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Drakan: TAG in PCSX2 looks nice

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:13 am
by apan0123
Hi all,

Recently, I was finally able to get the PS2 emulator PCSX2 to work on my computer (with the release of 0.9.7) and I have to say that Drakan looks really nice rendered in 1920x1080 with texture filtering enabled instead of in 720x480/640x480 (the native PS2 resolution (which practically could be even lower still; I don't know the actual rendering resolution for this game)) with regular textures! I have included Imageshack links so you can compare for yourselves. The images have not been altered in any way: they are untouched screen dumps from the game running in PCSX2 in fullscreen mode. The first one depicts the game in native PS2 resolution, w/o texture filtering, hardware upscaled to 1920x1080 (my display resolution) and the other one is the emulator enhanced version @ true 1920x1080 (technically, the gfx is actually internally rendered in ~3x (as per my settings) the original resolution and then output @ 1920x1080) with texture filtering on.

Emulating this title in high resolution requires a lot of raw power for the game to run smoothly but I was able to play it without lag all through the game, which was nice. To be more precise, I was actually able to run it @ 120+ FPS most of the times I tried, which can be a big time saver when you're feeling impatient; running the game faster than intended can be nice when you wish to save some time when you have large areas to run through or during saving and loading, etc..

Graphics-wise, Drakan is a lot more enjoyable to me now than it was before. Environments and characters are so much more detailed and crisp, which actually adds a lot to the overall experience, I think. Example at hand: In the screen from the hi-res. version of the game in the emulator you can easily read the text on the Blacksmith's store sign and see individual stones in the distant castle's walls; in the native res. screen you can do neither. [Sure, there are a few graphical bugs/problems with the emulated high res. version when you sit down and play the game as well, but I'd say they are of minor importance when you take the benefits into acount.]

Anyway, this was just meant as a tip from a fan to other fans, nothing else. I thought it'd be of interest, even though many of you may already know of emulation and Drakan:TAG and many of you have also presumably been doing it for some time now. However, it's always nice to have comparison screenshots to illustrate things, so I thought I'd share.

PS. Just a quick viewing tip: Open up the included links in separate tabs in your browsers, zoom to full size and compare by switching back and forth between the images with ctrl+tab. This will make comparison easier.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:20 am
by Outlaw Wyvern
That's a pretty dramatic difference.
Are there any such emulators for Mac?

THANK YOU for posting that 8^)

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:33 am
by Outlaw Wyvern
I checked about the Mac thing. I'd have to go to a LOT of trouble.
Bet I can get this going on a willing friend's PC!

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:03 am
by apan0123
Yeah, it really looks quite different and in a very good way too! If you'd like I could post some more images. I'm going to sit down and play the game now (am heading into the Shadowmire to look for Toadfist's helmet, among other things), so it's easily done.

As for Mac; I'm sorry, but I don't really know. I'm not too good with Macintoshes, I'm afraid, as my experience with them is almost null. I think PCSX2 is primarily for PC and Linux, though.

Good luck getting the game to run on your friend's computer! It takes a bit of time and patience, but I hope you get it to work in the end. I've gotten the impression that you in particular really like DTAG and I'm sure you would enjoy playing at least a portion of it this way.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:00 pm
by Outlaw Wyvern
It's my favorite game of all time, if you factor sentimentality into the deal.
A lot of great games have come since D:TAG...

As for pics, post away! May I request a screenshot?
There's a cutscene when Rynn and Toadfist are just about to fight that culminates in a three quarter view of Toadfist brandishing his fist. It's a briefly paused closeup shot, and if you manage to capture it, that'd be sweet.
No worries if not, tho.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:36 pm
by apan0123
I'll try do capture the scene you described tonight, after work. I'm halfway through the 'mire right now. I have taken some other screen dumps that I'll post as well.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:48 pm
by Admin
Thanks for posting this. I'm tying it out now as we speak. Just need to find a decent controller that will work on a PC; can't get the PS3 controller to work under windows 7. Worked fine under XP with a bit of fiddling with non official drivers.

Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:41 pm
by apan0123
You're welcome! I've been waiting for a decent PS2 emulator for ages and by now things are starting to get interesting! As for the controller issue, I myself use an adapter I bought on Ebay which allows me to connect two regular PS2 controllers to it. It works just as it should and vibration and analogue control are fully functional. Good luck in configuring PCSX2!

Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:58 am
by apan0123

Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:40 am
by Outlaw Wyvern
That's the one 8^)
Those look very sharp.

Posted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:32 am
by apan0123
That's good.

Yes, things look a lot sharper when you run the game rendered in higher resolution. In the last two comparison screens, for instance, a lot of small detail gets lost in the 640x480 version: the skulls and idol in particular look very blurry and lack detail when compared to the hi-res. version.

I've noticed that the definition of textures in general isn't -that- much better when you run the game at high resolution in the emulator (which is natural considering that they are chunks of 2D image information), but even there there's actually at least a bit of improvement in terms of fine grain detail.