you know what?...fuck it....graphics ARE important

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yes

thats right

GRAPHICS ARE IMPORTANT

"what IS this?!" you say "has Vault101 snapped and gone insane?", you know what?...mabye I have, mabye I've lost my mind and joned the COD drones, and why not? the dark side is so beutiful

you see....I hear it all the time...over and over and over and over and over with the same smug sense of absolute truth..."graphics arn't important, they don't make the game"

bullshit! I say, graphics can greatly make or break my experience

is it because I'm just a spoiled current gen gamer? who has been corrupted by High definition and anti aliasing? who could not look at a game that game out before 2007 without vomiting? ever since I played the opening to Bioshock?

well mabye

take a game like Deus Ex..brilliant game no doubt...but I can't play it, I can't lose myself in a world full of scary polygon people..I'm still in a game...I'm still surrounded by scary polygon people who will come at me in the night and shoot me or eat my face in the hopes of absorbing my high resolutions.....(just like the ones from Golden eye)

and if I were to pick up anything from thr N64 it would probably leave me feeling cold

AH! you say...what about art direction? about lovingly created works of art in your game? such as many 2D games or cell shading? and in many ways you are correct, the world in Monkey island 3 felt so real and viseral compared to the awful thing that was monkey island 4.....and I have fond memories of Donkey Kong country and Yoshis island

but somtimes its really not the same, somtimes I want to lose myself in a world...with lighting effects and all that...quirky little cartoon man running across a 2d plane doesnt really do that for me

I'm not saying games need all the technical specs to look pretty, Dead Space 2 I belive is absolutly gorgeous because of its dark/lighting and veiws of space

Hafe Life 2 is a game that should be well outdated..yet strangly it doesnt feel so, theres somthing about the scource engine that games its visuals strangly unique

this may be rather hypocritical..since I would say that I wouldn't feel such a connection to the charachters of Mass Effect series if they looked like the polygon people of my nightmares

on the other hand. no doubt I'll be pointing out their puppet like movments and the strange "samey" looking faces of unimportant people

to sum up my point I'd rather take the "dumbed down" Deus Ex: Human Revoltuion, with its sleek visuals and sexy art desgin...to its much more intelligent but horrifyingly hideous precuser Deus Ex 1

and its just me...I can't really help it

Well if they didn't matter then we would have stooped trying to make them better. And we haven't so they do. Also call me superficial but if I am looking at something for 40 hours it damn sure better look good. Although I suppose you can get that done with a good aesthetic.

Aye.

Games are a primarily visual medium. If I'm going to be looking at something for 40 hours, it had damn well better be pleasant to look at. [Insert the usual qualifying statements about aesthetics and animation here.]

I also prefer DE:HR over the original and I've played both of them multiple times. The original Deus Ex doesn't strike me as being any more "intelligent". It just had a few more numbers and bad combat.

They have to be serviceable, but you can't build a game around them.

I have to agree. As much as having good graphics does not necessarily make a good game, terrible graphics do however do harm to that game. Gamers, developers, reviewers all like to use the same buzz word, immersion when talking about games and describing how games are different from any other form of media. Well, a game isn't immersive if it looks like dog shit, it just isn't.

Of course there are different degrees of graphical fidelity that are completely tolerable before I reach the point of saying something looks like dog shit. There are very few current generation games where I would actually say that the graphics impede my enjoyment of them. Hell, there are very few last gen games where the graphics are bad enough to make me dislike a game. Having said that, I can't play Deus Ex, or Max Payne, or Golden Eye, because THEY LOOK LIKE SHIT. They have absolutely terrible graphics that physically HURT to look at. As much as they are undoubtedly great games they are games I will never be able to enjoy or lose myself in because they look awful, and this is a problem when video games communicate the vast majority of their information visually.

Saying that graphics in games aren't important is like saying that an author's vocabulary isn't important when writing a book. What would you rather read, a sprawling epic written at the level of a high school graduate, or a sprawling epic that sounds like it was written by a 6 year old?

Graphics are important but they shouldn't be the be all end all for games... hyper realism should be kept to horror games and war, where the realism drags you in and pulls out a greater sense of fear, or tension.

Some games where the purpose to show some artistic value or to just plain have fun they could afford to have cartoony visuals and such. So visual style is very important and a High level of graphics can really improve a game but sometimes it's gauged as too important I think, where almost everything has to have the same set of visuals.

Hrmm, with regards to Deus Ex or Max payne, I agree. But I get just as much enjoyment playing Tales of Phantasia on ZSNES as I do any modern game.

