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#1 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -

You've heard it.  Everyone loves to go around saying how bland graphics have become.  All games are now are shades of grey.

But to me, this is really the first generation where I see tons of new graphical styles emerging.   Last generation, you pretty much had two-- cartoony or realistic, cell shaded,  and more abstract (viewtiful joe, okamI).  But still, a realistic game looked pretty much all to one realm.  Same with all the others for the most part, with some exceptions. 

But look at this generation.  Styles are starting to emerge, perhaps because the platforms have the ability to display them.  Here's some examples of stylized graphics this gen. 

Dark and Gloomy "Gritty"









Realistic










Clean
Chamber 17









Styled Reality










Cell Shaded












And some other notable misc. ones












So please guys, stop it.  Stylization isn't dead.  It's more prevalent this gen than any.
#2 Posted by ezekielzero (183 posts) -

i agree with you but i still think its a shame you forgot valkyria chronicles as it has, in my opinion some of the best stylised graphics this generation

#3 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@ezekielzero said:
It's fall under cell shaded.

#4 Posted by VWGTI (1919 posts) -

Smug, you so crazy.






And I agree. We have some great graphics this generation.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

For some reason, a few of your pics argue against your point. About 2 or 3 of them are dull, brownish FPSes; far from the artistic feel you're going for. At least Okami and Prince of Persia redeem that. Oh, and (why the hell not?) that new Fire Emblem :P.

#6 Edited by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
"For some reason, a few of your pics argue against your point. About 2 or 3 of them are dull, brownish FPSes; far from the artistic feel you're going for. At least Okami and Prince of Persia redeem that. Oh, and (why the hell not?) that new Fire Emblem :P."
Being dark and brown is a style.   Killzone and Gears of War are stylized games. 
Crysis if anything lacks this.  But then it's realism.

My point is that all games don't look the same, which is what people say.

Artistic =/= cartoon look only, that's moronic to say.
#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@SmugDarkLoser said:
" @Video_Game_King said:
"For some reason, a few of your pics argue against your point. About 2 or 3 of them are dull, brownish FPSes; far from the artistic feel you're going for. At least Okami and Prince of Persia redeem that. Oh, and (why the hell not?) that new Fire Emblem :P."
Being dark and brown is a style.   Killzone and Gears of War are stylized games.  Crysis if anything lacks this.  But then it's realism.My point is that all games don't look the same, which is what people say. Artistic =/= cartoon look only, that's moronic to say. "
On that last one, fair enough. Let me add to that: artistic=/=graphics.

I'd still like to argue that those two games are artistic. They use cel-shading to great effect, showing how an area is dead and desolate until you bring life to it.

(I'm doing this completely in reverse.) But dark and brown is a bit overused, isn't it? Sort of like how anime is overused in JRPGs, or the entire rainbow is overused in platformers. My point is that I'd like a bit of variety.
#8 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
"@SmugDarkLoser said:
On that last one, fair enough. Let me add to that: artistic=/=graphics.I'd still like to argue that those two games are artistic. They use cel-shading to great effect, showing how an area is dead and desolate until you bring life to it.(I'm doing this completely in reverse.) But dark and brown is a bit overused, isn't it? Sort of like how anime is overused in JRPGs, or the entire rainbow is overused in platformers. My point is that I'd like a bit of variety."
The arguement is that people say all games look the same, you know, have the same art direction.
There's tons of games that proove otherwise.

Looking at the good games coming out later this year-- Conviction, Uncharted, ODST, Borderlands, Brutal Legend and so forth, all have quite a distinct art style.

#9 Posted by zombie2011 (4973 posts) -

I don't see any style listed above that wasn't in the previous generation. So despite overall graphics it really hasn't changed much.

#10 Posted by angelkanarias (1440 posts) -

With the power the new consoles have, we can take the style to another level. I think there are much more examples that you haven't listed there, but I get the point.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@SmugDarkLoser said:
The arguement is that people say all games look the same, you know, have the same art direction. There's tons of games that proove otherwise. Looking at the good games coming out later this year-- Conviction, Uncharted, ODST, Borderlands, Brutal Legend and so forth, all have quite a distinct art style. "
First, you misspelled prove :P. Second, that still doesn't change the fact that most of them look the same, just that all of them don't now. Third, I've only heard of two of those games :P (I'm old school, just to avoid future arguments).
#12 Posted by freakin (404 posts) -

There has never been a bigger hardware jump than this gen(obviously not counting the Wii), so yeah things look a whole lot better and you can be more inventive with what you churn out instead of scaling things down to fit the hardware which has previously been the norm.   You'd make a better point if you actually mentioned a Wii game though.

