Life during Zelda time

Man, Nintendo wasn’t just blowing hot air about Twilight Princess being 70 hours long. I’m 32 hours in… and about halfway through the adventure, as far as I can tell. The sheer enormity of this game is difficult to vocalize… although fortunately we have non-disclosure agreements to keep my lips sealed until the Wii launch, thus sparing me the trouble of making the effort.

The dudes took away my component cables for a while yesterday so they could do some high-quality video capture, which suddenly made it clear why people were talking about how ugly this game is. No exaggeration: playing this on an HD set with composite video makes it look like an N64 game with a slightly improved poly count. Not only do you lose the widescreen functionality, but there’s all kinds of smeariness and ghosting and general unpleasantness. Not just in the snooty HD snob sense, but in the “this looks so bad and details are so hard to make out that I now have a screaming headache.” The “p” in all those different HD resolutions (480p/720p/1080p) makes more of a difference than the numbers, I’ve learned.

Since Wii’s output resolution is determed at the system level, I’m assuming this means that the Virtual Console will be outputting games at 480p, which in turn means that it is so, so worth it. Well, sort of. It’s annoying that old games are nigh-unusable on HD sets, but at least there’s a workaround for NIntendo stuff… even if you have to pay for it. I’ve heard that PS3 doesn’t output PS1/PS2 games at HD resolutions, which makes my tiny heart break from the sheer predictability of it all. Sony, why you gotta suck so bad? For 600 bucks, the PS3 shouldn’t just make Chrono Cross look good on the same TV you want me to use to get the most out of Resistance — it should write its own Harle X Orlha slash fiction. Honestly.

48 thoughts on “Life during Zelda time

  1. Question is: does the gamecube component cable work for the Wii? I spent 60 bucks on that thing, it’d be sweet if it was the same connector.

  2. If mine is any indication, B&M EB/Gamestop stores will be selling component cables beginning tomorrow.

  3. I’m wondering how these two new systems will look on older non-HD sets. I don’t plan on getting either system anytime soon as FFXII will be just fine, but I have friends who regret getting a 360 before a HDTV and not being able to make out text in games like Dead Rising.

  4. How does it look like in component but interlaced? That’d probably the best benchmark as to what RGB Scart will look like over here.

  5. I don’t think the “P” is as important as the signal quality. The signal splitting of component cables (Red, Blue, and Green/Luminance) makes the picture a lot crisper than all channels smashed together in composite video. Interlaced video can actually provide a smoother, more liquid-like visual experience. My tv can display 480i, and I will definitely be buying component cables for my Wii. I already use them for GC and Xbox. Even the difference between 480i and composite is like “warm sunset” compared to “muddy crap”.

  6. What do you think about the few reviews that have already popped up for the title? For instance, the guy over at gamespy only mentioned playing the game for 35 hours before giving his review, is it even possible to beat the game that quickly? Or did he just stop halfway through to give his site extra traffic?

  7. It probably depends on the set. For mine, interlaced component video looks decent but the Wii’s 480p is much, much better. Anyway, the point being, get component cables if your TV supports them (HD/EDTV or not).

  8. 70 hours can be a good thing and a bad thing. How well have they balanced time spent on the minutae — like collecting heart pieces and skulltula-type stuff — versus actual game progression through dungeons, towns, etc?

  9. Question is, does it look as bad on S-Video connections? ’cause that’s the highest video quality most Gamecube owners are gonna get.

  10. 480p, 720p, 1080p, HD, component, composite… honestly, I’m more interested in that Harle x Orlha slash fiction. They need to get on that.

  11. Hmm. So…if this is the power of the Wii…what the hell is the GC version going to end up looking like?

  12. Alixsar–why so down on the Wii? That pretty picture is COMING from the Wii. It isn’t the cables that are making it pretty. The problem is because if you’re on an HD-capable TV, the Wii is sending out a 480 signal that a standard def setting (A/V) cannot interpret properly.

  13. Don’t forget that composite generally looks *worse* on an HDTV than on a standard television. So composite will always look better regardless of the television type, but HDTV tends to magnify the differences between the two.

  14. Good gravy. I do hope some sort of component cable is avalible on launch day… that’s assuming I even get one. As we speak there is a line of thirty or so people outside the local Best Buy for the PS3. No one at Wal-Mart yet, but I figure because the first person there might as well hang a sign that reads, “Mug me, please.” That said, if the Wii gets similar lines, I might be out of luck.

  15. Hmm….poor boy that I am, I’m considering saving up for a black DS lite instead of getting a Wii or PS3. I know I’d like Zelda, but I’m not sure I can handle the relatively bite sized chunks of excitement spaced out with the hours of scouring across the overworld. I think Wind Waker scarred me on that one.
    On the other hand…
    That feature actually made me laugh, mostly because I have friends I know would do some of those.

  16. I wouldn’t sweat saving the bucks and springing for a DS Lite. You will not be disappointed, I assure you. You’ll even be able finally play all your GBA games.

  17. So is the composite video only how it looks without component on an HDTV? What about a low-tech TV, does it look less murky?

  18. In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo’s online store has sold out of component cables…already. I look at this as good news, hopefully Nintendo will recognize the need for them and will pack them in with the console eventually.

  19. Your Chrono Cross ref brings up something I’ve been wondering about:

    Is Sony REALLY planning on making MULTIPLE-CD GAMES downloadable?

    Because that sounds like a really long download and a lot of hard drive space.

    I mean, Final Fantasy 7 seems like a no-brainer, but then there are the persistent rumors of a PS3 remake, too, in which case it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to have two versions of it on the same system.

  20. Yeah, so by the time Nintendo actually has some HD cables in stock I’ll have beaten Zelda: TP already. The next shipment directly out of their own online shop doesn’t even go out until about the end of the month.

