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What difference an upscale makes!


dumpster
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30 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Metal Gear, a 20 year old game looks so similar to a current gen title just by running the original code through an emulator and post-processing the graphics.  

 

Or rather, taking a nine minute long trailer, and letting an AI go to work on it for three hours.

 

It's a sign of what might be to come, but nobody's playing this on an emulator right now.

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18 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

Or rather, taking a nine minute long trailer, and letting an AI go to work on it for three hours.

 

It's a sign of what might be to come, but nobody's playing this on an emulator right now.

Agreed but you see what I mean? Like, if MGS2 never happened and was released today no-one would be saying, "this is rubbish, it's like something from 20 years ago!". Gaming feels like we've come a long way with each generation but maybe it's not as big a leap as it seems?

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I do see what you mean, aye. I think in the case of MGS 2, a lot comes from the very claustrophobic camera and some good art design - environments are very clean, and it's a great example of working within limitations. So it lends itself very well to this sort of improvement. 

 

More so than its predecessor which I think has often lost the suggested detail at higher resolutions. 

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31 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

it's a great example of working within limitations.

Definitely - and iirc the game came out reasonably early in the PS2 lifecycle as well.  That team really analysed the hardware amazingly well to get what they did out of it

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Such a bizarre trailer. I can't really remember what game trailers were generally like at the time - was that just Kojima being Kojima?

 

I do remember being utterly blown away by the visuals in the rain on that ship in the demo. It was just so far ahead of the games that I was working on at the time that it was simultaneously very exciting and a bit depressing. I didn't love the full game as much when it arrived - the close camera always felt completely at odds with the stealth and the interminable cutscenes eventually stopped me playing, I think - but it was an absolute marvel all the same.

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17 minutes ago, hmm said:

Such a bizarre trailer. I can't really remember what game trailers were generally like at the time - was that just Kojima being Kojima?

Best trailer ever.

Very Kojima, but an absolute game-changer for games promotion.  So very far ahead of the rest at the time.  They even released the trailer on a properly packaged DVD which I think I still have somewhere.

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3 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

I do see what you mean, aye. I think in the case of MGS 2, a lot comes from the very claustrophobic camera and some good art design - environments are very clean, and it's a great example of working within limitations. So it lends itself very well to this sort of improvement. 

 

More so than its predecessor which I think has often lost the suggested detail at higher resolutions. 

 

Yeah, MGS2's clean metal surfaces in the tanker and Big Shell lend themselves to very minimal, subtle textures. They're not completely texture-less (as you'd get in something like Gouraud/Phong shading), but they do avoid any busy detail. There's nothing in the environments that's as detailed as guards' camouflage patterns, for example. Instead, there's more emphasis on lighting and reflections.

 

Also, the lack of detail makes the story mode's environments look a lot more like those of the VR Missions. (Which fits some of the game's plot revelations!)

 

A great example is in the dark corridor scene, shown at 6:00 in the DF video in the first post. The corridor surfaces are almost completely flat - but the way the light of Snake's torch interacts with them still looks great. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but presumably, if the pipes and walls had been covered in detailed textures, then that convincing interactive lighting would have been much harder to achieve.)

 

 

 

MGS3, by contrast, went for extremely busy environments - to be expected, since it's a game based around camouflage! I think Snake Eater looks great, one of the most technically impressive PS2 games. But even apart from the halved framerate, there was something about the aesthetics of MGS2 that MGS3 lost.

 

As we've complained about many times on the forum, the Halo series also experienced a jump from minimalism to busyness between Halo 1 and Halo 2 - and even more so from Halo 1 to its Anniversary remaster.

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13 hours ago, dumpster said:

Being a fan of emulation, I find it amazing how well current high-spec hardware can run older games with graphical tweaks and improvements.  I was recently playing the PSP polygon based Ghouls and Ghosts and the emulator made the game look like a present day release, simply by upping the resolution.  

 

But today I saw a great demonstration of the Duckstation PS1 emulator, because someone ported it to Xbox, running on a retail console in developer mode.   The results...  Well, they speak for themselves.  Taking a game that has an unlocked frame rate (even if it never got there on real hardware) is quite something, and some of these games are transformed by simply upping the resolution to 4K and running the game at 60fps.  Video speaks louder than words. 

*snip*


To be honest, it's not just an upscale what makes PS1 games look minty fresh on emulation these days - It's also perspective correction, which was the bane of the PS1 since the hardware's inception, and it was a fairly recent development (well, half a decade ago).

Seeing games without the textures warping all over the place really does make a massive difference to image clarity, even on the most basic of textures and geometry:
 


Probably the biggest leap I've seen in improving the visuals on Playstation 1 games since being first introduced to RGB Scart as a teenager, frankly. It's quite something.

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13 minutes ago, RipePlums said:

What kind of psychopath plays Ridge Racer Revolution with the behind car view?


Yeah, it's horrific, and seems very much seated in emulation demo videos to throw more shit at the screen. I'm very much a bumper cam man.

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Duckstation on my phone has replaced my Oled Vita and BC PS3 as my go to device for PS1 games. Running on an S20 Ultra with Razer Kishi it's an astounding emulator. I can't push it anywhere near what's shown on a Series S (may have to look into it on my bedroom S, though I have a much more powerful PC for emulators etc) but even a 2x or 3x scale still gives a fantastic appearance and performance. Ridge games never looked better and it works spiffily well on Android if you have a decent phone. Recommended.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Blown away by the emulator PPSSPP runing Ridge Racers 2 (psp) on the Xbox Series S/X .  

 

It's quite extraordinary. Firstly because it is, and always has been, an absolute belter.  All the tracks , all the music, great handling, what's not to like.

 

But Xbox (and I assume PC) is a game changer.  Pop the resolution up to 5xPSP for a 1080p image and the emulator will also bring it to 60fps.  And it looks so close to being a current gen game and plays perfectly. There are no loading times, you can fast forward any intro parts. The HD visuals disguise the PSP game from 2006 and make it feel like a current title.  There's a little bit of pop up, the reflections in the car windows are obviously fake, but it blows my mind how good a 480x272 image when upscaled in this way.  It's stunning, and it's like having a whole new Ridge Racer game to play.  

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