I think its more down to art style then physical pixel numbers.

I agree. I don't think it's fair to say that graphics don't matter because they certainly add to the game.

Of course it doesn't matter over everything and it doesn't 100% make a game, but it sure can help.

I personally disagree on the one condition that "we're talking "bad" graphics and not "physisically painful graphics."

Some games CAN be almost physically painful DUE to bad graphics - and in this case then I do agree a degree of improvement to the graphics is important - but graphics are the bottom rung of importance.

If a game would not be fun with lesser graphics, so long as the graphical quality isn't painfully bad, then it's a game not worth playing. If an experience is so poor that it NEEDS the graphics to be fun, then it's a garbage game, and you're being suckered in with eyecandy. If you were to remake New Super Mario Bros Wii, for example, with graphics from Super Mario Bros 1 for the NES, the game would still have the exact same level of amusement to it. The game engine itself is the source of fun, not the graphics.

What constututes painful graphics? Well, for one, imagine a person who's so blurry that you can't make out if their face has eyes or if it's a blurred censor bar. In other words, some N64/PS1/even early PS2 games did have painful graphics, but for the most part, it's something that not even the NES/ SMS/ etc era had that much of a problem with....

Now, let me digress. GRAPHICS themselves don't improve a game at all. But an AESTHETIC direction does. Team Fortress 2 has "bad graphics" considering, but the colorful cartoon aesthetic is endearing and does enhance the appeal of the game. A good design aesthetic does way more to set the tone compared to pure graphical quality. Look at TF2 compared to the legions of samey gritty shooters. Which one stands out? Which one shines? The one with the "bad" graphics, due to the aesthetics.

Honestly, let me be blunt: I cannot see eye to eye with anyone who disagrees with the above. I can debate and debate and debate and never concede. I grew up with the NES/SNES so a lot of new-age gamers who refuse to play things due to "bad graphics" just piss me the unholy hell off. Well no freaking duh Super Mario World won't have the same denim texture for Mario's jeans as seen in Super Smash Bros Brawl, because that's just NOT IMPORTANT! No, it's NOT important, and damn anyone who insists it is!

EDIT: Oh, someone said to use Hyperrealism for horror games. Just pointing out those are the worst games to use hyperrealism for. Scary is ugly. Immaculate detail makes something just that less scary. Part of the reason that scary movies and gamnes BOTH aren't scary anymore is that things are too pretty to be scary.

up to a point i agree with you. im a bit spoiled for graphics these days so going back to games i used to play years ago can be a tad grating on the eyes, but after a couple of hours i tend to get used to it again.

then again i play turn based strategy and counter based computer wargames so graphics have never been a priority for me.

now excuse me as i deal with blurry as all hell x-com :D

Tis a sad day indeed .

I personally disagree about graphics being important , but then again , i play mostly rpgs , and i play for story more than anythig else . That might be the reason i think this way . I could play a txt based game , or a nes rpg ( i played final fantasy earlier this year) even a ps1 rpg ( suikoden ) and still love them . Because of the story . Not to say i can't appreciate a current gen game rpg like Lost oddesy . But EVERYTHING takes a back seat to story , for me . I guess that's why i care little for graphics .

Now i do agree we as gamers have been spoiled to death with pretty visuals and good voice acting and stuff which makes it really hard to go backwards. Past games are ugly compared to new ones . But there is more to games that how it looks . Looks shouldn't be the defining aspect of a game in my opinion . That would make video games a very superficial and shallow medium .

Maybe i am old fashioned , but i really feel that a game first and foremost , regardless of genre , should be enjoyable to play. And more time should be spent making a game fun than making a game pretty . A game could be ugly and fun , pretty and boring , or pretty and fun . Ideally , every game should be pretty and fun , but it is rarely the case ( again this is my personal opinion ). The games with the "BEST" graphics , are usually not fun due to the enormous amount time it takes to make the game pretty.

It's kind of disheartening to hear that people can't play older classics because of something like graphics . It's almost like spitting in the faces of those who worked so hard to build the foundation of gaming. Forgetting our roots, forgetting the games , and more importantly , the people that made gaming what it is today .

...
...
...
Wow , that sounds very fucking pretentious .

Anyways , this is my personally opinion on the matter , not that it's important or anything .

Capcha: good for nothing . ... Now i am having second thoughts about posting this.

Asthetics > shiny wow wow next gen graphics.

