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GN vids of 4/21

GN Podcast #505

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GN vids of 4/14

Donkey Kong Country Returns - Wii Vs. 3DS graphics

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16 total comments (View all)
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25 Feb 2013 14:46

They put a lot of work into making this one
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25 Feb 2013 14:50

That was an incredible job recreating that trailer
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25 Feb 2013 14:51

Looks pretty much the same except the Wii one has some more lighting effects (like in the lava zone) and a couple models look a bit different. Impressive!
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25 Feb 2013 15:03

But 3DS does it all in 3D!
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25 Feb 2013 16:06

it would seem the 3DS version doesn't cast shadow, at 1:59 when you have the close up of DK, look at the floor, also the 3DS has lower texture resolution on some things, and obvious lack of light effects on the silhouette level. but that aside, impressive job remaking the game from scratch for the 3DS, but I don't understand why? I don't think I will be getting it since I have and finished it on the Wii, seems like a wasted resource to me, they could have remade Super Metroid for the 3DS in 3D, and I would have bought that since Super Metroid never been in 3D
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25 Feb 2013 16:12


I have never played the Wii version but I have always wanted to buy it and now I will for the 3DS. I am a big fan of the DCK games. I beat the first one in 1 hour with 101%
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25 Feb 2013 16:44

Was wondering when a comparison like this would show up. I had already done a lot of comparing of my own. Like the guy said, with the exception of the inherently lower resolution screen on the 3DS (which is inevitably going to make the Wii version appear slightly less fuzzy and more detailed), the two versions appear pretty much 98% identical. Most striking to me is that they really nailed the level detail and all the ridiculous quantity of things happening in the background and foreground layers. Even the geometry is spot on, they managed to completely and faithfully port over all the polygons of the Wii version as well as all the ridiculous particle effects and such.

Literally the only graphical effect i've spotted that was removed (ones that aren't inherent to screen resolution) are the cutscene character shadows. In cutscenes on Wii, characters take on realistically shaped shadows that are proportioned accurately to their bodies. These shadows are missing in the 3DS version so far though. This is only true of the cutscenes however, the Wii version used circular shadows during gameplay and there's still one present under DK during gameplay (though not under enemies at this time). And the cutscenes are very short and there aren't many of them at all. I also say "so far" because the game still a ways away from release and may very well not be finished or anything. We're looking at a release anywhere from June at the very earliest or even later months for a vague "summer" release as we're told.

I'm very curious to see what framerate the 3DS game runs at. Wii version ran at 60fps. Looking at this footage does us no good though, youtube videos are capped at about 30fps or less. We'll have to see the 3DS version in person. It is comforting to see that the 3DS version isn't dropping any below 30fps though in the video (been a lot of bad 3DS ports with piss poor framerates).

bentetris wrote:Looks pretty much the same except the Wii one has some more lighting effects (like in the lava zone) and a couple models look a bit different. Impressive!

The models look 100% identical actually. The lighting effects in the lava are still present, just appear a little more dynamic in the 3DS version. There is a glow present a few feet above the lava on both Wii and 3DS, characters and parts of the level are illuminated by it. The difference here is that in the Wii version your character continues to be illuminated by the glow and appears red no matter how far above the lava you go. The 3DS version only adds character lighting when you're standing inside the glowing range of the lava. So the effect is still present on 3DS, but it's handled more logically. Donkey only glows red when he's right next to the lava (when it makes sens). So the effect, while still present, is handled in a more dynamic way now. The level structure itself is affected by the lava's proximity, appearing lighter or darker depending on how close the lava is to it. It makes sense that the same would be true of characters too.

Maxram0 wrote:..and obvious lack of light effects on the silhouette level..

The lighting is no different in the silhouette levels, just a dark shading is used on the foreground/character graphics. In fact, there's not even any "lighting" in a technical and traditional sense in the first place. All the 3D characters and foreground models are just pure polygons that have all the shading, textures and detail removed. They're instead painted with one monochromatic color, and that color choice is the only alteration between the two versions. They used a dark brownish-red on Wii, and pure black on 3DS. There wasn't any real "lighting" to begin with, so that's unchanged.

While visually and artistically striking, these levels are completely unimpressive in a technical respect due to the nature of how they were created. They were achieved by actually removing graphical effects and detailed. Everything besides just the raw geometry is essentially disabled (textures, shading, lighting and everything else) and just painting over them all with a single color. Retro Studios in an old IGN interview even referred to these levels as "anti technology" due to how they removed graphical assets to achieve them. The silhouette levels are artistically striking and pretty, but they're by far the most easy things to render in the game on a technical level. Every other level in the game is FAR more graphically intensive.

