Games that pushed a system to the limit

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

Fred83
Posts: 6997
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:55 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by Fred83 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:36 pm

What about altered beast on the speccy?,that must had pushed the system,love the intro-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEDPH-BZIW0

Turbo charge c64
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3pC4rSZwzk

Sega saturn,bonus levels on sonic 3D,they said saturn was rubbish at 3D but i think this was good-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np76lPXK ... re=related

Doom on the snes,i think it was even better than the 32x port!-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6-beSWG ... re=related
Last edited by Fred83 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
sebadude
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:39 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by sebadude » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:39 pm

martyg wrote:
will2097 wrote:Debris on the Vectrex manages the look of bitmaps :shock:

http://www.vectrex.nl/debrisreview.html
I'm not sure why that's a huge shock, and while it's certainly a cool trick I wouldn't call it pushing the hardware to the limits - that would be more along the lines of say getting it being able to render many more vectors without slowdown. With this it's simply using the display method in a different manner than it was intended. A vector and raster monitor both use the same CRT. A CRT does not define display method, but rather the mechanism (i.e. a beam traversing inside the tube and lighting up a phosphorus coated surface). The "method" is actually vector vs. raster.

Vector CRT display - A manual/digital control of the beam much like an etch-a-sketch. No actual information is sent to the display, and the beam turns on and off and moves freely in any direction given to it. Likewise there are no frame rates in a Vector CRT display, since there's no actual "frames" being transmitted or drawn.

Raster CRT display - This is tied to a video signal (hence the origin of the term "video game"), and the CRT control circuitry has extra circuitry for decoding said signal and a standard drone like motion of the beam. The beam moves in a standard horizontal sweep, going down the screen line by line until it produces the entire encoded frame. Display information is sent, and is in the form of a video signal, telling it what to do with each raster pixel, including color information for colored CRT's.

A Vector CRT can be made to behave like a Raster CRT simply by making the beam traverse and using the direct control of the on/off and manually simulating the timings for drawing a "pixel" and an entire "scanline" and group of "scanlines". It doesn't have any additional decoding and beam directing hardware to bypas. You can not, however, make a Raster CRT behave like a Vector CRT. Which is why emulated Vector games running on a raster display will always have a pixelated look.

Battlesphere on the Jaguar (32 player net play :shock: )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OogwEq5I9as
Now that would be a perect example of a game known for pushing the system's limits.
Dude I don't think you need to be so literal with this.. I think every example from everyone in this thread has been brilliant, and have really shown me what can be done with these machines. I look forward to tracking many of these games down! It's not all literally about processing and hardware - it's just as much about using graphical tricks and clever programming and game design to create the illusion of something that normally wouldn't be possible on the system.

Thanks for a valuable technical insight though! ;)
Last edited by sebadude on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sebadude
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:39 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by sebadude » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:44 pm

And another game I think I've mentioned on this forum before:

Megadrive - Ranger X
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYMD-hyEECk
Image

Reminded me of a Neo Geo game... and even featured mock wireframe! :)

Fred83
Posts: 6997
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:55 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by Fred83 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:47 pm

Quake.Amiga port

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao7haFa2iQk

and i couldn't resist,street fighter 2 on the speccy!-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2nEFAI-F10
Last edited by Fred83 on Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
will2097
Posts: 3909
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:24 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by will2097 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:24 pm

martyg wrote:
will2097 wrote:Debris on the Vectrex manages the look of bitmaps :shock:

http://www.vectrex.nl/debrisreview.html
I'm not sure why that's a huge shock, and while it's certainly a cool trick I wouldn't call it pushing the hardware to the limits - that would be more along the lines of say getting it being able to render many more vectors without slowdown. With this it's simply using the display method in a different manner than it was intended. A vector and raster monitor both use the same CRT. A CRT does not define display method, but rather the mechanism (i.e. a beam traversing inside the tube and lighting up a phosphorus coated surface). The "method" is actually vector vs. raster.

Vector CRT display - A manual/digital control of the beam much like an etch-a-sketch. No actual information is sent to the display, and the beam turns on and off and moves freely in any direction given to it. Likewise there are no frame rates in a Vector CRT display, since there's no actual "frames" being transmitted or drawn.

Raster CRT display - This is tied to a video signal (hence the origin of the term "video game"), and the CRT control circuitry has extra circuitry for decoding said signal and a standard drone like motion of the beam. The beam moves in a standard horizontal sweep, going down the screen line by line until it produces the entire encoded frame. Display information is sent, and is in the form of a video signal, telling it what to do with each raster pixel, including color information for colored CRT's.

A Vector CRT can be made to behave like a Raster CRT simply by making the beam traverse and using the direct control of the on/off and manually simulating the timings for drawing a "pixel" and an entire "scanline" and group of "scanlines". It doesn't have any additional decoding and beam directing hardware to bypas. You can not, however, make a Raster CRT behave like a Vector CRT. Which is why emulated Vector games running on a raster display will always have a pixelated look.

Battlesphere on the Jaguar (32 player net play :shock: )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OogwEq5I9as
Now that would be a perect example of a game known for pushing the system's limits.
In which case I will demote my amazement to being merely impressed. :)

User avatar
crusto
Posts: 5586
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:18 pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by crusto » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:23 pm

The vector man games on the md were very impressive.

