So...N64 & framerate

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#1 Posted by Nude_Dude (5371 posts) -

I've noticed that a lot of n64 games have very poor framerates. Other games like BK sometimes have massive fps drops in some particular areas (i.e. when I enter the castle room with the jump pad circling a pot).

Anyone else experiencing this as well? Is it true that NTSC versions run usually 'smoother' than PAL versions? Initially I thought something was wrong with my old tv or with the game itself, but it seems the system's lack of power is to blame for this.

#2 Posted by LongZhiZi (2453 posts) -
I've heard NTSC games seems smoother since refresh rates are higher in NTSC than PAL (60 vs 50). Granted if it was running at 50fps, you wouldn't notice a lack of smoothness, but it's something to do with coding that makes the full refresh rate or half (30 on NTSC, 25 on PAL) just a lot easier. And at 25fps (plus some dips), yeah, it's not going to look as smooth.
#3 Posted by AutoPilotOn (8203 posts) -
I remember perfect dark having horrible frame rates. Other games I am sure had some problems.
#4 Posted by the_bi99man (11047 posts) -

Funny I would see this thread tonight, of all times. Until yesterday and today, and hadn't played N64.. pretty much since it was a current console. Didn't particularly remember bad framerates, but then again, I was like 10 years old at the time, and wouldn't have even known how to interpret that. But yesterday at my friend's house, we dug up his old N64, and have been playing THPS1 and Conkers Bad Fur Day. I actually had to stop playing Conkers after like 10 minutes, because I felt like my eyes were bleeding and my head was exploding. It's only barely smooth enough to not be a slideshow. Couldn't be more than like 12 fps.

#5 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

Yes, it's true, a lot of N64 games have terrible, choppy framerates.

It's the biggest problem of the system from my perspective.

I've heard it's because of Z-buffering, which killed performance in most games. (examples of N64 games that don't use Z-buffering are World Driver Championship and Indiana Jones and they both manage a steady framerate even in their high resolution modes)

NTSC games run smoother than PAL and generally speaking you should avoid PAL releases unless they are your only option.

#6 Posted by rilpas (8222 posts) -
yep, I got my hands on an N64 a few months ago and started playing Goldeneye I had to stop after a short time for two reasons: The controller and the framerate could not get over these issues
#7 Posted by NaveedLife (17179 posts) -

I remember perfect dark having horrible frame rates. Other games I am sure had some problems. AutoPilotOn

That game was way ahead of its time and puashed its graphics too far. I never noticed that much of an issue when it first came out, but now it is borderline unplayable :P.

#8 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -

[QUOTE="AutoPilotOn"]I remember perfect dark having horrible frame rates. Other games I am sure had some problems. NaveedLife

That game was way ahead of its time and puashed its graphics too far. I never noticed that much of an issue when it first came out, but now it is borderline unplayable :P.

Yeah I don't think there's ever been a game with a framerates that varies as much as goldeneye. When youre in an open area with a lot going on it can seem like 5fps, but then you can be in a more confined corridor and it can be damn near 60fps. It's still playable IMO, though. Killer audio and I like watching the bad guy animations.
#9 Posted by AutoPilotOn (8203 posts) -
Try perfect dark if you think golden eye was bad. I used to play tons of goldeneye 4player split screen and it seemed fine. Perfect dark made my eyes hurt even back then.
#10 Posted by NaveedLife (17179 posts) -

Try perfect dark if you think golden eye was bad. I used to play tons of goldeneye 4player split screen and it seemed fine. Perfect dark made my eyes hurt even back then. AutoPilotOn

Then turn on only N Bombs :P and put bouncy mode on. PURE CHAOS!

#11 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -
#12 Posted by Epak_ (6765 posts) -

The crappy framerate is nostalgic, imo :P

#13 Posted by penpusher (3573 posts) -
I don't think it has anything to do with NTSC vs PAL. NTSC may run a tad faster, but as I understand a lot of N64 games were optimised with PAL when they were released this side and NTSC games still had the same issues. The problem was more likely the hardware not being quite able to keep up with demand (hence overclocking largely solves the problem)
#14 Posted by Chozofication (2759 posts) -

Banjo tooie was doing way too much with the N64, and I think Majora's mask actually capped at 20fps.

Conker may have had an even worse framerate than tooie though.

#15 Posted by TerrorRizzing (4185 posts) -

I noticed it, didnt know what it was at the time but playing n64 made me dizzy.

#16 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -

You can try to over-clock your 64 for better performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXesXdk6Atg

Don't forget the RGB mod and EverDrive 64 while your at it...

nameless12345
Wow to over clocking. Goldeneye at an always smooth framerates? I might have a project on hand. Never heard of everdrive64, though.
#17 Posted by Stefan91x (256 posts) -

Nah, most games run smooth but with noticeable framerate drops here and there. Overall there is not really game which I would considering as unplayable duo the framerate.

Also the PS1 and Saturn have framerate problems, go play Driver 2, Quake 2, Colony Wars 3 for example..... Playing Conker or Banjo Tooie after that is really relaxing.

#18 Posted by rilpas (8222 posts) -

Nah, most games run smooth but with noticeable framerate drops here and there. Overall there is not really game which I would considering as unplayable duo the framerate.

Also the PS1 and Saturn have framerate problems, go play Driver 2, Quake 2, Colony Wars 3 for example..... Playing Conker or Banjo Tooie after that is really relaxing.

Stefan91x

It had some framerate issues on planetside missions, but they're nowhere near as bad as Conker, Goldeneye of Perfect Dark

#19 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -

[QUOTE="Stefan91x"]

Nah, most games run smooth but with noticeable framerate drops here and there. Overall there is not really game which I would considering as unplayable duo the framerate.

Also the PS1 and Saturn have framerate problems, go play Driver 2, Quake 2, Colony Wars 3 for example..... Playing Conker or Banjo Tooie after that is really relaxing.

rilpas

It had some framerate issues on planetside missions, but they're nowhere near as bad as Conker, Goldeneye of Perfect Dark

The framerates killed Conker, for me. I simply cannot understand how people list it as a best looking n64 title with such an atrocious framerates. ...perfect dark, along with Turok2 and Star Wars Racer, actually run better in low res mode--and still look pretty good.
#20 Posted by Stefan91x (256 posts) -

[QUOTE="Stefan91x"]

Nah, most games run smooth but with noticeable framerate drops here and there. Overall there is not really game which I would considering as unplayable duo the framerate.

Also the PS1 and Saturn have framerate problems, go play Driver 2, Quake 2, Colony Wars 3 for example..... Playing Conker or Banjo Tooie after that is really relaxing.

rilpas

It had some framerate issues on planetside missions, but they're nowhere near as bad as Conker, Goldeneye of Perfect Dark

Colony Wars 3 runs very slow in general while Conker (to name an example) runs way faster but it has more framerate drops. It's a matter of preference.

#21 Posted by rilpas (8222 posts) -

[QUOTE="rilpas"]

[QUOTE="Stefan91x"]

Nah, most games run smooth but with noticeable framerate drops here and there. Overall there is not really game which I would considering as unplayable duo the framerate.

Also the PS1 and Saturn have framerate problems, go play Driver 2, Quake 2, Colony Wars 3 for example..... Playing Conker or Banjo Tooie after that is really relaxing.

Stefan91x

It had some framerate issues on planetside missions, but they're nowhere near as bad as Conker, Goldeneye of Perfect Dark

Colony Wars 3 runs very slow in general while Conker (to name an example) runs way faster but it has more framerate drops. It's a matter of preference.

that's true, Colony Wars 3 runs at an overall lower framerate then the first two games, I'm guessing it runs at 20FPS.

Though, for the most part the Framerate is fixed so it's a bit easier to get used to it

#22 Posted by AlexKidd5000 (1760 posts) -
Oh my god, Turok 2 with the expansion pack had to be the worst. Had to be no higher than 5fps alot of the time in hi-res mode.
#23 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -
Oh my god, Turok 2 with the expansion pack had to be the worst. Had to be no higher than 5fps alot of the time in hi-res mode.AlexKidd5000
Hybrid heaven is worse, put it on high res and its more or less unplayable.
#24 Posted by GreekGameManiac (6439 posts) -

I've noticed that a lot of n64 games have very poor framerates. Other games like BK sometimes have massive fps drops in some particular areas (i.e. when I enter the castle room with the jump pad circling a pot).

Anyone else experiencing this as well? Is it true that NTSC versions run usually 'smoother' than PAL versions? Initially I thought something was wrong with my old tv or with the game itself, but it seems the system's lack of power is to blame for this.

Nude_Dude

Well duh.

Thank goodness we have things like VC & PSN in modern times.

Also [spoiler] emulators [/spoiler]

:)

#25 Posted by penpusher (3573 posts) -

[QUOTE="Nude_Dude"]

I've noticed that a lot of n64 games have very poor framerates. Other games like BK sometimes have massive fps drops in some particular areas (i.e. when I enter the castle room with the jump pad circling a pot).

Anyone else experiencing this as well? Is it true that NTSC versions run usually 'smoother' than PAL versions? Initially I thought something was wrong with my old tv or with the game itself, but it seems the system's lack of power is to blame for this.

GreekGameManiac

Well duh.

Thank goodness we have things like VC & PSN in modern times.

Also [spoiler] emulators [/spoiler]

:)

I still think the original hardware is better. Besides, virtual console and PSN doesn't always mean smoother fps.
#26 Posted by nameless12345 (15125 posts) -

Rare had this philosophy of "pushing the hardware to the max" hence their games looked better than anything else on the system but the price were choppy, inconsistent framerates.

Same goes for both Zelda games which were capped at 20 fps which is playlable but not exactly smooth.

Going from the SNES where most games ran silky-smooth (except the Super FX games which were slow and choppy) it was a bit of a cold shower for me when I noticed how inconsistent the framerates in some of the most graphically intensive (and the crappily coded ones too) games were but I never considered them unplaylable because of it. (I can see why some, especially newer generation, gamers, would think so, though)

The framerate issues were simply a matter of console limitations at the time but not so much because of lack of power (because the N64 did have a better CPU, GPU and RAM than PS1 and Saturn had) but various hardware and software bottlenecks which limited the overall performance of the machine.

Although games like PD, Majora and Conker are pretty much pushing the system to the limits and I don't think it could be pushed past that. (maybe if Conker would use the memory expansion but that's about it)

Also, it should be noted that the so-called "high-resolution mode" that some games allow if you add the memory expansion also impacts performance.

The best use of that memory expansion was in the games that didn't use it simply for increased resolution but rather increased detail. (i.e. DK64, PD & Majora)

#27 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -

Rare had this philosophy of "pushing the hardware to the max" hence their games looked better than anything else on the system but the price were choppy, inconsistent framerates.

Same goes for both Zelda games which were capped at 20 fps which is playlable but not exactly smooth.

Going from the SNES where most games ran silky-smooth (except the Super FX games which were slow and choppy) it was a bit of a cold shower for me when I noticed how inconsistent the framerates in some of the most graphically intensive (and the crappily coded ones too) games were but I never considered them unplaylable because of it. (I can see why some, especially newer generation, gamers, would think so, though)

The framerate issues were simply a matter of console limitations at the time but not so much because of lack of power (because the N64 did have a better CPU, GPU and RAM than PS1 and Saturn had) but various hardware and software bottlenecks which limited the overall performance of the machine.

Although games like PD, Majora and Conker are pretty much pushing the system to the limits and I don't think it could be pushed past that. (maybe if Conker would use the memory expansion but that's about it)

Also, it should be noted that the so-called "high-resolution mode" that some games allow if you add the memory expansion also impacts performance.

The best use of that memory expansion was in the games that didn't use it simply for increased resolution but rather increased detail. (i.e. DK64, PD & Majora)

nameless12345
Ocarina does drop, but it is closer to 24fps. Sometimes a tad higher. All snes games were super smooth? Ha. Slowdown was that gens choppy, and there was plenty of slowdown that gen. A hardware bottleneck is directly related to the design of the console.
#28 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -
[QUOTE="nameless12345"]

Rare had this philosophy of "pushing the hardware to the max" hence their games looked better than anything else on the system but the price were choppy, inconsistent framerates.

Same goes for both Zelda games which were capped at 20 fps which is playlable but not exactly smooth.

Going from the SNES where most games ran silky-smooth (except the Super FX games which were slow and choppy) it was a bit of a cold shower for me when I noticed how inconsistent the framerates in some of the most graphically intensive (and the crappily coded ones too) games were but I never considered them unplaylable because of it. (I can see why some, especially newer generation, gamers, would think so, though)

The framerate issues were simply a matter of console limitations at the time but not so much because of lack of power (because the N64 did have a better CPU, GPU and RAM than PS1 and Saturn had) but various hardware and software bottlenecks which limited the overall performance of the machine.

Although games like PD, Majora and Conker are pretty much pushing the system to the limits and I don't think it could be pushed past that. (maybe if Conker would use the memory expansion but that's about it)

Also, it should be noted that the so-called "high-resolution mode" that some games allow if you add the memory expansion also impacts performance.

The best use of that memory expansion was in the games that didn't use it simply for increased resolution but rather increased detail. (i.e. DK64, PD & Majora)

Heirren
Ocarina does drop, but it is closer to 24fps. Sometimes a tad higher. All snes games were super smooth? Ha. Slowdown was that gens choppy, and there was plenty of slowdown that gen. A hardware bottleneck is directly related to the design of the console.

slowdown on the SNES was due to the CPU , on N64 the issues were different, the renderer wasn't as fast , and the CPU is slowed down somewhat because it has to create the sound as well (due to no sound chip on the N64) , Id also imagine its doing some decompression which would slow it down a bit.
#29 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -
[QUOTE="Heirren"][QUOTE="nameless12345"]

Rare had this philosophy of "pushing the hardware to the max" hence their games looked better than anything else on the system but the price were choppy, inconsistent framerates.

Same goes for both Zelda games which were capped at 20 fps which is playlable but not exactly smooth.

Going from the SNES where most games ran silky-smooth (except the Super FX games which were slow and choppy) it was a bit of a cold shower for me when I noticed how inconsistent the framerates in some of the most graphically intensive (and the crappily coded ones too) games were but I never considered them unplaylable because of it. (I can see why some, especially newer generation, gamers, would think so, though)

The framerate issues were simply a matter of console limitations at the time but not so much because of lack of power (because the N64 did have a better CPU, GPU and RAM than PS1 and Saturn had) but various hardware and software bottlenecks which limited the overall performance of the machine.

Although games like PD, Majora and Conker are pretty much pushing the system to the limits and I don't think it could be pushed past that. (maybe if Conker would use the memory expansion but that's about it)

Also, it should be noted that the so-called "high-resolution mode" that some games allow if you add the memory expansion also impacts performance.

The best use of that memory expansion was in the games that didn't use it simply for increased resolution but rather increased detail. (i.e. DK64, PD & Majora)

Darkman2007
Ocarina does drop, but it is closer to 24fps. Sometimes a tad higher. All snes games were super smooth? Ha. Slowdown was that gens choppy, and there was plenty of slowdown that gen. A hardware bottleneck is directly related to the design of the console.

slowdown on the SNES was due to the CPU , on N64 the issues were different, the renderer wasn't as fast , and the CPU is slowed down somewhat because it has to create the sound as well (due to no sound chip on the N64) , Id also imagine its doing some decompression which would slow it down a bit.

Regardless, the hardware on hand could not handle what was being thrown at it.
#30 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -
[QUOTE="Heirren"][QUOTE="Darkman2007"][QUOTE="Heirren"] Ocarina does drop, but it is closer to 24fps. Sometimes a tad higher. All snes games were super smooth? Ha. Slowdown was that gens choppy, and there was plenty of slowdown that gen. A hardware bottleneck is directly related to the design of the console.

slowdown on the SNES was due to the CPU , on N64 the issues were different, the renderer wasn't as fast , and the CPU is slowed down somewhat because it has to create the sound as well (due to no sound chip on the N64) , Id also imagine its doing some decompression which would slow it down a bit.

Regardless, the hardware on hand could not handle what was being thrown at it.

well obviously, unless the game is coded badly, but then you can usually figure out when , usually when there are better looking/running games around at the same time.
#31 Posted by Nude_Dude (5371 posts) -

[QUOTE="Nude_Dude"]

I've noticed that a lot of n64 games have very poor framerates. Other games like BK sometimes have massive fps drops in some particular areas (i.e. when I enter the castle room with the jump pad circling a pot).

Anyone else experiencing this as well? Is it true that NTSC versions run usually 'smoother' than PAL versions? Initially I thought something was wrong with my old tv or with the game itself, but it seems the system's lack of power is to blame for this.

GreekGameManiac

Well duh.

Thank goodness we have things like VC & PSN in modern times.

Also [spoiler] emulators [/spoiler]

:)

What does this have to do with playing on an actual N64?
#32 Posted by WiiCubeM1 (4727 posts) -

The only games I ever played that had framerate issues were Perfect Dark and Resident Evil 2, and those were very visually demanding games.

#33 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -

The only games I ever played that had framerate issues were Perfect Dark and Resident Evil 2, and those were very visually demanding games.

