I am a doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology, with a bachelor's in English & Creative Writing. I specialize in subcultures and cognition.
I love gaming, and I have followed the industry and its technology since I was a kid in the 80's. I have gamed primarily on PC since 2000, though I still follow console news and hardware as well. I was also a sales associate at Micro Center for a while, which was a great experience and got me into PC hardware.
I worked as a mapper and beta tester for the mod Action Half-Life. My maps, most of which have vanilla Half-Life Deathmatch versions, are available on my website.
So far it looks like a well-done port. Everything you expect is there, including improved visuals and local multiplayer. Online is one thing I did not get to test yet.
I experienced performance issues on one stage, but haven't been able to get back to it to double check with lower settings etc. Every other single stage has been 60fps and fine, though.
Here are pics of the option screens etc., then more details after than. These initial shots are all shrunk to 620x349 to fit on the page nicely.
Title Screen *Despite the "Press Space" prompt, it responded automatically to my 360 controller and I could use it exclusively to control the game/menus, just like it was on console.
Main Options Screen *I try to go through most of these below.
Auto Video Settings *It did this automatically when I first went to the video options menu, only took a few seconds. It didn't set my Shadows to "Very High" so I turned those up. It actually did pretty well.
*There is no benchmark like in the SF games, which is a bit disappointing.
Video Options *Very important for a good port. Texture quality caps at "High", Shadow Quality has a "Very High" option.
*Anti-Aliasing is offered as 2x or 4x MSAA, or Low/High quality FXAA. I used 4XMSAA for most of the 1080p shots shown later in the blog. The ones with a framerate in the lower right corner (fraps) are using LQFXAA, and actually look better imo.
*Transparency Anti-Aliasing was greyed out for me. Not sure why. It would have smoothed out some rough edges around things like character hair, but switching to high quality FXAA would do that, too. My video card is an AMD HD6870, maybe only Nvidia cards get that feature?
*Overall it has all the standard features you'd want, albeit not quite as many as the Capcom games like SFIV (eg motion blur)
Audio Options *Nice breakdown options-wise (I like that dialog and announcer are separate), otherwise just the usual.
Gameplay Options *Pretty standard stuff.
Keyboard & Controller Configuration *Looks like you can edit these as you like, and even save up to four presets. So it doesn't look like keyboard players will have any issues.
Social Media Garbage *Not sure about all this, not sure I care. But it's there.
Four-Player Versus Mode *Yes, it supports up to four-players, not unlike SFxTK. I plugged in four 360 controllers and it detected them all fine.
Single-Player Ladder *The usual MK stuff really.
I did not take time to check out the online gameplay. Not my thing, and I wanted this blog up asap. Maybe someone more into that can provide some feedback later?
It worked fine with my standard 360 controller as well as 360 controllers by Hori, Madcatz, and Power A. The PDP Versus Fighting Pad for 360 also worked fine. So it looks like any wired 360 controller is probably compatible, regardless of brand.
I tried an old, pre-360 DirectInput Logitech Dual Action from around 2000-2002. Surprisingly, it worked and the buttons were pre-mapped to their 360 equivalents in terms of location. However, while the left analog stick worked fine, the D-pad didn't do diagonal jumps (ie couldn't reg up/down and right/left at the same time), making the D-pad not an option). If you have an old controller, then, you might still need to check a solution like this:
The Logitech Precision - tried this older controller, too. It looks like the Dual Action minus the analog - works just fine, despite having only a D-pad. It's the slightly translucent blue controller from around 2000, very popular for emulators. I'd say it's 100% functional and plug-and-play with this game, with all buttons pre-bound to their 360 equivalents. Nice.
I started noticing framerate issues and slow-motion on a few stages, and in the Krypt extras area. After trying everything else I could think of (including all settings low), I turned off RadeonPro, an alternate control panel program for AMD cards. Fixed my problem completely, I"m back to 1080p/60 everywhere. I have NO IDEA why this happened. But obviously turn it off if you are using it with AMD.
Seems excellent, though I've not seen the console version to compare. The anisotropic filtering keeps them very crisp, too. Overall the art assets seem adequate for native 1080p gameplay.
The loading times are almost too fast. I'm not joking. The bit where you see the character portraits, like "X vs Y"? Blink and you miss them lol. Not a terrible complaint, but it might have been better to time it so they were visible for a second or so!
Here are some 1080p screenshots. (HQ .jpg) (updated 1:30am 7/4/13)
Test system: Phenom II x6 1090T @ 3.4ghz, HD6870, 12GB DDR3, Win7 64-bit
Switching to FXAA smoothed out the hair aliasing etc. Not sure why I could not select Transparency Anti-Aliasing. Maybe it's not for AMD cards? Overall, the game looks far better in motion than a screenshot can capture. Very fluid and smooth feel to everything.
Some people on the Steam forums were having trouble with laptops (big surprise). Specifically, people with integrated Intel chipsets and "switching" GPUs (ie low-power one normally, high-power one for games/video). Check the Steam community discussion groups for more info.
The game is only $29.99 on PC. Plus you can get it for 25% off on Green Man Gaming. Their site is really flakey right now (there's some other sale that's straining their servers), but the deal is good for a few days.
Anyway, it looks like a good port so far. Based on my initial impressions here, I'd give it say an 8.5/10 port-quality wise. I'll be coming back and updating here and there if anything else comes up. You might want to keep an eye on the Steam forum, too. And PC Gaming Wiki has started a page for the game. They have how to skip the intro movies, and the location of the game's basic config file (I still wonder if there is a more complex one elsewhere).