Digital Foundry examines Super Mario RPG, says it’s “almost perfect”

The gaming tech team at Digital Foundry has been playing through the well-received remake of Super Mario RPG on the Nintendo Switch, which the team says is almost perfect from a technical standpoint. The game runs natively at 720p in handheld and 1080p when docked, which is excellent. However, although the framerate hits 60fps the majority of the time, when it doesn’t they say that “the whole image feels jerky – and the transition is jarring.” Super Mario RPG launches tomorrow, and you can read our recent review here.

“This new version of the game has been recreated from the ground up using the Unity Engine. The entire game world is now rendered fully in real-time 3D, yet remains faithful to the original – to the point where the new version even offers up a shot-for-shot remake of the SNES original’s attract mode. It’s delivered via pre-rendered video – likely to account for the many changes of location. Interestingly, this video, and others within the game, run at 60fps. It may sound bizarre but Super Mario RPG is perhaps the best example of video playback on the entire platform.”

“The remake, however, opts to display all animation at full rate – that is, it uses 3D models that update at the same rate as the frame-rate. This can impact the intensity of each movement compared to a sprite based game but, in this case, I feel the impact is retained. It’s smoother yet still powerful. I think this applies to all the animation, in fact, it’s faithful yet enhanced.”

“However, there is one big caveat to mention, the only dark spot on an otherwise pristine release – performance. Super Mario RPG maintains its target of 60 frames per second at nearly all times. This is generally a very smooth experience that feels completely fluid. Unfortunately, it is not perfect and when it does drop frames, frame-times are wildly unstable and the whole image feels jerky – and the transition is jarring.”


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