MSX2 vs Sega SMS

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By PingPong

Prophet (3754)

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05-04-2021, 15:55

I'm wondering why SMS games appear so much impressive when compared with msx2 counterparts.
in terms of sprite capabilities they are both capable of 8 sprites/scan line but while the sms can only handle 8 px wide msx2 handle 16px wide. Ok, msx2 cannot handle multicolor on a scanline basis while sms can handle 4bit/pixel sprite pixels, but msx2 can use two sprites instead of one to achieve some sort of 2 bit x pixels sprites. So in the end they appear comparable.

msx2 have scrolling support (better or at least similar for vertical and horizontal scroll using the adjust trick) than SMS, ok, we need to use tile pattern mode but the difference could not be so much.

However, msx2 titles look like shitty when compared to SMS. just two examples:
outrun
heroes of the lance
rastan
...

I can understand that there are differences but imho they could not be so much...

In your opinion is more a tech fact or an effort fact the reason that is the origin of a so high difference?

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By Daemos

Paragon (1951)

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05-04-2021, 16:01

Propably effort. Good example. DEVA, pure MSX2 no fancy HW required pure V9938 gfx and it looks outright damn impressive. There are some more homebrew that never got finished (prject lux) that simply look absolutely stunning.

But perhaps the SMS has some special magic that we do not understand? I mean the C64's video chip isn't so special either but look what they can do on it.

While writing it could just as well be both. Effort and some special capabilities. I don't know...

By PingPong

Prophet (3754)

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05-04-2021, 18:50

Project Lux is for msx1 or 2? I think it is for msx1.

By erpirao

Paragon (1195)

erpirao's picture

05-04-2021, 19:03

In my opinion the SMS should be compared with the msx2 +, not with the msx2, the horizontal scroll makes a lot of difference.

By PingPong

Prophet (3754)

PingPong's picture

05-04-2021, 19:11

Using a screen 4 instead of the SMS pattern mode, would effectively result in less detailed colors, because of colour clash, but is this it is doable, because on msx2 one could easily do vram write on active area and do double buffering of name table as well.
one could also trick the cmd engine to achieve some kind of blitter usage in vblank.
the horizontal scroll could be easily done (even with shaking borders) in screen 4 which has sprite mode 2.
just wondering how much could could cost to convert a SMS game to msx2 ?

By hamlet

Scribe (3623)

hamlet's picture

05-04-2021, 19:38

PinPong wrote:

just wondering how much could could cost to convert a SMS game to msx2 ?

225.-

By Daemos

Paragon (1951)

Daemos's picture

05-04-2021, 19:46

Yes lux is screen2 got confused. even more proof that msx can do alot.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6515)

ARTRAG's picture

05-04-2021, 19:57

Effort for sure!
e.g. Rastan, even without scrolling, would have been amazing with a bit more of work on enemies and optimization.
Once you have chosen to use flip screen, why not using software sprites for enemies ?

Maybe Rastan would deserve a modern remake, anyway the msx2 version wasn't the worst one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_oS2wgMqEY

By Manuel

Ascended (18072)

Manuel's picture

05-04-2021, 21:08

Heh, Sega's Rastan looks a lot like the MSX2 one, with the same kind of graphics and stage length. Same team?

By PingPong

Prophet (3754)

PingPong's picture

05-04-2021, 21:47

may be, but i think they did not good job on msx2. there is also an annoying artifact on music when the screen flip due to the fact that they do a lot of operations with interrupts disabled. because they also blank the screen during flip they also got the maximum vdp speed, i cannot imagine why did need to keep the ints disabled for a long time.
Crappy.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5578)

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05-04-2021, 22:16

ARTRAG wrote:

Effort for sure!
e.g. Rastan, even without scrolling, would have been amazing with a bit more of work on enemies and optimization.
Once you have chosen to use flip screen, why not using software sprites for enemies ?

Indeed, for me it's mainly the sprite usage for the enemies that falls short.
The main character and the backdrops/backgrounds I've always found to look pretty good.

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