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Gaming Visual Vintage
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TOPIC: Gaming Visual Vintage

Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2831

I was round a friends the other day and he broke out his old PS1, I have to say, that I found it hard to look at the screen and get into the games being played. The polygons on screen and general presentation of the games just looked jarring to my eyes now (I remember at the time I thought Tomb Raider, Ridge Racer etc were awesome looking).

It got me thinking, do you think games in the SNES era have aged better than those of the PS1 and PS2 era?

To me, I find that they have. I think it is because pixel art has almost become a stylistic choice in some games (citing Scott Pilgrim as an example). Whereas the more modern 3D stuff in the PS1 era was more about technological progression and what could be done. It was good in its day but looking at it now you can only compare it to todays tech. (higher polygon count, faster framerate, HD and increased photo-realism).

I guess this is a superficial view point and it is of course the gameplay that matters but... you know.
Last Edit: 8 years, 8 months ago by Mucx.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2833

I think there was certainly a transitional period. I played "The Longest Journey" (from 1999) again recently, and it was rough. 2D games from even two years earlier (think "Curse of Monkey Island") can be a joy to look at, but TLJ was, again, really rough to look. This is despite the fact that a decade ago I didn't think that at all, and really really loved The Longest Journey.

Funny, that.

I don't look forward to the day I give Grim Fandango (1998) another play-through.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2834

I've been saying this to people for quite a while now. I feel games that tried to look great were kind of given the benefit of the doubt at the time because of how ambitious they were being. Looking back they're far less easy on the eyes and I'd agree that plenty of MD and SNES games are easier to comprehend visually speaking. In some instances (Tomb Raider being a good example) it can be hard to tell exactly what things are or what you're meant to be looking at on account of the graphics.

I'd say Grim Fandango still gets away with it in my eyes because of the backgrounds and relatively simple character designs (plus it's an awesome experience anyway) as is the case with PS FF games (despite the odd ropey-looking boss).
Last Edit: 8 years, 8 months ago by dickmedd.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2837

There's a learning curve for every console on the development side. There are some early NES games which, I'm pretty sure, look like Atari games where the devs got drunk on colors (Kung-Fu?). There are early SNES and GBA games where developers went crazy with Mode 7 because they could (Sonic Advance?). I'm just more sensitive to the PS1/N64-era games because I was properly into the gaming scene then. And yes, even at the time I realized developers were cranking out "3D" because it was the new hotness, and that games built/marketed on graphics would look like crap in a few years. There are certainly late-era PS1 titles that look decent- things were coming together by FFIX and Legend of Dragoon- and some where the graphics were intentionally kept simple enough to age decently (MM Legends).

Still, this brings up an interesting point I noticed- PS1 was, on balance, all about the textures. It could do 2D games like 2D, and most 3D games had high texture content. N64 was all about models and 3D. Textures were fewer and simpler, and I actually think the 3D games aged better, but I can't think of a single 2D N64 title, whereas most 2D PS1 titles have aged great.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2840

Several of my friends have voiced similar opinions about PlayStation and Saturn graphics, with a few even finding the games unplayable. There are definitely some early or low quality titles that offend my aesthetic sensibilities -- but for every PSX game like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil that is now uncomfortable to visually interpret, there are titles like Dino Crisis, Gran Turismo, R4, and Fade to Black that are highly legible even though the 3D is "crude" by modern standards.

I have more problems with some current generation games because I am distracted by the "uncanny valley," especially with representational human figures. I prefer the relatively crude, almost stick-figure models from 10 years ago to something that is 98% accurate but outright creepy...

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2841

The Saturn was meant to be a 2d powerhouse. It would have been interesting if they had kept it that way instead of trying to force 3d out of the thing.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2851

I came across a great article today talking about the decline, or possible loss of the pixel art game.
Before I link to that, I think this quote by the interviewee summed up my thoughts on the matter...

"Pixel art lacks the distraction of 3D. The more real you get with 3D the more flaws you see in the assets..."

"[With pixel art] Drawing a circle with two dots and a line is a representation of a face - it lets the player fill in the abstraction..."

I felt that summed things up nicely for me. It suggest why, to me at least, pixel art games of any vintage are still approachable to this day, while, earlier 3D games are not. (as a generalised 'whole'. Individual exceptions do exist of course).

Article Here: Pixel Art: The End Of An Era
Last Edit: 8 years, 8 months ago by Mucx.

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2852

To that, I say… Minecraft…

Re: Gaming Visual Vintage 8 years, 8 months ago #2865

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