The choice to change the color from brown to black was likely intentional for visibility reasons. The background was already composed of red, orange and yellow shades. Black stands out far better from the background than reddish brown, making it easier to distinguish between background and foreground objects. This is especially helpful on a small screen where visibility is key (plus it looks even more striking on the eshop trailer played in 3D).
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25 Feb 2013 21:00

Great comparison video. It's impressive to see how closely they've been able to keep it to the original. Besides the obvious difference in resolution, the scale of the world seems to hurt the presentation in the video I saw on the 3DS. Everything looks a little small for the 3DS screen and I can't help but think that aliasing is going to bother me more than it does in native 3DS games made with those limitations in mind. The game does seem like it's screaming to be played in 3D due to the layered background/foreground with objects flying toward the screen.

I've been considering getting the game so I'll wait to see how the 3DS version turns out before taking the plunge.
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25 Feb 2013 21:54

Fairly nice. I see no geometry differences. The effect on the silhouette level (and reflection off the water) probably is just a creative choice. As noted, at this point a couple shadows are missing. What I notice the most, and what I think cannot be explained by the 3DS's lower display resolution, is lower texture resolution here and there. Look at 2:14 -- the KONG banner and the wood textures; 2:55 at the rock on the right; 3:05 at the water; 3:10 Diddy's shirt and Donkey's tie, and the ground texture.

These are pretty minor though, and if the aliasing isn't an eyesore, if the sterescopic effect is well-implemented, and if the frame rate is high and consistent, it'll be quite an achievement.
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25 Feb 2013 22:20

I'm not that impressed considering Capcom has squeezed a lot more juice out of the 3DS to the point where they could make certain games look like mini ports of a PS3 game...
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25 Feb 2013 22:35

Further proof that Wii was a crap console.
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25 Feb 2013 22:53

cbbomb wrote:Further proof that Wii was a crap console.

The Wii was weak, but that does not make it crap. The Wii is probably the most under rated and under appreciated console in history. Well, besides the Gamecube...
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25 Feb 2013 23:39

oh the troll so sweet , so bitter

I would be so over that game on 3ds , if i didn't just finish the game only a few months ago . A combination on how freaking hard the game is and how tough is it for me to get a coop game going .
I was a tiny bit not that enthusiastic , but now after playing castlevania and mh3g , i remember that the 3d effect just works for me and it will look fabulous on my handheld .

It looks fairly close to me , and nintendo already made gorgeous games themselves (mk7 3dland , kid icarus ...) so i don't get what's the big deal . Could they port galaxy ? I don't know but 3dland sure is nice to have instead of a port .
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26 Feb 2013 00:25

Amazing job with this comparison video.

I wish they opted for a bigger 3DS card because some of the textures ended up super down-resed. But, I wouldn't believe it if Retro confirmed it themselves, it looks like the 3DS sometimes offers more background elements.
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26 Feb 2013 01:13

metalpants wrote:I'm not that impressed considering Capcom has squeezed a lot more juice out of the 3DS to the point where they could make certain games look like mini ports of a PS3 game...

obviously thats due to the fact this game is natively wii and was ported, without the urge of making it look better.
I mean revelations was made from the ground up to take advantage of the 3ds power, this port does not.
And SF4 is an arcade game with tons of power above wii, porting from a 360 looks way better than porting from a wii.

BTW obviously it will run at 60 fps, is a simple game.
User avatar
26 Feb 2013 11:49

cbbomb wrote:Further proof that Wii was a crap console.

I won't lie, I didn't purchase DKCR because I was incredibly burnt out on the Wii and the game launched when the console was either on or approaching it's last legs. I may just purchase it on the 3ds since I'm dying for games and only really have MH3 (another remake) and pokemon to look forward to for the entire year. No retro game should be ignored because of terrible support and or bad hardware so I will attempt to correct this.

Nintendo efforts on the 3ds and the Wii U so far are missing an incredible amount of heart for me and it just feels like they are racing to make it seem like each individual console has a robust gaming library. I honestly gave up on the 3ds getting anything I will never forget (like tactics advanced or windwaker) and decided to settle on just MH3, pokemon, and a hopeful metroid prime game (even if it's remake).

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