Google+

Hate playing games with tiny, unreadable text? Then your eyes will love Vanquish!

Shares

For those of us lagging behind the curve when it comes to gaming in high definition, the trend for using ridiculously tiny text in games is a curse. As font sizes shrink, the more SDTV owners have to strain their eyes. It's a cruel punishment for being slow adopters of superior televisuals. But, my persecuted standard-definition television owning friends, all hope is not lost.

Vanquish, the upcoming bullet buffet from legendary developer Shinji Mikami, has an options menu. Which is not unusual. However, within that option menu there is an 'SDTV Mode' option, which can be toggled 'On' or 'Off' as required. As someone who has still not enriched their existence with an HDTV, the inclusion of this mode makes me happy.

By selecting SDTV mode, some text is made bigger, or 'zoomed' as the game refers to it. This gives the game much improved readability. This is progress. Observe:

As you can just about see, with SDTV mode switched on, elements of the weapon read-out in the bottom corner are marginally bigger. Honestly, they are. There's bugger all difference with the map and score in the top corner, but something's better than nothing, right? And just take a look at the difference in pause menu font size. It is significant:

If all console games embrace an SDTV mode, I'll be able to delay buying a new, mega-fancy HDTV for even longer! Maybe I'll save up and buy a 3D HDTV. Imagine that. I'd be an early adopter. And the talk of the village.

Source: Joystiq

September 1, 2010

Topics

Old-school

We Recommend

31 comments

  • dillman502 - February 25, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    @db1331 After reading your other comments and that sentence about america you posted on thid story, there is no doubt in my mind that you are portraying the character of an ignorant, "patriotic", "hardcore" gamer. I applaud you for being so believable.
  • bigfatround0 - October 10, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    i laughed at the picture, he looks funny in it
  • ThatGuyFromTV - September 2, 2010 7:19 p.m.

    Yeah, I noticed the SDTV thing too... I wouldn't say it's progress, more like another sign that Platinum knows how to make people (like you) happy. When I played the demo, I noticed there was no ad or self-promotion before or after the demo, which really made me happy. I see it as a sign that Platinum pays attention to the little things.
  • EroticInvisibleMan - September 2, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    @db1331: "There is absolutely no excuse to not own an HD set by now." There is if you aren't a console peasant.
  • Ded - September 1, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    @db1331 What's it called now? Xenophobia? :D
  • LordAngus1992 - September 1, 2010 7:14 p.m.

    It's probably been said before but I really needed this BEFORE I got an HDTV. I could see jack shit.
  • n00b - September 1, 2010 7:14 p.m.

    don't any of you remember playing games on gamcube/ps2/xbox/n64/ps1/snes/genesis/nes that we never had a problem reading text? and if those games of past never had a problem with text why all of a sudden do modern games have? final fantasy would be unplayable if the devs then thought the same as now so the problem isn't with hdtv its with the developers
  • scsmith1 - September 1, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    Very nice. My TV was purchased in 1997. High def one of these days!
  • db1331 - September 1, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    @TomMishkin I'm not assuming the entire world is the USA. I just think the USA is the greatest country on earth, and that all the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism. @brickman409 I've played Mario 64 on mine (virtual console) and I don't remember it being especially terrible. No harm in keeping an old CRT around. I have one with my original NES hooked up to it.
  • brickman409 - September 1, 2010 5:47 p.m.

    @db1331 have you ever played fallout 1&2, mario 64, or any other old school game on a modern flat screen tv/monitor? it looks terrible. thats why i still use a crt for games
  • TomMishkin - September 1, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    @oufour: lucky you! According to my optician I have a perfect 10/10 eyesight, yet I struggled on an HDTV with a lot of games. I almost stopped playing Dragon Age because of this! (then I actually dropped it, but only because it sucks, so that's a whole different matter) I don't want to sound pedantic or obnoxious, but I'm a journalist and a book editor and I have more than a few notions on text and readability say, with a certain degree of confidence, that 90% of in-game text nowadays is against almost every known principle/law/suggestion, be it in aesthetic or practical terms. Had I come out with a page layout like that of Batman or ME2 in a book or for a website, I'd have been fired within seconds. (and I'm not saying this makes the aforementioned games less awesome: Arkham, ME2, RDR, GTAIV are among my favorite games of all times. I just think that, for all the attention that's put in other departments - graphics, story, audio -, there are aspects of videogames that are still stuck in time, say ten years ago, and badly need to be improved)
  • Yirba - September 1, 2010 5:33 p.m.

    I actually have a HDTV, but the screen is quite small, so I often find it difficult to read the text. I hope developers realize that HDTVs aren't necessarily large.
  • SweatyCrease - September 1, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    Game journalist = poor free loader.
  • tomthespesh - September 1, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    This is progress I agree with Mr Cundy, I wouldn't have an HDTV if my SDTV still worked. I mean I don't have sky HD or blu ray so the only HD thing in my house is my xbox. Sure you can get a HDTV cheaply now but why spend if there's no real need to, having a HDTV hasn't improved my enjoyment of games all that much.
  • oufour - September 1, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    i never actually had this issue. i have better than 20/20 vision so i was able to read text easily on an SDTV.
  • TomMishkin - September 1, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    db1331, you're assuming all the world is the USA. Here in Italy it's hard to get a decent and cheap HDTV. And if you just invested x (how much is an XBox 360 nowadays?) hard-earned euros in the high-tech console you spent the last six months craving for, it can be hard to drop another 700€ for a TV set. Take the aforementioned Dead Rising: I bought it when it came out, back in 2006; HDTV were waaay more expensive than today, and if you had a low salary and a life to live (you know, a job, friends, a date) it was either an HDTV or a console to plug into a SDTV. That's how I went for a couple of years. Then I had the chance to buy an HDTV and, admittedly, life changed, thanks in no small measure to the fact that HDTV prices dropped. But I can see how someone, even today, could have problems buying a HDTV set; I was lucky, that's all. Sometimes it's a choice between a shiny piece of hardware or another shiny piece of hardware WHICH PLAYS GAMES! Also, there's absolutely no reason why developers should have problems spending what I guess must be ten minutes of their lives to come up with an option to enlarge the in-game text. Absolutely no reason. It's not like it's something that requires an additional DVD or anything. It's just a way to show some consideration towards a whole category of users. Moreover (and then I'm done complaining), there seems to be a tendency towards making in-game text almost unreadable even on a HDTV. I mentioned Red Dead Redemption, but I also had problems with Mass Effect 2 and Batman: AA. I know small text is fancy and pretty and elegant, but for Christ's sake, not everyone has the eyesight of an eagle. It's nigh impossible to read ME2 Codex while stoned, and that's something developers should take into consideration while designing a game.
  • Ded - September 1, 2010 5:02 p.m.

    @garnsr Button layout for Bayonetta was spot on.. can't believe you'd have a problem with it.. This demo still isn't out in the EU.. sigggh.
  • garnsr - September 1, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    And they still don't let you lay out the controls the way you want. It's not as irritating as Bayonetta, but why can't we just assign our own buttons?
  • Wookiegonewild - September 1, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    @510BrotherPanda Then those people should beg for an HD monitor or TV for their next birthday or x-mas. Your point is on shaky ground.
  • johngrybos - September 1, 2010 4:01 p.m.

    I'm with TomMishkin here. Lots of games have text that's eye-scrunchingly difficult to read on HDTVs. I'd like to see that kind of option in more games. HD or not, I'd like my eyes to be less strained for better headshotting.

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.