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

OrangeJuice 22-12-19 00:03

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 22-12-19 00:54

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 01:12

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 01:13

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 01:22

^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 01:26

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 02:41

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 03:55

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 15:28

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 15:52

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.


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