Luke - Writer
June 30, 2001
Are in for it all over again?
Another let down with the Nintendo 64's graphics were the textures. The textures on the N64 were often washed out & blurred, even on 3rd generation software such as Zelda: MM & Perfect Dark. This could not be helped, as the cartridge storage format used by Nintendo had a very small amount of space, this also led to even more shortcomings such as short games & speech not being utilised often in games. The NGC breaks away from these bonds, and uses a proprietary format created by Nintendo. They take the shape of mini-DvDs; small discs half the size of CDs. These Mini DvDs can hold 1.5 Gigabytes, a huge amount of space that will allow FMVs and speech to be utilised by programmers with ease. Textures will be crisp, due to the advanced yet simple method of streaming the NGC uses, and it's large amount of video ram. The competition of the NGC however, has opted to use plain DvD format that can hold upwards of 8 Gigabytes, 5 times that of the NGC. Therefore developers will make their games larger, more advanced and take up more of the new space, and then when they turn to the Gamecube they will not be able to do all the things they want on the NGC's tiny discs. However, this cannot be predicted, and none of the Ps2's newer offerings have reached anywhere near 8 gig, and they could all fit on the NGC's proprietary mini-DvDs. So maybe such large amounts of space may not be needed, not many types of games need such space, and generally any sports title wont even go over the 1 gigabyte mark. However RPGs and quest related games need a lot of space, but unlike the Nintendo 64, the NGC now has the opportunity to go multi-disc, erasing problems for space with RPGs.
The N64 had a very lacklustre 3rd party line up, and therefore the n64 housed half the number of titles the PSX had. At a particular loss were RPGs and fighting games. The king of RPGs, Square, had turned to the PSX in a huff, claiming they wouldn't develop for cartridges any longer. In fact, Nintendo lost many 3rd parties due to its cartridge storage format and difficult hardware. The n64 was a notoriously difficult piece of hardware to develop for, it was filled with strange corners and dark alleys while the PSX was like an open field, easy to develop for yet still powerful in its own way, calling developers too it. And so the n64 lost 3 vital 3rd parties, Square, Capcom and Namco. Capcom and Namco signed on later in the n64's life, but they delivered mediocre titles and none of their famous franchises or quality games. Square have created so many good RPGs its not even funny, for the PSX, Game Boy, Super Nintendo & PS2. Square could have done so much for the n64, but they choose to let it rot, and they created some brilliant hits on the PSX instead. The n64 was left with Ogre Battle 64, the two wonderful Zelda titles, Paper Mario & Quest 64. Square have offered interest in the NGC and even asked to supply the NGC with its gracious presence, but the president of Nintendo; Mr Yamauchi has rejected Squares offer, claiming the NGC will do just fine without him. This was quite a surprising response by Mr Yamauchi, and Frank has spurted his views about this here. The NGC will still hold up, even without Square, as the tides have now been turned, and the NGC offers supreme ease of development & untapped potential. The Ps2 however has the incredibly difficult emotion engine for programmers to wrangle with, not to mention its unorthodox methods for streaming textures off the disc. This means the NGC may see more developers flock too it, not that it needs any more, the NGC is already loaded with dozens of 3rd party developers that will surely be creating RPGs. In fact there have already been 5 RPGs announced for the NGC, that's the same number that the n64 had at its demise! So as far as RPGs are concerned, the NGC will provide. Fighting games are also on the up, with two major players joining the growing 3rd party list, Capcom & Namco. Ever heard of Streetfighter? Tekken? Well these are just some of the fighting games Capcom and Namco are responsible for, so you can be sure to see some great fighting games on the NGC.