Handheld (Undocked) Looks Terrible

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gloomytangent

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#1  Edited By gloomytangent

Ended up picking this up, and while I'm enjoying it I was pretty shocked when I undocked the switch to go play in bed. Holy hell is the resolution awful, and even worse, whatever sharpening/smoothing filter they're using to disguise it is way, way too aggressive.

Case in point: https://twitter.com/Chinnerdomain/status/935628288067883008

It's honestly gotten to the point where I'm really only going to play this docked I think, which is unusual as I mostly use my switch as a handheld. It's by far the biggest hit to a game that I've seen yet out of any of the major Switch releases. Is anyone else in the same boat, or am I a huge whiner?

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Bowl-of-Lentils

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#2  Edited By Bowl-of-Lentils  Online

I also thought it looked pretty bad undocked. I pretty much only play it that way when I'm just doing side quests or other non-story important stuff. Like the guy said on twitter, the cut-scenes look fine but gameplay segments look pretty awful in places.

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beforet

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Oof. That's pretty gnarly. I wonder what goes into that. How does Doom hold up docked vs undocked? I'm wondering if this is a power thing, or if the developers didn't put in the time to make undocked look nice (not passing judgement if they did).

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ripelivejam

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Not ideal, but not terrible. Maybe Vita level if anything which is perfectly servicable.

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afabs515

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It’s not great for sure, but as someone who just wants to have the TV running while I’m playing the game, it works fine for me.

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Efesell

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I... am kinda into it? I can't explain why.

I don't think I would progress in the story undocked but just tooling around the world I'm kinda into.

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Puchiko

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The game looks bad docked as well... The dynamic resolution scaler chunks things up a lot when there is a lot of action on screen.

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gloomytangent

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#8  Edited By gloomytangent

@lentfilms:Yeah, it seems functional for going around to collection points, grinding a few mobs, etc.

@ripelivejam: I don't mind the resolution/performance so much as that smudgy filtering. It's definitely better than the pixelated mess that it would be without it, but I feel like they're losing too much definition with the current implementation. If they turned it down maybe 20% it would be better, in my opinion.

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gloomytangent

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soupbones

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I think it looks worse DOCKED - you really see the blurry textures and jaggies on the bigger screen.

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oldenglishc

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Poppi is great in any resolution.

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gloomytangent

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Digital Foundry just put up their analysis. Pretty much corroborates what I had noticed, particularly with the sharpening filter being a main issue.

Interestingly they managed to find some performance effecting bugs, so hopefully a patch gets pushed to address concerns.

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doctordonkey

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Not surprising, the Xenoblade games are far from technical showcases. The first one was locked at 25 fps (english version) and dipped below that a whole lot, in particular the battles in the open world (so like, most of the game). There are times when that shit drops down to roughly 8 fps and stays there for a hot minute. They do vistas really well, but technically they fall apart under scrutiny. Xenoblade Chronicles: X has some nice looking areas, but if you look at some of the textures it looks straight out of a PS2 game. The character models in that game also seem like they are afflicted by a sort of...special condition, let's say.

The first Xenoblade was special. After playing 30-40ish hours of Chronicles: X and seeing the issues this game has, I think I'm good. I'm just gonna keep my fond memories of the first Xenoblade and leave it at that.

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chris_sereday

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Eh. It looks fine to me. Could it look better? I'm sure, but I looks plenty good to me. Just play it and don't worry about junk like resolution. Fun game so far.

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Efesell

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Then there's the texture pop in when you fast travel and hoo boy that's some rough business.

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SethMode

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#16  Edited By SethMode

How does the framerate hold up in handheld? Sorry if I missed it in a previous post. I will likely play this mainly undocked, and it looking poor doesn't bother me as long as the framerate holds.

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poobumbutt

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@chris_sereday: Glad someone else doesn't think that this is so terrible. Agreed, it could look better, but I'm not seeing framerate drops or worse in the list of things that get worse upon undocking. If graphics are the only affected aspect with little to no effect on gameplay, I say "that's fine". But then, I plan on playing this docked 90% of the time, so maybe I'm in a different position.

