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I have been thinking a lot about the graphic subject lately and I wanted to share my point of view and read yours.

With each new generation of video-games, the gaming industry presents us a new 'graphic standard' that is supposedly better than the previous generation. And one generation after the base 3D consoles (N64/PS1/etc), I can say that a new type of player appeared and has become really popular now a days: the graphic-whore.

I do not intend to judge their position, but the whole graphic subject made me think about it. And I've come up with two different point of views:

1. "Video-Games have the sole purpose of entertaining the player, thus as long as the gameplay keeps you involved and content with it, it has fulfilled its goal."
I can clearly see it with the past generation games. Although their graphics can't be compared to the current-generation, most of them can provide you a better time than most new games.
The fact that some people grew with those 'old' consoles might explain part of that feeling. However, I never owned a SNES, nor a gameboy and still find most of their games more entertaining than the new ones.

2. On the other hand, "developing a game with lower-than-average or lower-than-the-available graphics might give the player a feeling that the company that developed the game was lazy enough not to give the best they could to the game."
Of course that doesn't apply to games that intentionally have 'retro' graphics


Another thing that bothers me about graphics is that it has the power to decide whether a game will sell/be popular or not. And this happens tremendously often. You can take for example Bastion, released for the PC and Xbox (last year, IIRC). It didn't receive a 10/10 on some review sites because it has colorful/childish graphics.
Another game that I can point is Divinity 2. Most people didn't get to know it because the reviews took 10~20 points out of it because the graphics weren't at the 'standard' at the time.


To finish this off, I'd like to point something that bothers me A LOT and it's pretty much exclusive to the PC: Companies that make their game for the latest (if not the latest, close to) generation of computers ONLY, by not allowing the user to change quality settings.
I own a rather old laptop (it's from 2009, IIRC) that lacks a decent video-card. However, I can play a good amount of games that require a lot of your video-card by just changing the settings to low.
But when I stumble across a game that doesn't allow me to change the settings, I'm forced to uninstall it, as much as I want to play it.
This happened quite recently when I got a copy of Rayman Origins. While the game isn't graphic heavy, it doesn't give you any options to change glowing-effects, shadows, etc. And I wasn't able to play properly because of that.
Another example is Skyrim. The only way I was able to play it was tempering with the preferences configuration file, as the in-game settings won't do much about shadows and other rendering effects.


Anyways, I'm aware that this post is quite long, but I really would appreciate if you'd read it and post your thoughts. Thanks.~
When I play a video game, I want it to look like a video game. If I wanted lifelike graphics, I would go out in the real world more often. I judge games based on how fun they are for me, and I guess "child-like graphics" are just more fun for me. Just to give you an idea about me, my favorite console is the Nintendo 64 (with NES and SNES close behind) and some of my favorite games are Ocarina of Time, A Link To The Past, Banjo-Kazooie, The Sims (PC- 1, 2 and 3) and numerous other brightly colored titles.

What's the point in playing a game with perfect, lifelike graphics if the storyline is crap? I think the new generation of graphics makes all games (and all levels within those games) look the same. Whereas in my type of games, the colors set the mood. Example- OoT graphics- The way the area i'm in is colored, let's me know what i've got coming to me. The bright blue of the water in Lake Hylia, the red and orange tones of Gerudo valley, and the drk, yet at the same time bright green, of the Forest Temple (letting you know while beauiful, it's still dangerous).

When games are too lifelike, it takes that away from me.

I feel like a rambling old woman now. Did any of that make sense?
While it is true that graphics are important aspects in a game, sometimes, the simplest ones can be the best ones.

Best example? Minecraft. You have to agree that the first time you played it, you were like "Arg, this game is so ugly! Why did I buy this?" But after a while, you get used to the graphics, and you grow to love the simplicity of them. Plus, with the texture packs, you can change how everything looks to your liking while keeping those pixels.

But, that doesn't man graphics aren't important. The new Ghost Recon game is a good example: there were a lot of people anticipating the release (I was), and I'm sure a lot of people were happy when it did. But, a lot of us were kind of sad that the graphics looked almost exactly like the last game! And the gamers weren't the only people who thought of that, game magazines as well: Game Informer (a REALLY reliable game magazine) gave it a 7.5 because "noticeably dated graphics break the sense of immersion".