#13 Posted by CoolDrMoney (1978 posts) -

I'd say the 16-bit gen had the strongest sense of style and provided great variation. Once things went 3D, that broke down. It's definitely begun to recover greatly since that reset point though.  

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@freakin said:
" There has never been a bigger hardware jump than this gen
Huh? What about the jump to 3D? Or from Atari to NES? Those were pretty big.
#15 Posted by pirate_republic (1117 posts) -

I'd add Braid somewhere there... no other games have that kind of artwork.

#16 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6202 posts) -

Hell just got a little chillier, because I'm actually agreeing with SDL.  Who'da thunk it?

Moderator
#17 Posted by freakin (404 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @freakin said:
" There has never been a bigger hardware jump than this gen
Huh? What about the jump to 3D? Or from Atari to NES? Those were pretty big. "


Well put it this way, if you added to the ps2 whatever they added to the NES from the Atari how much better would the ps3 be now. 
#18 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

The technical power today allows for more variation in style.  Also widespread shader support has helped especially.

In the 2D graphics days you could have more cartoony or more realistic styled games or simple 3D.
in the early 3D days all the graphics could look similar, and it wasn't until more recent techniques were able to make something look considerably more realistic or considerably more stylistic then ever possible before.

Not that they didn't want or try to vary graphics in the past.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@freakin said:
Well put it this way, if you added to the ps2 whatever they added to the NES from the Atari how much better would the ps3 be now.  "
I'm not sure what you're saying.
#20 Posted by TobyD81 (1227 posts) -
I agree. We're getting into a period where a designer can get away with a lot more in a game's visual presentation. This is not only due to the tech involved but the public acceptance of different styles. You can even make a game that looks like 8- or 16-bit, and that's fine. Sprites are entering the hi def space alongside 3D graphics, and all of it has never looked better.
#21 Posted by freakin (404 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @freakin said:
Well put it this way, if you added to the ps2 whatever they added to the NES from the Atari how much better would the ps3 be now.  "
I'm not sure what you're saying. "


I'm saying those jumps weren't that big by today's standards.
#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@freakin said:
I'm saying those jumps weren't that big by today's standards. "
How so? The leap from this:



to this:



Was pretty big. The closer you looked to arcade games, the more powerful you were. Then again, I still think SNES->N64 (generations, not consoles) was the biggest leap.
#23 Posted by Godwind (2597 posts) -
#24 Posted by Sweep (8865 posts) -

I love the inky super expressiveness of Street Fighter 4, and the Film Grain and Motion Blur set on Mass Effect. Now I think about it, Call Of Duty 4 had a load of filters you could apply after completing the game which I never got round to trying out. I wonder if Captain Price looks even more of a badass in Sepia...?

Moderator
#26 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
@Diamond: What? Compare Resident Evil to Grandia to Metal Gear Solid to Ocarina of Time to Guardian Heroes to Gun Griffon to Dragon Force to Silhouette Mirage to Radiant Silvergun to Tomb Raider to Starfox 64 to Shining Force III to Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX to Panzer Dragoon to Omega Boost to Syphon Filter to Symphony of the Night to pretty much any other game... Variation was just as great in the 32/64bit era as it is now.


@Smug: Nobody's arguing that you can't find a single cel-shaded title or whatever nowadays, heck we still get the odd purely 2D game even, no style is 100% dead. You're just presenting a strawman argument for yet another pointless thread... The gritty muddy realism look is what has become most prominent and high profile and that is all people say when yet another such game surfaces, they don't ignore the existence of the odd stylised game, in fact they ask for more of that in particular... Hence the relief when games like Borderlands make the jump.
#27 Edited by freakin (404 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @freakin said:
I'm saying those jumps weren't that big by today's standards. "
How so? The leap from this:



to this:

Was pretty big. The closer you looked to arcade games, the more powerful you were. Then again, I still think SNES->N64 (generations, not consoles) was the biggest leap. "



In the end pc games always looked better though, consoles were never any kind of benchmark for graphics til this generation.   You are ignoring the fact that those upgrades involved just adding 8 bits of ram. 
#28 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@freakin said:
In the end pc games always looked better though, consoles were never any kind of benchmark for graphics til this generation.   You are ignoring the fact that those upgrades involved just adding 8 bits of ram.  "
I'll give you the PC thing, but back then, weren't 8 bits of ram huge? Not sure you can judge the past by current standards. If that was the case, my blogs would implode :P.
#29 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -

I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof.

#30 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@freakin said:
"@Video_Game_King said:
" @freakin said:
I'm saying those jumps weren't that big by today's standards. "
How so? The leap from this:



to this:

Was pretty big. The closer you looked to arcade games, the more powerful you were. Then again, I still think SNES->N64 (generations, not consoles) was the biggest leap. "
In the end pc games always looked better though, consoles were never any kind of benchmark for graphics til this generation.   You are ignoring the fact that those upgrades involved just adding 8 bits of ram.  "
PC games were really only relevant as graphic showcases in the late 90s.
The arcades had the crazy graphics.

