The Dreamcast is Overrated

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Sephiroth81
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:41 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
I myself am a "casual sim fan", so don't take that label as some sort of deragotary term. :wink:

You make some fair points, I'm just suggesting that if one wants more "in-depth" racing experineces he has to look elsewhere than GT or Forza.

The racing simulation community usually refers to those titles as "simcades" and they aren't really covered in professional racing sim leagues either.

But sure, for some car racing enjoyment with a lot of content "out-of-the-box" they are perfectly fine.
MORE in-depth is a very niche market....probably why they're left on the PC for a few thousand customers, and not on the consoles selling millions. GT and Forza do enough depth for a racing game in my opinion (6 pages of telemetry is enough information for most on Forza i reckon!). I think people can take things TOO seriously. The only true big difference, if we are being objective, between the PC and console simulators are the modding. I can see how the modding in games like Rfactor would be novel, and having all those custom made F1 cars from any era etc, but sometimes its nice to just be on a track, racing against mates, who are all about the same standard. I don't even use a steering wheel and pedals, so quite comfortable with the term "casual", derogatory or not :wink: The most fun I think i've ever had in any racing game is probably still Super Mario Kart on the SNES, or Super Cars 2 on the Amiga.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by slacey1070 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:47 pm

Off topic, but GT Forza etc aren't Sims. revs, GP 1, 2, 3 and 4 are Sims.

GT is Pokemon for cars... Gotta get um all...
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GameOver
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by GameOver » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:01 pm

outdated_gamer wrote: That's interesting to read. However, you talk about those vector units as being cruical to PS2's hardware design - weren't they rather neglected by a lot of developers? It seems to me most devs didn't really bother much with them and the general consensus used to be that PS2 was a "nightmare" to develop for.
They were crucial - I don't know of a single game released that didn't use the vector units. They weren't really that different to shaders and Sony supplied tutorials through to full libraries so everyone could get up to speed. If you came from the PS1 you knew what to expect, but, yes, you did have some (typically) PC programmers who were used to OpenGL/DirectX who thought it was a nightmare (they tended not to know how 3D hardware worked so they'd also find the PS1 and DC a nightmare!).

Sony would compare the performance of games and techniques were shared. They had a performance analyser available to devs which recorded any idle cycles in the CPU, vector units, DMA and GS. It wouldn't take long to get optimal performance. You think of them as systems with each feeding the next system, ie DMA sends data to the vector unit which sends data to the GS to draw as polygons. You want to DMA the next set of vertices before the current set have finished being transformed and are ready to draw. And you want the GS to finish rendering the ones it's currently doing so it can start on the ones just finished by the vector unit. If the vector unit finished it's set before the GS, and the DMA finished before the vector unit you then were running as many polygons as the machine could handle (ie, you weren't holding up any part of the system). It really wasn't that hard for studios to do, and most did, but for some reason gamers think otherwise.

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Sephiroth81
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:13 pm

slacey1070 wrote:Off topic, but GT Forza etc aren't Sims. revs, GP 1, 2, 3 and 4 are Sims.

GT is Pokemon for cars... Gotta get um all...
Ok bored of this topic now about types of racing game, it just brings out the pretentiousness in people, its embarrassing....ITS A VIDEOGAME bear in mind - we're not arguing about wine! Again, Wiki is not the best source, but this was how its recorded there :

"Simulation-style racing games
Racing games that are more focused on realism.

Category:Racing simulators

Assetto Corsa (Mixed car type racing)
F1GP, Grand Prix 2, Grand Prix 3, Grand Prix 4 (Formula One (disambiguation))
Gran Turismo (series)
Forza Motorsport (series)
Grand Prix Legends (1967 Formula One)
GT Legends (60s and 70s GT series)
GTR and GTR 2 (FIA GT Championship)
GTR Evolution (Race 07)
iRacing (Oval and road course racing)
Live for Speed (Mixed car type racing)
NASCAR Racing (NASCAR)
netKar Pro (Open wheel car racing)
RACE, RACE 07 and RACE Pro (Official WTCC)
Racer (Mixed car type racing)
rFactor (Mixed car type racing)
Richard Burns Rally (Rallying)
X Motor Racing (Mixed car type racing)"

There is another list for semi-simulation, and of course for arcade games.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by HEAVYface » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:14 pm

GameOver wrote:
outdated_gamer wrote: That's interesting to read. However, you talk about those vector units as being cruical to PS2's hardware design - weren't they rather neglected by a lot of developers? It seems to me most devs didn't really bother much with them and the general consensus used to be that PS2 was a "nightmare" to develop for.
They were crucial - I don't know of a single game released that didn't use the vector units. They weren't really that different to shaders and Sony supplied tutorials through to full libraries so everyone could get up to speed. If you came from the PS1 you knew what to expect, but, yes, you did have some (typically) PC programmers who were used to OpenGL/DirectX who thought it was a nightmare (they tended not to know how 3D hardware worked so they'd also find the PS1 and DC a nightmare!).

