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-   -   What's up with the Wii/PS2 versions (https://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=223837)

OrangeJuice 21-12-19 23:03

What's up with the Wii/PS2 versions
 
let me preface this by apologizing in case we already had a thread like this,, but they're all hidden for this subforum so i cant possibly know

okay, so what's up with the wii and ps2 versions of this game?
i had previously completed the ds (which we won't include in this disccusion), pc and ps2 versions of this game and im now playing through the wii version for the first time,
and im finding that not only it is different from the ps3/xbox360/pc version (which was to be expected), it's also not the same as the ps2 version lmao
and im not just talking about the controls, ofc those were gonna differ, im finding differences in the level design and in the polishing as well

and this is hardly just a matter of adjusting the levels to be playable on older hardware, some of them are straight up completely unrecognizable (ex: croft manor)

so do we know how this happened? did the team that was responsible for porting the game over to wii and ps2 take the liberty to redesign most of the levels? (not that i'd judge them for it, some of the wii level designs are literally better than those of the main version lol)
or were they provided with different/older builds of the game? in that case, why were the level layouts changed so much during development?

im hopin for
a) civil discussion here
b) someone that can actually bring up some receipts baby
c) someone that can point me to the track that's used in the main chamber in croft manor in the wii version bc???? the blade runner vibes???

Zebra 21-12-19 23:54

Pretty sure that the majority of redesigns happened as a result of hardware limitations. I'm assuming some parts of Underworld's levels were simply too big and complex to run on the old hardware and so the teams responsible for those versions redesigned the levels rather than trying to squeeze in vastly inferior and downscaled versions of the 360/PS3 levels onto PS2/Wii. That being said, I know that some of the differences are simply holdovers from earlier versions of the 360/PS3 level. For example, I remember either the Wii or PS2 version (or both) having a longer snow motorbike section at the beginning of Jan Mayen. That was supposed to be there in the main version, too, but was cut because the devs at Crystal didn't like how it was turning out.

_Seth 22-12-19 00:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zebra (Post 8160548)
some of the differences are simply holdovers from earlier versions of the 360/PS3 level. For example, I remember either the Wii or PS2 version (or both) having a longer snow motorbike section at the beginning of Jan Mayen. That was supposed to be there in the main version, too, but was cut because the devs at Crystal didn't like how it was turning out.

Yep, another example is the waterwheel room in Croft Manor being cut in the next gen version. Obviously this was held onto and sold back to us as X360 exclusive DLC, but Buzz Monkey managed to complete it for their game, only for the Wii, though. Curious.

Kapu 22-12-19 00:13

I've played the PS3, Wii, and DS versions. I actually was just replaying the Wii version the other week and WOW I don't remember it looking this bad. But anyway...

A little we know about the development: Crystal's primary platform was the 360. They collaborated with Nixxes to port the game to PS3 and PC. Buzz Monkey Software developed the PS2 and Wii versions.

Biggest level differences (completely recalling from memory, please correct or add!):
  • Croft Manor includes additional areas, one of which being a water wheel section.
  • Mexico has two challenge rooms instead of four, one ice themed and the other fire. They're quite a bit larger than the four rooms in the next gen versions.
  • Jan Mayen has an introductory sequence where you get to drive the bike outdoors
That's all I can remember off the top of my head. A couple other things we know:
The water wheel section in Croft Manor also appears in the 360 DLC Beneath the Ashes.
There is concept art depicting the Jan Mayen bike sequence.
In the Gamasutra "Post Mortem" article by our #1 homeboy Eric Lindstrom, he says this:
Quote:

Another thing we did right during this long Alpha was to have multiple scope reductions. ... We would assess and determine that the game was too big, and then cut enough content to bring it under with margin to spare. Then [...] we would see that we were again coming in too big, necessitating further scope reductions.

