Highly recommend reading Kyle Pittman's articles on
It did have some downsides, in particular that it was a bit unnatural for artists to work with, and memory was a constant struggle on console. Skullgirls characters could have well over 1000 frames of animation, and the game supports 3 on 3 fights. Mike did a handful of clever tricks to optimize memory usage, including breaking the images into smaller tiles and throwing out all the empty ones, and compressing the images even in memory. I'm a big fan of the final effect; I think the sprites look great, are high resolution, and allowed artists to create an extremely varied set of palettes for the game.
When an indie developer does an HD remake, it's a labor of love. Each sprite is scaled up meticulously and a lot of thought is put into how to make the game look the best.
When a big company like Squeenix does an HD remake, they toss it to a third party, who will do...well, pretty much what you see here. FFV has never been a big moneymaker for Square (wasn't even originally released in the US, so the nostalgia factor isn't even there for many of us who grew up with their games), so I'm guessing "cheap and good enough" trumped "actually good".
What's funny is that those who are nostalgic for these games (or who just think they're better than most of the stuff on the market today) are willing to work long and hard with no monetary compensation to produce actually good versions of the game in question. I wonder if there's some way for Square to work with these folks to produce a legal, well-done version of the game for Steam. Probably too risky, but it's a shame.
See also: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2015/09/16/how-gog-com-save-...
Granted, some companies do want to keep those rights to themselves.
Not sure which one is really better - the original has a very different color palette. The sprites are probably nicer on the remake, although I think the character portraits in the original are superior. The remake does have a number of gameplay improvements.
Of course, once you play that version on a emulator on a modern LCD (or even on the backlit GBA SP), the colours end up being too bright, to the point that there is a fanmade patch for FF6 advance to bring back the SNES colour palette:
Huh. I guess it goes to show what good solutions fan groups can come up with. That's fairly bleeding edge, with a well chosen training set and it produces great results. Really fascinating. I wonder how well it works on regular old line-art or if it really is dependent on working with anime-like artwork.
Back when it was released on GameCube it looked absolutely amazing. When they released the PC port, more than a decade later, they talked about re-creating some of the iconic scenes in the game engine so that they were more dynamic. In the end only two scenes re-created. The remaining scenes were just upscaled from their GameCube originals. This was unfortunate since not only where they a low resolution (something like 700x300), but some of the scenes were heavily compressed and upscaling them produced a lot of haloing and noticeable compression artefacts.
Why Capcom couldn't just re-render the original scenes is beyond me.
Improving older anime, drawn at low-res and 5 FPS, has real potential. Especially if you can get better source material than old VHS tapes.
You can't easily auto-tween a 3D rotation of a 2D character, for example.
I think the author's approach of "use upsizing algorithms as a basis for humans to remaster" is probably the best of both worlds.
Actually, you can. See the previous HN discussion of "Framefree", which decomposes an image into separately moving layers and uses a full mesh morph layer by layer to interpolate between frames. Some ultra-slow motion for sports is done that way.
That's pretty awesome! I stand by my point that it's not easy, but I'm amazed by how effective that is.
I suspect after FF7Remake Square Enix will pull out from console gaming altogether and release more "get Cloud's sword with microtransactions" style mobile farm fests.
Because that's where the money is.
1. Create something amazing, pour artisan-level craftsmanship into it, gain huge following
2. Exploit your popularity by churning out branded garbage
Even Disney's not immune. Have you seen how many direct-to-DVD/streaming 'movies' there are that cash in on their popular franchises? It sucks.
I have a strong feeling that a lot of those are made exclusively for toddlers, who tend to frequently get obsessed with consuming anything-and-everything related to a given franchise. I don't feel bad that they're not well-made; nobody could keep pumping good pieces of media out at the rate an obsessive toddler will want to consume them.
> [Sakaguchi's] employer Square refused to give him permission [to make an RPG] as it expected low sales of such a product
> ...the title was later changed to Final Fantasy as the game was thought to be the company's final project under the threat of bankruptcy. Sakaguchi also explained that the new title stemmed from his personal situation: had the game not sold well, he would have quit the games industry and gone back to university.
A bit editorialized on my part, but still.