WiiCubeM1
RE2? I didn't find it to be choppy or slow at all , it was more or less the same as the PS1 original , not as fast as the DC though.
#34 Posted by WiiCubeM1 (4727 posts) -

[QUOTE="WiiCubeM1"]

The only games I ever played that had framerate issues were Perfect Dark and Resident Evil 2, and those were very visually demanding games.

Darkman2007

RE2? I didn't find it to be choppy or slow at all , it was more or less the same as the PS1 original , not as fast as the DC though.

Well, in sections that had a lot of zombies. The game 90% of the time was fine.

That's just my experience with it.

#35 Posted by Darkman2007 (17929 posts) -

[QUOTE="Darkman2007"][QUOTE="WiiCubeM1"]

The only games I ever played that had framerate issues were Perfect Dark and Resident Evil 2, and those were very visually demanding games.

WiiCubeM1

RE2? I didn't find it to be choppy or slow at all , it was more or less the same as the PS1 original , not as fast as the DC though.

Well, in sections that had a lot of zombies. The game 90% of the time was fine.

That's just my experience with it.

I never even noticed that to be honest, then again, maybe the PAL version is smoother, if slower as usual. might also have something to do with the expansion pack , I use it, haven't actually tried the game without it.
#36 Posted by Guovssohas (330 posts) -
Yesterday i dug up my n-64 and played some Turok 2, damn the framerates are choppy, but i still loved every second of it :) It helps to turn off hi-rez mode.
#37 Posted by JigglyWiggly_ (23457 posts) -
all n64 games are unplayable they run at 10 fps
#38 Posted by nintendoboy16 (26272 posts) -

all n64 games are unplayable

they run at 10 fpsJigglyWiggly_

Yeah, this looks REALLY slow. :roll:

#39 Posted by GreekGameManiac (6439 posts) -

Lol what?

OoT N64 can't decide if it runs on 15fps or 20fps.

:S

#40 Posted by Aero5555 (1315 posts) -

+ 1 on Perfect Dark and Majora's Mask. Goldeneye got a golden pass, thanks to not having anything like it at the time, but atleast it's not as bad as PD's performance issues.

Also, Mission Impossible. Love that game but it really hurt my eyes.

#41 Posted by Heirren (16509 posts) -

+ 1 on Perfect Dark and Majora's Mask. Goldeneye got a golden pass, thanks to not having anything like it at the time, but atleast it's not as bad as PD's performance issues.

Also, Mission Impossible. Love that game but it really hurt my eyes.

Aero5555
Lol. Mission impossible has some of the best voice overs--get hit by laser, "yeowh.....those lay-zers."
#42 Posted by Guovssohas (330 posts) -
A little off topic but; Played Turok 2 again today for a couple hours, and damn is it hard! Todays shooters pales in comparison to this difficulty wise, this is a real hardcore game lol :) And i only played on Normal setting lol, always desperately looking for ammo and health. What a beast. I never beat it back in the day, and probably never will.
#43 Posted by Lost-to-Apathy (372 posts) -

The only N64 games I still like to play from time to time are OoT, MM, Mario 64, and Paper Mario. Paper Mario is smooth as butter, but OoT and MM feel like they run at 25fps.

#44 Posted by GreekGameManiac (6439 posts) -

The only N64 games I still like to play from time to time are OoT, MM, Mario 64, and Paper Mario. Paper Mario is smooth as butter, but OoT and MM feel like they run at 25fps.

Lost-to-Apathy

Lol they run slower than that.

#45 Posted by Aero5555 (1315 posts) -

Lol. Mission impossible has some of the best voice overs--get hit by laser, "yeowh.....those lay-zers."Heirren

It was cumbersome but its scope was incredible for its time. The piano tune at the embassy party is legendary in my book. So many memories.

#46 Posted by Platform_King (117 posts) -

If you're all going to whine about framerate you might as well not play legacy games and stick to pc games only.

#47 Posted by Hseptic (1566 posts) -
F Zero had a perfect 60fps
#48 Posted by Caseytappy (2131 posts) -

I remember buying F1 World GP and the framerate was terrible .

Either bad framerate or tons of fog so you could only see a couple of feet to hide the pop up and up the framerate .

Remember Turok 1?, they didn't call it the fog machine for nothing !

#49 Posted by JuanGrande386 (1111 posts) -

If you're all going to whine about framerate you might as well not play legacy games and stick to pc games only.

Platform_King

This was from January dude! Amazing how noobs find these old ass threads! Sad thing is Ive gotten to the point where I can read a title and say "bet thats old and got bumped by a noob, lets check it out......YEP!"