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Centipede2600

Genesis ports aged better than Saturn imo.

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Not trashing the Saturn nor do I want to start a weird console war. Just that the Genesis seems to have aged better than the Saturn even if you include ports such as Virtua Fighter 2 and Sonic 3D Blast.

 

How could this be? The same can even be said with the sport titles. Is it just that the 5th gen in general has not aged well in terms of graphics or just that the Saturn in general was a pain in the ass to program for?

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Not totally on board with this line of thought, but I will say that I preferred Sagaia on the Genesis to its Saturn counterpart, Darius II. Taito designed Sagaia especially for the Genesis, while Darius II tried to reproduce that super wide screen the arcade game used, on the 4:3 CRT televisions that were still common at the time. You could zoom in and out of the playfield at will, but that meant you got either a full screen with scrunched up sprites, or a small portion of the screen with arcade perfect graphics. Most players are going to want the crisp graphics, but playing it that way gives you a serious case of tunnel vision, with enemies crashing into you out of nowhere.

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I think it's widely understood that the pinnacle of 2D sprite graphics have aged better than the early days of 3D polygon graphics. For art design, SNES and Genesis are generally prettier than N64 and PlayStation/Saturn.

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Virtua Fighter 2 on the Genesis looks and plays like ass compared to the Saturn. Sonic 3D blast was kinda similar tho. I get what youre going for but the specific examples are rough.

 

Early 3D hasnt aged well but the Saturn is home to a bunch of arcade-perfect 2D ports. Capcom in particular showed the system a lot of 2D love. Hard to say that Street Fighter Alpha series hasnt aged well. Panzer Dragoon, not so much.

Edited by derFunkenstein
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I think it's widely understood that the pinnacle of 2D sprite graphics have aged better than the early days of 3D polygon graphics. For art design, SNES and Genesis are generally prettier than N64 and PlayStation/Saturn.

 

Definitely not disagreeing with any of your points here, but the Saturn actually *was* the pinnacle of 2D sprite graphics. The Saturn was designed as a 2D system and had 3D bolted on once Sega got wind of what the competition was doing. But its 2D hardware was still some of the best around, and games that used it, such as Capcom's fighting games, Treasure's Guardian Heroes and Radiant Silvergun, or Sega's own Astal, look fantastic even today, both technically and artistically.

 

So if I'm disagreeing with anyone, it's the OP and the premise for this thread. The Saturn had some bad looking 3D games, both at the time and in hindsight. (Though it had some good looking ones too, such as Nights into Dreams.) But it's definitely aged the best of the three consoles of that generation (IMO), especially if you mainly look at it as a 2D system.

 

Of course I love the Genesis too. But graphically, even in 2D, the Saturn had it all over the Genesis, and it's got a bunch of classic 2D games that use those capabilities. They just weren't all that heralded at the time (especially in the US) because the market wanted 3D. But that means a lot of them have remained lesser known even today.

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^^I feel like spacecadet has it right. The Saturn WAS a 2D system first and foremost.

 

Of the three systems, I feel like the N64's 3D graphics have aged the best. Corrected aspect has a lot to do with it. The PS1's polys had some weird warping to them as the camera moved. The Saturn's 3D generally isn't great. But the Saturn's library overall has aged the best, because it had the most 2D stuff. I mean, Street Fighter Alpha 3 on PS1 vs Zero 3 on Saturn is no contest. Saturn wins. The whole Capcom vs series on Saturn was spot-on arcade quality where the PS1 lost features (no tag team?!). Guardian Heroes still looks great. Astal is absolutely *gorgeous* even by today's standards.

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The nice thing about the Dreamcast is that it could handle both 2D and 3D pretty well. Those games look dated in 2018, but nearly twenty years ago, polygonal characters that looked more like characters than polygons was a pretty big deal. It was no longer "this piece of digital origami looks kind of like a guy," it was "this guy actually looks like a guy."

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The nice thing about the Dreamcast is that it could handle both 2D and 3D pretty well. Those games look dated in 2018, but nearly twenty years ago, polygonal characters that looked more like characters than polygons was a pretty big deal. It was no longer "this piece of digital origami looks kind of like a guy," it was "this guy actually looks like a guy."

