How much more powerful was the N64 compared to the PlayStation anyway?

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Also, Nintendo owned on the factories that made the carts so you were forced to go through them and accept their rules and they got a cut from that as well. N64 using carts is not only the one major thing that lost them the crown of king of the gaming world but also was the very height of their greed and determination to take advantage of third parties any way they could which is still being felt even today.
Sure Nintendo was always profit oriented what Jett maybe don't realize (I name him just because he talked about it a few post above) is that CD alone wouldn't have made a huge difference in software support (especially because the CD drive would have added to the hardware costs).
The big difference between Sony and Sega/Nintendo is that the former viewed itself as a platform provider on which other companies (even small ones) could find success while Sega/Nintendo considered themselves as the big software company that drive the platform adoption all by themselves and let the other developers to create games for it but always under their "strict"rules.
What really hit Sega and Nintendo (with opposite consequences) was a paradigm shift.


Lunga vita al Presidente.
 
Mar 16, 2011
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Its actually pretty damn hard to get proper screens of these older games.
I am very aware but posting enhanced pics from usually pretty inaccurate emulators (especially n64) are not really great for discussion.

Emulators also especially side well with the n64 - at least if I remember correctly n64 emulators were not accurate enough to portray the intense slowdown in the games very well. Could be wrong however.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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Yeah, Trickstyle was a Criterion game as well (who would go on to deliver so many beautiful 60 fps PS2 titles). Trickstyle, unfortunately, ran at a VERY VERY low framerate. It was so damn choppy. :(
Yeah, but I beat Draconis Cult of the Wyrm and Omikron on the Dreamcast and those games were much more offensive. I was less susceptible to motion sickness back then.
 

jett

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For some games that have to be streaming, though, Turoks 1 and 2 must be, for sure. Absolutely gigantic levels. Actually, does Turok 2 have any breaks at all? Isn't it just one giant area, except for save stations and such?
You are right, the Turoks might be streaming indeed.


Rare's N64 3d platformers are some of the best ever in the genre...
Well that's up for opinion but I personally don't care for their 3D platformers at all.

They're both good games. I do like Wipeout 64's soundtrack for sure though, it's good.
yeah it's fine
Very low? No, 32 million systems sold isn't "very low"... the N64 sold more than 10 millions over the Gamecube, triple what the Dreamcast sold, etc. The system was not a failure. It did well enough for Nintendo and did make money for them.
This is the very definition of grasping for straws, you are comparing N64 sales numbers to a catastrophic failure that caused Sega to bow out of the hardware business and a huge disappointment that caused Nintendo to rethink their hardware strategy entirely. :p

Let's compare apples to apples, PS1 to N64. 102 million units for the PS1, that's more than three times than what the N64 managed. You also forgot to mention that the N64 sold nearly 20 million less consoles than the SNES, despite the market getting bigger every year at the time.

And let's do software too. 962 million units for the PS1, 224 million for the Nintendo 64. The numbers more than speak for themselves.

Also, Nintendo's main problem with the N64 was that it didn't do well enough in Japan or Europe. In the US it did okay -- it had about a third of the market, with ~20 million sold versus ~40-45 million total PSX/PSones, and sold very close to the numbers that the SNES had reached (24 million or so in the Americas for the SNES, I think it was). In Europe they saw a slight decline from the SNES, but never had had that great sales to begin with, but it's the failure in Japan that really killed the N64, total sales wise. They went from 20 million or something to maybe 5.5... so yeah, losing the Japanese third parties certainly hurt in that respect. But even so, it was absolutely not a failure.
The N64 didn't really sell well anywhere. If not an outright failure it was a definite disappointment. Nintendo went from market leader to a very, very far second place. It's like arguing that the PS3 was a success for Sony.
 

Man God

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I love all the posts knocking N64 games on their poor framerate as if Saturn and PSX games all ran at stable 30/60 FPS while ignoring actual framerate triumphs on the N64 like F-Zero X.
 
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By the time I got an N64 my PC definitely had better graphics (I had a Voodoo2...), but still I thought that the N64 looked good too... not quite as good, but good. I still think that. Maybe it helped that the only time I thought the N64 had the best graphics ever was from well before I actually owned one? It was the games that really made me love the N64 though, above the visuals.
If you had a Voodoo 2 by the time you owned a N64, the system was already out for a couple years IIRC. I was also PC gaming at the time and I loved console gaming but thought it looked like ass compared to something like Unreal at that time.

Mama Robotnik's description of when he first played Mario 64 is a perfect example to other stories I've heard/read as to why others were impressed with Mario 64. I just was never impressed since the sense of exploration wasn't new after playing Tomb Raider. Well that and it always bothered me that I could fly above the mushroom kingdom, look down, and watch the sprite trees lay flat and followed my direction as I flew in circles. =p

Maybe so, but if so not by much at all. I guess that you probably are right about the polygon difference being more in the environments, but still...
I was actually trying to say that the environments look to have less geometry than the vehicles in those two games mentioned. Then again, some of the environmental effects in Speed Devils did look to have some decent detail as well. Basically I can see the PS1 or N64 coming closer to rendering the environments to some of those games before it renders the vehicles or cars with all the present geometry.

As I've said the DC CAN do more, it just didn't usually, mostly because of the very short lifecycle I would imagine. Oh, for a few more that do impress me visually, along with DoA2 and Test Drive Le Mans, I'd also mention Under Defeat and Propeller Arena.
I don't remember Under Defeat but I do remember Propeller Arena as the cancelled DC game. I also remember the devs for Test Drive Le Mans claiming they were pushing up to 5 million polys at once. Not sure if this was true, but I remember other reports of devs saying that Sega undersold the specs a bit for the DC.

I don't know, I think Pod looks okay... it's an atrociously bad sequel to the first Pod, but is one of my favorite DC racing games anyway, which is why I mentioned it.
I thought it was very simple in both geometry and effects. Looked like a cheap PC port back then instead of a game made for the DC from the ground up.

But how much above PS1/N64 levels are you talking, for most of those?
I think it's clear that they were far above PS1/N64 in the geometry area, no question. Of course without specifics of each game we won't know exactly by how much but there are no games from the 32/64-bit gen that come close to the detail or poly counts of those games I listed. Nowhere near, without question. If I wasn't at work I'd happily post pics to support this easy to see opinion of mine. =p
 
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Also, Nintendo owned on the factories that made the carts so you were forced to go through them and accept their rules and they got a cut from that as well. N64 using carts is not only the one major thing that lost them the crown of king of the gaming world but also was the very height of their greed and determination to take advantage of third parties any way they could which is still being felt even today.
Yep. People always leave that bit out during the nostalgia trips. Always wondered how Sega was in comparison given that third parties practically flocked to Sony when they showed up.

Not so sure about that great N64 library. I was a huge Nintendo fan(boy) type back when the N64 hit. Day -3 (yay Sears), played Mario 64 while waiting on the school bus during the mornings, and it was fantastic. But then that was it. Every other game I rented fucking sucked, and cost $60-$70. I really wanted the N64 to be awesome but that period between Mario 64 and OoT was abysmal.

Replay today isn't even a question. Between all the jrpgs, BtN, Deception, SotN, etc. ePSXe sees more playtime from me than pc games. Mario 64 and OoT were both gaming high points at the time, but also not the sort of things I've the urge to replay these days.
 
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This is the very definition of grasping for straws, you are comparing N64 sales numbers to a catastrophic failure that caused Sega to bow out of the hardware business and a huge disappointment that caused Nintendo to rethink their hardware strategy entirely. :p
Nintendo hardware strategy is incredibly consistent decades after decades.
Even the extreme Wii is in the chord of what is Nintendo way of thinking (except the "GC overclocking" thing that was quite crazy).

Also with the exception of Mega Drive, Sega systems more or less sold always around DC ltd lol.
 
