News Article

Splinter Cell Blacklist Wii U Version's Performance Put Under the Spotlight

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Digital Foundry compares it to the 360, PS3 and PC versions

Splinter Cell Blacklist is Ubisoft's latest Sam Fisher-led title, seeking to provide a solid blend of the action-focused Conviction with the stealth gameplay so popular in its predecessors. It's also one of a good number of Ubisoft multi-platform titles that's also on the Wii U, and the question often asked is how the Nintendo system's version stacks up against other platforms.

Our partners over at Eurogamer's Digital Foundry often tackle those very questions, drilling down into technical detail to determine how well optimised these titles are for each platform. For the Wii U it's been a mixed bag, with standouts such as Trine 2: Director's Cut and Need For Speed: Most Wanted U performing as well or better than on rival platforms, and others such as Assassin's Creed III and Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition falling short in some areas. Splinter Cell Blacklist's assessment brings up a mix of good and bad, which is perhaps as expected.

The greatest positives for the Wii U are that, of the consoles, it has the highest image resolution (1280x720) which delivers a crisp image compared to some perceived fuzziness on the PS3, particularly, while usage of the GamePad touch screen is praised as an intuitive means of swapping out gear, perhaps more so than the "wheel" on other systems. There are downsides, however, which can be linked in part to the absence of any HD texture map or mandatory hard drive installs that are present on other systems; pop-in textures are an issue and load times in some scenarios surpass a minute, as opposed to around 20 seconds on PS3 and Xbox 360. There are positives and negatives with the crisp Wii U visuals, too, as despite avoiding excessive frame chopping with v-sync permanently on, the framerate apparently suffers more than elsewhere when there's a lot of action on screen.

Interestingly, these framerate struggles are cited as a possible explanation for the absence of local co-op; Producer Liu Jun told us that the feature was missed to hit the target release date, and Digital Foundry suggests that optimisating this local co-op may have been a challenge. Even with the GamePad screen being potentially used in place of split-screen, the game would still have to produce two distinct viewpoints, which leads to a framerate drop on the other platforms.

Overall, the final verdict on the Wii U version wasn't particularly favourable, pending a potential update to improve performance.

Almost every quad-format Face-Off to date has unearthed compromises in the Wii U release which eclipses its advantages, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist doesn't buck this trend. Taken from an image resolution standpoint, the Wii U version is no doubt the reigning king of its domain, where unlike the Sony and Microsoft platform releases, it achieves a full 720p with v-sync always engaged. As a result, it's Nintendo's hardware that gives us the clearest and most integral image of the three, while the 360 and PS3 versions trail behind with sub-HD presentations, with the PlayStation 3 coming off as particularly blurry.

But there are gripes to consider before jumping in bed with the Wii U version. Most significant is the degradation in texture quality, the muddiness of which matches the 360 release without its HD texture pack install. Surfaces can look flat compared to the game running on PS3 and 360 with full installs, and the lack of any similar optional install on Nintendo's platform means pop-in flares up while in wide outdoors areas. Curiously, in terms of sheer playability, Sony's hardware achieves the most consistent frame-rates during combat, with 360 taking middle ground here, and the Wii U suffering from more regular dips to the low 20s, perhaps explaining the omission of split-screen gameplay.

...However, the Wii U's lower frame-rates, patience-testing loading screens and occasional freezing issues can't be ignored either, meaning we'd advise caution before buying this version. It feels rushed to market in these respects, and until a worthy patch arrives, the contest must be narrowed down to PS3 and 360 - a stalemate that itself can only be broken via your preference for either visual fidelity or performance.

We're currently working through our own detailed review, but what do you make of this assessment? If you have the game on Wii U, let us know how noticeable, or not, these issues are when playing.


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User Comments (145)



Nintenjoe64 said:

I did notice a significant difference in frame rate and load times with AC3 on 360 and Wii U but thought the folks at Ubisoft would have figured out the CPU a bit better by now. EA and Activision have managed to find teams that have improved the Wii U versions of multiplatform games and Ubisoft don't seem to have managed, despite showing the most faith in Nintendo.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Nintenjoe64 Is the fact it's doing all of the serious work from the disc an issue though? With ACIII the disc drive never shut up, constantly spinning to load assets. The suggestion here seems to be that, without key assets on the hard drive, the optical disc simply struggles to generate everything fast enough.



lbs said:

If the disc reading is the problem, what about the eShop version?



Einherjar said:

something simmilar was said about many other WiiU ports, especially koeis warriors entrys and to be fair, i never had any problems whatsoever with these titles.
Especially Warriors Orochi 3 recieved a truckload of flak for its "sub par framerate" and guess what ? Even in splitscreen, it fairs better than DW 7 - Empires did on the PS3, that game is unplayable in splitscreen.
I would take these comparisons with a grain of salt. On paper, most of these comparisons might sound huge, but most of the time, "normal" people wont even notice them.
But if the drive speed really is an issue, nintendo should just implement a similar install system like the 360 has.Or at least do it like sony, and have some games make partial installations for quick access data on the HDD.
But what version was tested here ? The disc version or the digital one ?



SetupDisk said:

I haven't gotten that far but I don't remember the framerate being that low except for some cutscenes. Maybe my copy running off my harddrive improves that. But the load times are a pain.



dumedum said:

it pisses me off the reviews of the Wii U version don't show up on metacritic.