 

Playing Soul Calibur and Sonic Adventure was one of the biggest graphical leaps that I had experienced at the time. A comparable leap was going from NES to Sonic the Hedgehog.

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The nice thing about the Dreamcast is that it could handle both 2D and 3D pretty well. Those games look dated in 2018, but nearly twenty years ago, polygonal characters that looked more like characters than polygons was a pretty big deal. It was no longer "this piece of digital origami looks kind of like a guy," it was "this guy actually looks like a guy."

Not necessarily true of Dreamcast 3D, either. Shenmue 1 and 2 Remastered are here and they look pretty dated, too. The lack of direct lighting and cool effects makes everything look flat and dull. Later PS2 and Xbox titles did a lot to address this (NFS Underground 2, for example, looks great even today, thanks to the lighting) but the Dreamcast didn't live long enough to enjoy it.

 

Soulcalibur looked great, but it doesn't compare today. But that's not why I still play Dreamcast games. I play Dreamcast games (or any game I play) because it's fun.

Edited by derFunkenstein

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Not trashing the Saturn nor do I want to start a weird console war. Just that the Genesis seems to have aged better than the Saturn even if you include ports such as Virtua Fighter 2 and Sonic 3D Blast.

 

How could this be? The same can even be said with the sport titles. Is it just that the 5th gen in general has not aged well in terms of graphics or just that the Saturn in general was a pain in the ass to program for?

it seems you may be coming from this by nit actually seeing just what the Saturn had to offer in Japan. The Saturn 2D has aged extremely well, so much better than the PlayStation, N64 and so on. I'd say the Mega Drive in some cases has also aged well but to say its aged better than Saturn is kind of silly.
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There were over 900 Sega Genesis/Megadrive games. It sold better in North America than it did in Japan.

 

Flip that on its head for the Sega Saturn. We only got 258 American Sega Saturn games, but there were over 1000 games released for Saturn in Japan

 

As Yakumo says, the difference is striking.

 

Both systems are terrific.

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I'm not really a fan of this whole "aged well/unwell" angle regarding gfx (aside from the 2D > 3D mentioned above). It's obvious that the early efforts are not technically up to scratch compared to the modern games but personally I still enjoy them, and not because of some weird nostalgia fetish. Some of the first-gen 3D games were technically astounding at the time and lots of clever art/tech tricks went into designing them. I did not have a Saturn, but PSX titles such as Syphon Filter, Covert Ops: Nuclear Dawn, Klonoa, Driver, Gran Turismo, Ridge Racer, Tekken and others still look amazing to me.

 

I treat it as a different style rather than an inferior one. A bit like when I'm watching, say, a Harold Lloyd movie.

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The cool thing about the Saturn is how unique looking its 3D games are because the system doesnt use normal polygons. It gives it something extra today compared to the PSX. In 2D the Saturn is probably the most powerful system made especially with the RAM cart.

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I bought my Saturn new in late '97 for 200. In those days, my interests were 2d shooters, rpg's, and Mortal Kombat. UMK3, Thunderforce Gold Pack 1+2, Thunderforce V, Strikers 1945, Layer Section, R-types, Gradius Deluxe pack, the Capcom Collections, Shining Wisdom, Albert Odyssey, SFIII, Shining the Holy Ark, Dragonforce, etc. For a shorter lived system with distribution issues, I'd say it aged quite well on the 2d side. Just like with DC later, the US just didn't get most of the real gems.

 

Having a brother in the US Navy stationed in Japan didn't hurt either, :P

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Edited by zylon
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Technically thread title is accurate if you consider the quality of discs that Sega typically used being prone to disc rot

 

Otherwise it sorta falls into 2D being easier to achieve "timeless" status as opposed to 3D titles which get dated rather quickly

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Technically thread title is accurate if you consider the quality of discs that Sega typically used being prone to disc rot

 

Otherwise it sorta falls into 2D being easier to achieve "timeless" status as opposed to 3D titles which get dated rather quickly

We've even debunked that theory considering how many 2D classics the Saturn got.

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The nice thing about the Dreamcast is that it could handle both 2D and 3D pretty well. Those games look dated in 2018, but nearly twenty years ago, polygonal characters that looked more like characters than polygons was a pretty big deal. It was no longer "this piece of digital origami looks kind of like a guy," it was "this guy actually looks like a guy."