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People keep ragging on the N64 for its blurry textures, but I would wager that for 90% of the games on both consoles, the texture resolution was similar. The problem that arose, however, was the stretching of those tiny textures across giant polygons and then filtering them. The PSX couldn't render stable large polygons, thus most of its 3D games took place in enclosed areas (or in the case of the Spyro games, used an extreme LOD to dynamically cull or produce polygons based on proximity to the character - really impressive and actually worked in concert with the artstyle, check out this old making of video: Spyro the Dragon - Making of).

Not filtering textures plus putting them on smaller surfaces made them look much clearer (albeit pixelated) compared to their stretched and filtered N64 brethren.

SSX was HAAAAWT!

I couldn't believe how many polygons I was watching being crunched in realtime, and those bright snazzy particle effects. The only thing close (and it wasn't close) on the DC was Trickstyle.

I liked the texture clarity seen in stuff like Code Veronica and Shenmue, but it was plain as day that the DC was triangle limited compared to the PS2.
The problem the Dreamcast had with triangles was a lack of RAM - it could push roughly 3-5 million triangles per second at full tilt (Test Drive: Le Mans came close, I believe), but it came at the expense of a large portion of the video RAM, leaving little room for textures or other video data. Most games didn't bother to optimize for polygon performance, instead opting to use high resolution textures to hide polygon deficiencies. Another problem was that it couldn't come close to the PS2's raw pixel pushing power - the PS2 was an effects monster, hence most games on Dreamcast looking 'flat' in comparison.
 
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I consider myself one of the biggest Nintendo fans in the thread.

Most of us aren't arguing about that stuff. But I really do enjoy a good tech talk with those that know, listen, and respond.

Always a nerd party when dark10x is around!
Why would you argue? Its in the past let it go, Wii isnt more powerful than ps3 but it sold more. The power is not importent but the perception of the public.
Ps1 did everything goodvso the gamesr loved it and bought the product. N64 was maybe stronger but who cared at the time? No one cause we played great games on our ps1.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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Why would you argue? Its in the past let it go, Wii isnt more powerful than ps3 but it sold more. The power is not importent but the perception of the public.
Ps1 did everything goodvso the gamesr loved it and bought the product. N64 was maybe stronger but who cared at the time? No one cause we played great games on our ps1.
Because talking tech is fun to nerds?

It's not like I'm trying to push an agenda. Not sure why you would when even the best 3D of the time looked like crap.
 

jett

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I love all the posts knocking N64 games on their poor framerate as if Saturn and PSX games all ran at stable 30/60 FPS while ignoring actual framerate triumphs on the N64 like F-Zero X.
A framerate triumph that had to more or less had to drop everything else visually down to the very basics. A good decision, but I wouldn't all it a triumph, nor is it at all representative of the console

Are these games triumphs too?

Einhander
Rapid Racer
Ridge Racer Hi Spec

And fighters:

Tekken
Tekken 2
Tekken 3
Tobal No. 1
Tobal 2
Dead or Alive
Rival Schools

And some other stuff I'm not remembering. N64 games are known for running like crap, one game doesn't change that.
 
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Why would you argue? Its in the past let it go, Wii isnt more powerful than ps3 but it sold more. The power is not importent but the perception of the public.
Ps1 did everything goodvso the gamesr loved it and bought the product. N64 was maybe stronger but who cared at the time? No one cause we played great games on our ps1.
but n64 had better graphics and better games
 
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You are right, the Turoks might be streaming indeed.
Definitely.

Well that's up for opinion but I personally don't care for their 3D platformers at all.
Well that's your opinion, then, but I strongly disagree.

This is the very definition of grasping for straws, you are comparing N64 sales numbers to a catastrophic failure that caused Sega to bow out of the hardware business and a huge disappointment that caused Nintendo to rethink their hardware strategy entirely. :p
The Dreamcast wasn't a catastrophic failure, though. That would be the 32X and the Saturn. The Dreamcast was definitely a failure, but it was a failure because Sega had backed themselves into a corner because of all the losses they'd piled up on the Saturn and Dreamcast development. They needed the DC to be a massive hit right out of the gate to have any chance at all of staying in the hardware market. It wasn't, because of PS2 hype as much as anything, so they had to give up. Selling 10.5 million systems in such a short time, under so much pressure from the upcoming PS2, is a moderate accomplishment at least, though. But things could have been very different had Sega not messed things up so catastrophically back in '94 through '98

And anyway, I didn't compare N64 sales to just the Dreamcast. I also compared them to Saturn (which sold only 9.5 million worldwide; the Genesis is the only Sega system which sold more than 10-12 million systems), Gamecube, etc.

