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Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:58 am
by Dreamcastgaga
The Dreamcast magazines of the time would often praise the Dreamcasts 2D capabilities and its arcade perfect conversions of the non Naomi Capcom and SNK titles. In later years ; however, it has been said that a large number of these conversions are far from "arcade perfect". Games such as SF III 3rd Strike, Zero 3, and basically all of the later SNK games seemingly don't quite live up to the arcade or AES experience.

I wonder, is there any technical reason for this or was it simply a matter of developers cutting costs? Are there any SNK fans who can tell me what exactly is holding games such as Garou back from being an authentic experience or are they pretty much spot on?

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:48 am
Hmm... interesting question? May I ask what prompted you to ask this?

I'm a try my best to answer this question for you based on MY own experience...
When it comes down to Fighting Games that were ported to the Dreamcast that weren't part of the NAOMI catalog... keep in mind that there were MANY fighters that came from different hardware architecture that graced Dreamcast with varying results in quality. MK4 (Zeus engine), VF3 (Model 3step1.0) etc.

With these 2 particular examples, you have 2 fighters using entirely different hardware compared to Dreamast Hitachi SH4/Power VR2. Would Dreamcast hardware be capable of replicating the performance hardware that runs these games. I think so. Would the conversion to Dreamcast be a simple process? Probabaly not. The major drawbacks from these 2 games that kept them from being arcade perfect ports (or better than) is lack of proper development time and more importantly that they were outsourced to development houses not involved in their original creation...

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:28 am
...Now, to directly answer your question towards Capcom and SNK 2D fighters and their arcade perfect variable qualities, you have to look the bigger picture than simply looking the particular titles you have chosen. But for now let's use your examples of 3S and Zero 3.

In reality. 3S and Zero3 ARE quite possibly Arcade Perfect on Dreamcast. And here's why they are... and yet why they are not in the grand scheme of things. 3S on Dreamcast is a result of rebalanced revsion 3 release for the CPSIII hardware. People tend to overlook this fact. This revsion is almost nonexistent in the arcade sector simply due to lack of support from the player base. As such comparisons are (unfairly) drawn between the comomly played previous revision CPSIII release of 3S and Dreamcast version.
The similar also applies to Zero 3 on DC. Zero 3 on consoles laid the ground work for what would become Zero 3 Upper on NAOMI. This includes all gameplay changes more importantly, even perhaps the resolution change that only applies to the Dreamcast (PS2) of the game. People stupidly compare Zero 3 on consoles to its CPSII original release.

There lies another issues with other Capcom non NAOMI fighting ports. Games like SF2X, Jojo's SF III W/DBL Impact lack true arcade accuracy, not due to hardware issue or budget costs, but that of Capcom's counscious decsion making. Things like bugs, infinites and game balance are removed or changed in an effort to create a more polished product than what was possible in the arcade front. The backlash lies in many of the player base ultimately adopting these issues into high level play and actually finding the importance in their implementation and use. The bugs, infinites and other gameplay wrinkles become part of the game itself. Arcade Perfect in a fighter ultimately means Arcade perfect with imperfections. Warts and all.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:01 am
And finally, with regards to SNK/Dreamcast conversions, the answer (at least to me) feels more organic than Capcom's "all over the place" efforts and results on Dreamcast.

All of SNK fighters on Dreamcast orginated from the same aging Neo hardware. They started their support for the wonderous Dreamcast with KOF 99DM (KOF 98), which never really attempted to be a direct port of the original KOF 98 product which is apperant in the game's actual Moniker change, as well as some of the apperant aesthetics changes and exhuberant game intro. I really wished SNK would've been smart and included the an optional ROM release of KOF 98 in KOF DM99 though. Nevertheless, their first effort was apperantly was big success out there in japan (I had no idea until recently). The games major issues lie in its doubious load times, resetting soundtrack and lack of VGA. With every release onwards with SNK's Dreamcast ports the 2 main issues were resolved and performance improved significantly. Slowly but surely (and this include VGA compatability in their games). The last 2 KOF games (01 and 02) are indeed high quality, as close as you can get to Neo Geo arcade to home perfect. Even better than what was produced for these 2 games on competetive game consoles.
I'd like to think that the reasons behind this were from SNK barely being able to scratch the surface of the hardware (these guys barely had any experience in up to date game state of the art hardware) due to their primitive workings with their inhouse tech. also let's not forget that SNK was in the brink of collapse during those days. I'm even surprised to this day thay they continued to show support to the Dreamcast they way they did during that horrendous Aruze purchase/merger/liquidation.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:05 am
by Dreamcastgaga
Thanks as always CD Ages. I agree to what you say, and it the point about Zero 3 is one I have been making for a long time.