So, in conclusion, we can agree that graphics do have importance in a game. Depending on what type of game it is though, you don't need the same kind of graphic detail.
The graphical quality of a game doesn't really matter to me. I love playing old games, even if they don't look great anymore. I even like playing FF8, even though the graphics look horrendous on a large tv, but the gameplay is still very good.

I do however, enjoy it if a game has good graphics. That doesn't mean it has realistic, 3d graphics either. I thought Bastion was a beautiful game, and it wasn't on the high end of the graphical spectrum. The same goes with some of the 8-bit games that come out nowadays. I don't mind the 8-bit graphics, because they still look good and give the game a different feeling than other games. Another example I have is Okami. It might not be on the high end of graphics now, but that game is still one of the most beautiful and magnificent games that I have ever played.


Depends on the game as well as the aesthetic choices made. Simple graphics are fine, but it is nice to be kind of amazed now and then. I find it bad when games try to overreach themselves graphically and it conspicuously doesn't fit.

As an example, Mass Effect; they're going for something immersive, so they want it to look as good as possible. But then in the cut-scenes when they're all kissing and stuff it just looks a bit weird since they can't quite do "touching" properly yet. Not that it by any means ruined the game, it just seemed noticeably weird-looking compared to how great the rest of it looked.
Well, I was looking at the current games, and I didn't care for most of them. They had great looks, but the content was atrocious. Let's look at an example. MW3 for the X-BOX 360. This was a terrible game due to it's entire content. The game was atrocious, but more people bought it than I have killed in this world, and that is saying alot. By doing some more research, I have came up with a theory. People like MW3, because people force themselves to. The game is sub-par, but everyone says that it was the game of 2011. Let's look at another example. That example is Skyrim. Let's see, the graphics are grea- No. Goo- No. Decent? We have a winner. The game's textures are quite atrocious. Just get up close to them. You can see the pixels, but is Skyrim a bad game? Nope. The game is the real game of 2011, and it was immersive. Bethesda made the storyline intriguing, but it did have flaws. Flaws that mods fixed. Mods are another great resource for gaming to use. They allow new content, so the game never gets old. In short, ugly games are still good!
Gameplay wins out for me usually. That is why the wii is my favorite console of the near previous gen. I know there's a shitload of terrible licensed titles and really crappy shovelware games... but it also caters a lot towards my childhood - as I'm sure it does for a lot of others, and I've found as I get older I enjoy its games more than the PS3's titles despite that its visuals are currently the most inferior.

I actually recall when the Wii had just been released, like merely two days after, and I was at Gamestop. I heard the employees talking shit about it and how 'disappointed' they were just because of the graphics. I found that rather off-putting and shallow, especially considering that imo, the wii really isn't that bad visually.
Graphics, in my opinion, are fine. I'm happy they're being improved bit by bit, but even now the standard is pretty good.

The only time I think graphics matter, is when a console has the ability to have nice graphics, but just doesn't. The 3DS is a good example, games like REvelations, and Snake Eater look great, much like current gen, but then you have Crush 3D and Tom Clancey, which look sub Dreamcast level, which isn't that great. Skyrim is an example of this too, it looks terrible, Fallout looked much better in my opinion.

But to be honest, if a game doesn't try to have amazing graphics, it's fine, all graphics do is try to be realistic, but until you have unlimited detail and such, you'll never get that far. Art style can make graphics look nicer, and can make games look much nicer too, Skyward Sword looks very nice on the Wii, and the art style and the colour also show this. God of War 2 also looks great, I only played it once, and it looks very current gen, all because of it's art style.

I care little for graphics, I'd rather a company focus on the AI, Story and Gameplay than anything else.
To me, graphics are the last thing I look at in a game. I only care for the gameplay and story of any game I play. If the gameplay is good, but the story is bad, I can forgive it, since I'm having fun. Meanwhile, if the story is good, but the gameplay is bad, I can sill forgive it as well, as I want to see what happens next. And example of good story, bad gameplay would be Killer 7.