Now it's so close betwene pcs and consoles it's all nitpicking.  
Arcades of cuorse though still play games from the 90s. 
#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Black_Rose said:
" I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof. "
How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y).
#32 Posted by JJOR64 (18995 posts) -

Are you guys stupid?  The best looking ever is:

Pong
j/k  The further we go in generations, the better games will look.
#33 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
"How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y). "
I know it's a remake, but it's also one of the best looking Xbox games, everything from the lighting to the backgrounds looks awesome.
#34 Posted by freakin (404 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
" @freakin said:
In the end pc games always looked better though, consoles were never any kind of benchmark for graphics til this generation.   You are ignoring the fact that those upgrades involved just adding 8 bits of ram.  "
I'll give you the PC thing, but back then, weren't 8 bits of ram huge? Not sure you can judge the past by current standards. If that was the case, my blogs would implode :P. "


Developers were still very limited to what they could do from most generation jumps, I mean yes the jump from Nintendo's Game and Watch to the NES was probably a factor of 5000 but that wasn't really the point I was making about generational leap, I doubt too many developers started out thinking that they wanted to make what eventually they put out on the n64 or the NES, but the hardware demanded a big scale back in their vision.  Right now they don't really have to make the same begrudged downgrades.  I'm certainly not knocking the games of the past though, as sometimes I'll play a old game and in a lot of ways the games of the past are very similar to the games of today in many ways, the only differences involve the limitations of the hardware.
#35 Posted by T0mF5 (929 posts) -

What art style would Rocket Riot be considered?

#36 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

"@Black_Rose said:
" I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof. "
How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y)."




lol wut?
#37 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

"@Black_Rose said:
" I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof. "
How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y)."




lol wut?
#38 Posted by Ravey (330 posts) -

I like how you mentioned wicked styles such as 'realism', what will they think of next? :-D

#39 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@SmugDarkLoser said:
" @Video_Game_King said:

"@Black_Rose said:
" I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof. "
How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y)."
lol wut? "
I meant artistically, not technically. It looks great technically, but not so much artistically. Something was lost (my guess is the atmosphere of the time).
#40 Posted by lordofultima (6249 posts) -

You're crazy.

#41 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1530 posts) -

I think this gen 3D has been the most stylized it ever has.  2D had a lot of cool different art styles and 3D is really getting past just trying to be real and hitting some marks artistically.  And if you look at what they're doing now it's the most impressive art in any video game I'd say.  Things are getting really deep and complex.  Mirrors Edge is an artistic achievement.

#42 Posted by Out_On_Bail (1545 posts) -

Yeah.  I remember saying 15 years ago when playing Madden: "Man it can't get any better than this, there's no way to improve these graphics"
I think I've said that every year since then, it just amazes me sometimes with how far games have come.  And when Dreamcast came out I thought we had (once again) reached the pinnacle of graphics, that nothing could ever match it.  I'm sure 10 years from now I'll be saying the same thing I just said today.  


But keep in mind there's some games coming out this gen that look worse than last gen's.  For the most part, we have definitely upgraded, although some dev teams still need to step there game up.  

Of course here's my disclaimer:   Gameplay > Graphics
#43 Edited by Venatio (4491 posts) -

Yes I agree with you man, I have seen some really beautiful and special looking games this gen


Mirrors Edge, call me crazy but I think its the most beautiful game ever made

Prince of Persia

Eternal Sonata

Bioshock, art deco is great

Mass Effect, amazing sci-fi artstyle

LittleBigPlanet, everything looks like toys

Ratchet and Clank, closest thing to Pixar movies

So see, amazing looking games


#44 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
"@SmugDarkLoser said:
" @Video_Game_King said:

"@Black_Rose said:
" I think last gen was better in terms of artistic graphics, we had Wind Waker, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Odin Sphere, Conker Live & Reloaded and others as proof. "
How can last gen take credit for that? It was an N64 game, and it looked better there (eh, Conker looks less cartoon-y and the Mighty Poo looks less poo-y)."
lol wut? "
I meant artistically, not technically. It looks great technically, but not so much artistically. Something was lost (my guess is the atmosphere of the time)."
Yea, lol wut?
Conker on the N64 looks like every other N64 title graphically.  COnker on the xbox has a personality.
#45 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@SmugDarkLoser said:
Yea, lol wut?Conker on the N64 looks like every other N64 title graphically.  COnker on the xbox has a personality. "
I'd respond with "lol wut", but I'm better than that. Part of the charm of the original Conker was that it looked like another generic platformer, but in reality, it beat the hell out of anything platformer. That's the thing that was lost when it moved to a console considered mature and shooter-centric. It's still a good game (I imagine; I haven't played the Xbox version), but the atmosphere is not there. Besides, the Poo is less poo-y! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE POO!?
#46 Edited by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:
"@SmugDarkLoser said:
Yea, lol wut?Conker on the N64 looks like every other N64 title graphically.  COnker on the xbox has a personality. "
I'd respond with "lol wut", but I'm better than that. Part of the charm of the original Conker was that it looked like another generic platformer, but in reality, it beat the hell out of anything platformer. That's the thing that was lost when it moved to a console considered mature and shooter-centric. It's still a good game (I imagine; I haven't played the Xbox version), but the atmosphere is not there. Besides, the Poo is less poo-y! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE POO!?"