Shiryu said:

I played a couple of hours before moving on to "The Wonderful 101" but since I never played the other versions, I have no real complaints.The game runs on the Unreal Engine, just like "Batman Arkram City". I plan to go back to the game after completing both "Pimin 3" and "The Wonderful 101"... unless I start playing "Rayman Legends"... what was all that "Wii U has no games!" stuff people keep complaining about?



Locke_Highwind said:

So... The wii u version is superior or not? I heard it has no screen tearing and bigger resolutions.

Other thing that i.can't understand... Why wii u games can't be instaled? That makes the things more easy for the hardware



mercurio2054 said:

i will buy the wii version.
i have mas effect 3, from my point of view it have good frame rate and better graphic than Splinter cell and i play very well.
so it have to be ubisoft problem.



Shworange said:

Why doesn't Wii U integrate partial downloads or texture map downloads like the other systems? I'm sure this would help, an it would seem ridiculous that it just cannot perform that task. What's the point of getting a two terrabite hard drive if I can't try to fill it up?



dumedum said:

I never noticed anything bad with Arkham City:AE or ACIII. All these differences are simply never noticeable to me and I couldn't care less about them. Nice to hear that it is actually HD and the PS360 aren't , but that too would probably fly me by if it was the other way around.



Shiryu said:

I have stated this before but I will state again: Nintendo needs to release a firmware update that allows people to install games if they so choose on both 3DS and Wii U. Yes, the loading times on this sometimes go a little overboard, but it's not as bad as "LEGO City Undercover".



Nintenjoe64 said:

@ThomasBW84 I wondered that but I thought Black Ops 2 seems to be the outright worst for disc noise that I've had so far and doesn't seem to be too bad for performance when compared to PS3 and 360. It does have frame-rate drops but normally during big explosions whereas AC3-WiiU felt like a significantly slower game after I played it on my cousin's 360.

They're good for eliminating bad versions of multiplats but I don't normally think too highly of digital foundry's analyses because they normally point out unnoticeable changes betweens versions (like framerate drops which happen at the same point on all 3/4 platforms) as big negatives and don't mention that a version can look significantly better for the rest of the game. Their version of 'fuzzy' is sometimes subjective too.



Kifa said:

@lbs @Locke_Highwind @Shiryu It's the same probably. Internal flash in both Basic and Premium versions is apparently very slow (Trine 2 loaded two seconds longer from it than from a USB 2.0 pendrive stuck in rear USB port). And any external storage (be it mentioned usb stick or external hard drive) is limited to roughly 22-25 MB/s half-duplex throughput because of USB 2.0. Wii U optical discs have reportedly similar data streaming capability, so we don't have much to work with any way.
Bottom line: installing a game on Wii U would give exactly zero improvement here. It's how the system is designed, sadly, and no firmware will ever fix it.

@Shwornage I think that because CPU power is already limited, handling two data sources at once would strain Wii U to the point where we would start loosing framerate, which would nullify all advantages that would provide. I think. I might be wrong.

That loading times issue is quite worrying, because it shows up in many games. WiiU has twice the RAM available to other systems, and yet it apparently struggles to fill it. And three times the loading of competition? That's just bad for Wii U.



mercurio2054 said:

@kifa the support of tow monitors is not only a work from the CPU, ATI worked this years a go, so do not think it's a hardware problem only.

sorry, i don't right English very well...



SCAR said:

My guess is that however much worse the textures and framerate are on the Wii U, is about how much better it could have been if this was a Wii U only targeted game. Optimizing the game for Xbox 360 and PS3 is ultimately priority 1. They only make sure that whatever is already there, runs well.
All they did was add GamePad support, just like the launch ports. This time they used the GamePad better, though.



Mario-Man-Child said:

I don't go with this at all because normally the game is made on the lead format (which is also the weakest console the 360) then it's ported to the other consoles. So it is actually the 360 which is keeping this game back. This was also the case in the SNES/Megadrive era, multiplatform games were developed on the weaker console which was the MD making the port easier to the more powerful console the SNES.
Anyway why are we comparing Wii U which is next gen to last gen consoles? =)



kevinaa said:

And every support ubisoft because they support wiiu. But splinter cell and ac3 being inferior. I don't really see full supportm I see half donkey support.I've plyed both and gave up on ac3. Graphics poor, to many graphics gliches. Peoples head off there body as they r walking around. I've not seen anything like this on wiiu, except poor graphics, the skin of people look like plastic, not close to real.



Paperluigi said:

I dont understand why the developer doesnt use built in memory, hdd or SDcard space for installing more data from the disc. Is that sloppy design or have I misunderstood something??



DarkEdi said:

I want Wii U version obviously, i want to support the console and if we don´t buy this then the companies won´t bring other games.



Anttoonio said:

Please read this other analysis before saying Wiiu's version is inferior.
I have the wiiu version and it runs quite nicely. There are few framerate drops here and there(like in other versions) but I think those are minor. It runs much better compared to AC3. For me that screen tearing(absent from wiiu version) is much bigger annoyance than little framerate drops.



Quickman said:

@Falco I keep saying this about 3rd party ports, they will never push the WII U hardware as they're always developed on inferior machines to start off with.

As for the MD/SNES thing, the SNES had better graphics capabilities but the Megadrive had a much, much faster processor which is why the SNES had slowdown issues and some 3rd party games between the two ended up being slightly different games.

@Paperluigi I wondered about that too..



WiiLovePeace said:

I'll pick this up when it gets cheaper. I want to buy it but just can't afford it at full price.



Mario-Man-Child said:

The MD ran faster but it didn't run a lot of information whereas the SNES ran a lot of information slower. If the SNES had slowdown issues (which I never really noticed) it is because of bad programers. The SNES is a superior console in every way.



Kifa said:

@mercurio2054 But we are not even talking about two screens. We are talking about data streaming speeds and processing the said data (which is by CPU, not by GPU). Games are a lot more than graphics you see on screen. And even the most powerful GPU will be of no use when coupled with a CPU that can't feed it data quick enough. It's just how things work.



MAB said:

The Megadrive was far superior and has better games than the SNES... I have the download version of Blacklist and I haven't noticed any slowdown even in areas that are heavily guarded... Gotta love that Gamepad sticky/peek cam

Aladdin SNES vs Megadrive



Quickman said:

@Falco There were games {mainly shoot em ups) on the MD that the SNES could simply not replicate, the megadrive had the same processor as the Amiga 500.

You probably wouldn't have noticed as much if you had PAL machines (which ran 17.5% slower than NTSC) but the SNES was notorious for slowdown issues back in the day due to the slower processor, it was certainly not "superior in every way", for sure..

@MadAussieBloke Looks like the eshop version is the way to go, I actually have a bunch of Wii games backed up on a USB stick, the difference between USB and disc is very noticeable in a lot of games TBH.



mercurio2054 said:

yes, but in this case we don't know how they're doing this. as far as i know, they don't compress the streaming.



Macarony64 said:

Please people the game was started being developed from early this year or at most late December from last year and even the developers said they did not have enough time and still the wiiu version is the best. Said by digital foundry.



MAB said:

@Cohort Yeah I'm playing it right now mate and just got through a area that had 10+ guards and the framerate was exactly the same as if there was nobody around... I call BS on this Digital Foundry test



Moshugan said:

@Macarony64 ''...still the wiiu version is the best. Said by digital foundry.''
Huh? Where did you get that from?
''...However, the Wii U's lower frame-rates, patience-testing loading screens and occasional freezing issues can't be ignored either, meaning we'd advise caution before buying this version.''



luminalace said: put the Wii U version as the one to get. I have the game and apart from the load times, I have no complaints about the games performance.



Moshugan said:

I think it was an inane decision on Nintendo's part for not including a hard drive and not allowing instals. Constant loading from a disc will be an even greater hinderance in the future.



Pachterkid said:

Another Wii U with freezing issues. Wonderful. People complain about a lack of third party content on the system, and yet when those games do come they won't work. Unless you only play 'Nintendo games' why would own a Wii U?



Moshugan said:

@Kifa ''That loading times issue is quite worrying, because it shows up in many games. WiiU has twice the RAM available to other systems, and yet it apparently struggles to fill it. And three times the loading of competition? That's just bad for Wii U.''
This is a serious issue to be sure. And that's not three times the loading of Next Gen competition, but more than half-a-decade old consoles!
I hope they're just lazy ports. We'll see if things pick up.
I predict that the Wii U Zelda will have compact areas to keep the loading times down.



element187 said:

If this is the effort we will see from 3rd parties, then why would they expect us to purchase their games? We know the hardware in the Wii U is superior, just look at Pikmin 3. The ps3/360 would choke if it tried to run it. I really cannot think of a single game on the sub-HD twins that ran in 720p and used dynamic lighting and displacement mapping.

Ubisoft said themselves that features are missing on the Wii U version because they ran out of development time. That tells me they didn't bother optimizing the port at all, just a "lets get this running and ship it... oh since the Wii U is a bit faster, lets give them the only real HD copy, oh we have framerate issues? well we are out of time, just ship it, those clueless Nintendo gamers wont be able to tell the difference"

Nintendo is showing the Wii U's capabilities is completely out of reach of the sub-HD twins, but third party's effort makes it look on par with a 360.... minus criterion, they actually took the time to make one heck of a looker with a solid 30fps... where as the subHD twins version of NFS:MW looked like a hot mess with low resolution textures and 20fps on most scenes.



MAB said:

So the 'MadAussie test of awesomeness' goes to the download version... No framerate, graphical or freezing issues whatsoever 9.5/10



wario007 said:

1 hour ago
What a crock of poopiedoodlecacadingleloviepoops! the wiiu version is native 720p and upscales to 1080p, and is also fully vsync, so no ugly screen tearing like on PS3 and 360, also both PS3 and 360 render at sub hd resolutions, and when you play splinter cell stealthy like your supposed to the wiiu version runs a steady 30fps, even when you play run and gun the frame rate drops are for a second or two and then goes back up, and so is not so noticable in game, the PS3 and 360 versions have 20% torn frames! LOL and its damn ugly! strange that in pictures of wiiu vs 360 the wiiu version has more crisp,clean higher res textures! couple all this with EXCELLENT gamepad integration, and its clear to see the wiiu version by far is the definitive console version of splintercell blacklist!

The load times are longer on wiiu but to be fair both the HD twins have installs, the wiiu version runs off the disk with no installs, curiosly i would love to know if the digital eshop version of this game loads faster from a hard drive,its one of nintendo's many flaws with the wiiu, they should have included atleast 80gb hard drives with every sku,and had mandatory or optional installs, this would improve load times allot, lego also had terrible load times!

Anyway ubisoft need to be praised, they are one of the few western publishers who have supported wiiu from launch, AC3 was also a good port from a new console,need for speed was the best on wiiu,rayman legends is easily best on wiiu, splintercell for consoles is also best on wiiu, this is good!

Wiiu owners should all go out and buy this,show support to good third party ports people,and buy rayman too! its a shame more developers dont use that whole 1gb of ram the wiiu has,once developers start using all the ram and offload cpu tasks to the gpgpu i am sure wiiu games should be substantially better then current gen consoles!
i own and game on all platforms including a gaming pc, the wiiu is underestimated trust me, it is very capable, its nice to see developers who utilize the hardware, we are getting games this good quality in only year 1,what till we are in year 3 and 4,wii u will shock allot of people! For me my PS4,PC,and WiiU will do great!!!!



element187 said:

@wario007 Sorry, I'm a consumer, not a charity. If 3rd parties want my money they have to at least try. Shipping broken games does not encourage me to open my wallet.

Why buy this broken game when I can buy Rayman Legends that was designed completely for the Wii U, with ports to other systems as an after thought.

I will give Ubisoft another shot when Watch_Dogs is released. If the game feels like they gave it their full effort, I will purchase it... I think it might because the Wii U version has been in development long before the sub-HD twins versions started.



SilentHunter382 said:

I not a big fan of the Splinter Cell Series but this has gotten me interested to give the series another go. Only problem is if I should get the game on the Wii U or my PC.



element187 said:

@SilentHunter382 depends, if you want the gamepad integration only on Wii U or the top notch visuals that the PC provides..

I'm kinda torn as well. As a Wii U owner I feel like I'm being taken advantage of by third parties. its almost like they don't think Nintendo owners will notice an inferior version was shipped. its kind of degrading actually.

As a PC owner, i'm not phased, I'm sure it will look gorgeous if in big picture mode 1080p 60+fps



SilentHunter382 said:

I am mostly likely gonna get the Wii u version because I can't see that much added to the game (modded wise) even though my PC is well more then capably of handling the game.

The extra feature of a game are more important to me then graphics. Don't get me wrong I like having good graphics which is why I am gonna hold out till I see if the Wii U version of "Watch Dogs" look similar (or close) to the PS4/Xbone visuals. If they are like the PS3/XB360 visuals then I most likely get the PC version.



kevinaa said:

@element187 I'm sorry but pikmin had horrible frame drops at the end. It got to the point where you throw a pikmin and it took 1 - 2 seconds before it did it. The screen was heavy with pikmin and those bees. When it got to the point the pikmin picked them up it crawled. Pikmin was optimized that well also.



kevinaa said:

@SilentHunter382 I don't see any graphics improvement over AC3 and Splinter Cell on WIIU. They look about the quality. I wouldn't expect watch dogs to be any different. Ubisoft is not taking the time to tweak anything about their wiiu games. Just ports.



SilentHunter382 said:

After looking at the artical I have to agree, There are some parts that look nearly identical but when you get up close you will see the difference. The poly and tri count may be a small better but as far as textures go its easily better looking.



Moneyjaypr7 said:

I have the download version of this game and load times are still a nightmare. Sometimes 1 minute long! But as far as screen tearing of frame rate drops, I honestly never had an issue with it.



Unit_DTH said:

@kevinaa The Wii U version is NOT inferior. The issues that DF sites are so unnoticeably small while playing the game that it hardly warrants their "expert opinion". The Loading times are a bit long, but the game, once you are in and playing a level, never even hiccups(during campaign, not the same for online; but that area seems to be a problem across the board) and I can't find what they are talking about with some of the textures being "fuzzy". The game is beautiful and is a joy to play, except online right now! If you think you will like the game, then go get it... if you don't think you will like it then keep your money for something else. Ultimately your decision to purchase it should be based on how much YOU think you will enjoy the GAME, not what some people running spec analysis on multiple versions says about the game's "issues". Have fun!



moomoo said:

Most of the people here seem to be blaming Ubisoft for the lack of graphical prowess in this game when compared to other versions.

From what I can see, this may very well be Nintendo's fault. The fact that games can't be partially installed onto the hardrive for disc games means that everything has to be loaded from the disc. This results in stuff like pop-in, frame rate issues and the much longer loading times. So for any games that are trying to make a very large world with a lot of stuff going on (Assassin's Creed 3, Splinter Cell, and Lego City Undercover, a Nintendo published game) then its going to be plagued with these kind of problems.

I don't care how you slice it; if a game running on 2012 hardware is being outdone by a machine made in 2005, that's not a good indicator of what the Wii U is capable of. Nintendo seemed to be so focused on innovating with the Gamepad that they didn't focus on just making a system that could play games of a very large variety in good quality. This looks like it will be a machine where you can only really play Nintendo games.

Regardless, I plan on getting this soon. I love stealth games, and off-TV play alone makes this the best version for me. Also, I doubt these problems (outside of loading times) won't really be noticeable without a side-by-side comparison.



