Goddamn you Capcom! (Dead Rising, HDTV vs. SDTV)

I’ve talked about the too small on-screen fonts in Xbox 360 games before, but now I’ve really had it. I bought Dead Rising yesterday and I plain cannot read the in-game subtitles. Cutscenes are alright, tutorials are barely legible, but the in-game speech bubbles and crucially, the mission-specific directions are outright illegible. I can make make out perhaps one third of the text prompts before they disappear.

This makes the constant updates from Otis the janitor completely useless. The scoop list (tasks to do) is useless. I suppose I can complete the quests just by following the on-screen arrows, but I’m missing out on all the color provided by dialogue.

Much of the user interface is also useless, like the prompts to press the D-pad into some direction. Most of their European customers do not have HDTVs – in fact, I have never seen or used a console hooked up to a HD display!

If the game wasn’t so good otherwise, I’d return it in a second. Now it makes me look into a VGA adapter, since I just happened to get an extra 19″ CRT monitor.

Addendum [Feb 5 2007]: After two days of shopping and chopping, it’s clear that the text illegibility is not a critical issue, just very annoying. Don’t let it stop you from buying the game.

4 Comments

  1. Kai

    That sucks. Honestly, do they really expect that much of the actual playing to be done on HDTV’s?

  2. joonas.laakso

    In the US HDTV is becoming the norm, but really, at least for most of 2007 Europe will still be standard-definition.

    This has been a problem with several developers; Capcom’s been the worst, but EA’s also managed to neglect their standard-definition audience. What I can’t understand is why hasn’t Microsoft included SDTV compatibility in their quality assurance specifications?

    And really, definition issues aside, you shouldn’t put fonts so small in a videogame. You don’t want to have to concentrate and squint your eyes to read text.

    Epic made a boast of making sure their games work on SDTVs. I find it strange there’s a need for such a boast.

  3. Pingback: Dusty Gamer » Blog Archive » Shopping and chopping (Dead Rising)

  4. Actually the small fonts isn’t a problem with all of the SDTVs. It is a problem with the smaller TVs, granted, but e.g. with my 28″ widescreen telly I can read the small text rather fine. I would imagine that with a 32″ TV, even SDTV, the small fonts aren’t that much of a problem anymore.

    But I do agree with you in that that disigning games to be run on HDTV and forgetting the SDTVs alltogether is dumb in the customer point of view.

Leave a Reply