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Which early 3D "look" stands up better to you?

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I prefer...

Sharper but jagged/unstable 14 29.17%
 
Smooth and solid but blurrier 34 70.83%
 
Total:48

Not a very fair comparison considering how much stronger the N64 was, but stylized graphics will always hold up better than realistic graphics. Take a look at, say, Okami. That gem holds up even today thanks to its artistic style.



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I think it depends on the games. Some art designs hold up better, some games were hindered by excessive fog or bad performance, etc.

Let me put it this way. N64 games like Mario Kart 64, AKI wrestling games, Smash Bros, Mario 64 and Goldeneye look amazing compared to most PS1 games. They look clean, run well, good draw distance, etc. Games with very blurry textures and fog really annoyed me. Its often gave a muddy picture that could leave people prefering the most crisp visuals of PS1.

Meanwhile games like MGS, Tekken, GT and other 3D games looked solid on PS1. They were crisp, ran well, that was good use of the hardware.

Hence, you gotta at games individually. But in many cases I may have prefered PS1 ports because less muddy textures, better sound (more music in some games), FMVs, etc.

Lastly, that was a very experimental era in 3D gaming much of which I didnt enjoy. Its worth noting there were many notable games relying heavily or entirely on 2D assets which were great on Saturn and PS1. N64 made a bigger push on 3D games to its detriment.



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Azuren said:
Not a very fair comparison considering how much stronger the N64 was

Some people prefer a different "look" even if its less advanced; after all, plenty of users voted here that they preferred the older PS1/Saturn look.

Like you say, presentation can matter more than technology; personally I think Muramasa the Demon Blade is still one of the most beautiful games I've ever played despite the fact it ran on hardware that was underpowered even at the time.



The best of the N64 looked better than the best of the PS1 but I like them both. The best of the 3D games on both impressed me though, developers like Naughty Dog and Rareware almost seemed to exceed the capabilities of those consoles. Both looked better on a CRT too, but I'll happily play PS1, Saturn and N64 games on a 4K TV too.



curl-6 said:
Azuren said:
Not a very fair comparison considering how much stronger the N64 was

Some people prefer a different "look" even if its less advanced; after all, plenty of users voted here that they preferred the older PS1/Saturn look.

Like you say, presentation can matter more than technology; personally I think Muramasa the Demon Blade is still one of the most beautiful games I've ever played despite the fact it ran on hardware that was underpowered even at the time.

And I would agree with you. Muramasa's my proudest Platinum trophy on PSN.



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Pemalite said:
JRPGfan said:

Its hard to compaire a 3D world, vs a lock perspective + 2D background.
But in terms of character models (which both have) FF9 blows Perfect dark waaay outta the water. Like thats not even close.

So geometric detail, model vs models isnt close.

Shadows are the same, just a blurry blob underneat the character models feet, in both games.
Lighting? maybe it goes to Perfect dark, but again its hard to compaire when the 2D backgrounds kinda get in the way of that sort of compairsion.
Textures are better in FF9 too, theres much higher detail there.

The battle sequences in Final Fantasy 9 were fully 3D, not using a 2D background, hence why I used them in the comparison. (You must not have watched the video.)

Geometric detail of Perfect Dark was certainly a step up overall, there were far more polygons on screen at any one time.

Shadows weren't the same, Perfect Dark had some dynamic lighting thanks to it's TnL engine and baked shadowing.
Carrington Instute level actually showcases this really well with shadowing on various surfaces, even some reflectivity, the PS1 just doesn't hold a candle to these effects. - These are "clean" images, but it showcases the detailing of what I am trying to point out... But hey, if you can point out a PS1 game with texturing that is on Par, with shadowing detail, lighting details, transparencies, reflections and so on all in one scene... By all means, please showcase it.






And like I said. Perfect Dark wasn't even the best N64 game visually, but it was certainly a step up over Final Fantasy 9, especially with the effects she was pushing.

This looks quite like System Shock 2, with a little less detail, but maybe a little smoother (and surely it was a lot smoother than SS2 on PCs of that period).



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Alby_da_Wolf said:

This looks quite like System Shock 2, with a little less detail, but maybe a little smoother (and surely it was a lot smoother than SS2 on PCs of that period).

Perfect Dark did come out in the year 2000 and pushed the N64 to it's limits in many ways... PC games of the era were certainly a step up again though, no doubt about it.
We had Unreal Tournament, Quake, Half Life, Deus Ex, Soldier of Fortune, Homeworld, Dark Reign 2... List goes on.




Games from that era tend to look pretty terrible. I didn't think they looked good even back then. So, I'm gonna have to vote none of the above, and pretend that the 5th gen never happened.



Honestly, I hate the graphics on all of those early 3D games. They looked so ugly to me, even back then, that I didn't really play any of the three 5th gen consoles. Spent most of that gen playing older gen 4 games, Pokemon on my Gameboy, and a few PC games. Wasn't until 6th gen when 3D graphics reached an acceptable level imo. If forced to choose the lesser of 3 evils though, I'd say that N64 games hold up the best, though it was the most powerful of the 3.



Landale_Star said:
The best of the N64 looked better than the best of the PS1 but I like them both. The best of the 3D games on both impressed me though, developers like Naughty Dog and Rareware almost seemed to exceed the capabilities of those consoles.

Yeah pretty much how I feel too.

The likes of Conker, DK64, Banjo Kazooie, and Starfox 64 were, to me, the best looking 3D games of that era.

On the other hand though, PS1 and Saturn were no slouch as stuff like the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro trilogies and Panzer Dragoon 1 and Zwei also looked great at the time.

I have a lot of nostalgia for both looks as I owned an N64 growing up, but also spent a lot of time at my best mate's house playing on his PS1.