Overdoing it

General and high profile video game topics.
Herschie
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Joined: April 7th, 2015, 11:44 pm

Overdoing it

Postby Herschie » September 23rd, 2020, 1:11 am

I'm currently staying with my mom for the next week or so because my wife and I are getting our floors done. They're sanding the old hardwood floors and refinishing them with a darker stain, and installing hardwood where the tiles and carpet were. So everything had to be off the floor. As I dismantled my game room, I noticed all my converters and switch boxes. I had 4, count 'em, 4 TVs in total. And a Framemeister. You can only imagine the cords.

Being the gamer I am, I brought over a few things while I'm back at my mom's, among them my N64. I decided to hook the system up to my her TV after she went to bed so I could play a little Zelda and Mariokart 64. And I found myself having a blast playing, despite being plugged directly into the flatpanel. It actually didn't look all that bad.

And that got me thinking; sometimes less is more. I find myself more immersed in these games when I just plug the darn thing in and start playing. Rather than worrying about scanlines, 240p, 480i, CRTs, switchboxes, Framemeisters, you name it. Component, composite. HDMI.

Sure, it might look better. But I remember when I was younger I was obsessed with car stereo. And my system was neat, I had 3 Audiobahn 12s in the trunk, a 2,400-watt amp, another amp for the fancy schmancy speakers I had. I even had kick panels on the floor with Boston component speakers. This thing sounded fantastic, though it seemed to sour my relationship with the neighbors. Especially the lady across the street. Apparently heavy bass wakes up babies.

Only problem was I found myself thinking more about how the stereo sounded instead of simply enjoying the song. I think I get the same problem now; I'm so worried about how the game looks and getting that perfect that I forget to enjoy myself and the nostalgia that these classic games bring. Actually, the same thing happened with my PS4, I had a perfectly good time in 1080p because my 4K is sitting in my basement. And without my vaunted surround sound system.

I don't know what I'm going to do next week when I move back in. I do have all the junk I bought over the years, but maybe I'll want to just keep it simple. At least for a while.

Just plug the damn thing in and have fun!

TheEagleXIII
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Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: Overdoing it

Postby TheEagleXIII » September 23rd, 2020, 3:53 am

This is one of the reasons I got sick of my 360 and modern gaming in general. My console takes so long just to boot up, then extra time to establish an internet connection, sometimes reading the disc takes longer than it should, then loading the game, provided I don't have to install an update. I just wanna turn it on and play the damn game.

It's one of the things I'm loving about my mini consoles at the moment - it's instant. It was obviously a different time and the games are much much smaller with less to process but, including skipping over the logos and intros, I can get into a Mega Drive game within 20-30secs of switching the thing on and switching games is just as quick.

VicViper
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Joined: October 22nd, 2015, 2:36 pm

Re: Overdoing it

Postby VicViper » September 23rd, 2020, 12:14 pm

TheEagleXIII wrote:This is one of the reasons I got sick of my 360 and modern gaming in general. My console takes so long just to boot up, then extra time to establish an internet connection, sometimes reading the disc takes longer than it should, then loading the game, provided I don't have to install an update. I just wanna turn it on and play the damn game.


To be fair, that always was a problem to an extent even in the 80s. RIP to anyone who's had the displeasure of having games on cassette tapes.

Pretty much every CD based console has that quirk, and then some games would have you wait an additional +20 seconds through company logos.

At least in the 360's case, you can boot up the game directly without having to go through the system's UI (it's a system option) and it's fairly fast to load when the game's installed on the HDD (which is always optional). The Switch is pretty quick and responsive too overall (except in the eShop but let's not talk about this mess).

In the opposite case, the Wii U... My God. It's the worst it's ever been in the past 15 years. The PS3 might have stupid long updates & installs on occasion, but the Wii U always takes ages to boot up and to get into the games.
The Neo Geo CD is pretty notorious too, a full 20-30 seconds just to get off the "Neo Geo CD" boot screen, and then it gotta load the game, hope you got a coffee for the ride.

I don't quite go the extra mile when it comes to games looking good on a display: no Framemeister or anything like that.
I do have an Akura HDMI for Dreamcast, and all of my retro consoles I use RGB Scart (which is pretty easy when you live in France, it was the standard in the 80s until the mid-late 2000s), but I won't dare pay over 150€ just for my games to look better than "good".

My own obsession however is 50hz/60hz gaming... unoptimised 50hz games are just horrendous to deal with. One of the reasons I wish the Dreamcast succeeded is that it was the first console to truly push PAL 60hz and about 70-75% of the games supported it, with the other 50hz games being at least optimised on the game speed side of things (same speed as 60hz, just lower framerate), and then the PS2 won... most of its games were 50hz, and I don't even dare touch the PS2 PAL games anymore.

Some games it doesn't even make any sense why they don't have a 60hz option; Sonic Shuffle was developed by Hudson Soft, the same developers as Mario Party. Sonic Shuffle supports 60hz and even VGA 480p display, and then all GameCube Mario Party games + Mario Party 8 were UNOPTIMISED 50hz, meaning everything in the games would go slower (and yet they managed to get the timers to run actual seconds instead of slower ones... you figure it out).

TheEagleXIII
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Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: Overdoing it

Postby TheEagleXIII » September 24th, 2020, 3:47 am

VicViper wrote:To be fair, that always was a problem to an extent even in the 80s. RIP to anyone who's had the displeasure of having games on cassette tapes.

