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View Full Version : to those with good observational skills: Midway's Arctic Thunder: Voodoo3 vs Xbox


fearlessmojo
06-29-05, 05:47 PM
I wanted to ask about something that requires some first-hand knowledge, experience, personal observation, etc. It is nothing complicated at all, it's pretty simple and straightforward actually. I'm asking this question on an Nvidia board because it has to do with Xbox and Voodoo3. Now since Nvidia took over and bought 3Dfx in 2000, I thought this was an appropriate place to ask.

My question is about Midway's Arctic Thunder arcade game vs the Xbox version. The arcade version uses the 'Graphite Hardware' which is basicly a PC with an Intel Pentium III 733 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM and a Quantum3D (3Dfx) Voodoo3 graphics card with most likely, its own supply of RAM (32-64 MB ?). So this is about comparing how the Nvidia-powered Xbox version of Arctic Thunder compares to the Voodoo3-based arcade.

Yeah, Arctic Thunder is a pretty old game now - made in 2000-2001. The Xbox Arctic Thunder could be concidered a first-generation Xbox game. My actual question is about the texture-mapping of the arcade Arctic Thunder vs the texture-mapping of the Xbox version. From what I have observed of the two versions, it seems to me that Voodoo3-powered arcade Arctic Thunder actually has noticably more detailed textures on the snowy ground and the walls/sides of the background -- they appear more detailed and higher resolution, compared to the Xbox version. Now am I totally out of my mind to think this? The Xbox's Nvidia NV2A GPU is a hell of a lot more powerful than a Quantum3D 3Dfx Voodoo3 in every area. The only area where the arcade Arctic Thunder's 'Graphite Hardware' has an edge over Xbox is in the amount of RAM. Graphite Hardware has 128 MB main memory plus whatever the Voodoo3 card has (32 MB at least) vs Xbox which has 64 MB total. Maybe it was easier to do more detailed, higher resolution textures in arcade Arctic Thunder because it has more RAM than Xbox ?

The Xbox textures look like Nintendo64-level textures. You know what mean: low-res, low detail, super-blurry mess with that "vasaline smeared look", dispite the fact that Xbox Arctic Thunder runs at an awesomely smooth framerate, it's always 60fps - more often than the arcade framerate which often dips WAYYY below 60fps when the camera pans across the landscape and the scene becomes more complex geometry-wise.

for those of you that have played arcade Arctic Thunder and have the Xbox version, what are your thoughts on what I've said - what I believe I'm observing, and what are your own observations ? I kinda like comparing arcade versions of games to the home versions, and I have an interest in all 3D-graphics techologies, GPUs, videocards, etc, ever since the mid 1990s. :D

Ruined
06-29-05, 07:51 PM
Midway's launch XBOX titles were all technically horrible.

Arctic Thunder had sound dropouts and crappy graphics
Spy Hunter had framerate drops and much worse graphics than the PS2 version
Gauntlet Dark Legacy had framerate drops and tons of glitches

Not really a matter of hardware, just rushed, sloppy, and overall poor programming to get something out the door and on shelves :)

|MaguS|
06-29-05, 08:36 PM
Midway had Technically Horrible titles for all consoles for acouple of years before they revived with Mortal Kombat Dark Alliance.

GamerGuyX
06-29-05, 08:54 PM
fearlessmojo:

It a crappy port. Xbox has more than enough power to handle a game like Arctic Thunder. Especially compared to a Voodoo3.

fearlessmojo
06-29-05, 09:21 PM
well guys, from what I understand, the PS2 version of Arctic Thunder was totally, totally awful. poor framerate (30fps) and and **** graphics all around.

the Xbox version is much, much improved. it's a solid, consistant 60fps and has nicer graphics - and while we know Xbox GPU is vastly superior to the Voodoo3 in horsepower and rendering features, the amount of RAM in Xbox (64 MB) is not superior compared to the amount of RAM in arcade Arctic Thunder
(128 + 64 MB). so would it not be possible to actually have more and higher resolution textures because of the amount of memory space?

Also, I had another thought - even though Xbox Arctic Thunder is far superior to the PS2 version, perhaps Midway only created one set of textures, the PS2 textures, and used those in the faster/smoother Xbox version? I wouldnt know though since Ive never seen the PS2 version.

Ruined
06-29-05, 09:32 PM
well guys, from what I understand, the PS2 version of Arctic Thunder was totally, totally awful. poor framerate (30fps) and and **** graphics all around.

the Xbox version is much, much improved. it's a solid, consistant 60fps and has nicer graphics - and while we know Xbox GPU is vastly superior to the Voodoo3 in horsepower and rendering features, the amount of RAM in Xbox (64 MB) is not superior compared to the amount of RAM in arcade Arctic Thunder
(128 + 64 MB). so would it not be possible to actually have more and higher resolution textures because of the amount of memory space?

No, Voodoo3 doesn't support decent texture compression. The XBOX does, meaning it can fit better looking textures into a smaller space.

Also voodoo3 supports only 256x256 resolution textures when xbox supports 2048x2048 resolution textures.

fearlessmojo
06-29-05, 10:06 PM
ok so then there is no excuse for the Xbox version to have less and worse textures.

maybe Midway just got lazy :(

GamerGuyX
06-29-05, 10:55 PM
maybe Midway just got lazy :(

Thats exactly what I just told you...

Edge
07-01-05, 08:32 AM
Midway had Technically Horrible titles for all consoles for acouple of years before they revived with Mortal Kombat Dark Alliance.
Hey, Hydro Thunder and SF Rush were great back in the day, especially for the Dreamcast. I'm still waiting for those to pop up on an Arcade Treasures disc...

|MaguS|
07-01-05, 08:43 AM
SF Rush was crap, but HT was good yet for some reason only the N64 got 4 player... WTF...

Ruined
07-01-05, 11:21 AM
SF Rush was crap, but HT was good yet for some reason only the N64 got 4 player... WTF...

SF Rush had a fantastic 4-player splitscreen battle mode on the Dreamcast. It was like Quake with cars and surprisingly balanced, every weapon had a counter.

|MaguS|
07-01-05, 11:24 AM
I was talking about Hydro Thunder lacking 4 Player on the DC yet the N64 had it.

fearlessmojo
07-01-05, 08:40 PM
the Dreamcast versions of Hydro Thunder and SF Rush 2049 plus the arcade versions of SF Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition and OffRoad Thunder will be on Midway Arcade Treaures 3 for PS2, Gamecube, Xbox in September :D

Edge
07-01-05, 09:16 PM
Oooo, I didn't know they were putting Rush the Rock onto the disc. Nice bonus, I probably would've gotten it just for Hydro Thunder and Rush 2049 (once it drops to $10 or so). Don't care much for Offroad Thunder though. How does the Dreamcast/Arcade Treasures versions of the games compare to the arcade originals? I've wondered if it looked better in the arcade or not.