Plus graphics have been at a stable level for years, HL2 still looks good even if it's 8 years old. Ok so PS1 3D games look like crap but we have been at a stage where graphics can look serviceable with a small dev team, like Hawken with a 8 man dev team.

Imo the next big leap in graphics that will make many games that don't have it look bad compared to those that do isn't polygons and textures, its animation and motion capture and it's ability to tell a story without stating the bleeding obvious.

(I know we already have mo-cap in some games but it's still a new thing and could be done cheaper with better story telling.

The ones that go the photorealistic route age quickly and poorly. Even now, I look at Skyrim and I think "well, that's OK, I guess" while also having vivid memories of thinking how the faces of Vice City looked so expressive once upon a time.

I agree that the ones that go for the unique art direction route age better, but I'm not sure if that's due to the strength of the art itself or the fact that there are fewer games to compare the art to, as compared to the CoDs and Maddens which serve as an annual benchmark of graphical improvement.

Either way, graphics have never broken a game for me. If they're great, that's icing on the cake, but I've never quit because it was just too ugly.

Separate issue though: I feel like games in recent years are too dark, like too dark to differentiate between objects, even with brightness all the way up. That is a graphical issue that actually matters to me

Graphics matter to some degree, but are not the most important thing. Aesthetic design is more important. I still play Diablo. No not D2, Diablo. Classic Diablo. The aesthetic is better (along with pretty much everything else, IMO...).

I also play Grid Wars, a game where the graphics are little more than geometric shapes (unfilled and untextured I might add!) and particles.

I say art-direction is what's important. What's the point of good graphics if you don't understand color theory, three point lighting, and building atmosphere.

BTW it's intresting when discussing the costs of graphics that it's usually consoles that ppl talk about costs and the insane amount of optimisations because they are so underpowered even when it comes just running 1080p in 60fps.

PC has none of of these problems. But sadly a 8 man dev team creating good graphics on current gen consoles? not a chance.

Graphics matter to me now more than they did before, probably cause I'm used to the better graphics in modern games. Going back to pixelated sprites is difficult. Some games are good enough that I can overlook the dated graphics, for example Diablo 2. These are rare though. More often I only play games that are nice to look at AND have good gameplay.

I think what matters is whether or not a game is pretty to look at. The complexity of the graphics doesn't necessarily make a game pretty or not.

Vault101:
yes

thats right

GRAPHICS ARE IMPORTANT

"what IS this?!" you say "has Vault101 snapped and gone insane?", you know what?...mabye I have, mabye I've lost my mind and joned the COD drones, and why not? the dark side is so beutiful

you see....I hear it all the time...over and over and over and over and over with the same smug sense of absolute truth..."graphics arn't important, they don't make the game"

bullshit! I say, graphics can greatly make or break my experience

is it because I'm just a spoiled current gen gamer? who has been corrupted by High definition and anti aliasing? who could not look at a game that game out before 2007 without vomiting? ever since I played the opening to Bioshock?

well mabye

take a game like Deus Ex..brilliant game no doubt...but I can't play it, I can't lose myself in a world full of scary polygon people..I'm still in a game...I'm still surrounded by scary polygon people who will come at me in the night and shoot me or eat my face in the hopes of absorbing my high resolutions.....(just like the ones from Golden eye)

and if I were to pick up anything from thr N64 it would probably leave me feeling cold

AH! you say...what about art direction? about lovingly created works of art in your game? such as many 2D games or cell shading? and in many ways you are correct, the world in Monkey island 3 felt so real and viseral compared to the awful thing that was monkey island 4.....and I have fond memories of Donkey Kong country and Yoshis island

but somtimes its really not the same, somtimes I want to lose myself in a world...with lighting effects and all that...quirky little cartoon man running across a 2d plane doesnt really do that for me

I'm not saying games need all the technical specs to look pretty, Dead Space 2 I belive is absolutly gorgeous because of its dark/lighting and veiws of space

Hafe Life 2 is a game that should be well outdated..yet strangly it doesnt feel so, theres somthing about the scource engine that games its visuals strangly unique

this may be rather hypocritical..since I would say that I wouldn't feel such a connection to the charachters of Mass Effect series if they looked like the polygon people of my nightmares

on the other hand. no doubt I'll be pointing out their puppet like movments and the strange "samey" looking faces of unimportant people

to sum up my point I'd rather take the "dumbed down" Deus Ex: Human Revoltuion, with its sleek visuals and sexy art desgin...to its much more intelligent but horrifyingly hideous precuser Deus Ex 1

and its just me...I can't really help it

Graphics on the scale of 1/10 are about 4 for me. Gameplay, story and balanced mechanics, origonality are much more important. Graphics are "not as" important as the bulk of what makes a good game. Take the Theif series for example, terrible graphics due to its age but it makes up for excellent stealth gameplay. That can not be said for its poor cousin Splinter cell (excluding the first game).

krazykidd:

It's kind of disheartening to hear that people can't play older classics because of something like graphics . It's almost like spitting in the faces of those who worked so hard to build the foundation of gaming. Forgetting our roots, forgetting the games , and more importantly , the people that made gaming what it is today .
.

its not like I mean to disregard older games....its just the way it is

I feel really bad for you guys. I'm able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficient convey to me what's going on.

