Comments on

Shadow Buffer

Original entry posted: Tue May 18 17:58:30 2010

1274357321 @ EST

Thu May 20 08:08:41 2010For control, I just use a USB 360 pad. Although the camera is terrible enough in SotC I can certainly imagine using keys/mouse for it.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Wed May 19 09:53:37 2010 EST

Woah, you missed the PS2 era entirely? There's really quite a few interesting art games you didn't see, then---Gitaroo Man, Ico, Incredible Crisis (PS1, but still), God Hand, Amplitude (still Harmonix's best game, imho, with much more creativity required of the player than Guitar Hero)... And waitaminute, you did play Katamari, right?

So what are you using to emulate?

Thomas @ Wed May 19 10:16:30 2010 EST

Pretty much, yeah. Most of the PS1 era, too. My roots are definitely in PC gaming.

I got Belle a copy of Katamari when it first came out, so I've played that. And I've gone back and played enough of the Final Fantasy games to know that I'm generally uninterested in Final Fantasy. But yeah, I've missed a lot. Ico is in my trading queue, and I should probably add Amplitude.

I've been using PCSX2 to emulate, on a C2D Thinkpad with the Quadro equivalent of Nvidia's mobile 8400 card. I haven't tried much else on it yet, since most of our remaining PS2 games are of the Annoying Controller Variety (DDR and so forth). What I'd really dig is a GameCube emulator, but I haven't bothered to check for one of those yet.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Wed May 19 22:24:24 2010 EST

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on Amplitude, actually. I think it's Harmonix's best game, as well as a terrifically interesting way to look at hip-hop music (it turns everything into a rhythm instrument, which is perfect). And Ico is just lovely, though having a walkthrough handy is… recommended.

The PS2 was really the system for those with an interest in weird/arty/Japanese games, even more so than the Dreamcast, much as I loved some of the latter's library. The DC had the perfection of Jet Grind Radio, but the PS2 had Gitaroo Man, Shadow Hearts Covenant, Aqua Aqua and lots of other completely unclassifiable things (as well as meat'n'potatoes excellence like God Of War). And even some of the Annoying Controller titles were worth trying---I really enjoyed both Groove and AntiGrav for the EyeToy.

Right now my PS2 remains in rotation for the sake of God Hand and the first Viewtiful Joe game. The former's fighting engine is untoppably deep,, and the latter's as visually stunning now as when first released thanks to smart cel-shading and animation.

How do you deal with going from two joysticks to just one mouse on the PC? I could see a lot of games becoming abruptly unplayable without that second stick for control.

Thomas @ Fri May 28 16:42:31 2010 EST

I really regret not having made the connection in this piece that was made in this documentary on pixel art: in the original, cathode-ray representations of vintage games, the pixels weren't perfect squares--they were blurred and fuzzed into something more abstract. That means that our memories of retro gaming have actually been shaped by emulation, to the point that we've spawned new art styles based on our faulty memories of how things were and our over-precise recreations. And now, of course, we're feeding that back into games (this is kind of what I meant with the Pixeljunk Shooter example, but it wasn't explicit).

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