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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:16 pm 
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I don't know that I have much to say at the moment, but I find your in-depth analysis or commentary on the graphics of the selected games to be very interesting! You should make a website or something where you post all these commentaries on there; I'd like to read a whole bunch more. It's also interesting to see parts of games that I haven't played much of that have "interesting" graphics. By "interesting", I mean just graphics that are either noticeably good or bad.

Well, okay, I'll make a little comment about Castlevania 3. I've always heard people talk about how good the game's graphics were, and I've never been able to fully agree with that stance. A lot of the graphics seem to be directly imported from CV1, which in my mind has some pretty bad graphics. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love CV3. I love the music, and the environments are really cool. Some of the bosses has nice graphics, but there are some parts of the background that are really dumb. Mostly curtains and moss that's all blocky. Though there are a few parts in the game that look very nice, but lots of the graphics aren't that impressive.

And also, I've always loved the ghost ship part! I don't know why you don't like that part, it's one of my favorites. I also think those stainglass windows in the first level look really stupid, especially the small ones. I never looked at them and thought they were convincing small windows. I was always thinking "oh crap, the game is glitching. Look at those windows; those peices shouldn't be there". Then when I found I was wrong, I was surprised to see that someone would actually put those graphics in a video game. Some of those other parts that are more cave-like, I really enjoy looking at. Though it's not perfect looking, there's something about it that I like. Perhaps it's the color that pops; I'm used to seeing dull colors. I also enjoy the forest with the owls, though I'm not sure if I would've chosen those same colors. I think the owls are the best looking part. And let me just say: that fire effect SUCKS.

About the intro, I don't think it has really good graphics. The castle looks strange when outlined, and I think the drawing of the cape blowing in the wind is really amateurish. Though I'm probably forgetting some other stills they showed that I found cool-looking. For the most part, I found the water and cave areas of CV3 to be the most impressive. The clock tower was good for the most part, but I hate the colors of the blocks.

I lied about not having anything to say! About faxandu, I really like some of the patterns shown. It is indeed a lot of dithering, but it looks pretty good for the most part. Dithering really helps for games with limited color selections, provided that the colors in each palette relate to one another. Actually, scrolling through these screens you've posted, I have to say that I'm really impressed with this games backgrounds. The only thing I think doesn't look that good is the misty part. Perhaps I'd need to see more of it in motion (I checked it out for a little bit), but it was nothing really special. Also, the tree in the intro is terrible. What the heck random combination of garbage tiles is that?? Plus, if you actually watch the animation there, the perspective is pretty stupid. With such few scaled versions of that sprite to go off of, you shouldn't even try making that animation of him walking down the path.

This is a rant, sorry. I just wanted to make a few comments and say that I really like reading these posts! You should keep doing these reviews, because it's interesting to read and comment on.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:08 pm 
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The mist looks much better with the NTSC filter than without. Fortunately, Youtube video also encodes the mist so it looks somewhat similar to what the NTSC filter does to it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:23 pm 
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Celius wrote:
I also think those stainglass windows in the first level look really stupid, especially the small ones. I never looked at them and thought they were convincing small windows. I was always thinking "oh crap, the game is glitching. Look at those windows; those peices shouldn't be there". Then when I found I was wrong, I was surprised to see that someone would actually put those graphics in a video game.


Exactly! :)

Although it sounds like most people disagree with what I like or dislike, which is fine - the whole point is to be able to look closer at the details and adopt similar techniques if you enjoy it and your game warrants it.

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I lied about not having anything to say! About faxandu, I really like some of the patterns shown. It is indeed a lot of dithering, but it looks pretty good for the most part. Dithering really helps for games with limited color selections, provided that the colors in each palette relate to one another. Actually, scrolling through these screens you've posted, I have to say that I'm really impressed with this games backgrounds.


Yeah, I don't have a problem with dithering in general, it's much harder to make a game without using it much. The problem is more with their color choices being restrictive for anything more than basic architecture, and some of their tiles being too generic. I prefer for each tile to have a specific use if possible, because generic "fuzzy" tiles tend to stand out to me.

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Also, the tree in the intro is terrible. What the heck random combination of garbage tiles is that?? Plus, if you actually watch the animation there, the perspective is pretty stupid. With such few scaled versions of that sprite to go off of, you shouldn't even try making that animation of him walking down the path.


If you don't mind spoiling the ending, you can see a much better view of the same area here. Still some screwed up tiles in the trees but other elements are actually impressive, like the reflections in the water.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:44 am 
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Celius wrote:
A lot of the graphics seem to be directly imported from CV1, which in my mind has some pretty bad graphics.

Sorry to catch you here, but I'd like to remember you that CV1 is a 1986 game. The graphics standard back then were like Kid Icarus, with no outlines, black background - or the crappy Draogn Quest characters facing the same direction all the time. Needless to say, Castlevania had WAY better gaphics than other 1986 games. Of course comred to early 90's game it might not be awesome (especially the hero who looks terrible).
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Plus, if you actually watch the animation there, the perspective is pretty stupid. With such few scaled versions of that sprite to go off of, you shouldn't even try making that animation of him walking down the path.

