Monday, April 28, 2014

You Input is Requested

Those of you who read the Twitter feed have already seen this, but I'm soliciting opinions from folks who have clear memories of playing SNES games on the real hardware.

You might be wondering why I'm asking about this. Please don't read anything into this. I'm just looking for input on representing SNES games.

The video below is around 8 minutes, and asks you to chose from three options on three different games. Your choices should not all the be same letter, so if you say "B is best on all three," I'll be suspicious. The best way to see the video is by downloading the full version from the link below. The video is pretty damn big, 500 MB but Mega usually downloads really fast.  Just click on "Download to your computer," and it will start downloading, and THEN ask you where you want to save the file. That seems backwards, I know.!b8B3nY4Q!M4dLltMAi1dADBSXkJQ2DH8JrgWO_jBRMxTQx85fnSE

If downloading is not an option, you can watch it on Youtube here:

However, the YT version will be have been reprocessed and will look different than the original video.

Just tell me in the comments below, or on the Youtube comments, which version looks/sounds the best for each game. I'm curious about the colors on Zelda. I remember the colors being quite soft and pastel-like, but I'm not sure which version looks the most accurate.

Thanks for your assistance.

And, yes, I know how hilarious it is that I missed that first coin in Super Mario World. I haven't played that game in years, OK?


Raffa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raffa said...

B had the best colors, but was very choppy when running Mario and Zelda, other than the frame rate B was the best.
Overall C I guess was the best, since it had no frame rate problems, but had a bit over saturated colors.
A was just to strong in the color department, it looked like someone turned the nob to 100, and the sound in Zelda sounded unbalanced, but at least it ran just fine.

Anonymous said...

Mario: A
Zelda: A or C
I've never played Secret of Mana on a crrt, so I can't give any input on that

Malasdair said...

In terms of aspect ratio, choppiness, and color saturation: SMW - A, LTTP - C, SOM - C. Those are definitely the most accurate representations of the original games.

Phronemophobia said...

I have a CRT television in my bedroom for no other purpose than to play old video games. I've had to tamper with the picture quality a few times due to some games having really dark areas, so I can't say I'm completely accurate in my assessment, but I'm going with A for Mario, A for Zelda, and B for Mana. I actually have SoM for the SNES playing on the TV screen right now while I am typing this, and it's difficult to spot a difference between A and B with it. One of the speakers on my television goes out periodically, so I can't really check for the sound quality for any of them. After fifteen years, I'm surprised the TV still works as well as it does, especially considering how much traveling it has done in that time. :)

Filgate said...

Mario - A. B had Frame rate problems and C just looked a little off.

Zelda - C. B had the wrong aspect ratio. A was also OK.

Secret of Mana - C.

Keep in mind I haven't seen these on CRT monitors for years.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mathius said...

SMW-A overall
Zelda-A for nice colors
-C for accurate colors
(B Zelda's screen us stretched too much vertically)
SOM-A or B. (SOM-C has the same problem as Zelda B. The screen is stretched too much vertically. It's distracting)

Nintendo until I go to COD Hell said...

Mario: A has the nicest colors.
Zelda: C has a certain charming watercolor sort of look.
Mana: B is the most colorful, which is odd because it is the worst for the others.

These are classics, great choices to symbolize the system. I beat A Link between Worlds recently, which was an excellent sequel and now I am playing the first Shin Megami Tensei: Very good, substantive, difficult R.P.G.on the Super Famicom despite being so archaic. I wish America got it and was not so tight-assed about violence and Pagan religions, because it is very good for all ages. I got Shin Megami Tensei 4 recently and I wanted some context.

Knurek said...

SMW: A of course, B had washed out colors, 30 fps and visible mouse cursor, C was in wrong aspect ratio (squashed vertically, I'd say).
Zelda: C of course, A had wrong aspect ratio, B the same as in SMW
SoM: Neither of these, A and B look like they have wrong aspect ratio, C has the same issues as B in previous games.

Anonymous said...

For SMW, I thought C had the best sound but A seemed a little more similar to hardware to me for some reason. Other than the pipe exit sound, I think.

On LoZ, A seemed too stretched out at first (a bit like the GBA function with older GB games) but I really liked the colors. That might be what it's like on my emulator since I played it on there most recently. C seemed more like the original hardware to me though. I liked the sound.

I've never actually played SoM on hardware, but I was surprised at B. The other games had color or frame rate problems with it, but it seemed to really work well for SoM. It was very similar to A though.

doctorx0079 said...

SMW: A is the best! B had a crappy low frame rate. In C everything seems to move too slowly.

LTTP: C is the best! A is pretty good. In B everything looks stretched vertically and kind of choppy.

SOM: B narrowly edges out A. I think B has more accurate transparency effects. In C the character movement is choppy and bad.

PhilExile said...

Where these recorded with the (original) Xbox SNES emulator?

