Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sega Racers Are Slicker Than Grease

I read an interesting article on Kotaku lately.  And I normally skim over 95% of that site because a lot of it sucks but this one really got my attention.  It pertains to Sega racers, don't worry.  Will get to it in a sec.

Is this the reason why people love Call of Duty?  Yes, I know there's many haters out there reading this.  But what is it that makes the game so popular...?

IT RUNS FAST.  Call of Duty runs at 60 frames per second and delay from controller to game is just 50 milliseconds.  Compare that to Battlefield 3 which runs at 30 frames per second and has a delay of 110 milliseconds.  This is huge when you think about it.  It's a subtle thing that very few people mention.  It's that ingrained into the experience that you're too engrossed with the controls to even notice.

Now CoD haters can come up with all sorts of complaints--the game takes no skill or teamwork, it's horribly unbalanced, there's no tanks or jet fighters.  I'm not here to disagree with these points.  But that means nothing to many since CoD at its core runs fast.  It's very responsive and also very rewarding to shoot people.  I mean, that's a fact.  Battlefield 3 sounds great but in terms of good old-fashioned arcade shooting, Call of Duty wins.  Well, that's the general consensus, I suppose.

Now Call of Duty trades graphical prowess for pure speed.  CoD, in its 5th iteration on the X360/PS3, is running on a dated engine.  From a technical standpoint, Battlefield is leagues ahead in terms of visuals.  But do graphics really matter??  I'd much rather play a fast game with lesser graphics and better performance than one that looks great but isn't as responsive.  I know many gamers won't admit this, but I believe more people feel the same way too.  There's a reason why Call of Duty outsold Battlefield by a mile...

Also, this is why I personally prefer GoldSource Valve games to Source games...Counter-Strike 1.6 runs faster than Counter-Strike Source, especially on older computers.  So shove it, Source...

EDIT: I do read from a few places that some would gladly sacrifice 30 frames for a much better looking games.  I don't know...isn't the game all about GAMEPLAY and not graphics?  And that 60 FPS instead of 30 would have better gameplay?  It's an opinion, but one that I believe holds some credibility.

So about Sega racers.  Is that one of the reasons why games like Daytona USA, Daytona USA 2, Scud Race, and OutRun 2 are so amazing?  Because Sega, first and foremost, put the most emphasis on ensuring optimal graphic performance and top-notch handling?  I hear plenty of people complain about next-gen racers like Forza, GRID, DiRT and (dare I say it) Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing because they run at 30 FPS.  Well, some of those may run at 60 FPS, I don't know for sure, but you get the idea.  Even if the human eye can only detect up to 25 FPS or so (maybe faster in certain situations), me and many others do notice the difference between 30 to 60 FPS.  It makes a big deal and now you know that.

And obviously, I haven't talked about the response time between the controller & the game for said racing games.

So there you go.  Another reason why game devs should get off their high horse on outstanding graphics and make a game that just plain runs fast.  It's much more satisfying that way.  Then you can go for great graphics (which is what Sega did...Scud Race and Daytona 2 both look gorgeous and run fast because of the outstanding Model3 hardware).  And Sega racers (most of them anyway), got that aspect down.  Not much else to say here.  That's just my brief rant.

There's a big NASCAR race this Sunday.  Final race of the Sprint Cup season at Homestead, FL...Carl Edwards vs. Tony Stewart.  Should be interesting.  Thankfully the Saints have a bye so I should be able to watch it.  Too bad I'll be doing schoolwork in the meantime!  More on school stuff later, things are getting interesting...  EDIT: Read my take on the race here.


  1. Actually this is something that has been bothering me for quite a bit in this era of gaming. That considering "how far we've come", it seems that only a handful of games run at 60 fps. I thought all games would be able to at this point, and not just the 2D ones. And you're right, it does play a large role in how responsive controls are.

    It was the fact that almost all Sega arcade games ran at 60 fps that drew me to them when I was younger. I really couldn't believe my eyes back then. And wasn't this also one of the reasons that the Dreamcast version of Sega Rally 2 got so much flack when it was released? I was able to get over it and loved that game to death, but man, others avoided it like the plague. There was even that code to reduce the amount of objects on the screen so some moments of 60 fps were possible.

    And if I remember, I read somewhere Sumo Digital wanted to make Sonic SASR 60 fps but Sega didn't want the graphics quality to be sacrificed. Still a great game. But I also remember reading complaints that its arcade counterpart also ran at 30 fps, and people even bring it up with the console versions of Sonic Generations.

    Sin & Punishment 2 for the Wii also comes to mind. Critics were unimpressed with the graphics at first, and it had a colossal overhaul when released. But Treasure even came out saying that they still sacrificed some graphical detail to ensure the game ran at a solid 60 fps. Brilliant game, and that's why people love Treasure.

    But to be honest, reflecting upon it, I think Sega spoiled us in more ways than one. This is another reason why I facepalm when I hear people say gaming is better than ever. In some areas perhaps, and in some we went completely backwards.

    Of course, there's also the counterargument of "PC VERSION :D".

  2. Yeah, too many gamers have taken frames per second for granted...just another thing that's "meh" about gaming nowadays.

    Of course, shiny, top-notch graphics sell games. Frames per second, not so much. Well, that's the breaks...

  3. I read somewhere Sumo Digital wanted to make Sonic SASR 60 fps but Sega didn't want the graphics quality to be sacrificed.