special 2D hardware. I don't believe the early games made use of the then-popular "Windows Accelerator" graphics chips' 2D functions. As I understand it, they went as far as using VESA BIOS for faster memory-to-framebuffer transfers and that's about it.
 
In other words, most all the PC games had the world/playfield built up in memory 100% by the processor.


Well they were pretty powerful processors compared to the systems we were used to, And when VLB/PCI video cards began to replace ISA video cards, they were 32-bit wide, running at the bus speed (typically 33mhz on a 486) vs the 16-bit wide 8mhz access ISA cards had. That was a significant increase to the speed you could push graphics data.

#25 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:33 PM

Huh?

2.5D always meant 3D models played in a 2D game format even back in the day. Klonoa has always been 2.5d




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