Which retro system limitations irk you?

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

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

What system limitation/quirk annoys you?

Colour clash (e.g. Spectrum)
9
15%
Paging / jerky scrolling (e.g. CPC)
5
8%
Sprite flicker (e.g. NES, Megadrive)
12
20%
Slowdown (e.g. SNES, Dreamcast)
7
12%
Dithering (e.g. Megadrive, Saturn)
3
5%
Pop in / fog (e.g. PS1, N64)
11
19%
Other
8
14%
None
4
7%
 
Total votes: 59

User avatar
The Laird
Posts: 8496
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Luton
Contact:

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by The Laird » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:46 am

AceGrace wrote:The AY soundchip variants that are in the Spectrum 128, Amstrad 464, Atari ST etc..

I cannot stand it. Tinny sound. Certainly not a patch on the SID and Amiga sound chips.

The sound physically makes me shudder.
Weird because I LOVE the sound of the AY chip, prefer it to SID actually. Does great percussion and has a nice gritty raw sound to it.

AceGrace
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:51 pm
Location: West Sussex
Contact:

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by AceGrace » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:42 am

I think by gritty you mean tinny :wink: :lol:

User avatar
sscott
Posts: 13153
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by sscott » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:43 am

Dreamcast games that don't output via VGA, still the ones that do look great!
Image

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

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by nakamura » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:12 pm

Actually I do have one gripe, the Gamecube and the discs it uses. You can really hear how weak the sound is on so many games. So much sounds fuzzy and lacking in clarity. A big issue for someone that loves good sound.
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
joefish
Posts: 3070
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by joefish » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:29 pm

Gamecube? I was going to complain about the lightweight plastic knobs on the twist controllers of the Grandstand Colour TV Game. A proper spinner should feel like it has some weight to it... :lol:

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

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by Liamh1982 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:15 pm

It wasn't so much the sound that bugged me on the Cube, it was the fact that for a fair number of multi-format titles (especially EA's), less detailed textures were used. A few select games almost approach N64 levels of fuzziness.

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

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by nakamura » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:16 pm

Well yeah but it all goes back to the stupid discs. Yes they look cute but they were a stupid idea!!!
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
Negative Creep
Posts: 3842
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:59 am
Location: Rochester, Kent

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by Negative Creep » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 pm

nakamura wrote:Well yeah but it all goes back to the stupid discs. Yes they look cute but they were a stupid idea!!!

They were fine in that they worked and reduced piracy, but I would agree that not having DVD playback was a massive flaw
Image

User avatar
Freestyler
Posts: 4150
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:15 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by Freestyler » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:49 am

GameOver wrote:I much preferred working on the the PS1 than the Saturn. You felt that the PS1 was designed with games in mind as it was simple and gave you so much control and performance. That performance allowed you to use a good number of transparencies without having to worry too much but they were far from free.
What's your take on the PS/PS2 having trouble with compressed textures? Would having more VRAM like the Xbox have helped, or did it "do just fine" as it was? Is texture compression such a necessity anyway, or is it just purely visual and we did well enough without it?

Question bombardment ends! :lol:
Freestyler: A customer that's too hard to please, complains all the time and wants everything for next to nothing.

User avatar
GameOver
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by GameOver » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:42 am

For me I found both the PS1 and PS2 ran fine without texture compression. On the PS1 you generally did everything as 16-colour which gave you the performance and used the least space. Ideally you tried to make everything fit in VRAM and reduce texture swapping in and out of main RAM. The PS2 was much the same, but you got to use 256-colour textures as well. If you had more VRAM the performance wouldn't have changed very much and you'd need more RAM to go with it, then you'd get slower load times and so on. Both machines were very well balanced as they were.
On platforms which gave you texture compression you generally used it for the performance gain, and the reduced size was a helpful perk. As bi-linear filters became the norm the compression format(ie DXT or S3) allowed for the pixels to be blended quickly. A none compressed format was very slow when you had the filter applied (the PS2 used its own format to work around this problem). You'd work by setting every texture as compressed and then just change the ones that looked unacceptable, ensuring that you kept the balance between performance and quality.

I'm happy to answer any questions :)

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

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by nakamura » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:55 am

What games did you work on?
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
GameOver
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by GameOver » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:23 am

nakamura wrote:What games did you work on?
I worked on the home versions of games like Street Fighter II Turbo, various Midway conversions including Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, NBA Showtime, Hydro Thunder and a few film tie-ins.

User avatar
snigfarp
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:47 am
Location: Kingston upon Hull
Contact:

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by snigfarp » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:29 am

My "other" vote was for the CGA colour palette restrictions seen in early PC games. A restriction of four colours at medium 320x200 resolution was fair enough with only 16K of video RAM. But limiting to a few pre-set colour palettes was most annoying - cyan/magenta/white, red/green/yellow or red/cyan/white, with a free choice of background colour. The BBC B and Amstrad CPC used the same graphics chip but allowed a choice of ANY four colours from the machine's palette, so some games in their 4-colour modes looked reasonable.

It didn't help that developers didn't always make appropriate colour choices from what was offered. Very few bothered to change the background colour (something simple enough to be done even in BASIC), and a lot of games seemed to leave the palette as the default black/cyan/magenta/white which is only really suitable for winter-themed games if you ask me! So between the hardware and the software design many of those old games looked a lot worse than they needed to.
Damian
New Speccy games - http://spectrum.cyningstan.org.uk/
Psion handheld gaming - http://psigamer.cyningstan.org.uk/

User avatar
Freestyler
Posts: 4150
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:15 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by Freestyler » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:49 am

GameOver wrote:
nakamura wrote:What games did you work on?
I worked on the home versions of games like Street Fighter II Turbo, various Midway conversions including Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, NBA Showtime, Hydro Thunder and a few film tie-ins.
Eurocom? If so, then hello from me to a very decent British DevCo.

Oh, and DO NOT GET BOUGHT OUT BY EA!!! Resist their cash offers! RESIST!!! :lol:
Freestyler: A customer that's too hard to please, complains all the time and wants everything for next to nothing.

User avatar
GameOver
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Which retro system limitations irk you?

Post by GameOver » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:15 pm

Freestyler wrote:Eurocom? If so, then hello from me to a very decent British DevCo.
I left there a few years ago now. Retro Gamer should do a piece about them, though I don't know if they'd qualify for 'From The Archives' as they're still going! :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests