Triple Threat

Well, Christmas has been and gone, and we were a little quiet here at the 'Yard. Mainly because the Dreamcast has been out of production for the last decade, but we don't let that get us down! And in any case - Happy 2014 to our loyal readers and DC lovers! On a slightly different note, I made a new video recently and I thought I should post here as well as elsewhere...if that makes sense.

It's a comparison video showing the various graphical differences between the console releases of San Francisco Rush 2049 on the DC, N64 and Xbox. I think you'll agree that the DC version looks pretty much identical to (if not slightly better than) the 'arcade perfect' Xbox version (which was included as part of the Midway Arcade Treasures 3 compilation). I think the most notable differences between the N64 and other versions is the lack of a headlight effect, and the Xbox version's tire smoke looks a bit thicker than that in the DC version...but have a look and form your own opinion. Enjoy:


CD ageS said...

The Xbox port isn't even "arcade perfect" at all. The game was ported completely off of the Dreamcast version. The same applies to Hydro Thunder found in the Midway Treasures 3 compilation disc. With that said, 2049 on dreamcast is substantially different from its arcade parent.

CD ageS said...

So essentailly 2049 on xbox is basically identical to the Dreamcast release of 2049. The same applies to Hydro. The Arcade Treasures 3 version is based entirely on the Eurocom developed dreamcast port and not the Midway San Diego original production. A damn shame really. Nonetheless, there does appear to be some marginal visual and performance differences between the DC and Midway Treasures release of Hydro Thunder.

Tom Charnock said...

Thanks for commenting - I wasn't aware of the link between the Xbox and DC ports of Rush 2049, I only assumed it was an arcade port as Rush: The Rock is on the disk and wasn't on any other consoles in that it kind of made sense that 2049 would be similar. I'm planning on doing another comparison between the 3 versions of Hydro Thunder too, so it'll be interesting to see how they measure up.

CD ageS said...

It's not only a link between Xbox. Remember that Midway Treasures 3 was ported to every major home console of that console gen so it applies to those respective platforms as well. Actually, that is incorrect also! RUSH: THE ROCK is absolutely NOT a port of the arcade. RUSH: THE ROCK in this release was entirely built from the ground up! As a result it has an entirely new soundtrack, but more importantly runs at double the framerate as well as having a totally different physics engine from its arcade counterpart. As a result it doesn't feel or handle anywhere close to its arcade original. As a result of this, not to mention 2 of the games (Hydro/2049) in this collection being ports based on Dreamcast releases and not arcade, caused quite a bit of negative backlash towards the compilation from the playerbase. Arcade Treasures 3 was not as successful as 1 or 2 for perhaps these reasons...

CD ageS said...

Between 3 versions of Hydro? I assume you are referring to the DC, PS1 and N64 versions. Well the results will be rather interesting I'll tell you that right now considering the PS1 and N64 versions not only had a slightly longer development window, but also ported by a different studio (Eurocom handled only the DC port and released it 5 months before the other 2 ports). The Dreamcast version does a rather commendable job at recreating the Arcade original, but the other 2 ports had little chance at achieving that goal due to such dated hardware. Because of that, each console port was developed to compensate for lack of visuals and arcade accuracy with exclusive content. The PS1 version has an exclusive single player Career campaign and the N64 version has 4 player support to its name.

Tom Charnock said...


I'm starting to regret ever writing this post...


Tom Charnock said...

But yes, I meant the 3 console versions of Hydro you mention. The San Francisco Rush that made it's way to the PS1 is totally different to the N64 version too, what's the deal with that?

CD ageS said...

Don't say that! So you didn't know, it's ok. In a strange way, I think its cool that the legacy of the Dreamcast lives on through these ports that come from original DC code. Even with todays current consoles, its still applicable with certain game releases.

CD ageS said...

Perhaps the same reason all stand alone console releases of Hydro are different. Developers have work within the constraints and limitations of console hardware (this is def a scenario when porting arcade productions to home). Addtionally, sometimes the same game across different platforms are developed by entirely different studios.

Wry Guy said...

I've actually been writing an article on Dreamcast racing games for and Rush 2049 is one that stumps me frequently.

I think there may be a real arcade machine for me to experiment with if I'm lucky, but after checking out videos am I right in assuming the original arcade version had cars that could actually do something beside understeer?

From what I've played of the Dreamcast version and what I've seen of the arcade version they may as well be entirely different games, with the arcade version being way more enjoyable to play in an actual race.

CD ageS said...

Awesome to hear that. I'm a regular on RB forums. I personally feel the platform did a rather stellar job at representing the racing games especially with regards to the arcade type racing sub genre, so it goes without saying that I very much look forward to reading your article!

Rush 2049 on consoles is an interesting subject. I havent invested much time on both arcade or Dreamcast versions of the game, but its rather clear that the console port is a more of a variation than a direct arcade port. It had additional tracks over its arcade brethren (although its quick to note the final Arcade update to the game eventually received those tracks and then some). The biggest tell tale though, is the "Stunt Wing" feature in gameplay. It doesn't exist in any Arcade release. My theory in this one feature that set appart arcade and console ports of the game is that either A. This feature was meant to be for the arcade but was scrapped for any number of reasons, or B. The feature was created for the home versions to increase the products replay value for that particular market.
Furthermore, people who have played both Arcade and DC versions of 2049 has stated that both handle very different. Handling feels tighter, more arcade like physics, while the latter feels looser, floatier and more open ended. There is also mention that the tracks both versions share are actually different via certain shortcuts and branching pathways. All these parricular changes lead me to believe that that they were made ultimately to accomodate the Stunt Wing feature so its implementation feels more natural and organic than merely something that was tacked on to the games original intended design scheme in the arcade. That's just my thoughts though.

Tom Charnock said...

Yeah, that sounds interesting, Wry Guy - I'd be keen to read that too. If you need any further information on Rush 2049 though, I don't think you need to look any further than CD ageS here, who is quite simply the most knowledgeable Rush 2049 player on the whole interwebs! :)

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CD ageS said...

Nope. Not even much of a fan of the Rush series to be quite honest. But when it comes to Fighting game know how, I def one for advice on the topic lol! As a matter of fact, the first time I read the header on this very post here, by "Triple Threat" I quickly assumed you were regarding the RDC homebrew release of the SF3 compilation on Dreamcast released last year. Its was released as Triple Threat :p

Wry Guy said...

From what I've played of the Dreamcast version I can't really say I'm a fan of Rush either. People remember this game for the multiplayer stunt and battle modes. Never the actual racing. What's the point of a racing game where you can barely get the car to turn a corner? Even Mario Kart understands this. These tracks are mostly just straightaways and super-wide turns. You spend most of your time in this game going in a straight line even on a lot of shortcuts.

It's way too easy to see everything in the distance creeping up for the game to be anywhere near as fast as it claims.

The way the game emphasizes high jumps and yet makes the vehicles so incredibly unstable is weird too. If you hit any jumps at the wrong angle you're done. It's weird because the older Rush games on the 64 were totally happy to let you land at any angle and they were more fun for it.

As a party game it's fun but as a straight racing game I'd say it's kind of a failure. Not nearly as fun as less realistic N64 fare like Mario Kart, Wave Race or F-Zero. Not nearly as rewarding to play as more realistic Dreamcast stuff like Sega Rally, F355 Challenge, Daytona or Tokyo Xtreme Racer.

I'm pretty solid on fighting game information. 2D fighters are pretty much my specialty and if I have the time I'm hoping to do revisions to the existing article.

Since collectors rarely understand how the games were played on a competitive level I figured it couldn't hurt to describe a few things like Roll Canceling in CvS2, the aggressive nature of KOF 2002, or the clusterfuck of Marvel competitive play. Also thought of covering which ports are closer to their original counterparts.

Everyone from Shoryuken loves to make claims they have no idea about. It's especially funny that the Shoryuken wiki can't even get its facts straight claiming that the XBox and PS2 versions are running at different speeds and that the Dreamcast version has input lag because of the pressure sensitive triggers on the standard controller. Another common misconception is that the XBLA and PSN version of Third Strike is arcade perfect when it's in fact a revised version of the PS2 port.

Everyone just hates the Dreamcast version of Third Strike because it uses Revision B, which the world probably should have given a chance considering there's almost no documentation on if it's a better balanced version of the game or not.

And as for the ACTUAL differences in all the versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3? There's so much misinformation there it's ridiculous.

Personally I played Mark of the Wolves and King of Fighters 2002 back then.

CD ageS said...

I really hope so. Alot of the current articles over at RB regarding the genre are totally wrong which is a shame really.

Well yeah its true. The PS2 and Xbox versions are running at differents speeds from the actual arcade version. The PS2 port runs the slowest of all 3 home ports for sure. Well I honeslty don't know if the that's the general consensus anymore regarding 3S:OE considering IG has already gone on the record about what version their release is based off of. I knew from day one of release that the game was not arcade perfect. It, more than any other home port before it. But yeah, the DC port input lag story is BS.

The reason to shun Revision B even today is simply because there isn't any real reason to play that version if it never came out in the arcade. The majority of 3S scene still prefers to play and compete using the CPS3 over any release regardless if a home port is close to arcade accurate. Playing the DC version doesn't help develop ones skills as much as the other ports. Regardless if that version didn't get the opportunity to mature, there still no bones about it being a less balanced version over rev A. Simply the removal of unblockables kills any chance for 2 on the roster to stay competitive with the rest of the cast further widening the tiers and having the issue of strongest characters getting stronger due to viable characters getting weaker. I personally don't care much really. I play the game at the arcade and at home prefer ther Dreamcast Beta release by RDC (mostly for replacing the awful arrange soundtrack with the original). Plus I love any version of 3S on DC over the rest simply because it can be played with true arcade resolution which looks SO much better over any other home release with the right setup.

I don't even wanna get started with all bullshit surrounding home ports Alpha 3. Screw that!

We would get along. Garou and KoF 02 are my favorite SNK games to play on DC (even with the issues involving the former lol!).

Wry Guy said...

The consensus among tournament level players was that the XBox and PS2 versions were pretty much identical. People using HDTVs and not accounting for the actual original arcade speed pretty much guaranteed nobody would ever know for sure WHY a certain version was tournament standard, other than being on the most popular console.

Third Strike Revision B actually did get a release in arcades, but only in Japan. Arcades were basically dying so attempts to update the game were probably for naught. The reason people should have looked in to it more is that from what I've heard the top tier characters in Third Strike were properly toned down and it would have been nice to know the details. All anyone ever brings up is the loss of unblockables and how it ruins two characters, but we aren't actually sure of that because the other characters weren't looked in to that much.

As for Garou's issues on Dreamcast, the sound lag thing is what happens when you have a burned copy. My real copy has no sound issues. Supposedly there's slowdown in a single stage, but I've never really noticed it and considering there's only two stages in Marvel 3 that people play competitively due to slowdown I find it funny that one stage is a big deal to people. The claims of input lag there are strange too. If I can pull off a double air super with Dong Hwan or link a a light punch into a heavy punch with Rock then I fail to see how anyone could claim there's lag. Those require pretty strict timing.

All the combos work properly in the DC version and I really don't see the need to get the PS2 or XBox version just because the training mode's a little better. I like owning games on the original platforms they were released on. Gamers are screwing over their wallets constantly re-buying games. Also helps guarantee we see fewer actual new games as opposed to ports.

I actually like to use the Dreamcast version of Alpha 3 to get people into the genre. The claims that the graphics are upscaled are odd because most of the Capcom fighters on Dreamcast are upscaled. Play on VGA and it's easy to tell on the Marvel games.

Alpha 3 isn't a game that many people seriously played competitively. Of all the Street Fighters I'd say both Alpha 2 and 3 are broken but easily the most fun of the series. The Playstation and DC versions have a good deal less bullshit by toning down V-ism and crouch cancels.

Being able to have a 3 person dramatic battle is a really good way to let lower-level players take a shot at someone better.

The Street Fighter series gets way more credit than it deserves for being balanced so I really don't mind Capcom's revisionism on the Dreamcast. Fighting game players wouldn't have died for embracing versions of the game with slightly less stupid crap in them. The competitive fighting game scene is way too quick to dump on things without thinking about it.

I find it kind of funny that people call Street Fighter IV the best balanced game of all time when it's been revised constantly and there hasn't been a proper amount of time to actually see how much bullshit is hidden under the covers yet. The scene will cling to its poster child regardless or reason or sense.

Then again, I also think Street Fighter IV is no fun and I ended up playing Marvel even though I'm no good at it. I probably played Persona 4 Arena the most of this generation's fighting games though, just because it was a much more interesting game.

Tom Charnock said...

I'm reading these comments with real interest - you guys really know your stuff!

CD ageS said...

They are essentially identical with only the former built to accomodate online play at the time. But the latter's speed def feels the slowest of the two. And no I don't use HDTV's on older consoles. Much like comparing default game speed between Ps2 US CvS2 with DC CvS2, but nowhere near as apprent as this example.

Yes I know it was but its release is essentially nonexistent. You said it yourself, the market was (is) in bad shape and more importantly the game was nowhere near as popular as it eventually came to be among the scene. So what makes you think Capcom even attempted to balanced the top 3 for a game no one cared for at the time? Chun, Ken and Yun are still dominant in rev B. All they did of actual significance to the game in rev B is remove unblockables (which is why its always brought up!). Unblockables by nature don't apply to the rest of the cast in terms of its utility so rev B wouldn't have contributed at all to the roster other than affecting those 2 characters that depend on it to secure a win and stand a chance against the top ranking cast members. Or do you seriously think Capcom went out of their way to rebalanced the entire cast in their final revision? They couldn't even get Chun off her top tier status in rev B and her dominance in the game was obvious from day one. Just look at the company's track record at revising their arcade fighters to similar degrees as 3S rev B (Xmen vs SF ver C, Zero 2 Alpha, ST, etc). Nothing would've changed among the respective playerbase if revB was given a chance. Eventually, everyone would flock back to the previous revision of the game.

I'll say this right now. The sound lag issue CAN and does indeed occur with any retail GDrom release of Garou. Its not something thats exclusive to backups. You need to look further into it to see the the whole picture regarding this issue. I've had a ton of hands on research regarding this. Anywho, there are actually 2 stages that cause slowdown in Garou on DC. Terry stage (fighting on the moving train segment only!) and B. Janet stage. No they don't. Those examples you mentioned aren't very strict at all. In any event, I also agree that actual input lag isn't as much an issue as its made out to be. My execution on the DC port of Garou is perfectly fine (and this coming from a guy who also plays the PS2 version which is the fastest version of any other Garou release. That includes MVS arcade).

That's cool. I understand. But I certainly don't feel like I'm "screwin my wallet" from buying different ports of the same game. If anything I very much enjoy playing and comparing multiple ports of they same game to see how a certain production runs on a particular hardware platform... all while hopefully becoming a voice of reason in all the misinformation that's out there on the net regarding performance on ports of a particular title. Exactly how did you come to such a conclusion!? If such is the case then I suppose the stellar sales of Hyper Fighting on XBLA didn't at all convince Capcom to greenlight SF4. Tell me now, how many previous ports of Hyper Fighting were released before its release XBLA?

Correct. Many Capcom Coin-ops were upscaled on the DC. But many (namely Capcom Naomi productions) were already built to to run in upscaled 480i and even 31khz VGA from their arcade counterparts. So not the enitre MvC series on the DC need apply to this topic for obvious reasons mentioned.

Alpha 3 did enjoyed a healthy tournament life though. I personally don't like the game in any form. The "less BS V-ISM" stuff also applies to the PS2 port as well so long as the right version is selected.

Idk. I don't play any of those current titles you mentioned. I still play old man fighters ;)

CD ageS said...

Well, Glad you're enjoying it. Now go play Triple Threat or any actual Dreamcast 2D fighter! ;)

Wry Guy said...

I'd still like to see a breakdown of the whole thing but it's true that Capcom aren't the kings of balance that they're made out to be. It wouldn't be terribly surprised if that's really all they did. Their games only become balanced after the fourth to sixth version is released which is why Super Turbo is pretty solid despite its own annoyances like Sagat and Balrog.

As for re-releases justifying sales, I always felt that Capcom never meant it when they said that. Capcom's business strategy on projects they don't care much about is "put in minimal effort, only go further if its ridiculously successful." They're not actually that good at reading the market if you look at the fact that they're almost bankrupt right now. They took 1/3 of their remaining money and are jumping on the smartphone train thanks to their failure to actually figure out what people wanted.

All games released in the early window of a console will do much better than any other time. People are simply way less picky when they have nothing to play so it's more fair to say you're shaping the market early on rather than reading it.

I feel it's screwing our wallets and stifling creativity because the number of good new games coming out is very limited. The number of decent 2D fighters that actually came out versus ports of is really disproportionate even if we did get a few good ones. It's really not that much considering it's been 8 years though. The number of good shmups versus ports is incredibly tiny. The number of good old fashioned arcade racers is almost non-existent in favor of extremely dumbed down stuff like Burnout. Even the puzzle genre feels pretty stale considering we have so many variations of Bejeweled.

I don't even know if I'd have called Street Fighter IV new when it came out consider it was just Street Fighter II characters and 4 other guys nobody liked with only one genuinely new mechanic that was pretty much only good for cancels. I think the rest of the world has realized how stale the game is too because sales of Street Fighter have been pathetically low for some time now and Capcom has got no idea what to do at this point.

The number of actual new games I'm willing to buy is tiny as the popular market buys stuff so simple I have trouble even calling them games, or they're so similar to previous creations I don't see why I can't just keep playing my Dreamcast with buddies and not be much worse off for it.

I actually largely abandoned console gaming in favor of handhelds since genres like RPG and Adventure were seeing a resurgence but with actual quality and creativity backing them up. Lately even the 3DS seems to be jumping on the lazy sequels and remakes train though so my options are becoming exhausted. If the new Smash Brothers isn't genuinely excellent it's going to be tough to find a reason to play it next year.

FR_Ben said...

Love the Dreamcast, I miss the old days