Basically, I wanted to ask due to hearing the increasing complaints of the non Naomi DC games, while the authenticity of Capcom's 2D games (with the 4mb) for the Saturn are never questioned and in some cases considered superior to later technology (Zero 3 another case in point).

I would still be interested in hearing people's views on the SNK conversions as I hear these aren't so clean-cut in regards to upgrading, and rather have a few technical issues.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:56 am
Yeah, the Zero 3 "which is the best console port" reality has really fallen on deaf ears. Its nothing but massive ignorance and shit fueled by fanboys which is sad. All I've ever really cared is how close of a port Zero 3 FMS version actually is to NAOMI and that's about it. Ever since Alpha Anthology (Zero Fighters Generations in Japan) was released, there just isn't any point in which is the best port out of SO many out there for the game.

No I agree. The whole Capcom arcade ports being incredibly superior on the Saturn regardless is a lot of bullshit as well. Perhaps the only Capcom fighters on the Saturn that I can agree with are MSH vs SF (almost every issue that plagued their previous Xmen Vs SF was resolved whith this release... which always makes me think how solid of an outcome Capcom would've achieved with a Saturn port of MVC1) Vampire Savior, Alpha 2 and Vampire Hunter (the last 2 due to how well these ports were handled using stock Saturn hardware with no expansions).

It all depends on each specific SNK title. I've addressed the issues with KOF 98 DM. Most of the same applies to KOF 99 Evolution minus some the major perfomance hiccups like load times and soundtrack issues. Btw, KOF EVO release on PS2 (found on KOF NESTS HEN compilation) is a terrible port of the Dreamcast release. The game visuals are running with some nasty soft filtering which cannot be disabled.
KOF 00 is a pretty direct straight forward port with an expanded Striker selection and arrange sounddtrack selection as the only major update. The only negatives I could find with this port are some gameplay slowdown that occurs on specific game stages.
KOF 01 and 02 are spectacular ports on Dreamast. SNK/Eolith/Playmore left the hardware on a very positive note. Great ports with only additions being some additional exclusive characters to the roster and an art gallery.

That just leave only 2 other games. Last Blade 2 and Garou.
I'm not an expert (although I wish I was) in the LB series. The major issues that concern the DC port of LB2 is lack of VGA on all region releases and censored blood in the US version. But the most pressing issue involves the game's SFX audio delay as a result of how the game was designed to run on the GD rom Drive. It is important to note however that the same game released years later on PS2 is an even worse arcade to home port.

Garou on Dreamcast as well suffers from the same issue that Last Blade 2 does, of the SFX audio delay and how it puts a strain on the Dreamcast GD rom drive as a result. That's perhaps the biggest issues with this port. It's quite annoying really. Over the years i've found some ways to slightly remedy the problem. Play the game using a Dreamcast that houses a Yamaha GD Drive (as oppose to the Samsung model especially their finally design of the drive) and play the game with the original MVS soundtrack which can be toggled in the game option menu.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:17 pm
by Shawn
Has anyone tried testing The Last Blade 2 or Garou MotW via. GDEMU to see if any sound/input lag issues are mitigated?

If not, I have Garou and a GDEMU and I could test... would just need someone to tell me what to test for.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:14 am
This was legitimately an interesting read!

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:11 pm
by Anthony817
I only have VGA output at the moment, I seem to have misplaced my S-Video cable which I use for non VGA compatible games. Otherwise I woould test out Last Blade 2. Unfortunately that game is basically impossible to play in VGA.

Re: Dreamcast conversions of SNK fighters

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:28 pm
What ever happened to CDages? He was a frikkin' wealth of knowledge...kinda like you Anthony.