the blue storm example is actually instructive, though obviously it only covers some facets of the argument.
WR64’s mechanics were wisely retuned in the update from WR64’s 20 -> WRBS’ 30 FPS. they went a bit overboard, actually, in filling in the mechanical gaps such that the game still makes sense at the new refresh (there are now turbo boosts and stunts give you ticks of power). if WR64 ran at WRBS refresh (let alone 60 FPS) with no other changes, it would feel a little bit too easy and predictable, honestly.
part of the fun of wave race 64 optimization is the inability to ever be perfect - the need to “go with the flow” a bit, and to… idk… “use the force” a bit, to predict the in-betweens. it’s amorphous and messy (just like (our human conception of) water!), but it’s totally vital to the game. it’s thematic. WR64 is a spectacularly holistic game, probably one of the most coherent and complete i’ve ever played.
WRBS is a messier game, and the changes were extremely unfriendly to casual players. i believe the game is actually based on a very heavily modified version of 64, though i don’t know if i can ever determine this definitively. there are just so many tiny quirks in WR64 which are carried over in WRBS, especially when the central mechanics have been altered so heavily. this is more of an aside, though.
star fox is a good example, but i think stunt race fx is an even better one. here’s an excerpt from a eurogamer interview with giles goddard
Just before all that - you also made Stunt Race FX [a SNES game that, like Star Fox, made use of the Super FX chip. It was known as Wild Trax in Japan]. I imported it back in the day. I paid 20 quid for an adapter and 80 quid for the game.
I think you were ripped off. I don’t like it!
I liked it! What was the framerate exactly on it?
That’s why I don’t like it. It has such terrible framerate. When I was making it, it was like 30hz, which was better than Star Fox - that was like 14, 20, something like that - and I wanted a 30hz racing game. Coming from Mario Kart, which was 60hz, it had to be as close to that as possible. That was our nearest comparison. And the thing I got working at 30hz was great - it felt really good, everything was really smooth, but then we ended up putting so much shit in there it went from 30 to 20 to 14 to 12. The slower it got, the worse the dynamics got. And the final dynamics weren’t as smooth as they used to be.
I remember it for having these brilliant suspension behaviours.
Yeah, but that’s not entirely intentional. The intention was, the suspension was supposed to act like real suspension, not this spongy gloopy thing.
But they were big cartoon cars! It made sense!
That’s why I’m not a game designer. Nintendo saw the fact that it was becoming gloopy, so they played with that and they put that into the game design itself.
Put some eyes on the cars. Job done.
That’s pure Nintendo, that is. Realising your limitations and working it into the game design is what Nintendo does best.
Maybe there’s room for a remaster sometime soon.
I hope not.
You really dislike it that much?
It’s not groundbreaking, it’s just…
Well, I liked it. At the time it was exotic - I hadn’t really experienced many 3D games.
I’m working with a very famous producer at the moment - I can’t say their name - and he’s a massive Wild Trax fan, and I don’t know why. The games he’s made are so much better than anything I’ve ever made, and he’s adamant that Wild Trax is great. But everyone’s like that. Everything you make is never perfect - I only ever see the flaws. Even with 1080, all I see is the things I should have fixed.
so overclocking this game is probably the only way the lead programmer himself would ever want to even be associated with it! in this case, i’m not sure. the problem with SRFX is that the framerates are more or less unplayable. there’s a definite limit to how far you can stretch it. you can also note that the game was intended to be run at a much smoother FPS, whereas something like 20 FPS fits WR64 like a glove - i think that distinction matters. further, the soupy input and delayed reactions to everything just make driving way harder than it should be.
it just depends on context.