The 'How do these 3DS/DS games look on a 3DSXL?' thread

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  • redcrayon 28 Jul 2012 16:59:47 4,649 posts
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    I'm going to be playing a selection of 3DS/DS games this afternoon to see how they cope with the upscaling- I imagine some better than others!

    I'll pick a range of different types of games, feel free to chip in with your own experiments.

    You can play DS games in their native res. by holding down the start button when booting.

    Disclaimer- I'm nearly 34 and wear glasses- if I say the game looks alright to me, I'm not claiming it's pin sharp or anything, just that I didn't see a really noticable loss of quality!

    First entries:

    Shinobi (3DS)
    Hmm, poor first choice on my part. This looks terrible- the graphics aren't great on a normal 3DS, but when upscaled it looks a mess. The larger screen helps to see missile weapons being aimed at you, but it really doesn't do it any favours visually at all.

    Dead or Alive Dimensions (3DS)
    This is more like it. There's a tiny loss of detail to the character models, but when playing in 2D at 60FPS it's barely noticable, and feels epic on the huge screen. Very enjoyable.

    Contra IV (DS)
    I mentioned this in the other thread, but it looks ace. The 2D sprites stand up really well, the character models are clear, text is clear, you can see the bullets more clearly, and if anything it is far more enjoyable to play because of it. It doesn't really lose anything at all. Playing it in native resolution afterwards just makes it feel incredibly squashed.

    Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)
    Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)

    This is interesting- in DoS, there was always a bit of ghosting when Soma (the main character) moved around the screen. The size of the 3DS XL screen really heightens how much it's noticable. Perhaps after more than 15 minutes or so, you'll stop noticing it, but at the moment it's the main thing my eyes are drawn to. The sprites are clear and nicely defined still, the text is clear, and the music is still great, that orchestral/rock fusion.

    I boot in in native resolution- sure enough the ghosting/motion blur is still there, but maybe a bit less noticable for the size of the sprite.

    OOE doesn't have the ghosting- Shanoa's sprite is nice and clear in black and blue, and the enemy sprites are a bit more clearly defined. In fact OOE looks amazing- I expected it to look good, but it feels like a whole new game! Definitely one to try if you are waiting for Mirror of Fate.

    Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (3DS)
    OK, this works- this is a game with a lot of text and stats on the lower screen, and paths to be dictated via a grid on the upper screen- the larger size makes it easier to read all of this information. However, there is a noticable loss of quality on the human character models, they really don't scale up very well but buildings, drones and vehicles look OK. I'm finding the map a bit more useful for being bigger on the lower screen- all the troop locations aren't blurring into one any more! All in all it's a bit of a trade-off, but the strategy-game nut in me prefers the larger map icons and clearer data for the loss of some detail on human units.

    Hotel Dusk (DS)
    Animations and art style scale up beautifully. It looks lovely so far. A very slight loss of clarity on text. Kyle, Rachel and co. look good.
    OK, the hotel visuals as you walk around, and the close-ups of areas to investigate don't look good. But then they didn't look that good on the DS! Thing is, the animation (and fitting music) on the conversation parts is lovely- can't believe how well those visuals scale up. Worth reinvestigating (sorry).

    Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
    Very few complaints here compared to what it gains. A very mild loss of sharpness to character models (and scenery pieces that need a straight line, like a picture frame or a signpost) and a very mild loss of clarity on text. Otherwise, it's exactly what you'd expect- it looks great. Larger screen makes gyroscope aiming a bit easier (a bit less sensitive). Maybe it's my big stubby fingers but the larger bottom screen makes flicking through items etc a bit easier. I open up a later save file to have a look at a dungeon- flames look good, as do the enemies.

    Advance Wars:Dual Strike (DS)
    The black outlines on the pixels make it look fine when upscaled- just spent half an hour diving back into the war room- amazing little game. I can see myself losing another 100+hours to it if I'm not careful!

    Mario Kart 7 (3DS)
    Pretty much like Dead or Alive and OOT- some loss of quality on the outlines of character models and straight lines, the rest of it seems to be OK. Plays great as usual, personally I find the rounded edges of the console to be a great help after a lengthy MK session, pulling those tight handbrake turns doesn't mean the console digging into your palms anymore. Maybe I just have monster hands.

    Etrian Odyssey (DS)
    EO static art of the forest and logos look great, text has a mild loss of clarity- to be expected really.
    Mild loss of detail to character models.
    Definite pixelation of detail such as flowers on the ground.
    Larger bottom screen makes the map a joy to work with.
    Dungeon backgrounds- the forest actually looks alright. Not great, but alright- it wasn't a particularly detailed game to start with, but I'm surprised how good it still looks. If you walk to a dead end, you can see pixelation on the artwork in front of you, but it's smooth as you are walking through the corridors. Some of the larger trees have jaggies on the trunks where they are standing at an angle just off 90 degrees.
    Battles- surprising- monster art looks better than the character portraits, probably because they are smaller and in more dynamic poses, rather than headshots.
    If I didn't know the EO games inside out, I wouldn't notice half of this stuff.
    The bigger screens make the forest feel a bit more ominous, like it's enclosed over you! :D

    Tales of the Abyss (3DS)
    Lets try an RPG with 3D character models-

    OK, cut scenes look OK, but mild loss of detail to character outlines in them as usual.
    Text looks terrible- that pixel font looks grim.
    Ooh-kay, the character models in main gameplay look quite poor- definite pixelation on the hair etc.
    The background artwork looks great- anything manufactured looks good, field backgrounds aren't quite so good.

    Hmm. Not sure about this, I don't think the XL does it any favours at all- it shows off the beautiful backgrounds and cut scenes, but murders the character models you'll spend most of your time looking at.

    DS games in 2D with quality pixel art look fine- games with a lot going on on screen (Castlevania, Metal Slug, Contra etc) really benefit from the bigger screen and the sprites upscale fine. I'd make a guess that Aliens: Infestation looks pretty good too, will try that next. Games that use poor quality 3D models suffer more. I was surprised at how good the characters and artwork in Hotel Dusk look, not so much by how poor the hotel itself looks.

    3DS games- well, Shinobi and Tales definitely suffer, probably due to poor original character models. Most of the others seem to have a minor loss in detail with character outlines (jaggies?), but the ones with fast-moving characters- fighters, Mario Kart, Kid Icarus etc, deal with it fine. It's more noticable on slower-paced games like Zelda, but personally I think even OOT still looks gorgeous, and the trade-off feels worth it to have better gyro (well, a bigger targeting area, but you know what I mean) and 3D controls.

    Edited by redcrayon at 17:48:45 28-07-2012

    Edited by redcrayon at 18:40:50 28-07-2012

    Edited by redcrayon at 18:52:20 28-07-2012

    Edited by redcrayon at 18:59:28 28-07-2012

    Edited by redcrayon at 18:59:55 28-07-2012
  • Armoured_Bear 28 Jul 2012 17:09:25 21,962 posts
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    Good thread, be interested to see the results from everyone.
  • redcrayon 28 Jul 2012 17:13:43 4,649 posts
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    Yeah, I'm looking forward to rediscovering my DS collection- happy to take requests as well if there's anything people are interested in that I have on the shelf.
  • BeebleB 28 Jul 2012 18:30:11 1,274 posts
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    Etrian odyssey :D
  • andywilkie35 28 Jul 2012 18:31:53 5,337 posts
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    Mario 3D Land looks great. As does Pullblox.

    Going to try Theatrhythm Final Fantasy in a bit
  • redcrayon 28 Jul 2012 18:41:34 4,649 posts
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    BeebleB wrote:
    Etrian odyssey :D
    A man after my own heart, gimme a few mins, will add to the OP ;-)

    Up there now.

    Edited by redcrayon at 18:52:38 28-07-2012
  • santashi 28 Jul 2012 19:22:15 5,167 posts
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    Good thread idea! And Etrian Odyssey and ToA are two of the ones I'd have asked about so that's some of my questions answered already. :)

    I'm curious as to whether Kingdom Hearts 3D is an experience that is improved with a bigger screen. I've only played the demo but it was a game I thought might work better with one.

    Wouldn't mind hearing your views on XL Theatrhythm, either, Andy.
  • Deleted user 28 July 2012 19:31:58
    Oh, i kinda forgot about Dead or Alive - thought it was a cracking game but the original 3DS screen was just a bit too small for it. I'd imagine the same for Zen Pinball if anyone can try it out?

    After being really impressed with a demo Xl and the impending NSMB2, my desire to buy one is on the up.
  • Jmog 28 Jul 2012 21:24:32 469 posts
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    Got the 3DS XL today. Loving the hardware differences. The loss in sharpness due to same resolution on bigger screens is easily outweighed by all the advantages. And it feels so much better to hold.

    Here are my impressions of the games I've tried on it so far,

    New Super Mario Bros (DS)
    Looks lovely. Slight loss of sharpness but it's very minor. I especially noticed the letters on menu text being so sharp that it could have passed for un-scaled. And the actual gameplay is a joy on those big screens. On the regular 3DS I couldn't help noticing the quality difference between the top and bottom screen when gameplay shifted between the two. Basically due to it being a resistive touch screen there are little see-through dots which detect where you press. On the XL I don't notice them at alle. Either they've made them smaller or the fact that they have more space between them makes them less noticeable. Conclusion, definetely better on the XL and worth it to run in fullscreen.

    Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon (DS)
    Looks so good scaled that I only bothered with the unscaled mode for one minute. The 2D portraits of the characters in the cut-scenes also look quite a lot better. Not just because they are bigger but it's almost as if there is some subtle shading in the colours which is lost on the smaller screen of the regular DS. I'll have to do some more testing to make sure, but comparing the home screen on thhe 3DS and 3DS XL it actually looks like colours are slightly different. In a good way. I am not getting rid of the old 3DS until monday so I will get the opportunity to test some more.

    Shinobi (3DS)
    On the regular 3DS one of the worst implementations of stereoscopic 3D I have ever seen. Really unpleasant and unlike every other game I have tried I am unable to play it in 3D without eyestrain. Which actually made it a pretty good test to see if anything has changed in the implementation of the 3D effect on the XL. Sadly, nothing's changed. In some ways it's actually worse since the bigger screens makes the ghosting (basically i see two ninjas instead of one) more visible. In 2D mode I actually find it to be an improvement on the XL as I found it a bit hard to keep up with everything going on in the screen with the regular 3DS. Bigger screens helps here and you can actually see that your avatar as well as the enemies are more detailed than what the regular 3DS led you to believe.

    Titles I will test and come back with impressions:
    -Kingdom Hearts 3DS: Downloading the Demo presently
    -Mighty Switch Force (DSi e-shop): try watching the 3D enabled video on the E-shop. It looks gorgeous. Downloading now,
    -Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
    -Chrono Trigger (DS)
    -Star Fox 64 (3DS)
    -Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations (DS)

    Edited by Jmog at 21:29:10 28-07-2012
  • Deleted user 28 July 2012 21:39:16
    "Even worse"
  • Deleted user 28 July 2012 21:41:01
    Yeah, i'd like to hear how Zen Pinball looks on the XL. It does look sharp and crisp on the 3DS, but could obviously benefit from a larger screen size.

    It would also be nice to see how VC games look, both in their standard and original resolutions. It must be quite cool having Gameboy games enlarged on the 3DS.
  • BigOrkWaaagh 28 Jul 2012 21:56:05 7,438 posts
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    Zen Pinball actually looks amazing on XL; It's one of the first games I tried. The tables look fantastic and the text being blocky and pinbally in the first place definitely helps. It's probably the game that benefits most/loses least in the transition of all the ones I've tried.

    I also tried the VC Mario Bros and that looks about as good as a NES game can possibly look. Really impressed on both fronts.
  • Minotauro 28 Jul 2012 23:35:24 94 posts
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    Slightly off-topic, but I own a DSi XL and if there's one game which is really improved by the bigger screens it's Meteos. The game was great on the regular DS but a bit fiddly. The bigger screens make the game a bit easier, which is fine because it's a bloody hard game! Looks great too on the bigger screens. Not played on a 3DS/3DS XL yet but I bet it would play great on the 3DS XL.

    Also, Chronno Trigger looks fantastic on the DSi XL. Just check it out!
  • andywilkie35 28 Jul 2012 23:44:44 5,337 posts
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    Thanks for the impressions (you too redcrayon of course!), very interested to hear the thoughts on Phoenix Wright Trials and Tribulations, considering starting that next week funnily enough!
  • mal 29 Jul 2012 01:44:44 29,326 posts
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    Not too surprising ToA looks a bit ropey with the bigger screen - from the videos I've seen they didn't do an awful lot to the original PS1 assets.
  • Jmog 29 Jul 2012 02:54:59 469 posts
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    Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
    Looks really good. Menu text is a tad blurry, but nothing bad. The font they use is big enough to handle it. The gameplay graphics also loose a bit of sharpness but it does look really great in full screen. There is quite a lot of detail in the backgrounds which really shine now. The same goes for the character models and enemies. Gonna play this one full screen from now on.

    Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations (DS)
    Doesn't look as great as I had hoped. The slight blurring of text becomes a bit annoying though this is one I feel will come down to perosnal preference. The Wright games use a font that is quite large which helps but the fact that 90% of the game consists of reading text really draws your attention to any kind of scaling issue in the letters. It's not bad per se just... constant. The manga graphics I felt were ok but when i rebooted the game in unscaled mode there was no doubt that i prefered it this way. Again, your mileage may vary. The text is razor sharp in unscaled mode and running games like that the windows with the game is actually bigger than running it scaled on a regular 3DS so it's big enough for it not to distract. Will run the Wright games in unscaled mode from now on.

    Chrono Trigger (DS)
    If it hadn't been for the very small font this game uses (due to it being an SNES conversion) I probably never would have tried to run it unscaled. The game graphics look great scaled with lots of details and colours. The combination of small font and scaling does make text stand out as not quite clear. Running in unscaled mode text is perfect though. Still a small font but so sharp that you can easily read it without straining your eyes. The gameplay, which did look great scaled, is also improved. There are a lot of small details, lines, dots and the like on the characters which really stand out even though they are smaller in unscaled. If it hadn't been for the text issue I would have been undecided as for which mode to run but text IS a big part of a JRPG. Running in unscaled from now on.

    Kingdom Hearts (3DS)
    This game makes a VERY good case for why bigger screens is a good thing. There is SO much going on on the top screen during combat that it can get quite confusing. I can't even imagine how much worse it would be on smaller screens. Graphically it looks superb on the XL screens and it really feels like you are running a Wii game in the palm of your hand. Had to turn off the 3D effect though since maintaining the sweet spot was quite difficult as the action gets so hectic that you can't keep the console still. The menu logo and title is quite clearly not designed with the 3DS XL screen size in mind (looks a bit blurry) but the actual in-game graphics are perfect for it.

    Mighty Switch Force (3DS E-shop)
    Wow. Not only is this game SUPERB (best 2D platformer I've tried in years), the graphics are incredibly well drawn and animated with beautiful backgrounds. Ontop of that the 3D effect is easily a contender for the best use of it since Mario 3D Land. The game uses multiple backgrounds as well as foregrounds (sometimes four planes at the same time) which scroll as you run along. Looks great and with good depth in 2D mode. In 3D mode though its a revelation. 2D platformers benefit much more from going 3D than "normal" 3D games do. The big size of the XL screens just makes the whole thing look even better as there is a LOT of detail in characters and backgrounds which come into their own with the larger visuals. If you only get one game for your 3DS XL, get Mighty Switch Force. As soon as I've completed it I am getting Shantae (Dsiware) as it's another 2D platformer from the same developers. These guys are 2D gaming geniouses.

    Edited by Jmog at 02:58:13 29-07-2012
  • redcrayon 29 Jul 2012 10:44:16 4,649 posts
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    Thanks for the contributions Jmog!

    I agree about Mighty Switch Force- the XL makes it look fantastic. Wayforward's 2D stuff is usually pretty good- I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up Contra IV, they developed it for Konami. Aliens and Thor, both for DS, are also pretty good- they use a lot of black outlines on pixel art that just seems to upscale really well.

    I was going to add a Phoenix Wright game today, will add something else instead!

    Next up, Kid Icarus Uprising- any more requests?

    Edited by redcrayon at 10:48:39 29-07-2012
  • redcrayon 29 Jul 2012 11:38:31 4,649 posts
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    Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)

    OK, the usual issues listed above here- a mild pixelation around hair and more detailed weapons, with a mild loss of clarity on text.

    Thing is, it's barely noticable as Pit moves so fast, and the characters of the typeface are large enough that it really isn't a problem.

    I find it a bit more playable than the last time I played it on a 3DS- I'm left handed, and so have to balance the machine on my right palm while also using my off-hand for targeting- not the most accurate control scheme. Thing is, the larger screen of the XL makes my targeting and swiping a bit more forgiving, and I don't even need the stand or anything- the machine isn't digging into my off-hand at the same time anymore due to the rounded corners, which helps a lot.

