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 Post subject: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:53 pm 


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We met up at Kiken and Minzoku's last week-end, my first American Shmupmeet !
It was awesome to meet American players, hang out, and meet DDP on PSX and Saturn for the first time.

Today let's rant about how terrible those two ports are !

So first I had a run on DDP Saturn. I sort of got the hang of playing with arcade sticks now and can perform ok with them now most of the time I think. I guess an average stick run would get me 200M points to 2-5 or something (spectated runs). This first run I got a little over 30M and ended run at the end of first loop, not getting the requirements (they are messed up in the port). Impossible to chain, dying all over the place. Then I played a good bunch of PSX runs and couldnt get over 70M or something, many times finishing just the first loop too. After I figured those ports are actually very innacurate, I just played kind of for survival being very careful not to be surprised and trapped by unexpected differences and got to 2-4 or 2-5 with under 100M scores.

These are the ports innacuracies that I detected through my bunch of runs :

Saturn DDP :
- Of course, as it was known already I believe, the speed is off. Game seems to run a little faster by default (probably 60fps which makes it overall 4% faster). Slowdown occurs more rarely as more bullets need to be on screen to trigger it, so most of the game is even faster that it should on top of those additional 4%. However when slowdown occurs on massive bullet counts, it slows down too much, in particular Hibachi is much easier than it should.
- Horizontal width of play area seems a little bit off (too small), resulting in slightly different enemy placement.
- Damage seems dealt differently by your ship and some enemies have more hit points than they should.
- Bullet cancel lasts a much shorter time than it should.
- Enemies have different aiming.
- Your chaining meter might be a little slower to deplete (not sure).

PSX DDP :
- Slowdown is off similarly to Saturn even with Wait option ON.
- Damage dealing is messed up and many popcorn enemies have too many hitpoints or survive a little longer for some reason.
- Enemies have different aiming similar to Saturn DDP.
- Loop requirements seem wrong.
- When you uncover a bee with your laser, you don't get one hit worth of chain meter gauge filled (this completely messes up chaining).

There are probably more inaccuracies.

The results of those inaccuracies are :
- You cannot use your usual chaining paths with those ports, they will not work, not only because you won't connect but because enemies won't die when they should and some will shoot at different angles making survival very compromised. You can probably chain again if you learn adapted paths for each port, however I suspect the PSX port chains would really suffer from not getting a hit from uncovering bees : some parts might become simply unchainable, or very hard to chain, or require you to use a path where you ignore collecting a bee which hurts your score by around 7M for 1 bee-chain broken.
- The difficulty of the game is very altered, some parts will, upon adaptation of your knowledge, become much easier or harder.

I regard those ports as garbage, they look like DDP but they're not really the same game. For me the point of a port is to allow a DDP player to jump in and be able to play without major changes to his game knowledge, and with a generally unaltered difficulty. That's not even close to what they managed there. Mind you, I have played on PCB and MAME numerous times and have never noticed a single difference (including in speed) between them except for the fact that the PCB has a graphics bug that MAME doesn't, that doesn't affect gameplay.

I regard scores performed on PSX or Saturn as definitely non comparable to MAME and PCB.

That was my rant, over and out !

ProM
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Last edited by PROMETHEUS on Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:30 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:42 pm 


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Arcade ports definitely kept evolving in the 90s.. here's how I look at it:

- 8-bit ports: If they resemble the game they're supposed to be a port of, it's a miracle
- 16-bit ports: Reasonably close, but you'll never be able to compare the scores or feel to the arcade versions (except for the rare port which was spot on)
- 32-bit ports: Now we're getting somewhere: the feel is generally pretty good, but there might be some inaccuracies and cut down graphics
- Later generations: Control, graphics and gameplay is emulated 100%.. but it's ruined because the game runs in high res instead of true low res.. DAMMIT!

In that light, I dunno if DDP is really that bad of a port. I'm sure if you're used to one version though that you'll be thrown off by another though; that's probably really frustrating if you've invested a lot of time into the arcade version.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:59 pm 


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Home console ports in "not arcade perfect" shocker :roll:

Hilariously, this is the other way around to how it usually is - normally home ports are more stripped down, include slowdown/flicker due to hardware limitations and have the difficulty toned down.

I struggle to see how something is a terrible port if it's not identical to the original - if that's the case, man, you must hate 99% of arcade conversions up to the end of the 32 bit era.

I'd have thought a serious player would've relished the additional challenge, rather than complain that they have to adjust their play style. The criticism at the Saturn version is actually amusing - it's faster, smoother and tougher... what a disgrace!
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:16 pm 


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TransatlanticFoe wrote:
I'd have thought a serious player would've relished the additional challenge, rather than complain that they have to adjust their play style. The criticism at the Saturn version is actually amusing - it's faster, smoother and tougher... what a disgrace!


What makes you think Prometheus is talking about challenge? All his points refer to scoring, most notably chaining, which requires excellent timing all the time and nearly perfect execution on some spots for which DDP is (in)famous... any difference in speed is going to get all your timings completely off when you've played on the PCB/MAME, and things like bees not giving you hits makes some chains likely impossible, and others very different.

It's understandable that it was back in the 90s and ports weren't as good then (compare with the PS2 port of DOJ, which is as perfect as you can hope for), but dismissing it all as "it's just extra challenge" is missing the point altogether, or not having any experience of how precise and demanding DDP chaining gets. Or not having learned the Deathsmiles NA slowdown lesson :P


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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:21 pm 


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Ahaha I was JUST talking about this with someone last night. I can't play Saturn DDP at all, it just infuriates me. I don't want to play a game that looks the same as the one I've dumped over a hundred hours into and makes me look and feel like I've never even heard of it before while I'm playing.
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Last edited by Deca on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:22 pm 


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Thanks for posting this up, Prometheus - I love reading expert players' views on home ports, whatever the game. :smile:
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:25 pm 


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This makes me wonder what (if any) Saturn & PSX ports are arcade accurate. I've enjoyed the DDP on the Sat, but with any game that involves such strict timing I think it's reasonable to have issues with inaccuracies such as the ones Prom pointed out. What he's saying is the game is broken if it was designed with routes in mind that can not be implemented by the player. Still a fun game, it for competitive scoring it doesn't hold up.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:32 pm 


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If they count, the Saturn's STV ports (Cotton 2, Cotton Boomerang, Guardian Force, Radiant Silvergun, Shienryu and Soukyugurentai) are generally regarded as perfect or damned close.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:42 pm 


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The Saturn port of Batsugun is pretty spot on in terms of conversion.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:59 pm 


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louisg wrote:
- 8-bit ports: If they resemble the game they're supposed to be a port of, it's a miracle

Aren't home ports of certain arcade games of that era considered superior to the originals, gameplay-wise? That's what I keep reading about Contra and Bionic Commando on the NES.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:08 pm 


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I think louis was talking in terms of the strict, virtually 1:1 accuracy you'd get from something like ESPGaluda on the PS2. I consider Contra and Jackal's NES renditions better than the arcade originals largely because they're so different (aesthetically and mechanically), but as arcade ports they're hopeless.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:14 pm 



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Even though I don't have nowhere near the experience that Prometheus has on DDP I could tell some of those differences on the ports quite easily.

I think DDP suffers the most from these differences because the player has to follow a really strict path and it is easy to tell if something is different or not. Even though I didn't spend much time playing those ports, I remember seeing enemies shooting bullets when they're not supposed to on the Saturn version and having different hitboxes for some enemies on the PSX version which made the path I was using on MAME useless on the PSX version...


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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:19 pm 


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I suggest we all destroy our copies right now and go on an aggressive campaign to destroy all remaining copies in the world !
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:25 pm 


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I find your views interesting, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:26 pm 



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Hi, I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favourite thread on the citadel.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:28 pm 


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PROMETHEUS wrote:
I suggest we all destroy our copies right now and go on an aggressive campaign to destroy all remaining copies in the world !

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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:09 pm 


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Aliquantic wrote:
TransatlanticFoe wrote:
I'd have thought a serious player would've relished the additional challenge, rather than complain that they have to adjust their play style. The criticism at the Saturn version is actually amusing - it's faster, smoother and tougher... what a disgrace!


What makes you think Prometheus is talking about challenge? All his points refer to scoring, most notably chaining, which requires excellent timing all the time and nearly perfect execution on some spots for which DDP is (in)famous... any difference in speed is going to get all your timings completely off when you've played on the PCB/MAME, and things like bees not giving you hits makes some chains likely impossible, and others very different.

It's understandable that it was back in the 90s and ports weren't as good then (compare with the PS2 port of DOJ, which is as perfect as you can hope for), but dismissing it all as "it's just extra challenge" is missing the point altogether, or not having any experience of how precise and demanding DDP chaining gets. Or not having learned the Deathsmiles NA slowdown lesson :P


Which is a challenge, which is my point. The changes lend to a different experience of the game - but then I'm sure there are many who would say this anyway unless you're playing on the original hardware. Given that, unless the console has pretty much the same hardware (Saturn STV ports, NAOMI on DC, that sort of thing), you're not going to get an arcade perfect experience - saying something is terrible because of that is, frankly, ludicrous. Complaining about slowdown being removed is even more ludicrous.

Was this split from the top 25 shmups of all time thread or something? Because that'd make the scoring complaints viable, given the consideration of turning points over where a conversion becomes a different game. However, it doesn't make a port bad that your timings need to be different - boo-hoo that your finely tuned memory is null and void. Gonna complain that the extra level in the SMS port of R-Type makes it bad, because you have to go about learning a whole new level? How about rising to the challenge rather than claiming that it makes for a terrible version?

I'm not dissing preferring a particular version (like the one you've spent most time with) but to say something is terrible because it's a bit different is pathetic.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:16 pm 



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TransatlanticFoe wrote:
Was this split from the top 25 shmups of all time thread or something? Because that'd make the scoring complaints viable, given the consideration of turning points over where a conversion becomes a different game. However, it doesn't make a port bad that your timings need to be different - boo-hoo that your finely tuned memory is null and void. Gonna complain that the extra level in the SMS port of R-Type makes it bad, because you have to go about learning a whole new level? How about rising to the challenge rather than claiming that it makes for a terrible version?

I'm not dissing preferring a particular version (like the one you've spent most time with) but to say something is terrible because it's a bit different is pathetic.


You just sound like a dope who doesn't seem to understand that these kinds of differences from the original in high-level scoring are actually huge problems and not in any way desirable new "challenges".

Stop being pointlessly contrarian... you're trying to play down the opinions and observations of a person who knows the game as well as only a handful of people on the entire planet.


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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:26 pm 


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TransatlanticFoe wrote:
I'm not dissing preferring a particular version (like the one you've spent most time with) but to say something is terrible because it's a bit different is pathetic.

I think you must have missed this :
ProMeTheus wrote:
For me the point of a port is to allow a DDP player to jump in and be able to play without major changes to his game knowledge, and with a generally unaltered difficulty. That's not even close to what they managed there.


That's just my view on the goals of making ports.
I don't think there is a point in having many slightly different versions of the same game, it only splits players and makes it more confusing to play the game seriously. Some extra challenge or altered difficulty seems entirely pointless as well, if I want a greater challenge I can try improving on my best score. Because they fail to achieve what I view ports should seek to achieve, for me they are very, very bad.

I don't mind that you disagree, and I understand that some people are happy to be able to play this game on PSX or Saturn because they have a bigger TV than their computer screen or because they just play casually or some other reason : they have different views on the goals of making ports, and I do not think they are stupid or pathetic.

I'm sorry that you do !
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:36 pm 


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Cool, I've been waiting for this thread to pop up ever since the shmupmeet. Thanks for your observations PROM :)
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:38 pm 


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PROMETHEUS wrote:
TransatlanticFoe wrote:
I'm not dissing preferring a particular version (like the one you've spent most time with) but to say something is terrible because it's a bit different is pathetic.

I think you must have missed this :
ProMeTheus wrote:
For me the point of a port is to allow a DDP player to jump in and be able to play without major changes to his game knowledge, and with a generally unaltered difficulty. That's not even close to what they managed there.


That's just my view on the goals of making ports.
I don't think there is a point in having many slightly different versions of the same game, it only splits players and makes it more confusing to play the game seriously. Some extra challenge or altered difficulty seems entirely pointless as well, if I want a greater challenge I can try improving on my best score.