Oh, you haven't played the game?  Uhh...
Conker: Live and Reloaded is designed aesthetically to be very cutesy.  The atmosphere is definately there, more so than the N64 version.

You just don't like it because you haven't played it and see it as a change.

You remind of the people a while back who complained about Conker xboxifying conker by giving him a gun....lol.  Idiots.

--- And you realize you made a different arguement?  You admitted when I said it looked like every other platformer graphically.  So you contradicted yourself from earlier. 
-------> Just asking, but why is everything xbox worse to you?  Conker: Live and Reloaded (which is really referring to the package, bad fur day is what they call the single player in game) is better than the N64 verison in every way imaginable.  What do you expect, it's a remake.  Debating about whether or not it's as good as the other when it came out is a different story and impossible to say as it's a remake--> in order to judge you'd had to experience boh first.
#47 Posted by artofwar420 (6290 posts) -

Well Smug, this is a pretty good thread : )


I'll think that you're right, we are seeing a lot of different art styles, however I believe that the proportion of "gritty/Gears/brown" games is still bigger than the more stylized games. I think the difference is actually bigger than the last gen.
#48 Posted by Kronom (30 posts) -

We are gonna laugh when we thought this graphics were the best.

#49 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@artofwar420 said:
"Well Smug, this is a pretty good thread : )

I'll think that you're right, we are seeing a lot of different art styles, however I believe that the proportion of "gritty/Gears/brown" games is still bigger than the more stylized games. I think the difference is actually bigger than the last gen.
"

but not among good games, which is what counts.
#50 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@SmugDarkLoser said:
" @Video_Game_King said:
"@SmugDarkLoser said:
Yea, lol wut?Conker on the N64 looks like every other N64 title graphically.  COnker on the xbox has a personality. "
I'd respond with "lol wut", but I'm better than that. Part of the charm of the original Conker was that it looked like another generic platformer, but in reality, it beat the hell out of anything platformer. That's the thing that was lost when it moved to a console considered mature and shooter-centric. It's still a good game (I imagine; I haven't played the Xbox version), but the atmosphere is not there. Besides, the Poo is less poo-y! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE POO!?"
Oh, you haven't played the game?  Uhh...Conker: Live and Reloaded is designed aesthetically to be very cutesy.  The atmosphere is definately there, more so than the N64 version.You just don't like it because you haven't played it and see it as a change. You remind of the people a while back who complained about Conker xboxifying conker by giving him a gun....lol.  Idiots. --- And you realize you made a different arguement?  You admitted when I said it looked like every other platformer graphically.  So you contradicted yourself from earlier.  -------> Just asking, but why is everything xbox worse to you?  Conker: Live and Reloaded (which is really referring to the package, bad fur day is what they call the single player in game) is better than the N64 verison in every way imaginable.  What do you expect, it's a remake.  Debating about whether or not it's as good as the other when it came out is a different story and impossible to say as it's a remake--> in order to judge you'd had to experience boh first. "
I haven't argued on the quality of the game, just the graphics, mostly. I'm sure it's a great game, but the charm has ebbed a bit, from what I've seen.

No, not in-game atmosphere, the atmosphere of the industry. That's what I was arguing about.

He had a gun in the original, and it was awesome. However, not as awesome as when you shat on the villagers 10 minutes later.

In that same breath.....I can't think of how to word this. I know what I want to say, but I can't really get it out.

Huh? Not everything Xbox is worse to me. This one case, N64>Xbox, but there are cases where I've loved Xbox games. COD4 and Lost Odyssey received an 8 out of 10, BioShock is in my top 10 games ever (and Orange Box in my 20), I loved Prince of Persia and Ninja Gaiden II, and I've made my point by now.

Fair enough. However, I'm going to throw this in: since there haven't been any major changes to the single player game I love, the only thing I can rate is the graphics. They're good from a technical standpoint (hooray fur rendering!), but not from an artistic standpoint. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get on your good side by saying that Lost Odyssey was awesome.