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Old 11-06-20, 12:08   #1
Mek
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Default Only 25 fps on PlayStation?!

I've recently heard that the PAL PSX version of Tomb Raider 1 (and PAL versions of many other PSX and PS2 games) provide only 25 fps. Is it true? When I play it, will I really only get 25 fps on the TV set? If so, is the difference noticeable and does it affect gameplay? Does the PAL version differ from the NTSC version in any other way, for instance, as regards the music?
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Old 11-06-20, 12:36   #2
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The music is unaffected. The only difference between the two is that PAL is slower.

Also, PAL version displays a resolution of 320x256 (I think NTSC is 320x224)
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Old 11-06-20, 12:57   #3
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PAL (50 fields/25fps) television broadcasts and DVDs are 25fps. This also pertained to gaming in PAL regions before the advent of HDTV (current standards).

The PAL version of TR1 will run at 25fps, and gameplay wise around 17% slower than the NTSC version.

Some more info on the topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
The PAL PS1 version of TR is, as I understand it, unoptimised PAL. That means it does run around 17% slower than the NTSC version, also blighted by top/bottom black borders (which personally never bothered me) and a more vertically squished picture.

It is a typical example of the lousy PAL PS1 conversions of its time and the reason many PAL gamers started importing NTSC consoles or modding their PAL PS1s. The efforts Sony made to stem this trade, a direct product of their own second-rate treatment of PAL gamers, ran on for years well into the PS2 era and still rankles with many gamers in those regions.
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Criticism of PAL region video games

Games ported to PAL have historically been known for having game speed and frame rates inferior to their NTSC counterparts. Since the NTSC standard is 60 fields/30 frames per second but PAL is 50 fields/25 frames per second, games were typically slowed down by approximately 17.5% in order to avoid timing problems or unfeasible code changes. FMV rendered and encoded at 30 frames per second by the Japanese/US (NTSC) developers was often down-sampled to 25 frames per second for PAL release—usually by means of 3:2 pull-down, resulting in motion judder. In addition to this, PAL's increased resolution was not utilised during conversion, creating a pseudo letterbox effect with borders top and bottom, leaving the graphics with a slightly squashed look due to an incorrect aspect ratio caused by the borders. This was especially prevalent during previous generations when 2D graphics were used almost exclusively. The gameplay of many games with an emphasis on speed, such as the original Sonic The Hedgehog for the Mega Drive, suffered in their PAL incarnations.

Despite the possibility and popularity of 60 Hz PAL games, many high profile games, particularly for the PS1 and PS2 console, were released in 50 Hz-only versions. Square Enix have long been criticised by PAL gamers for their poor PAL conversions. Final Fantasy X runs in 50 Hz mode only, and 17.5% slower and bordered that while prevalent in previous generations was considered inexcusable at the time of release. In stark contrast, the Xbox featured a system-wide PAL60 option in the Dashboard and the overwhelming majority of PAL games offered 50 and 60 Hz modes with no slowdown. PAL consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Wii also feature system-wide 60 Hz support.
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Old 11-06-20, 15:20   #4
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So would this explain why when playing TR1 on PS it felt very clunky and horrible, yet switching to PC it feels much nicer because it basically uses the NTSC standard?
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Old 11-06-20, 22:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRfan23 View Post
So would this explain why when playing TR1 on PS it felt very clunky and horrible, yet switching to PC it feels much nicer because it basically uses the NTSC standard?
As far as I know, PC doesn't use PAL or NTSC because they are both TV standards. PC is just it's own thing. Someone else can probably explain it better though.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToMbRaIdErxFtW View Post
As far as I know, PC doesn't use PAL or NTSC because they are both TV standards. PC is just it's own thing. Someone else can probably explain it better though.
that's technically correct afaik, but for TR it's the exact same as NTSC PSX, so

Btw the slow speed while playing was patched in TR2+ PAL versions and they run at similar speed to the NTSC versions. The only place where the speed remains slow is during the inventory. so only TR1 is really slow
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Old 12-06-20, 10:02   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRfan23 View Post
So would this explain why when playing TR1 on PS it felt very clunky and horrible, yet switching to PC it feels much nicer because it basically uses the NTSC standard?
This.

I always assumed it was slow/clunky as it was the first game - kind of like Crash Bandicoot or RE 1 compared to 2 etc

Then I played the NTSC psx version on emulator, and was shocked - it was just like the PC version.
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Old 12-06-20, 10:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woops View Post
Btw the slow speed while playing was patched in TR2+ PAL versions and they run at similar speed to the NTSC versions.
The PAL versions of TR II onwards run at the same speed as the NTSC versions, but still at 25 FPS, so the experience is still inferior.
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Old 20-06-20, 10:53   #9
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Now I understand what Toby Gard meant in one of the commentaries in Tomb Raider: Anniversary when he said about Lara being so slow in Tomb Raider 1. I haven't played console versions of classic Tomb Raiders yet so I didn't understand that before.

I've bought the PAL version of PlayStation 2 recently as I live in Europe so I will have to face the slowed gameplay of Tomb Raider 1 and 25 fps. I will experience it soon and see the difference. I suppose the advantage of having the PAL version of PS2 is that it will be easier for me to buy games for the console in my region.

Last edited by Mek; 20-06-20 at 11:32.
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Old 20-06-20, 14:47   #10
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Actually I like the speed on PAL version for Tomb Raider 1. I think it's alright but that's me growing up and got used to it. Can't beat a good old PS1 version though.
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