Sony would compare the performance of games and techniques were shared. They had a performance analyser available to devs which recorded any idle cycles in the CPU, vector units, DMA and GS. It wouldn't take long to get optimal performance. You think of them as systems with each feeding the next system, ie DMA sends data to the vector unit which sends data to the GS to draw as polygons. You want to DMA the next set of vertices before the current set have finished being transformed and are ready to draw. And you want the GS to finish rendering the ones it's currently doing so it can start on the ones just finished by the vector unit. If the vector unit finished it's set before the GS, and the DMA finished before the vector unit you then were running as many polygons as the machine could handle (ie, you weren't holding up any part of the system). It really wasn't that hard for studios to do, and most did, but for some reason gamers think otherwise.
interesting...but I've still not seen a ps2 game that blows me away graphically. I actually helped develop a couple of games on the ps2 and it indeed could shunt around the polys, texture wise though it was a bit rough. 256 colour 256x256 pixel palletised textures all over the show. and we still used vertex colour shading over greyscale textures if I remember correctly.... also.... I think the lighting was vertex based not pixel based and faked by cutting in polys for shadows.... same as DC and n64/ps1.
my first job at the same company was converting full colour 1024x1024 pixel textures from a DC game to 64x64 greyscale textures and vertex colour for use on the n64 version of the same game (nightmare!). the DC had its own compression so I don't know what happened to those lovely big textures through the pipe.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Space_turnip » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:25 pm

Sephiroth81 wrote:
slacey1070 wrote:Off topic, but GT Forza etc aren't Sims. revs, GP 1, 2, 3 and 4 are Sims.

GT is Pokemon for cars... Gotta get um all...
Ok bored of this topic now about types of racing game, it just brings out the pretentiousness in people, its embarrassing....ITS A VIDEOGAME bear in mind - we're not arguing about wine! Again, Wiki is not the best source, but this was how its recorded there :

"Simulation-style racing games
Racing games that are more focused on realism.

Category:Racing simulators

Assetto Corsa (Mixed car type racing)
F1GP, Grand Prix 2, Grand Prix 3, Grand Prix 4 (Formula One (disambiguation))
Gran Turismo (series)
Forza Motorsport (series)
Grand Prix Legends (1967 Formula One)
GT Legends (60s and 70s GT series)
GTR and GTR 2 (FIA GT Championship)
GTR Evolution (Race 07)
iRacing (Oval and road course racing)
Live for Speed (Mixed car type racing)
NASCAR Racing (NASCAR)
netKar Pro (Open wheel car racing)
RACE, RACE 07 and RACE Pro (Official WTCC)
Racer (Mixed car type racing)
rFactor (Mixed car type racing)
Richard Burns Rally (Rallying)
X Motor Racing (Mixed car type racing)"

There is another list for semi-simulation, and of course for arcade games.
And of course, Sega GT. Which was on the Dreamcast. Which means there were those types of games on the DC. I'll keep saying this ;)
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errolwd40
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by errolwd40 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:35 pm

I loved the colin mcrae rally games on ps2 as well. I really love rally games although dc did have both sega rally 2 and v rally 2.

Personally I think you can only rate a console on the amount of top class games it has, for me the ps2 had hundreds of games I love where the dc had only around a dozen tops.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by outdated_gamer » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:49 pm

HEAVYface wrote:
GameOver wrote:
outdated_gamer wrote: That's interesting to read. However, you talk about those vector units as being cruical to PS2's hardware design - weren't they rather neglected by a lot of developers? It seems to me most devs didn't really bother much with them and the general consensus used to be that PS2 was a "nightmare" to develop for.
They were crucial - I don't know of a single game released that didn't use the vector units. They weren't really that different to shaders and Sony supplied tutorials through to full libraries so everyone could get up to speed. If you came from the PS1 you knew what to expect, but, yes, you did have some (typically) PC programmers who were used to OpenGL/DirectX who thought it was a nightmare (they tended not to know how 3D hardware worked so they'd also find the PS1 and DC a nightmare!).

Sony would compare the performance of games and techniques were shared. They had a performance analyser available to devs which recorded any idle cycles in the CPU, vector units, DMA and GS. It wouldn't take long to get optimal performance. You think of them as systems with each feeding the next system, ie DMA sends data to the vector unit which sends data to the GS to draw as polygons. You want to DMA the next set of vertices before the current set have finished being transformed and are ready to draw. And you want the GS to finish rendering the ones it's currently doing so it can start on the ones just finished by the vector unit. If the vector unit finished it's set before the GS, and the DMA finished before the vector unit you then were running as many polygons as the machine could handle (ie, you weren't holding up any part of the system). It really wasn't that hard for studios to do, and most did, but for some reason gamers think otherwise.
interesting...but I've still not seen a ps2 game that blows me away graphically. I actually helped develop a couple of games on the ps2 and it indeed could shunt around the polys, texture wise though it was a bit rough. 256 colour 256x256 pixel palletised textures all over the show. and we still used vertex colour shading over greyscale textures if I remember correctly.... also.... I think the lighting was vertex based not pixel based and faked by cutting in polys for shadows.... same as DC and n64/ps1.
my first job at the same company was converting full colour 1024x1024 pixel textures from a DC game to 64x64 greyscale textures and vertex colour for use on the n64 version of the same game (nightmare!). the DC had its own compression so I don't know what happened to those lovely big textures through the pipe.
It must have been quite a pain to squeeze all those textures in 64's 4 kb texture cache, eh? :wink:

The Factor 5 guys and Rare actually came up with their own texture formats for use on the N64. Apparently Factor 5 also used the cartridge tech to stream data directly from it and wrote their very own micro-codes, all to get the best visual fidelity and performance out of the system.

Would have been quite interesting to see what they could have done on the Wii and Wii U... :wink:

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by outdated_gamer » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:55 pm

Space_turnip wrote:
Sephiroth81 wrote:
slacey1070 wrote:Off topic, but GT Forza etc aren't Sims. revs, GP 1, 2, 3 and 4 are Sims.

GT is Pokemon for cars... Gotta get um all...
Ok bored of this topic now about types of racing game, it just brings out the pretentiousness in people, its embarrassing....ITS A VIDEOGAME bear in mind - we're not arguing about wine! Again, Wiki is not the best source, but this was how its recorded there :

"Simulation-style racing games
Racing games that are more focused on realism.

Category:Racing simulators

Assetto Corsa (Mixed car type racing)
F1GP, Grand Prix 2, Grand Prix 3, Grand Prix 4 (Formula One (disambiguation))
Gran Turismo (series)
Forza Motorsport (series)
Grand Prix Legends (1967 Formula One)
GT Legends (60s and 70s GT series)
GTR and GTR 2 (FIA GT Championship)
GTR Evolution (Race 07)
iRacing (Oval and road course racing)
Live for Speed (Mixed car type racing)
NASCAR Racing (NASCAR)
netKar Pro (Open wheel car racing)
RACE, RACE 07 and RACE Pro (Official WTCC)
Racer (Mixed car type racing)
rFactor (Mixed car type racing)
Richard Burns Rally (Rallying)
X Motor Racing (Mixed car type racing)"

There is another list for semi-simulation, and of course for arcade games.
And of course, Sega GT. Which was on the Dreamcast. Which means there were those types of games on the DC. I'll keep saying this ;)
You also had Le Mans on the DC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb4wX1S1vvs

F-355 Challenge also had a pretty "simmy feel", despite being an Arcade racer at core.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:14 pm

Le Mans and Ferrari F355 had some appeal, but I don't think they were quite as "grand" as GT3/4 or Forza 1 of that generation.

I actually own Sega GT....found it a bit disappointing to be honest. I sound like a graphics censored, but the cars are so poorly detailed, and the whole game is uninspiring to look at. Sega Rally 2 looks better (even despite the pop up and frame rate problems), and Daytona USA 2001 clearly better.

Le Mans was multiplatform wasn't it? It was on PS1 first, but then the DC and PS2 got it. Ferrari F355 as well? I think Sega GT ended up on the Xbox at least as a sequel.

I guess I should possibly change the thread title from overrated to "is the DC a worthwhile purchase today", since so many games ended up being ported after Sega did the dirty.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Space_turnip » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:26 pm

Sega GT was underrated. It played as good a game as any of the GT games. The graphics really weren't that bad at all either - not GT3 levels, but i'd hardly call them poorly detailed.

Le Mans was PS1 but the DC version was leagues ahead. PS2 version was of course after the DC release. It's in the league of the Codies racing games, TOCA, Race Driver and the like - not sim at all, but for me the purest racing game on the DC and the most enjoyable.

F355 was on the PS2 and Sega GT 2002 was on Xbox, yup. F355 is of course nicer looking through the VGA (and widescreen support, I think) so the DC edges it for me.
I was never impressed by racing games on the PS2 to be honest. I bought it for GT3 amongst others (indeed, GTA 3 and THPS 3), but whilst it looked lovely, the game left me utterly cold. The racing lineup on the Xbox was utterly sublime however, and the controller was much better suited.

Thread title change would make a lot more sense, and would be a more interesting question. (and in answer to it - yes! Because whilst you'd have to spread the love over several consoles to get the best of DC, the little white box of dreams will do it all for you. And in VGA to boot!)
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by HEAVYface » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:38 pm

outdated_gamer wrote:
It must have been quite a pain to squeeze all those textures in 64's 4 kb texture cache, eh? :wink:

The Factor 5 guys and Rare actually came up with their own texture formats for use on the N64. Apparently Factor 5 also used the cartridge tech to stream data directly from it and wrote their very own micro-codes, all to get the best visual fidelity and performance out of the system.

Would have been quite interesting to see what they could have done on the Wii and Wii U... :wink:
having worked on the n64 I can tell you I have nothing but respect for any game that looks half decent on it!

odd thing about that game I mentioned (a canned game based on a short lived roswell cartoon which was a bit like x files) is both versions used the exact same geometry for the environment (which was block/tile based) but jesus those textures! on N64 64x64 pixels was a luxury special case texture too (most of the game would of been done in 32x32 or even 16x16 pixel greyscale textures!). we had a shader which would blend between two colours based on the greyscale value of the pixels. we could then use the same texture in a different material and presto! two different colours to make a different surface, it was hard work to make anything half decent. proper sh!te hard game making!

as for the wii, I still think mario galaxy is one of the best looking games of that gen of consoles. sin and punishment 2 is no slouch either. was it factor 5 that did star wars on the gamecube? graphically was ace, I bet they would of done something awesome on the wii.

but anyway back to the DC.

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Sephiroth81 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:39 pm

Space_turnip wrote:

Thread title change would make a lot more sense, and would be a more interesting question. (and in answer to it - yes! Because whilst you'd have to spread the love over several consoles to get the best of DC, the little white box of dreams will do it all for you. And in VGA to boot!)
I was left feeling rather cold when I went to my DC games collection and wondered what to put on to play....ok, so its not a vast collection, but its about 20+ games, and some of them are the main system "essentials". I played a bit of Virtua Fighter 3TB....i think i prefer the prequel on the Saturn, but still, it looks nice.

The VGA box is a neat idea, but 480p and 480i/576i argument isn't all that compelling. As i mentioned yesterday, using a SCART cable impressed me sufficiently on my little Bravia TV. (I do have the transparent VGA box).

I still can't get over how yellow my DC became - it has been stowed away in darkness for years! Open the CD tray/lid and its white underneath. I suppose I ought to get some hydrochloric acid to dip it into!
HEAVYface wrote:
as for the wii, I still think mario galaxy is one of the best looking games of that gen of consoles
Agreed, Mario Galaxy 1&2 looked and sounded incredible. I'm guessing Super Mario 3D World in 1080p looks amazing, but I don't have a Wii U yet (i'm waiting for it to fail, so I can pick it up at a discounted rate)

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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by Space_turnip » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:48 pm

Virtua Fighter 3tb isn't a system essential though - everyone knows it's a poor port. One of the first fighters on the system, there's a dozen better fighters for the console, and many, many others games. I know you're not, but I'd hate to think anyone would judge the system on that game alone (same goes for Sega Rally 2). Soon got eclipsed by Soul Calibur, and rightfully so.

VGA box, away from all the techie gubbins which frankly I lose track of, is essential, especially if playing on a bigger LCD tv. There's a huge improvement in clarity over the scart cable. It's not so essential if you enjoy your Capcom stuff (in fact, probably not even advised if there's going to be lot's of 2d fighters involved), but it's significantly the best way to enjoy most DC titles. That and a boot disc like DC-X (or a region free console) are probably the only two things I'd tell anyone they must have to enjoy the DC.

As for yellowing, tis an issue with most of the white consoles! One of mine looks awful now, but another one looks fine - and has had more use.
Last edited by Space_turnip on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Dreamcast is Overrated

Post by killbot » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:34 am

I love the DC but yeah... its reputation is founded mainly on its arcade ports which are a. limited by their nature and b. mostly available on other systems now. I keep one around but it doesn't get much play to be honest. Like the Saturn I think its reputation is founded on it being seen as the cool, nonconformist choice compared to the PlayStation which is fine but I'm not sure that on balance it has the library of games to back it up.
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