Pretty much every CD based console has that quirk, and then some games would have you wait an additional +20 seconds through company logos.

At least in the 360's case, you can boot up the game directly without having to go through the system's UI (it's a system option) and it's fairly fast to load when the game's installed on the HDD (which is always optional).


Oh man, I forgot cassette games existed – I was only just barely old enough to experience a couple games at a cousin's house before it was replaced!

On 360 I didn't have much better luck with direct booting and installing games to the hard drive - it was still quite slow, and sometimes felt slower - like the direct boot gave it one too many procedures to handle at once. My original 360 just got slower and slower over time, and then the disc reader stopped working properly, so I bought a new one - one of the smaller models. It was pretty good at first, still a bit sluggish for such a modern console, but then within 3-4 months it became just as slow as the one it had just replaced. I dunno, maybe I just had bad luck.

I can understand things taking a long time to boot if it's just a limitation of the hardware of the day like CD games taking longer to load than cartridge or even the cassette games - but when I have to trudge through internet connections and signing into profiles and downloading updates, it spoils the experience. Even watching YouTube on my 360 was a hassle because on top of all the long waits the app was terrible for some reason.

Back more on topic, until the PS Classic came out I was playing my PS1 games direct to a 55" HDTV which looked like total garbage. I still managed to enjoy the games, but I definitely would've preferred playing on a CRT if I'd had the space. :)

bluenote
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Joined: August 14th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Re: Overdoing it

Postby bluenote » September 24th, 2020, 8:16 am

I can relate to this. I'm a big audiophile, and I am sometimes on forums and buying cds comparing different masterings, etc trying to find the best sounding cd of a particular album. So I can see where that may interfere with the actual enjoyment of the music.

I have a framemeister, and honestly, I love it. I had an RGB modded nes and Atari 2600. The rest of my older systems (SMS, Genesis, and SNES) are outputting RGB natively. Newer systems like PS2, PS3, Wii, etc are on component (through framemeister) or HDMI.

I have a 42" LCD and have no desire to have a CRT in my small basement. I have all my Framemeister settings just the way I want them, so it really is plug and play for me. I don't keep many systems hooked up at the same time (I currently have PS2, PS3, Wii U and Switch all hooked up). I normally just have 4 systems hooked up at any one time, which is fine for me as it's not much clutter and wires, etc.

For me, if I have a collection of games and am spending a lot of money on those games, I want them to look the best on screen.

matmico399
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Joined: November 25th, 2015, 6:11 pm

Re: Overdoing it

Postby matmico399 » September 24th, 2020, 5:05 pm

As the C-64 critic says cassette loading a game will drive you to drink. I remember having one of my commodore 64 and until I got a floppy drive it would take a half hour to load something. Craziness.

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C64_Critic
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Re: Overdoing it

Postby C64_Critic » September 24th, 2020, 9:02 pm

matmico399 wrote:As the C-64 critic says cassette loading a game will drive you to drink. I remember having one of my commodore 64 and until I got a floppy drive it would take a half hour to load something. Craziness.


Top that off with not even knowing for certain if your game would actually PLAY once you waited through the 10 minute loading process. Half the time it seemed like the program wouldn't run and you'd have to start the loading process all over again. I don't know how I put up with it for the (very) limited time I did.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Overdoing it

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 24th, 2020, 9:36 pm

Yeah but remember that great feeling when you first got a floppy drive and a game that took ten minutes to load would now take about 10 seconds! It was amazing.

Funny, with consoles the trend has been in reverse. We went from instantly-loading cartridges in the late 70s to games today that can take HOURS to load when you take into account installation and patches!

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Retro STrife
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Re: Overdoing it

Postby Retro STrife » September 25th, 2020, 1:02 am

matmico399 wrote:As the C-64 critic says cassette loading a game will drive you to drink. I remember having one of my commodore 64 and until I got a floppy drive it would take a half hour to load something. Craziness.


C64_Critic wrote:Top that off with not even knowing for certain if your game would actually PLAY once you waited through the 10 minute loading process. Half the time it seemed like the program wouldn't run and you'd have to start the loading process all over again. I don't know how I put up with it for the (very) limited time I did.


I gotta admit, of everything I've ever seen in the history of gaming, the thing that still amazes me most is that a video game could be on a cassette tape. I have never figured it out. Like, I'm sure the explanation is simple, but that just blows my mind. I look at a cassette and think "this can only contain audio" and next thing you know you're playing Pitfall on a Commodore. Can someone please finally tell me how these magical cassettes performed this unfathomable feat? And, if a cassette can do it, does that also mean you could put a video game on a vinyl record?

TheEagleXIII
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Joined: December 22nd, 2019, 9:33 am

Re: Overdoing it

Postby TheEagleXIII » September 25th, 2020, 4:19 am

Retro STrife wrote:Can someone please finally tell me how these magical cassettes performed this unfathomable feat? And, if a cassette can do it, does that also mean you could put a video game on a vinyl record?


I never really understood the whole game on a cassette thing either. But man, a game on vinyl!? I need to know this.

Can you imagine saying to someone "Yeah I just got Super Mario Bros 3 on vinyl" and pulling out a massive cardboard sleeve.


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