I don't mind that you disagree, and I understand that some people are happy to be able to play this game on PSX or Saturn because they have a bigger TV than their computer screen or because they just play casually or some other reason : they have different views on the goals of making ports, and I do not think they are stupid or pathetic.

I'm sorry that you do !


I was just surprised that your reaction was "this is terrible" just because it was different. I'd still maintain that virtually all ports from that era (and before) have some noticable differences from the original hardware, so it seems a bit strange to come across so aggressively to those ports (I guess one can be a bit more defensive towards a personal favourite). Likewise, I am surprised that the score differential didn't yield any interest in improving on it (mainly with the technical "improvement" of reduced slowdown) - but as I said, I expected an "I prefer the original" rather than "this is terrible".

I appreciate the clarification on your views and have no further objections.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:49 pm 


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TransatlanticFoe wrote:
I was just surprised that your reaction was "this is terrible" just because it was different. I'd still maintain that virtually all ports from that era (and before) have some noticable differences from the original hardware


I'm really curious about how true this actually is or isn't. I'm not familiar enough with most of the source material to make a call one way or another with any confidence.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:00 pm 



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It's surprising that SPS even managed to code a port of DDP for the PSX at all, considering they were the ones did the earlier DP port as well. There was talk from U.S. devs wanting release both DP/DDP for the American PSX marketbase as a budget game combo title release but SCEA wouldn't budge, thus it was never done.

We'd have to talk with the coders at SPS to see/why they did their thing on the PSX port and why they tried or not to make a closely related port based off of the PCB version. Could they have consulted with the pro ace Japanese DDP players for their input to make it closer to the PCB iteration or not? It'd be interested to see what SPS has to say about all this regarding their DDP port.

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Last edited by PC Engine Fan X! on Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:00 pm 


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Good info! I'm still never destroying my saturn copy... Unless maybe I get the pcb

I'm curious How the saturn port of Garegga compares to the pcb
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:05 pm 



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The PCB version of DDP is the one to play/own indeed. Then you'd settle for the Mame/Mame32 version to sate your appetite for your DDP fix if access to a supergun or candy cab isn't possible/applicable. The console ports are regulated to a third place setting...is better than not playing DDP at all.

If you're used to playing the PCB/Mame version of DDP, then yes, an ace DDP PCB player will be able to spot such differences/changes on the DDP ports with sharp eyes.

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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:16 pm 



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PC Engine Fan X! wrote:
There was talk from U.S. devs wanting release both DP/DDP for the American PSX marketbase as a budget game combo title release but SCEA wouldn't budge, thus it was never done.


Augh! That would have been great for shmups in the west.


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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:48 am 


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dunpeal2064 wrote:
I'm curious How the saturn port of Garegga compares to the pcb


Gwyrgyn has stated that there are numerous places where the Saturn port is a bit faster than the PCB. Also the between level pause to load the next stage can be somewhat intrusive... for instance, you have to preemptively bomb right at the end of stage 2 (just before the game pauses to load stage 3) in order to destroy all of the destructible girders at the beginning of level 3 (if you wait until level 3 has loaded to bomb, you'll miss some of the medals).
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:20 am 


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Kiken wrote:
dunpeal2064 wrote:
I'm curious How the saturn port of Garegga compares to the pcb


Gwyrgyn has stated that there are numerous places where the Saturn port is a bit faster than the PCB. Also the between level pause to load the next stage can be somewhat intrusive... for instance, you have to preemptively bomb right at the end of stage 2 (just before the game pauses to load stage 3) in order to destroy all of the destructible girders at the beginning of level 3 (if you wait until level 3 has loaded to bomb, you'll miss some of the medals).


The thing that bothers me the most about the Garegga port is that you have to unlock the Wait option by 1ccing :S

Though the game doesn't feel as drastically different without it as I would have expected, unless the stuff I've been reading is wrong and you unlock the ability to turn it OFF.
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 Post subject: Re: ProM's "DDP PSX and Saturn ports are garbage" rant !
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:47 am 


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Obiwanshinobi wrote:
Aren't home ports of certain arcade games of that era considered superior to the originals, gameplay-wise? That's what I keep reading about Contra and Bionic Commando on the NES.

They're not ports. Like with Strider, they all have almost nothing to do with their arcade counterparts.
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