GiftedGimp said:

Strange as my Self confessed Sony fanboy brother-in-law said the My WiiU version looks and Plays better than his Ps3 version and I've heard simular comments about the 360 version 2nd hand.
As for frame drops... I've yet to notice any tbh, and in absolutly no way has there been any screen tearing. I do have my TV set to Game Mode though so maybe thats why even though from disc at least some load times are quite long but not game breaking and not even as long as Lego City.
Partnter or Not with NL, I've given Eurogamer a Wide-birth for years there just as much fanboy bias there as IGN, so maybe this analysis should be taken with just a dash of salt.



FineLerv said:

@MadAussieBloke They possibly tested the frame rate via software and it could be that it dips but not to the point where it is detectable by the human eye.



MAB said:

All I see is alot of moot points coming from people that haven't even played the game yet on anything... Just your typical run of the mill 'I don't play games, I just whine about them' types



Unit_DTH said:

@element187 The game is not broken. Just rent it online and try it for yourself, that way you don't have to worry about whether or not you spent your money in the right place?



Shiryu said:

@Kifa It's probably about the speed of transfer from the DVD drive to the RAM and not the actual RAM total size problem. Think how painful it was with the NEO GEO CD first hardware released, with single speed drive.



banacheck said:

I only buy Nintendo games on my Wii U anyway, i'll probably get this at some point but at the moment i've got a few games to finish before GTAV & Dragons Crown.



Yorumi said:

For those who don't understand programing and game optimizations hard drive installs arn't the problem. The stock speed of ps3 hard drives isn't much different from usb 2.0, and that's not even much different from the wiiU's disc speed.

USB2.0 reads at around 30MB/s, the wiiU's disc is 22MB/s, and a ps3 disc is 9MB/s. Sure you can do crazy things like put a SSD in a ps3 but how many people really do that?

The problem is these games are optimized for different architecture and you lose that when you port it. The ps3 and 360 are cpu heavy and need to be optimized for best performance on the cpu, the wiiU is gpu heavy and should be optimized for best performance on the gpu and everything that can be offloaded to the gpu should be.

PC versions actually see some of these problems as well since it's also better to optimize them for the gpu. Console ports to the pc run better mostly out of sheer brute force, they're just so much more powerful than a console so the loss in optimizations don't matter much.

So to sum it up the real problem is that these games are ports and not optimized for the wiiU. If you did the reverse and built the game on the wiiU then ported it to the ps3 or 360 you'd see even worse problems and it would probably be a lot hard to get the game running.



Shiryu said:

@Cohort They were still better than the many PSX ports of Neo-Geo games. It took minutes (HOURSSS!!!) to load a round of "Samurai Shodown III" on Playstation and the actual fights would last seconds... good old cartridges, I miss yee...



PinkSpider said:

No surprise there it's a copy and paste job of the Xbox version as usual. Looks like Nintendo are really the only developes that can get the true potential out of the system.
Mario kart 8 runs at 60fps split screen



Quickman said:

@Shiryu I had the first Metal Slug for PSX, it even had crazy loading in the middle of levels.. Ouch!!

@Yorumi This is what I mean when I say how do people expect 3rd parties to push the Wii U hardware when their games are ported from inferior systems?

@PinkSpider Same story with the Wii, it was capable of a lot more than crappy PS2 ports..



Shiryu said:

@Cohort Yeah, exactly, while Saturn owners got away with arcade perfect ports that used Saturn's faster native data transfer and the extra RAM cartridge, we had to suffer all that tragedy on PSX... maybe this is why I am now able to tolerate "Splinter Cell"'s loading times... but no way kids will. Oh wait, the game is 18 plus...



Quickman said:

@Shiryu I used to own a Saturn and I have to say that Metal Slug and SFA3 were superb, If I remember correctly it also had the better port of Dead or Alive as well?



Shiryu said:

@Cohort Never had a Saturn and never played DOA in there so I could not tell. But this rule applied mostly always:

PSX = better 3D //\ better 2D = Saturn

Capcom CPS2 conversions were all superior on Saturn too!



Quickman said:

@Shiryu Yes it was a common misconception at the time that the Saturn "couldn't do 3D", when in fact it was the architecture I think that was a headache and the PSX got all the 3D joy...

The Shenmue Saturn demo certainly dispelled that theory though..

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube



Shiryu said:

@Cohort And look at us now, how far we have gone, how we speak of million polygons as if it was nothing extraordinary. All I see is people complain and demand, I see software houses putting incomplete, bug ridden products in the shelves because of deadlines with promises of patches and updates. Maybe it's my old age talking but I often miss the old bedroom coder times of the Spectrum and Amiga. This industry grew into such a weird chimera of amazing technology, lack of imagination and profit margins that I believe it's spinning out of control. And we the consumers always get the worse deal possible...



Quickman said:

@Shiryu Hard to disagree with any of that, we could be heading for another Atari style crash if we're not careful...

Funny that people complain about loading times and I can remember when games came on tapes, some actually came on FOUR tapes and took ages to load, sometimes not at all!!



Shiryu said:

@Cohort Indeed, it's like the industry didn't learn anything from the '83 crash. Maybe we are all heading to a dark future where only casual/mobile gaming will survive, so we can all play Angry Birds in your fridges or something.

