Digital Foundry Retro Discussion [2016 - 2017]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cyan, Jul 21, 2016.

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  1. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    actually, Donkey Kong Country received a Megadrive conversion, Super Donkey Kong 99, a hacked version with some nice details and others not so good -say bad collision boxes-

     
    #301 Cyan, Dec 19, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  2. Nesh

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    Animation frames and sound suck ass

    Sent from my SM-J320F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. bunge

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    Just wait until they release the 32X version!
     
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  4. dogen

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    The sound is passable for a bootleg at least, and still better than a lot of american genesis games...
     
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  5. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    what about the NES version? Quite surprised with this bootleg, maybe it looks better than the Megadrive one?
     
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  6. milk

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    I love these bootleg demakes and late late late old gen releases in general, because they help illustrate the lengths old hardware can go when devs are informed by more ambitious targets.
    Well, the inevitable improvement of dev tools also helps.
     
    #306 milk, Dec 19, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  7. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    some of those bootlegs are just plain funny, others are a work of art. Some of my favourite bootlegs are those based on some of my favourite games ever, like Super Pang. :smile2:<3The DK4 bootleg for NES was made in the late 90s, I think? Some of the bootlegs would deserve an entire DF Retro article focused on them.

    Not to mention bootlegs like some of those I have on my SNES collection of roms with more than 11000 games. Some Street Fighter 2 SNES bootlegs are super fun and scary odd, SF2 Rainbow Edition would be green with envy of them. :mrgreen::lol2:
     
  8. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    well, sound quality aside, the sound is very Megadrive-y indeed! I remember playing Moonwalker at the house of my best childhood's friend and I think there is a sound me and my siblings remember all our life... I mean the sound in between stages, where Michael screams in a high pitched tone. I very much liked the Megadrive, although I kinda preferred the sound of the SNES.
     
  9. dogen

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    Yeah it's definitely fm, but idk the instrumentation is kinda bland and stock sounding, not that I'd expect much better from an unlicensed game. I wonder why they didn't try to do the original DKC music. The genesis could pull off a decent rendition if it's used well.
     
  10. TheWretched

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    Sounding "Mega Drivey" usually means "GEMS" (i.e. the horrible sound driver used by most american devs). Just listening to Thunder Force IV or Elemental Master (both Tecno Soft) tells you, how good a Mega Drive can sound, if an adequate budget and team is used for audio. Not a lot of 16bit games come close (unless it's Square/Enix).
     
  11. milk

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    Mega Drivey sounding is pretty much the same as vintage-Yamaha-keyboardey sounding, which sounds very specific and synthetic be it a GEMS creation or not. I think the right aproach to making music with that kind of chip is to either go for a naturally synth based musical style, or be extremelly restrictive with your instrument selection and the ranges you use each of them so as to only use patches that sound minimally convincing.
     
  12. dogen

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    GEMS was actually a pretty nice sound driver. In Japan they all wrote their music in text files (go look up MML, looks fun right?), and they had the most consistently good sound on the system. I'm not sure what the average tools were in europe. At least a few of the guys were lucky and got custom drivers and trackers to sequence with.

    The people who used GEMS seemed to have mostly stuck to the preset instruments and they so those games generally all had that very stock sounding, occasionally harsh genesis sound to them. The same kind of people who would stick just to preset instruments, obviously, were not exactly the kind of people who were getting the most out of the system.

    Oh, and I'd recommend Gauntlet IV as another game with some standout music on the system. Hitoshi Sakimoto was an absolute master of those yamaha chips.
     
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  13. dogen

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    Excuse the double post, but I wanted to add a couple things.

    There were some standout soundtracks that used GEMS, especially by guys like Tommy Tallarico (earthworm jim 2) and Howard Drossin (the ooze and comix zone). In fact, I'd say comix zone beats out thunder force iv at having the most realistic guitar on the system.

    Maybe the real problem was that the built in selection was decent enough for people to rely on it entirely.

    And finally, if you want to see fm pushed in directions you didn't think it could go, check out what the hobbyists are doing.

    Here are a couple videos that might be of some interest.


     
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  14. bunge

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    GEMS was pretty incredible for the time.
     
  15. milk

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    Nice video, the guy seems to actually try to adhere to all the limitations of the sound hardware. I've seen many "genesis" remixes that just sample notes from other genesis games and use them as instruments in other music software indiscriminately. All the fun is actually trying to use the FM synths to get as close as you can to the digital sounds the SNES could do, all while within the limited number of voices the mega drive offered.
     
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  16. dogen

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    Don't forget the master system psg they kept in the mega drive. By itself it kinda sucks, but it's a perfect complement to the fm chip. Any time you hear a crystal clear square wave lead, like in shinobi 3 or thunder force, that's the psg.

    And yeah, that track will actually run natively on a real genesis (all of the stuff on his channel will). :sly: In fact I might have the vgm file somewhere in my pc.
     
  17. Cyan

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    Thunderforce IV was incredible at the time. My childhood friend had it at home and I was in love with the graphics, it looked almost like an arcade game, and the guitars sounded very realistic and so powerful. I wonder how they pulled it off. I thought at the time it was due to the fact that the cartridge used 8Mb of memory instead of the usual 4Mb, because on the SNES 8Mb games usually had more quality -though 4Mb videogames like Mario Kart and F-Zero sounded incredible!!-
    Talking of synthetic sound, a game that sounded very synthetic to me but also great was the original FIFA Internation Soccer. This friend and other childhood friends spent lots of hours playing that game, which was quite an achievement at the time, because of the many animations it had and the graphics.

    However, I also thought that the quality sound was due to the fact that it was a 16Mb cartridge -SNES version was a lot worse, and only 8Mb-.
     
  18. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    Save for the initial "scream" like sound, which is quite amusing, I don't see why they used an entirely new soundtrack when the original is so good either. It sounds okay in the NES, just imagine in the original Megadrive.

    The Megadrive sound was quite odd...to me there were two types of sounds in the Megadrive. The music, which sounded a lot more synthetic than on the SNES, but fine and quite nice in some games, and the digitalised voices (which were a thing) and sounds, which to me sounded very mediocre. :sad2: It is as if the Megadrive had 2 different sound chips.

    Sometimes I was in the arcades then, continually listening to those speaker that always sounded over the top and the volume was heavily increased (I think it was the arcade's owner fault) :roll: and digitalised voices which were impressive in the Neo Geo -say the original Fatal Fury and Soccer Brawl- and then you played at home and you felt bad for having a console.

    Colors aside, SF2 for the Megadrive was a great port, but the digitalised voices sounded very inferior compared to the voices in the SNES version, imho..​
     
  19. dogen

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    It did have 2 sound chips. One similar to what was in arcades at the time, and one from the master system.

    And yeah the voices weren't great in SF2, but they could've been better. One guy went in and replaced the pcm playback code, and you can download a rom hack for it now. Actually, another person made a color hack too, that makes it look more like the arcade.

    Here's a video of both hacks.


    Mega Turrican is a an example of good pcm playback. It even does multiple PCM samples at once without tripping over itself like street fighter. Ace soundtrack overall too.
     
    #319 dogen, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  20. stranno

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    There are some really amazing pirate games for NES, like Triforce of the Gods, a full A Link to the Past clone with pretty graphics and not bad gameplay.

    Even Commandos on Genesis was amazing (short tho).
     
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