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Why didn't they improve the graphics even a little?

This often gets asked when discussing ports of games to more powerful systems which mostly get left be in terms of visuals, whether it be Resident Evil 2 from PS1 to DC, Skies of Arcadia from DC to GCN, or Animal Crossing from N64 to GCN.

If they felt it was worth it to totally revamp a title, they would. But "even a little"? What were you expecting? Redo only the textures, or perhaps only the models? Regardless, that's a full game's worth of work for some person or department.

Or did you maybe hope for them to make Animal Crossing at least look like an average Dreamcast game even if not a GCN game? That's still a full game's worth of art and modelling work, and if they were to choose to improve the game's looks, they wouldn't purposefully do it just a little.

You really have to consider the circumstances behind a game. The GCN version of RE2 is just there so people can have the full line of main RE games on the GCN and to make Capcom a quick buck, not because they expect to push it as a huge new title. There's not THAT much of a difference between what Dreamcast and the current systems can do that makes it seem worth it to Sega to go and totally redo everything in a game when the end result won't be THAT much different. I'm sure they'd rather have the heavy graphical work being done towards the new titles.

For ports like these you basically have to be satisfied with things that can be done in hardware without a whole lot more actual work going into it. This is usually improved resolution, frame rates, and draw distance, but could also be texture processing, anti-aliasing, lighting, or shadowing. In the future perhaps we'll see motion blur as something added. Or heck, with things like TruForm, the models could be made smoother on-the-fly; I guess technology might actually allow for the time when they'll choose to improve the game "just a little".

September 16, 2002

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