Oh -- and financially, the Gamecube wasn't a failure either. It was closer to being one than the N64 was, certainly, but they mostly made money off of it.

Let's compare apples to apples, PS1 to N64. 102 million units for the PS1, that's more than three times than what the N64 managed. You also forgot to mention that the N64 sold nearly 20 million less consoles than the SNES, despite the market getting bigger every year at the time.
Worldwide, yes. I was pointing out how in the US things were different, and the N64 sold nearly as well as the SNES had here.

And let's do software too. 962 million units for the PS1, 224 million for the Nintendo 64. The numbers more than speak for themselves.
Worldwide and North America are different. I pointed out how the N64 did do well in North America. It did much worse everywhere else (only 12 million total outside North America, versus 20 million inside), but it did do well here.

As for software sales, price points really should be taken into consideration there, N64 games cost more so of course fewer sold. There were also many times more games released for the PS1 than there were for the N64. N64 games sold better on average as individual titles, as a result.

The N64 didn't really sell well anywhere. If not an outright failure it was a definite disappointment. Nintendo went from market leader to a very, very far second place. It's like arguing that the PS3 was a success for Sony.
No, the N64 did well in the US, particularly from 1996-1999. It did okay in 2000 too, though it faded by the end of the year, and then collapsed very quickly in '01, while the PS1 continued to sell for another four years. Compare N64 to PS1 sales in the US from '95 to '00, and you'd get numbers a lot closer than the final total of 20 to 40-something.

Disappointment, though... perhaps, particularly in Japan. The N64 probably is reasonably considered a disappointment in how it did in Japan. But it was not a failure, and was overall quite profitable.

Sure Nintendo was always profit oriented what Jett maybe don't realize (I name him just because he talked about it a few post above) is that CD alone wouldn't have made a huge difference in software support (especially because the CD drive would have added to the hardware costs).
The big difference between Sony and Sega/Nintendo is that the former viewed itself as a platform provider on which other companies (even small ones) could find success while Sega/Nintendo considered themselves as the big software company that drive the platform adoption all by themselves and let the other developers to create games for it but always under their "strict"rules.
What really hit Sega and Nintendo (with opposite consequences) was a paradigm shift.


Lunga vita al Presidente.
Good point indeed. And yes, even with a CD-based N64, I think that thanks to what you say here and what it means, Sony would still have taken a large part of the market. That third party developers first focus Sony had, with very low fees, drew a lot of attention. CDs or no, Nintendo would never have matched that. And while Square did leave Nintendo in part because of the cart decision, they also had gotten unhappy with Nintendo for other reasons too. There was a general falling-out between the two of them in '96... I think that that'd have been very likely to happen anyway, even with a CD-based N64. But we'll never know that for sure.

Driving up prices of games? That would probably have happened had everyone stuck with carts, but game prices dropped dramatically during the N64 generation. And that didn't happen until the N64 arrived. Sony wasn't willing to lower the retail price of disc games until they saw an opportunity to undercut Nintendo's lowest possible price. Had Nintendo also used CD's, game would've likely stayed $60 all through that gen and the PS2 gen as well.

Sticking with carts was a bad idea for many reasons, but from a game design standpoint, it was the right call. Thankfully, back then Nintendo still thought making the best games was a great strategy.
He obviously forgets what 16-bit game prices were like. But good point on PS1 prices, if not for the higher N64 prices, would Sony have reduced game prices so low?

SSX was HAAAAWT!

I couldn't believe how many polygons I was watching being crunched in realtime, and those bright snazzy particle effects. The only thing close (and it wasn't close) on the DC was Trickstyle.

