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Framerate and Jagged Edges (XBOX)


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My first XBOX game was Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, and quite frankly, I was blown away -- among other things -- by the graphics engine. Beautiful textures, superb lighting, anti-aliased-looking edges, detailed spell effects; and all this at a *perfectly* smooth framerate throughout the game. Not once did I feel that the framerate fell below 60fps. All this added up to an overall fantastic gameplay experience, inspite of the good but not-so-great storyline.

 

My second game on the XBOX was KOTOR. Nothing prepared me for the shock I received when the cinematics were over and the game screen came on. The framerate was horrible! The graphics were choppy, and every single edge was jagged and ugly! I had read the reviews, and they had all mentioned framerate issues, but I thought those reviewers were perhaps perfectionists who couldn't tolerate even a minute fps drop. I was wrong -- the drop is visible even to the most un-hardcore of gamers, especially during combat.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the game. I've loved every minute of playing it, it's truly an epic. But the horrible graphics stand out like an irritating thorn in an otherwise near-perfect game. There are several spectacular effects in places, but those effects look like cheap stunts to take your mind off the ugly edges and choppy frames.

 

I sincerely hope that the Obsidian people (many of whom I believe were behind BGDA) work their usual magic and create a KOTOR II with smooth, fluid graphics and amazing framerates. That, combined with a KOTOR-style gameplay, storyline and voice-acting, is what would make one hell of a perfect game.

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Personally I agree 100% with angshuman.

And what sort of advice is get it on PC? Some people haven't got PC's powerful enough to handle a game such as KotOR i.e. me, and I'm assuming the person who wrote this thread.

Not to mention the fact that I bought it on Xbox already and I don't see why I should need to buy it on any other platform simply because it is an inferior version, put quite simply it shouldn't be! And I truly hope (along with angshuman) that this matter has been dealt with.

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Personally I agree 100% with angshuman.

And what sort of advice is get it on PC? Some people haven't got PC's powerful enough to handle a game such as KotOR i.e. me, and I'm assuming the person who wrote this thread.

Not to mention the fact that I bought it on Xbox already and I don't see why I should need to buy it on any other platform simply because it is an inferior version, put quite simply it shouldn't be! And I truly hope (along with angshuman) that this matter has been dealt with.

 

Exactly. The reason I bought my XBOX to begin with is so I wouldn't have to upgrade my PC every 6 months in order to play the latest games. That's the beauty of consoles: the game developers have to make do with the available hardware and tweak and optimize the game for the platform.

 

It seems 3D engine developers take a free ride on the achievements of nVidia and ATI's superb research divisions. I don't know anything about the process, but I'm sure it's much easier to create a great-looking engine with the luxury that an FX6800 provides you compared to the austerity of, say, an XBOX's GF3. Very few games (e.g., Doom 3) have engines that actually are able to squeeze every single ounce of performance from a modern 3D card. Most games just get a free ride with all that compute power, so even a mediocre engine would look good as long as it uses all the bells and whistles the hardware provides it.

 

And it's not like it's impossible to create a great-looking game on modest hardware. All it boils down to is how much time and effort the developers are willing to put in to optimize the engine for the specific requirements of the game, and the specific capabilities of the platform. Halo, BGDA and Ninja Garden are proof that this can be done.

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Exactly. The reason I bought my XBOX to begin with is so I wouldn't have to upgrade my PC every 6 months in order to play the latest games. That's the beauty of consoles: the game developers have to make do with the available hardware and tweak and optimize the game for the platform.

Heart Hear! Same reason why I bought an Xbox too. Now I only have a laptop and no more concern with keeping up with the hardware for pc gaming (and I save a lot of money too).

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I am pretty sure that you are going to see some improvement in KOTOR2. However, we are using the same engine, so while we have put a lot of effort into optimizing it, it is still the same iteration of the engine. I can say that we have done a lot of things with memory to shoe horn things like the new robes and larger levels into the game. Plus our graphics ninja, Jay Fong, has gone through everything he can and tweaked what he could do get an extra frame here and an extra frame there.

Feargus Urquhart

CEO

Obsidian Entertainment, Inc.

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