BTW no ZX Spectrum 48k games took more than 3 minutes to load, but to my 5 year old self, those were some boring long 3 minutes... at least on Commodore 64 it played some funky music while loading the game. xP



Quickman said:

Either that or we all go back to playing games on Megadrives and Super Nintendos.. Actually when you think about it all people do is play those games via emulators on phones and tablets anyway

If you were really swish you had a disk drive for your C64, my brother's friend had a 128, he was the talk of the town!



Yorumi said:

@Shiryu not with the indie game explosion going on. Most of big companies are dying, but there's tons of creativity in indie games and a lot of them are really good.

I would be so happy if there was another crash that took the majority of AAA companies down and the focus on graphics was over. Graphics are holding back gaming by such a large degree it's disgusting.



Ryno said:

I remember back in the era of the NES-N64/PSX gamers didn't freak out over every little thing, especially within the first year of a console's release.

@Shiryu: I enjoy your comments since you are probably around the same age as me and have wonderful memories with the NES, SNES, PSX. I to kinda wonder if we are headed for another video game crash in the near future.



Ryno said:

@Yorumi: I don't necessarily see it as just graphics holding gaming back, I see it more as there is less innovation and creativity in the market (well, except for indies)



Shiryu said:

@Yorumi That's true! Why did those people up there on the big companies forgot that graphics are the least important part of a good video game! I never complained about my Wii only being able to output at 480p when playing "Geometry Wars: Galaxies"! I enjoyed the hell out of "Xenoblade Chronicles" more than any high def "realistic looking" game on PS3 and 360. The fact was that some of the best games ever made came from the programmers having to use their imagination and craft to go around hardware limitations, something obvious in both 8 bit and 16 bit generations. Just look at what was being composed using chiptunes in those years!



Shiryu said:

@Ryno Thanks. Generation of '78 here, so I was around when the whole European microcomputer / Japanese home console revolution took off. I do not wish anyone to go unemployed because of of a huge industry crash, but let's face it, the current model for AAA titles should not be able to continue. Big software companies start projects, hire a ton of people, push them to release a product finished as best as possible on a deadline than proceed in cutting down staff immediately afterwards. This circle repeats yearly. Why would I ever want to work on that industry!? Id rather program games alone in my bedroom, sadly I was always more of an artsy kinda guy (Shiryu Music, hello!) instead of programmer...



Shiryu said:

@Cohort Good old Konami, funded "Ultra Games" so has to be able to publish more than 5 games a year for the Famicom... old school, Yamauchi style Nintendo reasoning.



Quickman said:

@Shiryu lol 3rd parties used to do that to get their games on the Megadrive to, infact Sega used to re-program Capcom games for the MD, did a good job of it too.



Shiryu said:

@Cohort "Strider", "Forgotten Worlds", "Ghouls'n'Ghosts"... oh speaking of "Ghouls'n'Ghosts", on my way out now to buy a fully boxed one for Megadrive at local Cash Converters, friend just tipped me of massive fully boxed Megadrive shipment arriving. Fingers crossed for "Gunstar Heroes"* or "Mega Probotector" in that lot...

*I do have "Gunstar Heroes" but it's on that 4 game re-release cart.



sanasa said:

This game is awesome! I rented it for a few days just to check if it's worth getting and it is! Unfortunately though the online part sucks, it's so laggy, and it keeps crashing and not to mention that I sometimes have to wait 20 mins to find other players.

I will probably get this game on the ps4 or xbox, which sucks cause I really want to support Nintendo :/



Shiryu said:

@Cohort I am crossing my fingers for "Thunderforce IV"... from the few titles my friend noted, it was obviously a guy with good taste that just dumped his whole collection!



Quickman said:

@Shiryu I can't use a PAL copy of Thunderforce IV as I have a Genesis, Thunderforce III will work just fine though



AVahne said:

It's been almost a year and devs are STILL pulling this bull? Why do they keep rushing their games? And why do they keep outsourcing the Wii U versions to another studio?



banacheck said:

I didn't know the PlayStation X released anywhere else apart from japan, the PS was only known as the PS-X in development.



DrSlump said:

Wii U is racing to be the worst nintendo console : Gamecube didn't sell very well, but had a really good hardware compared to the competitors. Wii U doesn't sell.. does not have a competitive hardware (it far under powered compared to the incoming console) and has a bad third party support.
Will it last 5 years?



KingofSaiyans said:

I downloaded splinter cell from the eShop and I don't seem to have any problems other than the load times. But it's not a frequent issue so I don't see why the Wii U version gets so much scrutiny. Seems there are dedicated people out there that look for flaws with Nintendo. Smh



Discostew said:

IIRC, Blacklist runs off of UE2.5, which relies heavily on the CPU and doesn't properly take advantage of the advancements the Wii U has, and yet the result of it still being within range of consoles that the engine was designed for is great.



Shiryu said:

@Cohort Well, not a bad lot. Sadly no shmups... picked up "Ghouls'n'Ghosts", Stargate" and "Sonic Compilation" for me and "Super Street Fighter II" plus gasp "Streets of Rage 2" for a friend. All PAL, boxed with manuals both in English and our Portuguese black and white translated booklets. Looks liek the Wii U will have to wait, for it's time to see if I can still finish this thing:

PS: While browsing my Megadrive collection I found another Capcom game converted to Megadrive by SEGA: "MERCS"!