On the bright side some of you probably "get" dancing.

I felt more immersion in older games where you had to use your imagination to fill in the games and the graphics were just the outline. I didn't notice the polygon people since when I looked at it I saw in my mind a completely different picture in my mind like reading a book. The more realistic graphics are the less I am going to imagine and cover up the mistakes so new games look worse to me since I'm finally noticing that stuff.

I don't think graphics are that important. Take Silent Hill 1 for example. It looks like crap now, but it gives the game a certain atmosphere that I love. Besides, if it plays good, who cares if it doesn't compare graphically to the newest games?

Dryk:
I feel really bad for you guys. I'm able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficient convey to me what's going on.

On the bright side some of you probably "get" dancing.

I guess your lucky

and no...I don't "get" dancing....in fact what I don't "get" is:

"hey! she isn't dancing, she must be really sad and she's probably really shy and needs somone to coax her out of her shell so she can dance and be happy!"

"yeah, I'm shy and I apreciate your thourght, I really do....BUT FUCK OFF AND STOP TRYING TO GET ME TO DANCE!"

Graphics are, yes, important. But they make it out to believe like they're the MOST important part of a game.

They're really not.

well, aesthetics are more important. a Realistic Aesthetic from anything older then this generation is going to look pretty shitty. But the more stylized something is, the more it will hold up, and the more stylized it is, the less it's dependant on the best and brightest graphics.

It's kind of like the uncanny valley.

Captcha: Lincoln - Describe this Brand with Any Word(s)
Big Hat

nikki191:
up to a point i agree with you. im a bit spoiled for graphics these days so going back to games i used to play years ago can be a tad grating on the eyes, but after a couple of hours i tend to get used to it again.

then again i play turn based strategy and counter based computer wargames so graphics have never been a priority for me.

now excuse me as i deal with blurry as all hell x-com :D

It depends on what kind of game it is and what it's going for.

Take RPGs for instance, in a game like Skyrim, where it's strength is it's pretty world and scenery, it's more important than in a tactical type RPG which rely more heavily on the gameplay, say.

But I agree with you about getting used to it after a few hours. I played Pool of Radiance from 1988' recently and got adjusted just fine after a little bit.

Okay then..... that's cool, now I'm just going to go back and play Minecraft now.

Dryk:
I feel really bad for you guys. I'm able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficient convey to me what's going on.

On the bright side some of you probably "get" dancing.

I'm with you on the graphics. In fact, not only am I able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficiently convey what's going on, I've got a weird ability to be wowed by a games graphics as a product of their time, instead of looking at them through modern eyes. I've been playing PS2 games picked up from Gamestop's $4.99 and under bin all day, and some of them still impress me. Heck, Omega Boost on the PS1 impresses me.

Oh, and bonus? I enjoy dancing. Although I'm sure a lot of people in here are better at it than me -- I'm too stiff to do it right sober, and even after a few drinks to loosen me up, I'm still not exactly good.

Altorin:
well, aesthetics are more important. a Realistic Aesthetic from anything older then this generation is going to look pretty shitty. But the more stylized something is, the more it will hold up, and the more stylized it is, the less it's dependant on the best and brightest graphics.

It's kind of like the uncanny valley.

Captcha: Lincoln - Describe this Brand with Any Word(s)
Big Hat

I understand the argument....but TBH I don't think everything should be "stylised"

Owyn_Merrilin:
I'm with you on the graphics. In fact, not only am I able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficiently convey what's going on, I've got a weird ability to be wowed by a games graphics as a product of their time, instead of looking at them through modern eyes. I've been playing PS2 games picked up from Gamestop's $4.99 and under bin all day, and some of them still impress me. Heck, Omega Boost on the PS1 impresses me.
.

while you can blame somone for being ignorant/vlosed minded...you can't blame somone for veiwing/experiencing...say a picture or somthing in a different way, and how much they do or don't get out of it...I feel in some cases thats the thing here

Vault101:

Altorin:
well, aesthetics are more important. a Realistic Aesthetic from anything older then this generation is going to look pretty shitty. But the more stylized something is, the more it will hold up, and the more stylized it is, the less it's dependant on the best and brightest graphics.