[...] almost all the features and areas originally planned for the game made it into the final version, only smaller, and connected to each other in fewer ways. We managed to reduce the scope by trimming branches everywhere without having to uproot any of the trees entirely.
What this suggests to me (pure speculation):
The water wheel section of the PS2/Wii version was also built by Crystal for the next gen retail version of the game, but was removed during one of the "scope reduction" cuts. It still made the PS2/Wii version and was later reused in the DLC. Crystal has insisted that they didn't deliberately cut content from the retail release to use in the DLC, which I would call a half truth. I'm sure the area was cut for production reasons originally; then they simply reused it when the DLC was being made. It was already built so why let it go to waste?
For Jan Mayen island, the bike sequence concept art exists so it must have been planned for the next gen versions. I suppose it was also cut in scope reductions. Did a next gen version exist? We'll never know. The PS2 and Wii versions are so bare bones, maybe Buzz Monkey built it just to pad out the game a bit. Or maybe like the water wheel, there was once a next gen version of this sequence that was ultimately cut - only it never showed up in a DLC.

As for general PS2/Wii differences: I don't know of them because I've only played the Wii version. Of course the Wii has puzzles that specifically take advantage of the Wiimote capabilities, so I know those don't exist in the PS2 version. Maybe the other little differences that appear are a result of Buzz Monkey making little tweaks, since the Wii version was always going to be different because of the extra features.

That's my two cents. Again I'm recalling mostly from memory so I'm sure I screwed up some details. And the other stuff is just guesses. It sure is a curiosity though. Also, just a side note - the Wii and PS2 versions are unbelievably bad. I know the Wii version is generally regarded as being better than the PS2 version, but it's my opinion that it's still a low quality product.

_Seth 22-12-19 00:22

^When it comes to the scope reductions, did they seriously cut out areas because they felt the game was too long? It was criminally short as it was released; barely longer than Legend, if at all! :confused: Regardless, Croft Manor is a tiny level with little substance (as in far less than most of the other levels), so to cut one room from it for scope reduction sounds a bit sus.

Also, a next gen version of the Jan Mayen motorbike area was created and a screenshot is used as the loading screen for at lest the PS2 version. The next gen loading screen is just of the tower inside.

https://i.imgur.com/gsOPePx.jpg

Kapu 22-12-19 00:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by _Seth (Post 8160554)
^When it comes to the scope reductions, did they seriously cut out areas because they felt the game was too long?

No no - give the full article a read if you have a minute. Eric says they planned the game in a way that would allow them to trim content if necessary without removing entire levels outright. They knew developing for next gen consoles would have challenges and wanted to prepare for that; despite that, they still made mistakes they had tried to avoid. It's not because they thought the game was too long, it was because the game was becoming too large for the hardware to handle. They weren't experienced enough with the tech to know how to make it work, so they had to make cuts. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by _Seth (Post 8160554)
Also, a next gen version of the Jan Mayen motorbike area was created and a screenshot is used as the loading screen for at lest the PS2 version. The next gen loading screen is just of the tower inside.

Now that you mention it, I do seem to remember seeing that at some point. I'll have to check out a YouTube playthough to see it again. Thanks for the tid bit!

LaraCablara 22-12-19 01:41

I dont know much about the PS2 version but I did play the Wii version and thought it was alright. Had I not played the PS3 version first I would probably have no real complaints. It was a little empty in comparison and not too polished but I thought it had a charm to it. It reminded me a bit of the old school games with its silence and sort of more blocky looking areas. Maybe the PS2 version was worse but I think the hate for the Wii one is exaggerated :o

Zebra 22-12-19 02:55

I believe the outdoors section of Jan Mayen was mentioned in the strategy guide. If memory serves me right, the reason they removed it was that they felt it was too confusing to navigate because everything just looked white and snowy and it was difficult for players to tell which way they were going, etc.

Eitr Drinker 22-12-19 14:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kapu (Post 8160552)
Crystal's primary platform was the 360. They collaborated with Nixxes to port the game to PS3 and PC.

That must be why the PC and PS3 versions are nearly identical in terms of lighting and color balance, while the 360 is considerably darker.

Quote:

Originally Posted by _Seth (Post 8160554)
Also, a next gen version of the Jan Mayen motorbike area was created and a screenshot is used as the loading screen for at lest the PS2 version. The next gen loading screen is just of the tower inside.