I liked the texture clarity seen in stuff like Code Veronica and Shenmue, but it was plain as day that the DC was triangle limited compared to the PS2.
I have, of course, also complained repeatedly about DC polygons-per-frame counts -- and yes, they were low, often much closer to 5th gen levels than 6th -- but to be fair, one of the reasons for that was because the system died early. Had the DC lived longer, it could have seen more games pushing several million polygons, at least, as opposed to the sub-one-million polygon counts lots of games have. The system can get up to about 3.2 million polygons before it runs into some hardware limitations, it seems. I don't know if any games get that high, probably not, but Test Drive Le Mans goes higher than most, at least. Had the DC lived longer, we'd probably have seen more like that, and fewer that look like N64 upscales.

I don't think that the DC could ever have competed decently with the Gamecube or Xbox, though. PS2, yes, it's not quite as powerful overall but it's close... but the GC or Xbox? It couldn't have matched them. But had it not died we would have seen better things over time from the DC. Not as good as GC or Xbox graphics, certainly, but better.
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
Jun 9, 2004
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but n64 had better graphics and better games
Ha ha, whatever you say.

It's very obviously a matter of opinion. I couldn't disagree more with you (the N64 library is one of the worst of any successful console as far as I'm concerned).

I love all the posts knocking N64 games on their poor framerate as if Saturn and PSX games all ran at stable 30/60 FPS while ignoring actual framerate triumphs on the N64 like F-Zero X.
There were a lot more 60 fps 3D titles on Saturn and PlayStation than N64 as well as more stable framerates in general.

F-Zero X is not a triumph as the visuals are incredibly simplistic.

Always a nerd party when dark10x is around!
Damn straight!
 
Jul 31, 2007
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Ha ha, whatever you say.

It's very obviously a matter of opinion. I couldn't disagree more with you (the N64 library is one of the worst of any successful console as far as I'm concerned).
The N64's problem was that there was very little middle ground.

It was either the best of the best, or some of the worst experiences ever sold for $70.
 
Oct 26, 2006
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The N64's problem was that there was very little middle ground.

It was either the best of the best, or some of the worst experiences ever sold for $70.
Yeah I completely agree with that. You were either getting M64, Waverace, Zelda and Rare or the dregs. That said I still loved the N64 about a 100 times more than the Wii but based on sales you would think I was nuts.
 

jett

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I just remembered another 60fps PS1 game, and gorgeous too.



Final Fantasy Tactics! Characters are 2D but the scenery is all 3D. Had neat visual effects for some of the attacks too.
 
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You keep saying this but I don't think it's true.

240p is considered progressive scan as it does not alternate scanlines.

240p is handled completely different than 480i on SDTVs.

240p is progressively interlaced standard definition video in that there are scanlines present for every other line that are completely blank while the FULL image is displayed within the even scanlines. The entire image is drawn every single frame.

480i alternates between odd and even scanlines displaying 60 fields per second. This is the mode you are referring to and is not how most PSX, Saturn, N64 and older systems handled rendering.
Ah well, I guess I was wrong here then. Though it is hard to find any solid information on hos the resolution in these consoles worked. I no longer have either my Saturn or My PS1 anymore, so I can;t just plug them into a TV and look at both these games first hand. Emulation doesn't really give an accurate picture on hos these machines looked on a real TV either.

But thanks for that.




Lunga vita al Presidente.
You can still see the bitterness that Mr. Yamuchi had over Ninendo's fallout with Sony in that quote. Was he talking about the N64 there?

Its actually pretty damn hard to get proper screens of these older games.
yeah, this is true. Not everyone has video capture card plugged into a CRT sitting beside them. I think the best way to get a somewhat accurate screenshot would be to output the game in its native resolution on an emulator without any extra plug-ins or filters added. Then upscale the image to a native TV resolution using nearest neighbor. Of course it wouldn't show any of the scanlines or blur that would come from using a real TV image. But it would still be accurate enough.
 

jett

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Some direct feed Vagrant Story pics, one of the best looking games on the PS1.







The texturing is out of this world for the system.

This is a texture in the game, a painting on a wall



Close up of the same texture:



The only problem I have is that characters look "twitchy" in motion, texture warping on the characters is worse than usual, it's weird. I SO WISH someone had managed to fix this in emulation.