Shiryu said:

@banacheck PSX is not the Playstation X dev console. PSX was the original name for the Playstation before Sony rebranded the thing PS1. My Playstation is from the original shipments after they redesigned the PSX with the laser lens away from the internal AC adaptor. I previously had 3 different PSX in a period of 6 months that all became faulty because of the original PSX design that made the lens overheat from proximity to the internal power source. It was very annoying and Sony never admitted their system design flaw, but did learn since after the PS2 slim, the AC adaptor was external.



yenly said:

I don't know for you guys but my load time is less than a minute and I agree with the texture part.

one thing to notice is that they did all that to favor going 720p. So it is not a big deal it is patchable if they find a faster code for implementing it.



Rafie said:

@DrSlump Thanks for the link. That seemed pretty good for the most part. It looks like the Wii U wins in performance overall. It was definitely lacking behind the other 2 in graphics, imo. It looked washed out and lacked any contrast. However, that hardly is a factor in performance and the Wii U was still on par graphically anyway. Overall, my judgement will go to the Wii U's version as the superior one. Good job, Ubi. You guys utilized the Wii U's hardware and capitalized on it.

Oh and Dr. Shump, the GC actually did sell well. Both the GC and the Xbox did. It's just that the PS2 blew them both out of the water in sales. Still they sold good. Both consoles were more powerful than the PS2 as well. I love the way games looked on the GC.



Quickman said:

@Rafie Yup, just because the GC didn't sell as many as the PS2 doesn't mean that it didn't do well or wasn't profitable.. Nintendo have made a profit on pretty much all their hardware BTW...



taffy said:

Ok seeing some people write here saying that Ubisoft are lazy developers and comparing the graphically performance of it to Pikmin 3 need to stop right now. For one thing Splintercell Black List is a multi-platform release where as Pikmin 3 was built from the ground up for the Wii U. You don't think it's a good excuse then look at The Last Of Us for the PS3 and compare that to the PS3 version of SPBL.



Moshugan said:

@Macarony64 #68 ''From their own site. They give the wiiu version the win. This is a short click bait article.''
I don't agree with you. The Digital Foundry clearly states
''...we'd advise caution before buying this [Wii U] version. It feels rushed to market in these respects, and until a worthy patch arrives, the contest must be narrowed down to PS3 and 360 - a stalemate that itself can only be broken via your preference for either visual fidelity or performance.''



jcags said:

Oh yeah, the Digital Foundry that tried to tell us Trine 2 was far worse on Wii U than ps3 and 360, but even the developers had to come out and prove DF wrong..
DF still hasn't acknowledged it... their bias shows strongly... Even their NFS:MW comparison tries to be dismissive how much more visually superior it was on the Wii U. Both frame rate and texture quality were miles above anything the PS3/x360 could accomplish.



mykdee said:

this article is more biased against the WiiU than the actual Digital Foundry article is...



unrandomsam said:

@Shiryu It is unknown what the limits of the Saturn are. You can put a cartridge into the place where the ram goes if you want. (SNK did for KOF '94). It has basically a Megadrive / 32X / Mega CD along with the best 2D video hardware (Much better than CPS3 or Neo Geo). Loads of other co processors and some 3d hardware. (Whereas the PSX had poor 3D hardware and a poor cpu). N64 had better everything than the PSX other than supporting a CD. (They should have just stuck with cartridge now we would have up to 64GB carts and none of the nonsense that this article goes on about)

@MadAussieBloke I think the SNES is more powerful. Compare M.U.S.H.A with Space Megaforce. (Only bad dev's got slowdown Compile never did).

(Both by Compile no slowdown on either both using the strengths of the respective consoles.)

Thunderforce IV had lots of slowdown. (Fixed on the Saturn version - just the type of thing I want from a rerelease.)

PC Version of Aladdin was the best (Its like the Megadrive one but it is smoother even on a 386 with 4MB ramj). Music is ok with a soundblaster. Amazing with a Yamaha daughterboard attached to it.

Rendering Ranger R2 Looks like a Saturn game (I try to ignore stuff like Super FX games).



Psyclone said:

huh... the Wii U version still has online co op & so on so some of this article is wrong



whatisyourforte said:

best game on the wiiU right now. loaded with options (even with the exclusion of local co-op), some of the best graphics on wiiU (if not the best), and definitely one of the most exciting single-player adventures to hit the console to this date.



123akis said:

@capitalism WTF? if he didn't like Nintendo then do you really think he would of spent he's time writing about Nintendo and reviewing Nintendo's review a game you have to play it. and i dont like fanboy wars its just stupid!



CaPPa said:

I have the Wii U version and it looks a lot better to me (compared to PS3, not seen the 360 version). It's sharper, whereas on PS3 the backgrounds look blurry. There are some poor textures in places, but I figured that they were probably more noticeable because it was sharper. I haven't noticed any framerate drops in the game at all, just the odd stutter during a cutscene (similar to ME3). Personally I'd rather have a game with a couple of juddery cutscenes than a game full of screen tearing.

So from my limited experience (a few minutes on PS3 and a few hours on Wii U) the Wii U is definitely the superior version in terms of visuals. The load times are pretty long though (like Lego City hub long).