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#18  Edited By ThatOneDudeNick

I'm playing on a 4K tv and it looks like trash in the wide open spaces. I imagine it's fine on a 1080p TV. I would have guessed the 720p handheld screen would look and run good.

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Quipido

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#19  Edited By Quipido

@sethmode said:

How does the framerate hold up in handheld? Sorry if I missed it in a previous post. I will likely play this mainly undocked, and it looking poor doesn't bother me as long as the framerate holds.

Here are some specific numbers, I'm afraid it's not good news:

Loading Video...

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chris_sereday

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@thatonedudenick: I'm on a 4k tv too. Again, It could look better. But "trash"? I grew up with an Atari man! You don't know what trash is!!! lol

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Dan_CiTi

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That's a bummer, especially alongside them abandoning the much nicer XB1 art style.

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gloomytangent

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@dan_citi: I actually like this art style, the facial animation is quite good and probably better than what they could pull off with something less stylized. That said, it does seem a bit more like a Tales game in terms of art style than a Xeno one, so I can see how that would put people who are fans of the series off.

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Teddie

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It kinda looks like one of those PS1 JRPGs with the pre-rendered backgrounds.

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Bowl-of-Lentils

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@teddie: According to Digital Foundry, the game runs at around 368p undocked and PlayStation 1 games ran at 240p so it isn't too far off.

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gloomytangent

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@lentfilms: I thought the same thing. I think a big part of it is that those backgrounds were done at a higher resolution, then downsampled to the proper resolution. That's similar to what's going on here at a fundamental level.

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OurSin_360

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#26  Edited By OurSin_360

@quipido said:
@sethmode said:

How does the framerate hold up in handheld? Sorry if I missed it in a previous post. I will likely play this mainly undocked, and it looking poor doesn't bother me as long as the framerate holds.

Here are some specific numbers, I'm afraid it's not good news:

Loading Video...

man that looks pretty terrible in handheld mode. Seems like a pretty bad port of a wiiU game 720p with drops to 20fps and sub 420p in handheld mode, does the switch get patches?

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MinMax

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Looks terrible but still going to play it handheld anyway.

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Quipido

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@oursin_360: I don't have a Switch, but just from watching DF videos, yes, games do get post release patches - but of course it mainly depends on the developer.

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@puchiko: I wouldn't say it's bad, but the resolution drops/framerate stutters are definitely noticeable. It gets a bit jaggy for sure, but it doesn't have the vasoline smear over everything like it does in handheld.

More comparison images between the two from the same guy: https://twitter.com/Chinnerdomain/status/935989097331642368

Damn thats sad. I hope they patch it somehow. Seems like a much bigger hit in handheld vs docked then other switch games like Zelda and Mario. I read somewhere that the developers "bragged" about having 4-5 hours handheld gametime but i rather play 2 hours in good resolution then 5 in bad.

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#30  Edited By ThatOneDudeNick

Looks like a 3DS game. Atari looks better than bad 3D.

@thatonedudenick: I'm on a 4k tv too. Again, It could look better. But "trash"? I grew up with an Atari man! You don't know what trash is!!! lol

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#31  Edited By RonGalaxy

I still don't get the power difference between docked vs. undocked. Is there actual horsepower in the dock, or is the handheld just overclocking? If it's the latter, what about the dock makes it safe to overclock? It doesn't seem to have any extra cooling. If anything, being wedged in thick plastic would be a thermal nightmare. Is it just because of battery consumption concerns? From what I understand, the battery isn't that great anyway.

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Firepaw

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@rongalaxy: If I remember correctly, the difference is due to Nintendo limiting the system in handheld mode, probably due to battery life concerns.

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#33  Edited By OurSin_360

@rongalaxy: i think it has to do with power consumption, heat, and battery life but i am not sure. I think the issue here is a bad port of a wiiU game, zelda was a wiiU game and had similar issues(although it seems like a much better port than this). Its kinda hard to believe a modern console game cant even get 720p in 2017, seems like maybe they jad to rush it out this year? I bet if they released a wiiU version it would perform better.