Wasn't Lara meant to encounter polar bears in this section? I seem to recall seeing a render somewhere.

Though my first exposure to the game was through the PC demo, the Wii version was the first complete release I played, so I have something of a soft spot for it. A number of enemies were reduced in quantity (the Naga and Thralls particularly) while plenty were cut entirely (all sharks and spiders). When I finally got the PC version, the giant spiders appearing Southern Mexico scared the daylights out of me, as I was NOT expecting them!

One visual difference that really sticks out is that the Eitr appears spearmint green instead of blue. It's especially effective in the Southern Mexico level, which has a completely different Thor chamber.

_Seth 22-12-19 14:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eitr Drinker (Post 8160661)
Wasn't Lara meant to encounter polar bears in this section? I seem to recall seeing a render somewhere.

One visual difference that really sticks out is that the Eitr appears spearmint green instead of blue. It's especially effective in the Southern Mexico level, which has a completely different Thor chamber.

I believe I remember the Piggyback Guide mentioning in some Behind the Scenes pages that there were supposed to be polar bears. :)

The mint green Etir looked way cooler, IMO.

BlueCake 22-12-19 20:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kapu (Post 8160552)
[*]Mexico has two challenge rooms instead of four, one ice themed and the other fire. They're quite a bit larger than the four rooms in the next gen versions.

I always liked these two rooms, specially the ice one. I recall having snow in it, felt so random and surreal it kinda reminded me of the classic games, i think Mexico from Wii/PS2 is a little more fun than what we got in the HD versions.

OrangeJuice 22-12-19 23:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kapu (Post 8160552)
Biggest level differences (completely recalling from memory, please correct or add!):
  • Croft Manor includes additional areas, one of which being a water wheel section.
  • Mexico has two challenge rooms instead of four, one ice themed and the other fire. They're quite a bit larger than the four rooms in the next gen versions.
  • Jan Mayen has an introductory sequence where you get to drive the bike outdoors

see there's so much more
the mediterranean sea portal puzzle has an entirely different main room and the keys for it are spanned differently throughout the map;
there's underwater corridors to get to the thor statue right after the kraken fight/puzzle that are absent in the next gen version;
thailand introduces the tigers as enemies in a completely different setting (one that, again, is missing in the next gen version);
there's no side room to get the gems for the statue puzzle later on;
there's a horde section where the lizard enemies literally just keep on spanning in a closed-off room??; croft manor looks more like a mine that it does an underground chapel;
mexico differs in the motorbike section to the point where it's an entirely different game
etc.

and again, i struggle to see how some of these "adjustments" were introduced to get the game to run on older hardware because the areas are not smaller nor are they emptier, they're literally just different (ex: the main temple area in thailand is much more vertical than it is in the pc/xbox360/ps3 version but it is by no means smaller and it takes you through an entirely different route.

@eitr @seth yeah i have that guide and it does mention polar bears, but to be fair i dont think that ever evolved beyond being a concept

Kapu 23-12-19 01:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueCake (Post 8160738)
I always liked these two rooms, specially the ice one. I recall having snow in it, felt so random and surreal it kinda reminded me of the classic games, i think Mexico from Wii/PS2 is a little more fun than what we got in the HD versions.

Yeah, I remember liking the ice section a lot too! And also thinking "this is better than the PS3 rooms."


Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangeJuice (Post 8160794)
see there's so much more

[...list...]

and again, i struggle to see how some of these "adjustments" were introduced to get the game to run on older hardware because the areas are not smaller nor are they emptier, they're literally just different (ex: the main temple area in thailand is much more vertical than it is in the pc/xbox360/ps3 version but it is by no means smaller and it takes you through an entirely different route.

Again I'm completely speculating, but I would guess that Buzz Monkey built a lot of the environments from scratch. That would explain why the levels are structured so differently. It wasn't a matter of taking the next gen version and reducing the detail until it was PS2 compatible, but rather recreating what Crystal were in the process of making. Of course a ton of resources would have been shared between projects (pretty much all the assets save for models), but much of what Buzz Monkey created would have been original. Again, that's speculation...or educated guess.

