Console industry needs more style?

This thought came up when I was responding to another thread involving tomb raider, but the AAA industry seems like it needs more games with some actual visual flare and style. It's really odd that a game like Tomb Raider can be technically superior playability wise to a game like Gravity Rush, yet I find Gravity Rush more compelling due to it's visual flare, unique mechanics, and strange world. Heck, I've found that particular title even more compelling than other super power based games like Infamous just because it takes it's theme and really goes with it.

The problem isn't just with Western Releases, either. It feels like the JRPG scene has been having a similar crisis (albeit somewhat contextually different), with games like Final Fantasy getting too worked up about over the top visuals when they need to seriously look at their story and get themselves grounded back with the basics of world exploration and gameplay. For reference, look at the bahumut summons from Final Fantasy VII and compare them with the summons from Crisis Core: Did going over the top really help all that much with the game? It's great that the CGI artists got to flex their muscles, but not a great game does over the top CGI make (unless that bahumut sequence from Crisis Core involved leaving a DBZ style smoldering crater).

Obviously this isn't the case for every game in each respective genre: we've had gems like Valkyria Chronicles and borderlands, but now it's even starting to creep into games like Metal Gear Solid Reveangence. The only level I can recall actually having a strong theme in that game is one involving a office building / garden complex with the vibrant pink trees.

Anyone else ever felt like the industry is getting a bit too narrowly defined on this front?

Well, most of my favourite games don't have impressive graphics but the art style is very strong.
Most of the decent JRPGs have been released on handhelds in recent years.
Why? Because it's cost efficient and highly detailed graphics aren't needed.

Now I'm thinking of Daggerfall from the Elder Scrolls. You can go anywhere in Tamriel.
Video game worlds can be massive when graphics are not the focus point.

MineCraft is another good example. Huge game, randomly generated.

This is also the reason why a game such as Final Fantasy XIII has incredible visuals but no world exploration.
It's an rpg on rails. Which is terrible.

x-Tomfoolery-x:
Well, most of my favourite games don't have impressive graphics but the art style is very strong.
Most of the decent JRPGs have been released on handhelds in recent years.
Why? Because it's cost efficient and highly detailed graphics aren't needed.

Now I'm thinking of Daggerfall from the Elder Scrolls. You can go anywhere in Tamriel.
Video game worlds can be massive when graphics are not the focus point.

MineCraft is another good example. Huge game, randomly generated.

This also the reason why a game such as Final Fantasy XIII has incredible visuals but no world exploration.
It's an rpg on rails. Which is terrible.

Yeah I tend to agree that they have a lot of good RPGs on the hand helds these days. I think game makers are worried that unless they make full use of the consoles capabilities their game idea is wasted on that medium, along with it getting chewed out by critics. In reality having more horsepower just means that the machine is capable of handling games with higher graphics requirements. It doesn't mean that the developer is required to pull every last ounce of power out of the machine.

Console games do not need more style. They need to actually start designing within their means and understand that while it is certainly nice to have this incredibly realistic game, it doesn't help when the budget has more value than the company itself.

That is really one issue, what was once an industry of simply using the current technology has for the first time actually moved ahead of the technology of the average consumer. The pursuit of having the most powerful system is still a pursuit worth having but it starts to be counter-intuitive for developers when they inflate their budgets and risking the entire company on a single product against other companies that are doing the exact same terrible business practice.

Part of the problem is though is that your average consumer who may have video games as a light hobby will most likely start looking at games that aren't "state of the art" like we saw with the Playstation 4 and turn their noses up at games that actually utilize a different art style that doesn't utilize the full potential of the console. Aside from maybe Nintendo, the two juggernauts of Microsoft and Sony have basically shaped the video game industry to be this way where their main demographic for profit isn't the hobbyist but instead someone who likes to play video games but only really knows about a few key franchises. Which isn't bad in itself but it is bad when businesses throw everything they have and then have to shutdown.

 

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