As were flashback, comix zone and loads more.
Image

Eat your nans pants

User avatar
sebadude
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:39 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by sebadude » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:26 pm

Comix Zone, forgot about that! Good call. Another amazing game that looked incredible, and thoroughly good fun to play.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azIZwsCGjW0
Image

User avatar
Alys
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:01 am

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by Alys » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:26 pm

It's difficult to convey in screen shots as the real strength of the game is seeing it in motion, so even despite the dubious nature of calling it "retro" I'm going to nominate..

Shadow of the Colossus!
Image

Excusing the grandiose scale, fantastic soundtrack and minimalist approach to game-play that all played in the games favor, the reason I think this qualifies is just how well it took the aging PS2 hardware and effectively faked the latest feature-set from much more powerful hardware. Hardware shaders? Check. HDR? Check. Real-time stencil shadowing and self-shadowing? Check. The list goes on, but it's not even the list itself that's impressive. It's that the PS2, physically, does not have any of these things in its hardware feature-set. Team ICO achieved all these effects by exploiting multiple rendering passes and harnessing the seldom used VU0 and VU1 sub-processors. There's actually a really neat PDF available that explains how they managed to wring what they did out of the PS2 for SotC.

So there we go, that's my nomination.

User avatar
Vanderkaum
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by Vanderkaum » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:53 pm

GigaPepsiMan wrote:Street Fighter Alpha 2 on SNES is incredibly unnecessary but also impressive.
It is more impressive than Alpha 3 on GBA, I know the GBA was handheld but it had much more power than the SNES.
Capcom even put the intro into Alpha 2 SNES, they didn't have to do that and it might have helped the game if they had just left it out, more memory = more frames of animation.
This intro is part of my childhood haha. I'm glad they didn't take it out.

The first Gran Turismo comes to mind. At the time of its release, Sony executives and the developers were always quoted saying that GT squeezes about 90% out of the hardware. I think they even talked about a certain hardware performance measuring device. I don't know about GT2 but I think it's just more of the same? Also, Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer Type 4, and FF 9 on PS1, although I've never really played the latter.

I'm not too familiar with the PS2 yet but I might add Okami to SOTC, as mentioned in the previous post. I'm currently playing Okami and I can't imagine the PS2 is able to do more. Often I stop during gameplay and just look at the beauty of this game, if that makes any sense.

User avatar
NonShinyGoose
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:53 pm
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by NonShinyGoose » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:07 am

Probably Sonic R and Burning Rangers on the Saturn.

Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo 2, Ridge Racer 4 on PlayStation?

N64 has to be Banjo-Tooie - one huge world to explore. Or maybe Conker, as somebody else said.

Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong Land on the original GameBoy....

Image

Image

Mortal Kombat II on Sega Master System:

Image
Gaming Gibberish - http://www.gamesasylum.com
Follow us on TWITTER - http://twitter.com/gamesasylum

360 Gamer Tag: NonShinyGoose

User avatar
Liamh1982
Posts: 8297
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:11 am
Location: Wrexham
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by Liamh1982 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:44 am

How come no one's mentioned Master System R-Type yet? Knocks most of the ports on more powerful systems into a cocked hat.
Ballz on the Mega Drive I always thought was pushing it.
And Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare on the Game Boy Color - wow!!!

aschamberlain
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:06 pm

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by aschamberlain » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:06 am

SimCity on the BBC Micro. They squeezed pretty much the whole game into 32K of RAM, which is surely one of the most impressive bits of programming on any 8 bit computer. Also, Firetrack pushes the Beeb to the limit with colourful graphics, lots of sprites, fast scrolling and a catchy theme tune.

I remember being impressed by Donkey Kong Country to the point where I started to doubt that my Mega Drive was technically better than the SNES (as opposed to just morally superior). Flashback on the MD was the most impressive game that I experienced - the 3D cut scenes were beyond what I thought the machine was capable of at the time.

User avatar
moshboy
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:17 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by moshboy » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:56 am

I used to hear in various places that Shadow of the Beast pushed the Amiga pretty far back in the day and showed what it could do.

User avatar
nakamura
Posts: 7582
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Bournemouth
Contact:

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by nakamura » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:17 pm

HEAVYface wrote:street racer on MD always seemed kind of impressive. if i remember this right, it had mode 7 tracks like a snes and was 4 player - 4 mode 7 seven tracks on one screen with no dedicated graphics mode in hardware. seemed like voodoo.
No it was just the usual moving road effect used in all other racers at the time. No mode 7, you couldn't turn around and drive the other way.



Final Fantasy XII is one for me. The sheer amount of special effects mixed with a huge amound of detail, massive draw distance, lots on screen and all at a rock solid frame rate it still blows me away.

Image


Ridge Racer Type 4 is another. Stunning looking game with a solid frame rate and beautiful lighting throughout.

Image
http://judged-by-gabranth.blogspot.co.uk/
Antiriad2097 wrote:I have a general rule of thumb that if Nakamura likes something, it's not for me ;)

User avatar
giss
Posts: 462
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:31 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Games that pushed a system to the limit

Post by giss » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:53 pm

I agree that Mickey Mania really impresses with all the effects and "3d" items and obstacles.

I also have to add that Panorama Cotton is quite impressing at times, considering the Mega Drive never had a scaling chip like the SNES.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0m0t7SWKyI
(check the waterfall at about 2:55)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests