Wii Virtual Console Forum

Topic: The Graphics and Sound of Retro Systems.

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Turbo_Genesis_64

1. Posted:

We all love classic video games. So I was wondering what you really love about the horsepower of those old systems.

For instance, I think the Genesis and C64 had some of coolest sounding audio ever. For 2D graphics, I always felt the TG16 and Neo Geo had unmistakablele beauty. For pseudo 3D graphics on a 16bit system, I think you can't beat the 32X with games like Star Wars, although the SNES FX chip was pretty impressive with titles like Starfox.

Feel free to trash a system too. I for one think, the Sega Master System was really weighed down by its limiting sound chip. And Jaguar games, were for the most part, ugly.

So tell us what you love and hate about the retro systems.

Edited on by Turbo_Genesis_64

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Adam

2. Posted:

I don't know the first thing about tech specs and such, but I don't think games have ever looked as good as they did when they were on the SNES except maybe on the GBA. Sound-wise, I don't know. A lot of the most memorable music for me comes from the SNES, too, but I didn't play other systems long enough to remember if their sound quality was better. I do have a soft spot for NES and pre-NES console sounds, too, but you can only listen to that for so long before going insane.

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Turbo_Genesis_64

3. Posted:

Thanks for the first comment.

Yea, I think most responders are going to sing the praise of the SNES. Truth be told, the SNES is a wondeful system. And I think I always will prefer GBA graphics over DS graphics.

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deadly_by_design

4. Posted:

Can't stand Genesis sound processing. It's like hearing music processed by an armpit machine.

deadly_by_design

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Chatham

5. Posted:

Always been a fan of Sega hardware. And the Japanese FM Modulator Chip made the SMS sound great. VC releases like Wonderboy in ML have this feature intact... Hopefully more will.

SNES had the most impressive (no add-ons) sound in the 16-bit days.

The Jaguar was a joke. "64-bit" my ass!

Edited on by Chatham

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warioswoods

6. Posted:

Turbo+Genesis+64 wrote:

And I think I always will prefer GBA graphics over DS graphics.

I'm guessing that you mean 3D DS graphics. There are plenty of excellent 2D DS games that look even better than the GBA; take a game like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and compare the DS sequel -- it's got all the beauty of the GBA title, but improved even further, making it easily one of the best looking 2D titles in a long time, IMO. I agree, however, that they should perhaps focus more on 2D for the main franchises rather than creating a hybrid like PH (which was a great game nonetheless).

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thewiirocks

7. Posted:

Turbo+Genesis+64 wrote:

Feel free to trash a system too. I for one think, the Sega Master System was really weighed down by its limiting sound chip.

I don't think sound was a major limiting factor back them. Good sound could improve a game, but it wasn't the first thing gamers looked for. In the case of the SMS, I'd say its library weighed it down more. SMS games were often too simple or missed how to make a concept engaging. (That monkey boy thing was especially dull.) Adding insult to injury, they were all packed in that awful grid packaging. How to say, "Don't buy me!" in one easy step.

Chatham wrote:

The Jaguar was a joke. "64-bit" my ass!

The Jag was incredibly oversold and under-delivered. A deadly combination.

The hardware was decent enough. It had two 32-bit processors, a 16 bit processor with a 32 bit architecture, a 64 bit blitter chip (sort of a primitive GPU), and a 64 bit bus with 64-bit memory alignment. When programmed well, it could really perform. Unfortunately, 3D hardware was a new concept at the time. In result, most studios only used the 16-bit processor which cut the memory bandwidth into a quarter of its maximum throughput. Ouch.

Note that by all standards, this makes it a 32 bit system rather than "64 bit". Tramiel was trying the Turbographx "16-bit" sales tactic, but with little success. Probably because the market was a bit incredulous about a jump from 16-bit to 64-bit. So they applied extra scrutiny to the box, and it just didn't stand up. (Especially after Sam Tramiel gaffs like "they call Pentium a 64-bit system" and "if Sony [sells the Playstation] at $249 or $299, we'll do whatever we can to have the ITC to go after them. [...] It's against the law."

Yeah, Sam was a lot more entertaining than his old man. ;)

thewiirocks

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Turbo_Genesis_64

8. Posted:

Thanks for the comments! Keep them coming...

Here are some of my thoughts:

I always felt like the Genesis had a pretty rockin' sound chip! Streets of Rage II and Shinobi 3 are great examples.

Don't get me wrong, I do like the DS, but perhaps because of nostiglia reasons I often prefer that oldschool SNES/GBA look. Same reason why I like the special effects in the orginal Star Wars films instead of the more technically advanced prequels.

I agree the Master System like the TG16 had some horrible marketing. However for this topic I am really zoning in on the quality of the system itself. So Alex Kidd to me sounds like a tin can compared to Super Mario Bros. Therefore, I felt it weighed the system down.

Edited on by Turbo_Genesis_64

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Stevie

9. Posted:

Genesis/Mega Drive sound was never as good as the SNES, this was evident in games such as Mega Turican which sounded tinny when compared to the rich sounds of Super Turrican, same with Street Fighter 2 on both systems, there seems to be more bass/range of sound frequency possible from the SNES

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Turbo_Genesis_64

10. Posted:

I said the coolest sounding audio not necessarily the most realistic!

Personally, I always felt like Sega really tried to re-create that "arcade like sound" with their home system. And plenty of arcade games of that era other than Sega had a somewhat tinny sound when they used a high pitch sound effect. Hence, the SMS too tinny and the Genesis is just right. Anyways, I still feel like the Genesis / Mega Drive could do that blood pumping music better than just about anyone else.

I suppose the C64 is tinny too, but it has so much feeling in its music that I at least look over it.

Edited on by Turbo_Genesis_64

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Corbs

11. Posted:

I always appreciated the Genesis/Mega Drive for it's speedy processor and what that could do for games like Sonic the Hedgehog. And the TG16 I always loved because it could pull off shooters with little to no slowdown, not matter how visually slick they were. The Super NES I always loved for it's graphics crispness and sound qualities. It might have had a snail processor, but it had it where it counted.

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Turbo_Genesis_64

12. Posted:

Thanks for the comment Corbie! I agree. The three kings of 16bit all had advantages.

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Corbs

13. Posted:

Long live the 16-bitters. As I've often said, if anyone ever invents a time machine, I'm going back to the 16-bit era and stay. :D

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pixelman

14. Posted:

I love the look, sound, and feel of old games. I even develop my own games to look and sound like them. (See my avatar) Personally I prefer the look of the TG-16 and Sega Genesis to the SNES. The graphics felt smoother and, well, more cartoony, whereas graphics on the SNES felt like they were trying to feel too "real". Don't get me wrong, some of the art in SNES games is incredible.

I prefer this (Sega Genesis):
Untitled

To this (TG-16):
Untitled

To this (Super Nintendo):
Untitled

Edited on by pixelman

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pixelman

15. Posted:

Corbie wrote:

Long live the 16-bitters. As I've often said, if anyone ever invents a time machine, I'm going back to the 16-bit era and stay. :D

Me too, I wish we still had 16bit games. :(

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deadly_by_design

16. Posted:

@pixelman
Super Metroid looks leaps and bounds better than your posted Genesis/TG-16 screens. (which isn't to say they were bad games or even unattractive in their own right)

I think it's the same difference that can be seen between Final Fantasy IV & V when compared to VI. IV and V were essentially designed like 8-bit games with whatever extra polish they could throw down afterward. VI, on the other hand, has a much more developed feel and took advantage of what the SNES was really capable of.

What do you think of SMW2: Yoshi's Island? It's a work of 16-bit art, IMO, and one of the best-looking games on the system.

Edited on by deadly_by_design

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Dwarfer

17. Posted:

pixelman wrote:

Corbie wrote:

Long live the 16-bitters. As I've often said, if anyone ever invents a time machine, I'm going back to the 16-bit era and stay. :D

Me too, I wish we still had 16bit games. :(

The 16 bit era was the golden age of video games. Unfortunatly we won't see another era that comes even close to the 16 bit one now that games are more about graphics, sound and noobing pwns than real FUN.

Dwarfer

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Turbo_Genesis_64

18. Posted:

To Corbie: I feel the same way allot of times, even in a non-video game way, with how lousy the economy is. Yea, the late 80s to early 90s had an awesome vibe. 1989-1990 were particularly exciting years while flipping thourgh my EGMs and GamePros.

To Pixelman: I'm impressed by your talent and I agree that the vintage cartoony look was what made particularly the TG16 so amazing! As your pictures show, the SNES could show more detail, but showing more detail can be double edge sword.

To Dwarfer: Try not to be all doom and gloom. I think digital downloads have opened up a new avenue for retro / 16 bit style games to be made. Those beloved games can't be competitive anymore at $50.00 a pop, but can be at $5.00 a pop. So perhaps it's a win/win situation. Also, there are still moments of 2d brillance on the DS with titles like the New Super Mario Bros.

Edited on by Turbo_Genesis_64

EXPERIENCE MORE.... Arcade-quality graphics, awesome sound, "turbo-charged" game play, exciting TurboChip games... It's the incredible Turbo Genesis 64 Entertainment SuperSystem Experience. There's more fun, more challenge, and more excitment ready for you today!

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gameaddict247

19. Posted:

thewiirocks wrote:

Turbo+Genesis+64 wrote:

Feel free to trash a system too. I for one think, the Sega Master System was really weighed down by its limiting sound chip.

I don't think sound was a major limiting factor back them. Good sound could improve a game, but it wasn't the first thing gamers looked for. In the case of the SMS, I'd say its library weighed it down more. SMS games were often too simple or missed how to make a concept engaging. (That monkey boy thing was especially dull.) Adding insult to injury, they were all packed in that awful grid packaging. How to say, "Don't buy me!" in one easy step.

The Master System was my 1st console system, at the time I really wanted nes (thanks to the buzz and of course its obviously was/is a great system) but my folks got me an MS and over the years I realised what a great bunch of games I had played on system - below just from what ive played
Ninja Gaiden,
(the best 8-bit version)

Sonic 1,
Sonic 2
Sonic Chaos,
Alex the Kid in Miricle World
Mickey Mouse - Castle of Illusion
Mickey Mouse - Land of Illusion,
(good platformers all - sonic chaos and and land of illusion are amazing)
Wonderboy 3 - The Dragons Trap
Populous
(Very high on the 'engaging' factor at the time)
Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin
(fantastic)
Mortal Kombat (I remember enjoying this at the time - my 1st home console fighter)
Super Tennis (enjoyed this but may have just been a rip off of nes game)
T2: The Arcade Game (ok)
Gain Ground,
Golden Axe Warrior(borrowed these two off a friend - loved em)
Sensible Soccer (played this at a friends house and later lent- 100%classic)
R-Type, Bubble Bobble (never played these two but they are best ports of the era).

Bad games? - rubbish ;)

Edited on by gameaddict247

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koopa85

20. Posted:

I have to agree that I love retro games! I don't really like games that are too realistic. I prefer an imaginative, colorful escape from reality.
If you like realistic games, then go outside. The graphics are simply stunning.

Edited on by koopa85

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