SMW – C, its the correct aspect ratio, but the emulator isn't scaling it correct. (Its complicated and why I asked about the Xbox emulator) :)

Skip to 2:54 and pause the video. You will note that the 3x yellow blocks have black vertical lines. You'll see that they are different widths. If this were on real hardware these would all be equal.

Zelda – A, (for the reasons listed above.

I haven't played the other games enough to comment. Colorwise, its difficult to say because the color varies so much between different SNES systems and video output options (composite, s-vid, SCART)

Looking foward to the next video!

Chris Sobieniak said...

I'll have to pass on this, while true I had played SNES on real hardware, the TV set I played it on was black & white, so I can't quite tell you truthfully what to do here (it wasn't my fault, my siblings didn't have a color TV unlike me and it was their SNES console).

EarlThird said...

Mario: A
Zelda: C
Mana: B

Hadean said...

Copying Earl The Third's simplicity:

Mario: A
Zelda: C (or perhaps A??)
Mana: Never played this (blasphemer!)

dfever said...

Mario A
Zelda C
Mana Not played

Zeloz Mk.II said...

Going by framerate and keeping a 4:3 aspect ratio:

ALttP: A
SoM: B

Anonymous said...

I preferred A, C, and C.

Rodneylives said...

First: A or C (B had poor framerate)
Second: Couldn't tell difference, except maybe a slight preference for B? It's very minor, if there's really any preference at all.
Third: Definitely C (A and B scaled up worse, resulting in the background of the textbox when the light of the sword filled the screen producing a kind of wavy pattern)

Unknown said...

A - C - B did it for me

Unknown said...

A on mario, C on zelda, B on secret of mana

Unknown said...

Mario World - A is closer to the original hardware, I think (but I prefer B).

LttP - Def B.

SoM - C so hard. It's C like crazy. C is what it looked like.

JohanH said...

Actually, I find no option satisfactory as they are either the wrong aspect ratio (4:3 is correct) or scaled unevenly with nearest neighbour (resulting in distortion and ugly patterns, most noticeable on dithered areas, like the on the hills in mario or the text boxes in SoM)

If possible, I suggest two scaling passes where you first scale the image evenly with nearest neighbour, and then stretch it bi-linearly to 4:3, which will result in somethng like this
Easy to do in VirtualDub and probably most other video editors.

Unknown said...

I assume by "best" you mean most accurate to the original hardware. After watching all three Mario versions, I realized that my memories from 20 years ago will be insufficient to answer that question. You need to find people with a SNES hooked up, I'd say. I did notice that the Mario B video seemed jerky for some reason, like it was dropping frames.

Anonymous said...

LttP: B
SoM: C

Played all of those on the original hardware. That very same SNES console is still hooked up to my modern plasma TV. As a matter of fact, I played through Super Mario World a week ago. Although LttP B doesn't seem to have the correct aspect ratio it's very close to the original colors.

Anonymous said...

Super chrontendo confirmed.

Now if only you could actually GET there.

Anonymous said...

ETA on Chrontendo 48?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sparkle lies, he lies. :P

Thomas Edward Mrak said...

Use BSNES or Higan along with video capture.

It's an emulator that aims for accuracy, therefore it needs more CPU.

It's able to use graphical filters as well.

Samael said...

Apologies, but is this project on hiatus?

I pray not...

I've been looking forward to your arcade round-up...the year was important to me. But I understand what burn-out can do...

Pete said...

He seems to have abandoned this project. It's truly a shame. I still keep checking every other day, but nothing. It's very frustrating. I loved this blog very dearly.

Unknown said...

Hey Pete and Samael, I know this blog doesn't get as much traffic as it used too, but Dr. Sparkles twitter account is very active and he just posted today about working on the new Chrontendo. I would recommend maybe following his twitter instead of just refreshing the page all the time. (I used to do the same.) All the interesting Chrontendo updates seem to be on twitter now. But it appears yes he is still diligently working on the next episode.

Pete said...

I would love nothing better than to be proven wrong. I sure hope this is the case!

He sure seems to have been bitten by the Twitter bug, though.

Allen Young said...

This used to be my favorite site on the whole internet. It's such a shame to see it abandoned like a defunct and forgotten amusement park. Spam from the likes such as Hasnain Raza, Syed Kazim Ali, and Adnan Khan now choke the comments section like so many weeds. Dr. Sparkle has apparently not even checked in here in many months, or else they'd surely be deleted. Dr. Sparkle, show us you still care and throw us a bone. An update--any update--would be greatly appreciated. Your fans understand that you're busy, but any message at all would hopefully re-spark some of the momentum that has been lost. If the best we can get anymore is one episode per year, I'll take it, but it bums me out that this once-great blog is dead in its tracks.

Allen Young said...

The weeds have been eliminated and the Chrontendo amusement park is slowly churning back to life. Thank you for giving all of us fans a nice update. So great to see the return of Dr. Sparkle!

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