It's kind of like the uncanny valley.

Captcha: Lincoln - Describe this Brand with Any Word(s)
Big Hat

I understand the argument....but TBH I don't think everything should be "stylised"

Owyn_Merrilin:
I'm with you on the graphics. In fact, not only am I able to enjoy any game that has graphics that sufficiently convey what's going on, I've got a weird ability to be wowed by a games graphics as a product of their time, instead of looking at them through modern eyes. I've been playing PS2 games picked up from Gamestop's $4.99 and under bin all day, and some of them still impress me. Heck, Omega Boost on the PS1 impresses me.
.

while you can blame somone for being ignorant/vlosed minded...you can't blame somone for veiwing/experiencing...say a picture or somthing in a different way, and how much they do or don't get out of it...I feel in some cases thats the thing here

Which is why I called myself the weird one for being able to do that XD

I think the reason I see old games that way is because I know what the hardware they were developed for is capable of from experience, and any time I see something that really pushes the limits of said hardware, it impresses me. It helps that the limit pushing games tend to have good art design, too.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Which is why I called myself the weird one for being able to do that XD

I think the reason I see old games that way is because I know what the hardware they were developed for is capable of from experience, and any time I see something that really pushes the limits of said hardware, it impresses me. It helps that the limit pushing games tend to have good art design, too.

I remember when first booting up the original Deus Ex I was like "oh my god! the floor is all relfective and shiny!...I didnt know they could do that!"

also in banjo tooie there is a mirror...like a literal 100% reflective mirror which I think its pretty impressive

Vault101:

Altorin:
well, aesthetics are more important. a Realistic Aesthetic from anything older then this generation is going to look pretty shitty. But the more stylized something is, the more it will hold up, and the more stylized it is, the less it's dependant on the best and brightest graphics.

It's kind of like the uncanny valley.

Captcha: Lincoln - Describe this Brand with Any Word(s)
Big Hat

I understand the argument....but TBH I don't think everything should be "stylised"

did I say everything should be stylized?

The only conclusion I made was the exact same conclusion you made - old game graphics suck, and sometimes, it makes them unplayable. However, that happens more noticeably if the game doesn't have a distinct art style. Look at a game like Super Mario 64, vs, say, Metal Gear Solid. Graphically, they're about the same, but Mario 64 uses more color and gives its characters a cartoony appearance, so the effect of the lowered graphical fidelity doesn't show as badly - they're still making mario games that look basically the same. Metal Gear Solid 4 looks nothing like Metal Gear Solid.

Note that I actually enjoy MGS and can look past its dated graphics, but it's also one of the best looking realistically styled games on the PS1. So if I went with MGS I couldn't be accused of cherry picking a turd to put up against Mario 64

They matter, but...how do I put it into words?

Graphics should go with the game they are in, games should not be forced into going with the graphics.

Take Minecraft, for example. The cutesie (some call it ugly) little 2D pixelated graphics on that game work insanely well with the overall feel of the game. Any HD texture packs may make it prettier, but it keeps with the feel of the game.

I'd hate if I suddenly went into Minecraft and suddenly everything went BAM! THREE DIMENSIONS! SUPER DETAILED TEXTURES! Because it would completely change the way the game felt.

Likewise, I'd hate if I went to play Reach and suddenly everything has fucking playdoh textures.

I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone else...

Vault101:

Owyn_Merrilin:
Which is why I called myself the weird one for being able to do that XD

I think the reason I see old games that way is because I know what the hardware they were developed for is capable of from experience, and any time I see something that really pushes the limits of said hardware, it impresses me. It helps that the limit pushing games tend to have good art design, too.

I remember when first booting up the original Deus Ex I was like "oh my god! the floor is all relfective and shiny!...I didnt know they could do that!"

also in banjo tooie there is a mirror...like a literal 100% reflective mirror which I think its pretty impressive

That impressed me in Deus Ex, too. In fact, pretty much everything on Unreal Engine 1.x is impressive for the time; that was a beast of an engine. I didn't know about the Banjo Tooie mirror, but there's one in Mario 64. I remember reading that instead of doing an actual reflection, they made it another room separated by an invisible wall and with another Mario model inside. Really cool stuff.

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