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Technical review for PS4 Masterpiece

Posted: 20 Apr 2022, 20:23
by Porcupine
After hearing many complaints about Masterpiece's technical qualities, I decided against purchasing it and have stayed away from VO for 3~4 years now. Various other reasons also contributed to my decision. Now a variety of circumstances have led me to return, and I plan to play often and increase my skills to another level. My years away will not hurt me, aside from getting older and slower in general. Actually, I believe taking extended breaks erases bad habits and opens the door for evolution. In the long run, this break will help me.

I'll start with VOOT. As others have complained, the biggest failures of Masterpiece are: 1) your color customizations can't be seen by your opponent, and 2) there are no replays at all. There are no ways to remedy these within the game, but with the advent of streaming and its newly "evolved form" both these problems are partially addressed externally. This is the biggest reason I decided to return. Supposedly 3) the netcode is worse. In limited matches, I have noted that there is a wider range of lag times depending on who I fight, even against players who share the same region. The best matches might have slightly less lag than 360, but the worst matches have far more lag. Unintentional disconnects seem more frequent.

3D rendering resolution has increased to 1080p, although it is hard to tell because I'm using a different 4K TV now, and VOOT has always appeared multi-rescaled and blurrier than the other VO games. For sure the game resolution is clearly not 4K, although my PS4 Pro does upscale and output 4K when running Masterpiece. (Depending on your settings, PS3 and Xbox 360 would change their actual output to 720p, even if your System screens were in 1080p). Actually I was surprised to learn that my PS4 Pro could even display 4K. The System Software menu screens actually seem designed around 4K: all graphics display much cleaner, suggesting that 4K was the intended resolution from the start, even though regular PS4 could not output 4K. My free Fate/VR avatars had blocky, jaggedy images at 1080p like low-res, upscaled thumbnails. But the same Fate/VR avatars suddenly become sharp and high-res at 4K with no rescaling at all.

The lighting issue where VOOT was globally too dark is fixed on PS4! Refer to my original descriptions here. The problem was originally due to a color space programming flaw and did not affect Dreamcast VOOT, or any of the other Xbox VO games. The "enhanced graphics" option for VOOT is now quite different as well. It uses the same improved, smooth shading renderer for VRs (not backgrounds) but the brightness on VRs (which never affected backgrounds) is no longer increased. The projectile enhanced graphics are gone. They used to be unnaturally bright and glowy. The visors also no longer get bright with enhanced graphics. Hyper Fei-Yen no longer looks translucent and fiery. Enhanced graphics only makes her slightly brighter and more washed out, and she gets a very faint glow around her.

Some Japanese players claim that Masterpiece globally reduced the size of all VR and projectile hitboxes, but I spot checked a few carefully using frame perfect methods, and everything seems identical to Xbox 360. I think the underlying game code is identical: I noticed that the time it takes to pause and unpause the screen is the exact same in Training Mode as on Xbox 360, even though the menus were changed to match Masterpiece and no longer have their opening and closing animation. (My visual cues were removed but I can still gather frame data using the exact same pause timing on Masterpiece).

The resolution of 2D images for various menus is all over the place. Some are upscaled from Xbox 360. VR images on the character selection screen were downgraded to a lower resolution, pixely image. The rank images (green/blue guy, general) look like jaggedy crap as they are rescaled very badly from the originals with no resampling. Auto-save is now permanently on, and a number of menus take forever to load. After online matches the game is susceptible to black screens. Once, I got debug code all over my screen and it followed me match to match until I quit my game.

Re: Technical review for PS4 Masterpiece

Posted: 12 May 2022, 20:17
by Porcupine
VOOM is going to be simple: it's pretty much identical to Xbox 360. (PS3 had a color subsampling graphics problem). I'm not sure what the 3D rendering resolution is, probably 1080p, but it doesn't look any higher than Xbox 360 and PS3, so I now suspect that VOOM on those consoles was in 1080p as well (which would have been possible because of the reduced polygons).

Auto-save is stuck on. If you want to get all the VOOM trophies, there is an annoying oversight: if you want the 50 Arcade matches trophy, you have to start Arcade mode separately 50 times and quit to the main menu each time.

Netcode is the same as Masterpiece VOOT. The PS4 controller's direction pad is higher quality than PS3 and Xbox 360, which helps me dash diagonally, but I'm still working on getting it reliable enough. The PS4 controller works pretty nice for VOOT. It's better in some ways: the shoulder buttons are closer and quicker to access than on PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers, and there is no longer any difficulty in quickly performing dash CC by pressing down on the controller pad. On the other hand, I do not like the far placement of the left direction pad to the right analog rotation stick. Depending on the particular technique, I sometimes access the right stick with my left hand (chaining Grys-Vok crLTCW via crouching rotation cancels, and others).

Re: Technical review for PS4 Masterpiece

Posted: 15 May 2022, 03:58
by HerrCarl
Thanks for this in-depth technical review on Masterpiece. This is the first one I've ever saw.

About VOOM: I have heard a saying from one friend of mine, who complained the input in Masterpiece VOOM is much worse than Xbox, for Masterpiece has a much more latency in input reaction. Both of us don't have a working Xbox, so neither of us can't verify it true nor false.

What I would like to know is, do you feel any input differences between these 2 versions, during your test?