Despite any performance advantages/disadvantages there's one thing that makes the Wii U version the only one that I'd want to play and that is the GamePad. After using it for switching weapons and equipment I just couldn't go back to the awkward d-pad selection on the other versions.



Striker667 said:

Like how everyone talks about load times.. when the game is the only one that runs fully off the disc. Well if the game looks better then the other consoles lets find something else to complain about.. like the freezing.. that I never once have seen in the 63h I played the game.. Except in MP were every console and PC have issues with freezing. But those load times..



jayclayx said:

@mercurio2054 no its not ubisoft problem, yes, there are many lazy developers but you cannot make miracles in a game with a limited hardware, the wii u version of this game lack high quality textures because it cannot be installed on the console as the 360 and ps3 do, big loading times again because it depends all on the cd drive.



JaxonH said:

I have this game on Wii U and it's fine. It's actually really awesome on the Wii U- I love how you can turn on gyro controls, and anytime you lift the gamepad up vertically in front of the TV, it auto engages gyro mode and turns on your goggles, also allowing you to mark targets on the touchscreen. These complaints are negligible.



TromaDogg said:

@Wario007 Need For Speed is an EA franchise, nothing to do with Ubisoft

As for this game...I've not seen much else outside of Digital Foundry that suggests that the Wii U version is significantly worse than the Xbox 360/PS3 versions, and word of mouth seems to suggest that it's at least equal to if not a little better than them. I'd probably buy it myself if only Ubisoft hadn't chosen to release it within the same time period as Etrian Odyssey 4 (PAL), Saints Row 4 and Rayman Legends......can't afford them all at once



Quickman said:

@unrandomsam The Super NES was capable of more detailed graphics and better sound, but the CPU ran less than half the speed of the MD.

Some slowdown on SNES games were down to bad programming but it still couldn't match some of the more intesive MD shoot em ups. The SNES also needed a lot of custom chips in most of it's games to help out.



MAB said:

@Cohort Yeah also at the end of the day the Megadrive has better games that don't get boring like the SNESSY ones... The best sport, shmups, war, action and movie licence games of that era were on da M to tha D

The SNES would struggle trying to run games like ↓

Sub-Terrania Megadrive

Red Zone Megadrive



rmeyer said:

The xbox is what developers work on then they release it on the ps3 which is harder to work with with a single core, then in this case moved it onto the Wii u which is very different hardware. Don't buy 3rd party on Nintendo consoles unless it's exclusive



MAB said:

Why not? I'm enjoying Blacklist on the WiiU mate... Tell your advice walking bro



jcags said:

@MadAussieBloke and would megadrive be able to handle Secret Of Mana, Starfox, DKC, Killer Instinct or Street Fighter Alpha 2

I don't understand why Sega fanboys can't seem to let go of the past, the SNES was more powerful than the Megadrive and rightfully so, it came 2 years after it.



duskao said:

I have it. I certainly wouldn't say it's inferior by any means. I haven't had any freezing that they have been talking about. The frame rate is fine. The loading times are long. There is NO tearing. I'm not sure if you guys have played games with bad tearing, but there are few things worse than bad tearing in a game. It's very crisp and clear, and the controls are great, with the added use of the game pad makes it much easier than holding the button and choosing your weapon. I also haven't noticed any texture pop in so far. Maybe it was fixed in an update? Well worth the money. These are always issues when developing for multiple different consoles, with time restraints, there are and always will be a lack of optimizations.
Also, I should note that according to DF the frame rate is lower on the Wii U, however according to Lens of Truth it's in between the 360 and the PS3. Either way you look at it, these are average numbers taken from each console, so the reality of it is that you won't notice much difference between each console with the range of 1 or 2 fps difference. If the frame rate dropped to 10 or 15 it would be a much bigger deal, but when comparing 30 vs 28 vs 27, that's not a noticeable amount. There is always a margin of error when with these tests as well. This also annoys me from DF as they haven't stated how many runs they have done to get the results they achieved, and with the video's it shows as if they have only one a single run through on each. I can't for the life of me figure this out. On a console it is generally more consistent than a PC due to less things happening in the background of the OS, but with the full OS's running on recent consoles it's ridiculous to not run multiple tests. Maybe they did, but if they did, they should mention it.



MAB said:

@jcags Why on earth would I play those boring stinkers when the MD had a much more robust list of hardcore non childish movie/RPG/fighting/platformers

SNES would choke trying to push this many polys at the speed that the following title kicked donkey running ↓

Virtua Racing Megadrive

Stunt Race FX ran slower than watching your grandma drive yo grandpa on a sunday to pickup his weekly coffee supply



kevinaa said:

@Unit_DTH I would have to say the graphics are not that great. If you look at some youtube videos. The wiiu is fuzzy. The load time is insane. But the game play is awesome. Coop works fine, but other online sucks. Its not playable at all. For a single/coop game its the best yet. For multiple player, its not that good.



Unit_DTH said:

@kevinaa I don't base any opinion I have of how good a game looks off of a "youtube video"... ever. You really never are going to get the kind of clarity from watching gameplay on youtube, that you would get by playing it for yourself, which is what I've done and that's what I based my comment about the game looking great on the Wii U off of. My time spent playing the game on the Wii U, not watching Youtube videos about the game. Just saying.

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