Anyway, I rather dislike people who claim graphics are the only thing games have going for them. That's not how I view games. Sure, graphics can look good, but I don't need that in my games. Example, any Disgaea game. They're my favorite rpg games, and their graphics aren't very good. But, I don't care. I play for the gameplay and the humorous story.
I think it's important to make the distinction between realism and aesthetics in terms of a game's graphics. Specifically, it is not necessary for a game to be visually realistic in order to look good. To illustrate, here are just three examples of very stylised but still beautiful games that have been released in the past 17 years.

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I agree with the whole "if the game kicks ass, graphics aren't very important". Graphics shouldn't be a staple of quality.
On the other hand, if people can only be happy with ultra-realistic graphics, then we shouldn't try and put them down - They just have a different opinion.
Here's what I sat on this topic. Good graphics =/= high-res graphics. Graphics don't really matter to me, but if a game just looks bad, which is rare, even if it has 1080p and a bunch of other fancy things, it could just look bad. But I still think that the old Mario games and NES/SNES/retro games have good graphics, despite 8/16-bit.
When videogames become so graphically amazing, HD, and so sharp it hurts your eyes I will pretty quite buying games like that. I still want a great storyline, characters, and a amazing feel to the game, I want it to amaze me, not graphic wise, but with drama, action, puzzles, whatever the game has to offer.

You have to go back to the Gamecube. Lets pick Super Mario Sunshine. Yes, the game was tacky, underrated, pretty weird to play and the graphics were somewhat in places blocky, pixelised, and ugly. It didnt have the greatest graphics. But the level designs, the music, the characters, you can feel the thought and effort that was put into it. Whenever I beat a Boss Battle, I feel the desperation of Mario, trying to get soo close to Peach. It also their neverending love that also touches my heart.
A more recent game, lets pick Dead Island. Yup, the graphics are pretty great, nice, the textures are decent, in places the graphics are quite horrible, ugly and it glitches alot. But the game maintains fear, scares, desperation, depression, emotions and the graphics. When you walk down streets in Dead Island, you almost feel a stab of fear like you were there yourself. Patches of zombies shambling around, then you turn around and boom, theres a zombie slapping you silly. Videogames need to have emotions in them, just like when someone dies in Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Gears of War, you go: 'NOO!'. But one of your teammates dies in a ultra-realistic game like Battlefield? Pff, no biggie.

I think it heavily depends on the hardware. It's pathetic to see console owners bickering over graphics when PC is ALWAYS going to be superior.

Surprisingly the Wii has terrible graphics but in return we've been given some incredibly creative games that work around "realistic graphics" with artistic or creative.

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Unfortunately the Wii doesn't show these games for how they should be and it is insulting to the artists.

I've heard the phrase "Graphics don't make a good game". This applies to every game. A game like Crysis has incredible graphics and solid controls/gameplay but it's not exactly entertaining and the writing is average at best. But the same can be said for a game like El Shaddai. The graphics aren't super realistic physics but are gorgeous to look at, but again the story is wank. Anyone who's play Deadly Premonition and completed it knows that it's lacking in the graphics department but the story is incredible!

(07-02-2012 12:26 AM)Lethal Wrote: [ -> ]...You have to go back to the Gamecube. Lets pick Super Mario Sunshine. Yes, the game was tacky, underrated, pretty weird to play and the graphics were somewhat in places blocky, pixelised, and ugly...

This comes back to my point I made earlier the consoles don't the games justice. But check out how amazing the games look in 1080p on Dolphin Emulator

(07-02-2012 12:26 AM)Lethal Wrote: [ -> ]...But one of your teammates dies in a ultra-realistic game like Battlefield? Pff, no biggie...

It's easy to ignore FPS genre for having mindless team mates but the "ultra-realistic" point is hard to agree with. Ever played Heavy Rain?

Graphics do matter but they don't necessarily make the game good, whether it's ultra realistic like Battfield 3 and Crysis or artistic like El Shaddai. It's only a part of the overall package, there are too many contributing factors to also consider about a game.
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