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 The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date

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PostSubject: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:22

It's the complementary thread to this: http://messedupcables.forumotion.net/t945-the-best-uses-of-stereoscopic-3d-to-date

Of course there has to be a few stinkers in the 3DS's library with poor implementation of 3D. It's either eye-hurtingly bad or (un)noticeably weak, and in both cases we all lose out. 3D requires a doubling of the screen resolution (from 400 x 240 to 800 x 240), and developers wasting these resources on something that makes no difference is a missed opportunity with a big cost.

Whether that's from developers who simply didn't care, or ones who never saw it as a priority given the game's genre and visuals is another matter -- which missteps have you come across in the past four or so years?

Here are a few off the top of my head:

Tales of the Abyss
One of the few games I played with 3D off. The problem lay with how the speech bubbles and user interface elements would remain at the foreground of the screen, which was at odds with everything else that was happening way into the distance. Having to change my eye's focal point between the two wasn't worth it. Placing speech bubbles above the actual characters' heads in 3D space would have been ideal. Add to this the lack of separation between layers and it's a weak showing overall. There's depth to the image, sure, but it's more like a 2D image being pushed into the distance than a tangible, 3D one where you can pick out all the details.

Mario Golf: World Tour
It's a bit unfair to label this as "bad", I suppose, but it could have been so much more. You can barely make out the 3D in the first place, which means putting isn't transformed like it was in AR Games: Golf. You still have to rely on that mesh grid to make out the terrain. Disappointing.

Rodea the Sky Soldier
I've been playing the 3DS demo for this off the Japanese eShop. The game's pretty decent, but the 3D is clearly an afterthought which tells us the 3DS game is a port of the Wii U game. First there's the retrofitted 3D cutscenes, which look downright odd, but the 3D effect in the game is something that's worse than inoffensive.

There's barely any depth to begin with, but the problem lies with how the aiming reticule is placed at the foreground of the screen. Naturally, you're always aiming and pointing into the distance, setting your sights on distant pieces of terrain or objects to fly towards. Having the reticule appear right at the front -- with the objects you're aiming at in the distance -- makes no sense, and just confuses your eyes.

The best 3D games tend to place that aiming reticule in 3D space, its location changing along the z-axis depending on what it's focusing on. There are a few examples on the 3DS which I've forgotten about -- was Kid Icarus one of them?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
A big disappointment after Monster Games' excellent work with DKC Returns 3D. There's barely any *tangible* depth -- again it's like a 2D image has been pushed into the distance -- but UI elements for objects in the distance are at the foreground. Your eye shouldn't  need to change focal point between enemy and the status bar above them.


Last edited by fronkhead on Sat 23 May 2015 - 21:30; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:45

Metal gear solid 3D is a pretty bad one for me, now this may sound odd but it goes overboard with the depth (with the slider at max) to the point it can be quite disorientating and even taking the slider down a few notches doesn't help much.

Also has lot's of ghosting problems as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 0:46

Everything other than Kid Icarus Uprising Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 9:23

Bit.Trip Saga and Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns are the only two 3DS games where I've permanently turned the 3D off. I understand that they're ports from elsewhere, but Bit.Trip is almost scuppered by it, and Harvest Moon's really has to be seen to be believed.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 11:44

Ace threads, Fronky! I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the 3DS Pokémon games yet: the game can't decide whether it wants 3D on in its overworld or not, and while it is available in all battles, the frame rate suffers hugely.

I don't remember TotA's. Chalk that up as another awful thing about that game.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 12:32

The most eye-roll-inducing 3D I've experienced is in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. Whenever a female character is part of a conversation, her avatar's bosoms pop out of the screen in stereoscopic 3D. It's somewhat childish, to be honest. Rolling Eyes And it looks weird.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 12:34

I'd shoved that to the back of my mind. Now that Zero mentions it, Shantae definitely gets a big red mark. It wasn't a bad use of 3D, but a bad one.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 12:49

I actually don't even use the 3d, so you'd think I wouldn't have anything to say beyond that, but there is one game, or four rather. Pokemon X / Y and Oras all fit this bill. Ignoring the fact that 3d only works in singles and a few select screens like egg hatchings and evolutions it's also incredibly poorly optimized and causes frame rates to plummet faster than a Snorlax using body slam. Whether it looks good or not is completely lost among how terrible the frame rate ends up being.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 15:15

@Balladeer wrote:
Ace threads, Fronky!  I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the 3DS Pokémon games yet: the game can't decide whether it wants 3D on in its overworld or not, and while it is available in all battles, the frame rate suffers hugely.

That'd be my pick too. I turned the 3D off pretty quickly after seeing the frame rate issues in battles.
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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySat 23 May 2015 - 21:28

Does Harvest Moon stick 3D characters on top of a flat 2D image? Rune Factory 4 does that, and it's dreadful. The pre-drawn backgrounds are trying to simulate a 3D image, yet can only be completely flat, so it looks like someone's walking on top of a sheet of paper, awful.

Bit.Trip Saga was a big disappointment for me. It looked like the sort of game that would benefit massively from 3D, too, yet the effect was rubbish, and it heavily impacted the framerate.

I actually quite liked the 3D effect in Metal Gear 3D, it brought the forest to life and you could notice all the little details, every little tree branch and so on. I can see why Jaster found it disorientating. It might not be the depth, rather it's probably the game's low framerate (20fps). A high framerate really stabilises the 3D, according to the ALBW Iwata Asks.

@Balladeer wrote:
Ace threads, Fronky!  I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the 3DS Pokémon games yet: the game can't decide whether it wants 3D on in its overworld or not, and while it is available in all battles, the frame rate suffers hugely.

I don't remember TotA's.  Chalk that up as another awful thing about that game.

Thanks for the kind words.

I can't believe I forgot Pokémon's, what a disaster that was. It didn't help that Nintendo removed the "3D" LED from later models, so you couldn't tell if a cutscene/cave had 3D or not without having to mess with the depth slider every time.

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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySun 24 May 2015 - 11:55

Starfox 64 3D

Overall not bad stuff, but in their zeal to do a good conversion of the N64 game, the team kept in some ridiculous pop-in which is jarring and bizarre in 3D. Meteors teleporting into existence an inch from my face was always weird.

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PostSubject: Re: The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date   The worst uses of stereoscopic 3D to date EmptySun 24 May 2015 - 15:02

@fronkhead wrote:
I actually quite liked the 3D effect in Metal Gear 3D, it brought the forest to life and you could notice all the little details, every little tree branch and so on. I can see why Jaster found it disorientating. It might not be the depth, rather it's probably the game's low framerate (20fps). A high framerate really stabilises the 3D, according to the ALBW Iwata Asks.

It was a bit better with the slider set to just under halfway so like you said maybe it was the framerate.
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