September 18, 2010 · Type: Shihiko Event · Shihiko

Tokyo Game Show 2010… How was it? Well a lot of waiting. If you want to buy rare goods or play all the good games in one day, you better be there early and line up for tickets that give you 10 or 15 minutes with each game you want to play… Other than that well it is probably much more fun to read and watch videos online than stand around waiting for a preview.

3D Games however cannot be experienced online. So I guess it was okay that we tried Minna no Golf 5 in 3D. I did try some other games but that is for another site… We weren’t allowed to take photos or videos or I would have. I did try to with ninja skills… and succeeded so I’ll upload it later. Though there is no real point since the 3D effect makes everything look double vision without the glasses.

Today I met up with Yamachan and Maronpafe at Tokyo Game Show. Together we reserved 45 minutes with the demo and tried all sorts of things to test and break the game in both 3D and game play. Some specifications for the Demo:

  • Minna no Golf 5 Concept Demo.
  • Course: Oceania Resort Course Regular Tee.
  • Character: Jasmine.
  • Club & Ball: Standard.
  • Advanced Shot Only. No Character Select Menu… No Traditional.

Well it looks like the usual Demo specifications. This is how it went… I went first, the moment you press Start on the title screen it goes straight into the loading screen with Oceania Resort Course as the wallpaper. So there was no chance I was going to be able to play a Live 3D Match with either of two. The game starts with Jasmine and there is 3H set on Hole Shuffle, the 3D effect was well done and Jasmine and the course really looks good.

The impact circle however was changed so it appears where the ball exactly is on the course. This effect results in only half of the circle showing… Not sure if the 3D effect for this is required. Anyway there was a funny moment when I started because the first hole that came up was 3H of Oceania… and while we were lining up to reserve a spot, Yamachan was saying “Hole Shuffle huh? You obviously want to play the rock bounce on 3H right?”… haha. 😀

I played about 9 holes while trying various things to test the game engine and the game play. Homing didn’t work…? Yeah turns out we are probably using a zero loyalty Jasmine. Sadly that means we don’t have any specials at all… Well next up was Yamachan.

This concept demo doesn’t seem to be using an updated Game Engine and more so just a 60 frame per second version of the original engine, which has clearly cost it’s performance… During some moments while we were just looking at the course or moving the aiming cursor or panning the screen there was huge frame rate drops and lag even though we weren’t even swinging the club or using power shots.

During Yamachan’s session, he tried to do some Air Risers and it confirmed that specials don’t work since my Homing attempt could have just been bugged… well I guess that wasn’t the case. The next chip chance I said “In that case we are going for Flag Ball.” and Yamachan says “What? I don’t know how to do it…” and I said “Hmm yeah I don’t know with Standard Jasmine, but should be…” and so I explained while looking at the double vision screen and we succeeded~!

Maronpafe then had his session with the demo… at this point we were kind of done with testing since we pretty much know what is going on with the demo. The sad thing about watching the 3D effect game is that you cannot see what is happening clearly so you can’t really help judge the other player making the shot. It isn’t too bad but there was a funny moment where both Yamachan and I were watching Maronpafe hit a long putt and we thought it was going in but it was the left ball overlaying the right hole and the ball just passes over the hole hahaha…

One last thing I wanted to test before our session was over is… How playable is the game without the glasses? So I went for another 3 holes and played without the glasses while the other two had it on. Sadly I was perfect impacting more without the glasses and playing better with the double vision than when the whole 3D effect was on. Also I noticed that while playing if the game suddenly breaks out or doesn’t sync the 3D effect with the glasses due to lag or frame rate dropping it really ruins the game play or the flow because you will suddenly see the double vision for a split second and it makes your eyes tired readjusting to it over and over again.

So far from what we have seen, apart from it confirming my suspicions… it seems like this probably won’t be something coming soon and with how broken the effect can be along with the game being so old now. ClapHanz has again updated their website with urgent need for staff so they must be behind or lacking human resources, otherwise this concept demo would have been made a lot better. I’d apply but I don’t live in Japan… 😛

RSS · Comments [5]

September 21, 2010 · Time: 7:18 pm · hcandelar

Thanks Shi, Interesting read. I’d be interested in hearing your opinions on the direction of the game. I understand this is a demo and buggy and this was your experience, but how did you like the 3D version? Does it look promising? Are you excited? Does it leave you wanting more? lol And do you think this is a good direction for the series? Thanks. 🙂

September 22, 2010 · Time: 12:05 am · Shihiko

The 3D does look really good when the effect is working. If they can make it more affordable and maybe lose the glasses it would work very well… Other than that I probably don’t really like playing games with the glasses on.

I pointed out that I experimented without the glasses and played with the double vision display and was playing better than with the glasses. So some of it is not being executed well. Traditional shot would have probably been better, but they didn’t include it in this demo did they? Traditional would work better because it wouldn’t be a 3D element and would stick out in your face on the screen hence being better for focus and less strain on the eyes during the 3D effects.

September 22, 2010 · Time: 5:03 am · reeja19

Well do you think with improved frame rates and an engine built from the ground up for 3d… could it become the preferred method of play for this franchise going forward?
Also, did I read correctly that 3d games will not implement online play, or was it just for the demo’s you tried?

September 22, 2010 · Time: 6:26 am · Shihiko

A new engine would definitely make it work. The problem is even if they do implement it not that many people will be able to experience it due to the investment required. My friend Yamachan is or was in the top ten ranking and he says he owes that to his crappy SDTV, he didn’t want to sacrifice losing PI ratio just to enjoy HD graphics even though he got a HDTV half way through the life of Mingol 5.

The thing I didn’t like about the 3D effect was that there is 2 perspective frames of impact for Advanced each render of the animation, and depending on how everyone’s eyes works… If your eyes can usually see the difference between a 30 frame per second animation and a 60 frame one, then you will have times where the effect breaks on you. This happens for me and it looks like the swinging club or the impact zone are ghosted while animating. It can be fixed but only will fix the Impact animation and not the character swing… Maybe a 120Hz HDTV with 60 frames per eye might fix it, or just returning to Traditional Only will fix this problem.

I think as for the online play, I was saying that using the current engine and implementing it would probably hurt or kill the game which has bad with performance issues in the offline concept already. Sort of like how when you play peaks/oceania/rex offline by yourself it runs all smoothly, but when you play it in a match or stroke online it starts struggling when people use flame shots or putting with fast slopes. You can see how that might make the game less enjoyable online…

November 1, 2010 · Time: 10:29 am · stormy

I played a game that had 3D once…The third sly cooper game…btw. The glasses wore my eyes out. did that ever happen to you? 3D sounds interesting but mabye better if not used.

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