 

Unless you were at the arcades, in which case games like VF3 beat that by more than two years ;)

 

I'm kinda 50/50 w/ OP on this one. Like others have said, 2D games on Genesis and SNES (and I'd also add in Neo-Geo and PC-Engine there) were mastering that art form and game design templates. A lot of the 3D games on PS1, Saturn, and N64 were very experimental b/c that was the first generation of mass-market 3D in home consoles, so a lot of those concepts were just being done for the first time, so of course they're gonna be rough around the edges.

 

That said there are some isolated experiences from that gen that are among my favorites, even beating out lots of Genesis/SNES etc. gaming for me (not necessarily for reasons of the game design, but could be other things like art design, music, atmosphere etc.). A lot of these seem to be specific to that era but not all of them. Among the 3D games some I can think of are Panzer Dragoon Saga, Xenogears, Parasite Eve, NiGHTS, Space Station Silicon Valley, Iggy's Wrecking Balls, LSD: Dream Simulator Tomba 2, Klonoa, Ridge Racer R4 etc. And if you expand that to the 2D games of 5th gen then it grows even wider, with stuff like Tomba 1, Astal, Valkryie Profile, Sakura Taisen etc.

 

So, I'm willing to say that on a technical level a lot of the 4th-gen stuff holds up better than a lot of the 5th-gen 3D games, but some of the best ideas in gaming imho came about in the 5th gen, quite a few that sadly haven't been attempted again (and if they have, not at the level they were the first time). It's hard to definitely say one era is better than the other in comparing them.

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Not necessarily true of Dreamcast 3D, either. Shenmue 1 and 2 Remastered are here and they look pretty dated, too. The lack of direct lighting and cool effects makes everything look flat and dull. Later PS2 and Xbox titles did a lot to address this (NFS Underground 2, for example, looks great even today, thanks to the lighting) but the Dreamcast didn't live long enough to enjoy it.

 

Soulcalibur looked great, but it doesn't compare today. But that's not why I still play Dreamcast games. I play Dreamcast games (or any game I play) because it's fun.

 

I think you're underselling the Shenmue games here; sure the lighting is a bit flat, but they were also relatively early in DC's lifecycle. Even with that fact, they still have better texturing than a LOT of games that saw releases on the other systems of that era. That was actually one of DC's unique strengths over not just PS2 but even Xbox and Gamecube in some areas/instances.

 

Actually, all of the systems that gen had some uniquely odd strengths over each other in some rather key areas. https://segaretro.org/Sega_Dreamcast/Hardware_comparison This is a really good read and helped put a lot of the technical aspects of the systems into perspective for me, plus it'd quite fair and rationalized on the whole. You can notice these particular benefits the most when it comes to 1st party and exclusive 3rd-party games for the respective systems (more often than not).

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I think you're underselling the Shenmue games here; sure the lighting is a bit flat, but they were also relatively early in DC's lifecycle. Even with that fact, they still have better texturing than a LOT of games that saw releases on the other systems of that era. That was actually one of DC's unique strengths over not just PS2 but even Xbox and Gamecube in some areas/instances.

 

Actually, all of the systems that gen had some uniquely odd strengths over each other in some rather key areas. https://segaretro.org/Sega_Dreamcast/Hardware_comparison This is a really good read and helped put a lot of the technical aspects of the systems into perspective for me, plus it'd quite fair and rationalized on the whole. You can notice these particular benefits the most when it comes to 1st party and exclusive 3rd-party games for the respective systems (more often than not).

The Dreamcast loved all of two years. Early and late are the same things. It was a fine system. I love it. But it is what it is.

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The Dreamcast loved all of two years. Early and late are the same things. It was a fine system. I love it. But it is what it is.

Two years in North America, yes. More like six or eight in Japan. And Shenmue was a 1999 release in Japan, so taking that into consideration its visuals are all the more impressive.

 

I still don't think it's aged the best, but few games from that era have.

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The whole "Genesis ports held up better than Saturn ones because 2d". The Saturn was a 2d powerhouse

I didn't say that... I stated 2D was a timeless thing

 

As to why Genesis held up better than Saturn is mostly nostalgia and convenience.

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