Samz 23-12-19 17:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kapu (Post 8160815)


Again I'm completely speculating, but I would guess that Buzz Monkey built a lot of the environments from scratch. That would explain why the levels are structured so differently. It wasn't a matter of taking the next gen version and reducing the detail until it was PS2 compatible, but rather recreating what Crystal were in the process of making. Of course a ton of resources would have been shared between projects (pretty much all the assets save for models), but much of what Buzz Monkey created would have been original. Again, that's speculation...or educated guess.

Reminds me a bit of the development of the PS2 and Ps3/Xbox360/PC versions of Quantum of Solace. (Next gen were Activision and Eurocom for PS2.)

Long story short, due to communications issues with the license holders of Bond as well as the movie due to the movie having constant re-writes, Activision sorta had to guess at times where exactly the plot/locations were going to play out.

Then Eurocom had those same issues with Activision in addition to the fact that it wasn't easy to "demake" the 360 assets to run on PS2.

So despite both of them working together, Eurocom ended up having some seemingly cut dialogue/locations from the 360 version while missing some from the next-gen versions.

And since development was kinda tight on both projects, there are levels/sections removed or different between the two versions simply due to them having to do their own thing to get the game ready in time due to the commuications issues.

OrangeJuice 23-12-19 19:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kapu (Post 8160815)
Again I'm completely speculating, but I would guess that Buzz Monkey built a lot of the environments from scratch. That would explain why the levels are structured so differently. It wasn't a matter of taking the next gen version and reducing the detail until it was PS2 compatible, but rather recreating what Crystal were in the process of making. Of course a ton of resources would have been shared between projects (pretty much all the assets save for models), but much of what Buzz Monkey created would have been original. Again, that's speculation...or educated guess.

i guess that makes sense. and in a way it's kinda cool, it's like we have two different takes on the idea of tomb raider underworld lol
(again, leaving the ds version out of this conversation (although that might be the best version))

BlueCake 25-12-19 03:52

Another thing i noticed in my PS2 playtrough back in the day is that Lara's face is a lot closer to the HD version, while the Wii one is rounder, and resembles Anniversary Lara.

Boobandie 25-12-19 09:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by _Seth (Post 8160664)
The mint green Etir looked way cooler, IMO.

Not to mention it made more thematic sense with the green portal goo in Legend.

kevindatsun 25-12-19 13:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangeJuice (Post 8160794)
see there's so much more
the mediterranean sea portal puzzle has an entirely different main room and the keys for it are spanned differently throughout the map;
there's underwater corridors to get to the thor statue right after the kraken fight/puzzle that are absent in the next gen version;
thailand introduces the tigers as enemies in a completely different setting (one that, again, is missing in the next gen version);
there's no side room to get the gems for the statue puzzle later on;
there's a horde section where the lizard enemies literally just keep on spanning in a closed-off room??; croft manor looks more like a mine that it does an underground chapel;
mexico differs in the motorbike section to the point where it's an entirely different game
etc.

PS2 for underworld is the very first version of Tomb Raider Underworld that I played and I would like to add some little details as well from the PS2.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA:
- Escaping the Tomb/Temple or whatever it's called is entirely cut. You only have to swim into a small water hole and boom! you're back to Lara's yacht.
- The ship section is cut in half. You can't even reach the other end of the ship. The door to Natla's room is just at the same area where you are in.

THAILAND:
- The entire elevator puzzle was cut. All you need to do is to drop down from a series of platforms and then you are on the ground without a scratch.
- Going back to your yacht is CUT once again. You just swim through the door and a cutscene plays.

CROFT MANOR:
- Longer corridors, no water wheel (Only on the Wii)
- Cathedral window puzzle was cut in half.

SOUTHERN MEXICO:
- Entire Mexico looks like a different game. The "gates of underworld" or Xibalba isn't also timed as well compared to the next gen versions.
- Exiting Xibalba is also different. You need to take a different route instead of going back where you came from. What's odd is the animations and sounds for the cutscene is made with the original escape route in mind. The sounds of the gates closing is still there, but there was no gate to be seen. Lara's animation of looking back and watching the gate close is also there, but then again, there was no gate.