  21. I’m actually hoping the VC classic games have some low-resolution output support. Otherwise running Super Mario Bros. is going to be all bright and ugly and upscanned, like a PC emulator. Give me original resolution please – through RGB, I don’t want it in 480p.

  22. Howled: I doubt it’ll be that big a deal. What’ll freak me out is the sunrise and sunset.
    Though…I’m not buying a Wii yet, so I’ll have the GC version.

  23. Late reply: don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the Wii. I’m just upset that I have to buy a new/good TV. I don’t really have money for that. Well, hopefully the GC version will turn out better.

  24. Judging by the pictures, it’s not a right-handed Link. At least judging by the picture on the left. I guess he could be holding the sword with both hands in the other shot.

  25. It’s a deal when you are a lefty and you’ll be swining the ‘mote with your left-hand. Isn’t that why they flippped it in the first place, to convienence you righty norms? :D

  26. Nope. Miyamoto is a lefty, too, but I’m told (by Bill Trinen) that the mandate to flop the Wii version came directly from him — it’s not an issue of rightism, it’s that everyone (regardless of their dominant hand) holds the Wiimote in their right hand and the nunchuk in their left — which means your right hand will be sword-swinging no matter what.

  27. I know you only really mentioned the PS3 in passing, but that reminds me: anyone catch that ridiculous news story about “violence erupting over the PS3” in southern California, or whatever? Something about people stampeding in a Wal-Mart (man, that makes me grin every time I think about it for so many reasons) and having the cops called on them. Unless you’re planning to sell the thing on ebay, I don’t understand the PS3 excitement. Resistance looks neat and all, but I won’t pay six hundred dollars or spend hours in a line to play it.

  28. There’s a line 10 deep outside a best buy in phoenix since Tuesday. Its not even the best buy that opens at midnight either, which is what I can’t wrap my head around.

    I wonder if its because that many people intend to sell them on eBay or if it is because people remember the 360 debacle or what.

  29. Sorry Parish, but nobody seems to be listening…


    At least, that’s what Parish seemed to be saying. Otherwise there’s a huge problem.

  30. I love the Zelda games dearly, and I never noticed that Link was left-handed. Why is this even discussed? He’s one of the most generic video game characters of all time; why do we care about his handedness?

  31. Because this is the internet! It thrives on such minutia.

    Anyways, yeah, HD is what I gots, so I guess I’m in a bit of a pickle. Guess I can always grind my teeth on my other games until I can score some of the component cables. Hopefully they fare a little better. (All my older systems have, so far, looked fairly decent on my set.)

    The apparent lack of any avalible cables at launch though is pretty frustrating, all the same.

  32. sinfony: I’d say it is because he is mostly a blank slate that a lot of fans latch on to whatever characteristics they can. He wears green, he has pointy ears, and he is (generally) left-handed. People getting upset over it is taking it entirely too far, though.

  33. I hold everything with my left hand. And with “everything”, I mean, knives, mice and remotes. It’s fair to assume I would be holding the Wii remote with my left hand. Which is odd, because I think the nunchuck thingy is designed for one’s left hand. I may have to yield this time.

  34. Both controllers are designed to be ambidexterous.

    However, Miyamoto is pointing out an interesting fact about games, that since “movement” has always been on the left and “action” on the right, we have all turned into “right handed” people while gaming. Try playing left-handed w/ the Wii and I think you’ll be surprised–it’ll be like writing with your right hand.

  35. Why couldn’t they just program Link to swap his hands if you swap the controller halves? Furthermore, I am infuriated that Link will not juggle his sword, shield, and sub-items when I juggle the remote & nunchuk. Not that I can juggle or anything.

  36. I’ve heard it said that the traditional controller arrangement–movement on the left and action on the right–is in fact left-handed, since it tends to require more finesse on the left side. I’m not sure how accurate this really is, or what it means for the Wii, but it does suggest that it’s us right-handed folk who’ve been adapting all along.

  37. Parish, are you certain about widescreen not being available over composite video?

    Other games and systems (ie, FFXII on PS2) have no problem doing widescreen in 480i over composite. Is it possible that you just missed the option after the cable switch?

  38. Bummer. Well, better to know in advance. I was already intending to hunt down component cables, but now it is a must.

  39. I’m having trouble keeping track of your opinion on Chrono Cross. :/
    Up, down, up, down, up (?)

  40. I remember something about taking back your original 5 toastyfrogs out of 5 and realizing CC was just a short vacation in the tropics for the Chrono series.
    …How the *crap* do I remember these things? Man.

  41. I hate how newer gamecubes have no port fot the component video cable. Back when I was using a pitiful 21″ standard TV it wasn’t a big deal at all, but now that I have a fancy-pants 1080p (well, 1080p through HDMI at least – the component inputs only go up to 1080i, which still isn’t bad at all) 37″ LCD HDTV, composite output looks like pure crap. I’m not even sure why they bothered to put composite inputs on the TV, anything you hook up to them invariably looks like ass. I can’t really play any of my GC games anymore, because it’s just so blurry and the colors bleed and all that crap. At least the Wii will have component cables and play GC games, so all hope is not yet lost.

    Also, from my (admittedly short) experience with HD, there isn’t THAT big of a difference between progressive and interlaced – the quality of the connection is much more important. When my PS2 was hooked up via composite it also looked like crap. But when I switched to component, everything (even the vast majority of games that are neither widescreen or 480p) looked much much better. And I can say from experience that 1080i is impressive indeed – Dead Rising in 1080i is a completely different game than Dead Rising in 480i. Firing the real mega buster in high-def is a pure treat.

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