Friday, 10 September 2010

A Look At Some New Dead Or Alive 3DS Screens

Early screens of Dead Of Alive 3DS surfaced at this year’s E3 shortly after Nintendo unveiled the 3DS console itself, showing off Dreamcast quality graphics with more advanced visual effects. Now Tecmo have released some updated shots of the game, which not only further showcase the 3DS’ fairly advanced graphical prowess, but also the progress that has been made since its initial unveiling.

Dead Or Alive Dimensions, as it’s now being called, is looking mightily impressive. Previous shots of the game looked good, although didn’t quite appear as detailed geometry wise compared to the DC version of DOA2, nor did it feature quite as detailed texturing. However those screenshots were heavily compressed, and also came from a much earlier version of the game. Compared to the ones released at E3, this latest batch of shots appears distinctly more polished, clearly featuring improvements in a number of areas.

Texturing seems to be a little more consistent, with the characters in particular seeing more detail than before, and the overall shading model is a little less rough around the edges. Specular highlighting is also present, appearing subtly amongst the game's more pronounced use of normal mapping.

Interestingly the latest screens all feature insane amounts of anti-aliasing, more than what is likely to be present in the actual game, if any at all. Like with most publisher-released screens these are likely to be downsampled bullshots, and given the lack of any aliased edges this is almost certainly the case. Currently Nintendo’s 3DS port of Star Fox 64 is the only 3DS game we know of that uses anti-aliasing.

The most noticeable improvement besides the obvious, and slightly artificial increase in image quality, is the liberal use of normal mapping in these latest shots. It’s pretty clear that the characters in DOA Dimensions aren’t made up of as many polygons as DC DOA2, however a similar level of detail, and more in certain areas, is created through using normal maps to simulate ‘bumpy’ surfaces and other such looks.

Impressively, the clothing appears to a focal point for using the technique. You can see all the little creases and folds that occur during movement which adds even more realism to the proceedings. Admittedly, this on its own is hardly new, and we don’t know whether or not the developers are simply using a static normal mapping solution, or whether they are dynamically blending different 2D normal maps together to create an effect which contorts and changes with motion. If they are then this is a pretty mean feat, although particularly unlikely.

Dead Or Alive Dimensions is looking pretty darn hot right now, with impressive use of various graphical effects and much better image quality than many 3DS games we’ve seen so far. These latest shots represent a noticeable improvement to the ones released a few months ago, and things generally seem to be progressing nicely. It will particularly interesting to see how well the developers can maintain a constantly fluid 60fps with so much detail being apparent, especially in some of the backgrounds, and with all those effects. Although I guess we shall just have to wait until the first direct-feed gameplay footage surfaces.

More screens of the game can be found over at Famitsu’s website.

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