Amano Art: Too artsy for Modern Consoles?

Bob Mackey is currently doing an interesting blog series on the problematic nature of sprites representing characters back in the 16 bit days on the Retronauts blog, here. Reading this blog made me think about how video game promotional or conceptual art often does not translate into the video game. A classic example would be the art used in the Metal Gear Series, the sweeping almost gradient style Yoji Shinkawa was often used as promotional material, included in the manuel and often feature prominently on the box art, but his particular style was not transfered to the graphical nature of the games. Yoshitaka Amano's art in the Final Fantasy series used to be the driving force in the design of the enemies and main characters, unfortunatly his beautiful, flowy and complicated style had never really gotten a fair shake on a post 16-bit console. The DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV were admirably fateful to his character designs, but the polygon count is so low that the characters are still hard to define and artistically are still very cartoonish and squaty. 

I guess I'm wondering if anyone is interested in a game that had Amano type graphical representation on a current console. My argument is that Vampire Hunter D the movie is very true to Amano's original art and is by my account totally awesome. I don't know, maybe I'm dislussional, perhaps I want video games to be art a little too bad and am reaching at straws. Thoughts?

p.s. I've been harping on old jrpgs a bit too much in the last few days so I think I'll try to take a sabatical from that subject for a little while

8 Comments
9 Comments
Edited by TGB

Bob Mackey is currently doing an interesting blog series on the problematic nature of sprites representing characters back in the 16 bit days on the Retronauts blog, here. Reading this blog made me think about how video game promotional or conceptual art often does not translate into the video game. A classic example would be the art used in the Metal Gear Series, the sweeping almost gradient style Yoji Shinkawa was often used as promotional material, included in the manuel and often feature prominently on the box art, but his particular style was not transfered to the graphical nature of the games. Yoshitaka Amano's art in the Final Fantasy series used to be the driving force in the design of the enemies and main characters, unfortunatly his beautiful, flowy and complicated style had never really gotten a fair shake on a post 16-bit console. The DS remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV were admirably fateful to his character designs, but the polygon count is so low that the characters are still hard to define and artistically are still very cartoonish and squaty. 

I guess I'm wondering if anyone is interested in a game that had Amano type graphical representation on a current console. My argument is that Vampire Hunter D the movie is very true to Amano's original art and is by my account totally awesome. I don't know, maybe I'm dislussional, perhaps I want video games to be art a little too bad and am reaching at straws. Thoughts?

p.s. I've been harping on old jrpgs a bit too much in the last few days so I think I'll try to take a sabatical from that subject for a little while

Posted by SmugDarkLoser

I don't see why that wouldn't work for a 2d game.  A 2d Final Fantasy action game could be pretty neat actual. 
But as for 3d, not really, although I wasn't expecting things like PoP to be within range.

As for that art style (we are talking about the Final Fantasy promotional art style?), it just doesn't seem like it'd work well.
But then again, okami did the watercolor art rather well on the ps2, so this doesn't seem so out of range,.

Unrelated but holy crap, imagine what okami would look like on the ps3/360.  Damn, that would look good.

Posted by Mercator

I would personally love an Amano style cell shaded game.

I wish more games had stylized graphics over the "Man Strapped to Metal" graphic design of this generation.

Posted by gunswordfist

Wait, Amano animated the original Vampire Hunter D? And he's responsible for the great FF cover art, right? I'd KILL to see games look like that. We could definitely use the variety. Beats me how possible it would be but whenever it is we need it ASAP! I'm not saying FF games should look like that. It would be better suited for a new IP. Same goes for Yoji Shinkawa incredible art. Who wouldn't want to see that come to life with gameplay?

Edited by TGB
gunswordfist said:
"Wait, Amano animated the original Vampire Hunter D? And he's responsible for the great FF cover art, right? I'd KILL to see games look like that. We could definitely use the variety. Beats me how possible it would be but whenever it is we need it ASAP! I'm not saying FF games should look like that. It would be better suited for a new IP. Same goes for Yoji Shinkawa incredible art. Who wouldn't want to see that come to life with gameplay?"
Yeah, Amano has his finger in a lot of pies. Though I think he has forgotten that he has an English site here it is. Though his conceptions and Vampire Hunter D the movie aren't exactly analogous it is true to his swishy style and elongated characters, Angel Egg is a movie that is totally Amano's work. I'd recommend seeing it as long as you don't mind getting beaten on the head with religious symbolism.
Posted by gunswordfist
TGB said:
"gunswordfist said:
"Wait, Amano animated the original Vampire Hunter D? And he's responsible for the great FF cover art, right? I'd KILL to see games look like that. We could definitely use the variety. Beats me how possible it would be but whenever it is we need it ASAP! I'm not saying FF games should look like that. It would be better suited for a new IP. Same goes for Yoji Shinkawa incredible art. Who wouldn't want to see that come to life with gameplay?"
Yeah, Amano has his finger in a lot of pies. Though I think he has forgotten that he has an English site here it is. Though his conceptions and Vampire Hunter D the movie aren't exactly analogous it is true to his swishy style and elongated characters, Angel Egg is a movie that is totally Amano's work. I'd recommend seeing it as long as you don't mind getting beaten on the head with religious symbolism."

Relious symbolism?! No thank you. I barely survived that in Sarah Connor Chronicles and it's the show for my absolute favorite scifi movie. *drags self to hospital*
Edited by Linkyshinks
Edited by TGB
Linkyshinks said:
"Conceptual art is merely a guideline for how the graphic style is constructed, very rarely will you see direct translations of the style used represented within graphics of  game.


I am blogging about videogame art currently. Have your say-
http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/linkyshinks/the-art-you-heart/30-20033/"
Good point, conceptual art is usually just that; art that is used as a guide for actualizing a character in a game. I think that Metal Gear certainly falls into that category, the game might be more interesting if they had used the art of Yoji Shinkawa, but that's kind of unrealistic since Kojima always had his own vision of what the series should look like. Amano is a more realistic case since his concept art has actually been implemented in a few games. In FFVI, the boss and enemy sprites were straight up replications of the artwork he made for the game, FFVI is the easiest game to see these connections since its the most graphically advanced of his work as an art designer for Square. I guess I'm just wondering if Square or anyone else is bold enough to really stick with a Amano like art style in a fully realized 3d world. I think Noby Noby Boy is perhaps a good example of a game following a unique artistic style in a 3d frame.

So to sum up, your totally right and I need to edit my blog to make my argument better! But sleep first!
Posted by Endogene
TGB said:
"gunswordfist said:
"Wait, Amano animated the original Vampire Hunter D? And he's responsible for the great FF cover art, right? I'd KILL to see games look like that. We could definitely use the variety. Beats me how possible it would be but whenever it is we need it ASAP! I'm not saying FF games should look like that. It would be better suited for a new IP. Same goes for Yoji Shinkawa incredible art. Who wouldn't want to see that come to life with gameplay?"
Yeah, Amano has his finger in a lot of pies. Though I think he has forgotten that he has an English site here it is. Though his conceptions and Vampire Hunter D the movie aren't exactly analogous it is true to his swishy style and elongated characters, Angel Egg is a movie that is totally Amano's work. I'd recommend seeing it as long as you don't mind getting beaten on the head with religious symbolism."
Haaaa i rember creating that page in the early days of Giant Bomb, i cleaned up all the art pages of all the Final fantasy pages, replaced them all with higher resolution work and then linked them all the Amano's page quite a chore but the result was worth it. Amano's official site is never updated, the final fantasy galleries are "under construction" ever since i first checked them (4 months ago already) http://www.amanosworld.com/html/work.html