JAN MAYEN ISLAND
- Longer motorbike section (same with Wii version)
- The tower puzzle is cut. like REALLY REALLY CUT. To open the "gate of the dead", you only need to turn the lever on the tower and boom! you're in. Unlike in the next gen versions where you have to climb the tower all the way to the top.

ANDAMAN SEA:
- Complete copycat of the ship from the first level.

ARCTIC SEA:
- Entire entrance puzzle is completely cut. It only shows a cutscene of Lara swimming her way through the door without any extra effort.
- Midgard serpent puzzle is also cut in half. Only two towers are holding it, where in the next gen versions, there are three.

Kapu 30-12-19 19:24

@kevindatsun thanks for the added info. So weird that the PS2 version has less content than the Wii version, despite them being so similar otherwise...Anniversary is a much larger game by comparison, so it's not as if Underworld was pushing the boundaries in size for PS2.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueCake (Post 8161248)
Another thing i noticed in my PS2 playtrough back in the day is that Lara's face is a lot closer to the HD version, while the Wii one is rounder, and resembles Anniversary Lara.

I do notice her cheekbones look a bit less pronounced on the Wii, but I wonder if it's just a difference in the lighting. The PS2 version seems to be a bit more contrasty. Which is sorely needed on the Wii. Everything looks dull and washed out, no matter how you tweak the brightness and contrast.

I always wondered why they didn't reuse the TRL/TRA head mesh instead of "demaking" the TRU one. Because like everything else in the game, Lara looks low res and ****ty. The TRL/TRA model was really good looking! It would have at least made the PS2 versions of all three games consistent in that regard. I can only guess that maybe it had to do with the facial animations and compatibility. Although if CD can rig the old AOD model to work with their current gen Lara (as seen in Rise), then I don't see how it couldn't be done on the TRA model.

BlueCake 30-12-19 23:54

I found a image of the polar bear for the Wii/PS2 version:

There's also this thing i believe isn't in the game:

Source: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/t...underworld-wii

_Seth 31-12-19 08:40

I think the PS2 version overall is so ****ed up because Buzz Monkey had to reimplement and replace existing TRA/L animations with the new motion captured ones, and down-port the game from the Wii version. I think both versions would have been way better if development of the two were made primarily for PS2 (as more people would have already owned a PS2 than a Wii), and if Buzz Monkey had used the tools that existed from TRA, instead of unnecessarily rebuilding some tools. That way, the PS2 version would have been optimised to look as good as TRA, they would have had more time being able to just stick with TRA's foundation and animations, and up-porting to the Wii would still have yielded good results, as no-one complained about TRA's graphics on the Wii.

michaeldt 01-01-20 15:29

I actually find some enjoyment in the Wii version of the game.

The PS2 version, whilst I find enjoyment from laughing at it, is pathetic and a sad excuse for a game :p.

I feel like the right way to go about making Underworld for PS2/Wii would have just been to build it on the TRL/TRA engine tbh.

Kapu 05-01-20 15:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueCake (Post 8162074)
I found a image of the polar bear for the Wii/PS2 version:

There's also this thing i believe isn't in the game:

Source: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/t...underworld-wii

I've been looking for these!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. :D These used to be on Croft Generation but they went AWOL after the last redesign (in all the years I've been visiting that site, I don't remember the last time it wasn't in a state of ongoing development).

Now I've fallen down the ArtStation rabbit hole. Finding all kinds of artists who have worked on TR in the past. Very cool stuff!!!

Tomb Raidering 05-01-20 17:12

^ *according to the Artstation link above*
So TRU was going to be named Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Underworld, after all? It sounds so much better, tbh.....
The silver logo that matches Legend’s logo looks great! It’s consistent with Legend and Anniversary’s logos (you know, consistent as in a trilogy :rolleyes:).
I don’t know, but HQ-PS2-TRU Lara looks sooo much better than the horrible next-gen-TRU Lara. There’s something about her tan, body, face, and hairband (:p), that screams “I’m Legend Lara’s descendant!!!”..... >.<


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