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WillyOD

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360p the year of Nintendo.

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chris_sereday

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@thatonedudenick: When you put a screenshot of a 6 inch screen blown up next to anything its going to look bad. The game looks fine. Get over it and play it, or don't.

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Bowl-of-Lentils

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#37  Edited By Bowl-of-Lentils  Online

Seems like a pretty bad port of a wiiU game

Well Monolith said they actually started development on Xenoblade 2 in July of 2014 with the idea that it would be on Nintendo's next piece of hardware, not the Wii U. Although they said when they began development the NX, the Switch's codename, had not been officially revealed yet so they didn't know what the specs of the new system would be during the beginning of the game's production (so they had to guesstimate). I bet that is why Xenoblade 2 seems poorly optimized in some areas, that and the game's relatively quick development cycle.

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@beforet said:

How does Doom hold up docked vs undocked?

I actually feel like Doom is a rare case where it looks a touch better on the smaller screen. It's only when I play it docked that I really notice the resolution fuzz.

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@chris_sereday: Are you saying 4K tv makes the game look worse then it should look like ? I’m playing it on 4K Tv and found it to be a fine looking game for it’s ilk, same with handheld it looks fine to me, Also i have zero expectations out of switch in graphics department, especially from 3rd party

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Ungodly

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@inevpatoria: I thought the general rule of thumb, is that most games look better in the handheld mode.

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@chris_sereday: I expect a certain level of fidelity when I pay $60 for a game. While I do believe that gameplay is most important, fidelity does matter as well. This game does not look good; to the point where it is unacceptable. I would have rather the developers take their time with this game to make it play and look good than release it prematurely with subpar visuals.

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inevpatoria

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@ungodly said:

@inevpatoria: I thought the general rule of thumb, is that most games look better in the handheld mode.

The Digital Foundry comparisons for most Switch games tell a different story. But the advantage, really, is the smaller screen.

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rorie

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Super shame. I was thinking of picking this up for playing over the holiday break, but since I only ever play in handheld, I guess I'll skip it!

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WheresDerrick

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Seems like a pretty bad port of a wiiU game

Well Monolith said they actually started development on Xenoblade 2...

Thought you made a mistake of who made it since Monolith are the Blood/Fear/Shadow of Mordor devs and it would be weird if they made this, then I looked it up and found out its a separate company also called Monolith. That was a weird rush of emotion

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@rorie said:

Super shame. I was thinking of picking this up for playing over the holiday break, but since I only ever play in handheld, I guess I'll skip it!

Aww. No review copy to check out?

For me, portable mode is okay. But I can stomach the wild dips in frame rate and resolution.

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BrunoTheThird

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#46  Edited By BrunoTheThird

@wheresderrick: Monolith Soft I believe they're called.

Currently blitzing through Mario Odyssey AFAP before I dive into Xeno. I have so little knowledge of what the game is, so I'm pretty jazzed.

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gloomytangent

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@rorie: Hi Rorie, I've actually come around on it a bit. It's not great, especially in the open world areas, but since a lot of that stuff is side quests/fetch quests and more rote combat it's less of a big deal. And that stuff is waaaaay better on handheld since you can do it while watching TV etc. It definitely scratches some of that MMO multitasking itch I have.

The cutscenes, while still sub-native rez, never dip as low as the open world stuff. I've noticed the fan on the switch coming on more with those, so it almost seems like they deliberately constrained the game in the open world to increase battery life or something, but prioritize visual fidelity in the cutscenes instead. I'm still enjoying it, and I've been playing it more handheld than docked lately, despite my earlier bitching.

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#48  Edited By vikingdeath1

I've put a good 30 or so hours into the game undocked, and the only time I really notice any difference is when loading/ fast traveling into an area there's almost always A LOT of texture pop-in. To a comical effect sometimes. I had an entire town load in last night, the buildings had no walls that soon drew in around me. the textures load pretty quick, but its certainly noticeable.

Though It doesn't bother me much. Still runs fine, haven't noticed any huge frame drops, which is all I really care about.

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