    Overall the XL gives a slightly experience for lefties due to the more forgiving nature of a larger target area when using your off-hand with a stylus. Any right-handed players got any comments?
  • Deleted user 29 July 2012 11:39:45
    I think it would be best if you added some pictures, so we can come to our own conclusions.
  • redcrayon 29 Jul 2012 11:45:40 4,649 posts
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    Well, the whole point of the thread was people's individual impressions, but feel free to take screengrabs from t'internet and change the pixel counts in photoshop or something, that'll give you a good idea.

    It's not something I can do easily on the 3DS: me taking a picture of a screen in motion in poor quality light conditions, then uploading and resizing it really isn't going to give very accurate impressions anyway. I'm just giving my impressions of actually playing the games rather than squinting at screengrabs.
  • Deleted user 29 July 2012 11:48:16
    They all look big

    /ends thread
  • Deleted user 29 July 2012 14:44:01
    midnight_walker wrote:
    Zen Pinball actually looks amazing on XL; It's one of the first games I tried. The tables look fantastic and the text being blocky and pinbally in the first place definitely helps. It's probably the game that benefits most/loses least in the transition of all the ones I've tried.

    I also tried the VC Mario Bros and that looks about as good as a NES game can possibly look. Really impressed on both fronts.
    Much appreciated. I imagined Zen would look pretty good actually, but you never know.
  • Jmog 2 Aug 2012 19:27:18 469 posts
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    I took some shots to illustrate how big DS games are on a 3DS XL when you run them in native mode and in full screen compared to a regular DS.

    Native mode:;page=1;popular=

    Full screen:;page=1;popular=
  • mal 2 Aug 2012 19:54:26 29,326 posts
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    Have they actually changed the scaling on the XL DS unscaled mode versus the standard 3DS? I understood that unscaled mode was 1:1 which on the 3DS with its higher DPI screen is smaller than it was on the DS. So I guess the XL's got almost the same DPI as the original DS had, just also a bigger screen (that can do 3D).

    In other news, the old phat DS backlights were fucking pish.
  • Jmog 2 Aug 2012 21:33:10 469 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Have they actually changed the scaling on the XL DS unscaled mode versus the standard 3DS?
    Changed the scaling on the unscaled mode? Not sure I understand what you mean. There is no scaling when you run in unscaled mode. Do you mean whether unscaled mode on the 3DS XL gives a bigger image than unscaled mode on the 3DS then definetely, yes.

    I understood that unscaled mode was 1:1 which on the 3DS with its higher DPI screen is smaller than it was on the DS. So I guess the XL's got almost the same DPI as the original DS had, just also a bigger screen (that can do 3D).
    Haven't done the math but this is probably true.

    In other news, the old phat DS backlights were fucking pish.
    Amen to that! The old DS makes my eyes bleed now.
  • jamiehighfill 4 Dec 2012 03:08:09 1 posts
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    @redcrayon : Hey I welling to say that , I love those type of games. I give the shinobi fighting style an A+ because it more cooler then, most ninjas show, or ect.. I can't believe that shinobi was the firstNinja to sent first. I just wish that maybe the people keep on saying I want more harder things then saying no ! that soo easy No that too hard ! shinobi is just wright for me anyways I am going to get it on the 25 I think.soo I have to wait and see..
  • Murbs 18 Apr 2013 16:11:07 23,868 posts
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    Actually, this thread is probably a better place to post ;-)

    Hoping the Dragon Quest games scale up well on the 3DS as the last 3 emails I've received all refer the the dispatch of different DQ games - IV, V & VI :-)
  • Deleted user 18 April 2013 20:31:13
    I can't comment on those, but IX looks fine. A little softer looking, but otherwise fine.
  • redcrayon 18 Apr 2013 20:33:28 4,649 posts
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    Would I help if I went and booted them up for a look ;-)
  • redcrayon 18 Apr 2013 20:45:02 4,649 posts
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    OK, I opened up VI first.

    first impressions- text is a little soft.

    The next thing I notice is that the quasi-3D view of a town,with the black borders, really makes the buildings stand out.

    Moving out of a town, the pixel art looks great in the world map and in a random battle, but the text isn't that sharp- if you are spoiled by seeing pin-sharp text on smartphones etc, it's going to be somethng jarring at first but you'll probably get used to it.

    I'd have to say that it makes the art look gorgeous though- I'm considering replaying V again now, I didn't think it would look that nice!
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