I agree, but see the intro in Dragon Warrior II which is MUCH worse.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:59 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
Sorry to catch you here, but I'd like to remember you that CV1 is a 1986 game.

But he wasn't criticizing CV1, he was criticizing CV3 for reusing CV1 art at a time when they already looked dated.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Well, to be fair I guess I was kind of criticizing both CV1 and CV3. Bregalad has a point about CV1 being from 1986, so I guess it was pretty good for it's time. But I wasn't really trying to criticize CV1. I was just saying it's graphics aren't good enough for you to carry them over to a heavy-duty MMC5 game like CV3.

About the intro to DW2, I don't remember it being as bad. But I guess it's been a long time since I've seen the Faxandu intro so I can't make a fair comparison. Also, UncleSporky, I'm sorry to say that I won't be watching the ending on YouTube. I think I actually want to play the game now!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:28 pm 
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Celius wrote:
Well, to be fair I guess I was kind of criticizing both CV1 and CV3. Bregalad has a point about CV1 being from 1986, so I guess it was pretty good for it's time. But I wasn't really trying to criticize CV1. I was just saying it's graphics aren't good enough for you to carry them over to a heavy-duty MMC5 game like CV3.

About the intro to DW2, I don't remember it being as bad. But I guess it's been a long time since I've seen the Faxandu intro so I can't make a fair comparison. Also, UncleSporky, I'm sorry to say that I won't be watching the ending on YouTube. I think I actually want to play the game now!


Don't forget however that it wasnt written for mmc5. But for vrc6.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Does that make it more, or less excusable? I seem to recall them having to scale it down for MMC5. Were the graphics much better on the VRC6 version? I know the intro was really awesome looking, but I didn't notice much difference on the levels. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. Whatever the case, the game is great, and I give it probably an eight or nine out of ten, I just find it pretty dumb that they'd keep crap tiles from CV1.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:44 pm 
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The only thing they had to scale down was the music. I'm just saying...accusing it of not using mmc5 to its full potential isnt really fair. (as vrc6 had alot less horse power)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:53 pm 
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I guess you're right, but I would think that if MMC5 is graphically superior, and inferior in terms of audio, you would want to make up for the lost audio by improving the graphics. After all, they did take the time to edit the music. What's stopping them from tweaking the graphics?

Actually, from what I've read, I don't think anything did stop them from tweaking graphics :)! I know Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source, but I swear of read the same things stated elsewhere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlevani ... %27s_Curse

If you read under "Version differences", you'll see that they did actually downgrade the graphics. I don't know much about the VRC6 chip, so I don't know anything that gives it graphical advantages over the MMC5. But, I know many people drool over MMC5 for things like the extra name and attribute table capabilities. So what I'm wondering is why, with all of the extra capabilities of the MMC5, would you take the time to make graphics worse rather than better? It seems that's exactly what they did...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:45 am 
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Well I want to clarify this. They didnt' downgrade anything because of the MMC5.
They downgraded the music because of the NES itself (as opposed to Famicom) which would rely a resistor being plugged in the bottom connector for the extra MMC5 sound to work. By redirecting VRC6 Sawtooth channel to Triangle channel, and both VRC6 square channels to MMC5 square channels the music of CV3 could have been ported almost "as it" (exept that the bass would be triangle instead of sawtooth).

There is no such thing as downgraded graphics :
- CV3 has a gothic font instead of a standard font
- The "Nightmare" level uses green walls instead of purple - which one looks better is highly subjective but it's just a palette swap and has nothing to do with mappers
- The statues are more covered - this has nothing to do with mappers it's Nintendo's censorship
- The cross at the intro is modified - again it has nothing to do with the mapper but it's censorship

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:27 am 
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Another difference is that for some reason, the clouds in the first pic of the intro don't warp off-screen in CV3 as the Japanese version does.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:20 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
The cross at the intro is modified - again it has nothing to do with the mapper but it's censorship


I don't know if I would call that censorship, but otherwise it seems inexplicable. They didn't actually remove the cross like they did in most other cases, they just removed the radiating lines. It's like they just wanted to say "nah, this thing doesn't have any special power." :)

One other modification is the little jumping guys. In MMC5 they're strange little men (fleamen) that I never quite understood - you can see a head and legs and a wing or something, but the sprite's just too compact. On the VRC6 they are much better looking little gremlins.

They have two frames of animation in each version, but in MMC5 they constantly animate as if they're wiggling, and on VRC6 they have a standing frame and jumping frame. The jump frame is slightly larger, which may be why it was changed.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:06 am 
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I'd like to see a breakdown of some of my favorite futuristic-themed NES games; Batman, Ninja Gaiden 3, Journey to Silius and Shatterhand.
Perhaps I'll take a stab at it myself someday when I've got the time..


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:21 am 
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Good analysis! This is really interesting stuff, keep them coming. :)


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