I remember that game having slowdown like crazy pretty frequently, especially during the summons and effects. Loved it anyway, of course.
I haven't played it in forever, I didn't remember tbh, mostly just during spells I imagine.
 

jett

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Also Vagrant Story, aside from being one of the prettiest games of the generation, had an inventive and fun RPG battle system. Well... I found it fun.

I kind of miss that era. When everything was new.
yeah devs took risks and experimented, for better or worse. Now, it's all beige.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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yeah devs took risks and experimented, for better or worse. Now, it's all beige.
Part of this industry is iteration.

Finding what works and grinding it into paste.

Haven't seen this kind of singular focus in both control schemes and play mechanics before though. Everything seems to want instant action. Even things that were perfectly fun without it.
 

MYE

Banned
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Vagrant Story had a fantastic artstyle. Jittery as all hell but it was a looker for sure.

Still have my copy. Man I remember sucking at this game lol
 

Combichristoffersen

Combovers don't work when there is no hair
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You can still see the bitterness that Mr. Yamuchi had over Ninendo's fallout with Sony in that quote. Was he talking about the N64 there?
That's nothing compared to how salty he was over Square ditching Nintendo.

Yamauchi said:
"[RPG players] are depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games."
 

MYE

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Haven't seen this kind of singular focus in both control schemes and play mechanics before though. Everything seems to want instant action. Even things that were perfectly fun without it.
Yup. Its kinda sad watching them try and cram as much visual stimulation as possible before people get bored and move on to something else.... 5 minutes later.
 
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Sure Nintendo was always profit oriented what Jett maybe don't realize (I name him just because he talked about it a few post above) is that CD alone wouldn't have made a huge difference in software support (especially because the CD drive would have added to the hardware costs).
The big difference between Sony and Sega/Nintendo is that the former viewed itself as a platform provider on which other companies (even small ones) could find success while Sega/Nintendo considered themselves as the big software company that drive the platform adoption all by themselves and let the other developers to create games for it but always under their "strict"rules.
What really hit Sega and Nintendo (with opposite consequences) was a paradigm shift.


Lunga vita al Presidente.
I always get the feeling that people are somewhat overstating the difference between sony and nintendo as the platform holder without a lot of concrete facts. Nintendo obviously had a much stronger first party focus than sony but every console maker has used basically the same business model that Nintendo developed with the NES. While I don't doubt nintendo were a lot more strict than sony in those days I just haven't seen a lot of concrete evidence to give a clear picture of what the difference actually was. Nintendo was already easing up on several matters (such as blood in MK2). A lot of the more puritan rules were NOA only and with the formation of ESRB it was only bound to get better.

I don't want to come off as a nintendo fanboy defending their old stance on third parties which I know nothing about; but I'd really appreciate if someone could provide some concrete information
 

jett

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No time to look for screens, but lets not forget DK64.


Looking up pictures of this thing gave me painful memories. I remember renting this game all excited to play it, I got tired a few hours in. Shame all of Rare's N64 platformers had to be inferior Mario 64 derivatives. Don't care for any of them, I'd rather play the real deal.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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Looking up pictures of this thing gave me painful memories. I remember renting this game all excited to play it, I got tired a few hours in. Shame all of Rare's N64 platformers had to be inferior Mario 64 derivatives. Don't care for any of them, I'd rather play the real deal.
I can't believe how much I agree with you right now.

Like rock hard.

Conker is the only one of theirs I can stomach, even if the framerate is godawful. It's just... really different for a platformer.
 
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^The big thing about DK64 was the real time lighting, which was a novelty at the time.

However, considering the game required the expansion pak, DK64's graphics weren't all that impressive; Banjo-Tooie trumps it and it doesn't require the add-on.

Great game, though. Especially the music and scope of the world. It was such a great experience.
 

jett

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crash was a tight hallway.

Too easy to focus all the poly in a tight area.


Look at the differences between Shadowman on psx and n64.
You should have followed the conversation. I posted the Crash picture in response to a similar corridor-style platformer on the N64 called Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers.