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Opinion Art in gaming you personally like

VysePSU

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Perhaps in the same way we look at the latest "photorealistic" graphics and appreciate how the resolution increase from SD to HD to UHD or 4K has granted us the chance to see more detail on the screen and make us believe the game worlds are more immersive, we also look at the next generation of cartoony, stylized graphics, with the key difference being the latter is immersive because it looks like we're playing through a painting or cartoon. And for just that reason alone I believe that games can be art and we can appreciate the many different visual styles on display.

For example, the cel-shaded 3D graphics in Guilty Gear -Strive- are striking and beautiful. Arc System Works first introduced their new visual style for the series in Guilty Gear Xrd back in 2013 and have further refined it for the latest chapter of Guilty Gear set to release next year in early April for the PS4, PS5 and PC.





And I believe a great art style is something that stands the test of time, a game that looks good to you no matter the console generation. Where you look at the art and feel inspired to draw or go back and play older entries. There's something about the linework, shading and color grading that catches your eye and makes you go, "Whoa!".

Another long-running series that comes to mind with a great art style is Dragon Quest. When Dragon Quest VIII released on the PS2, it looked incredible and combined with the amazing orchestral music composed by Koichi Sugiyama and the series' unique, charming monster designs, it all made for a truly immersive role-playing experience. But you also have to understand that before Dragon Quest VIII released in 2005, the last Dragon Quest game I played was Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color (never played Dragon Quest VII on the PS1). It was mindblowing. However, Dragon Quest VIII was not Level-5's first attempt at cel-shaded visuals. They had also worked on Dark Cloud 2 (or Dark Chronicle) which released a couple years prior and I found it to be pretty enjoyable as well. But for the Dragon Quest series, I always thought Akira Toriyama's signature art style lended itself well to the series.



And really there are a lot of games that come to mind when talking about games with great art styles but I can't finish this post without also mentioning Valkyria Chronicles. Like goddamn, did this game look good on the PS3 or what? I don't know if Shuntaro Tanaka and SEGA will ever greenlight development on a Skies of Arcadia HD remaster or sequel (probably they never will) but if they do, I don't think we would have to worry about the graphics that's for sure. SEGA has some truly talented artists in their company.

 
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DonF

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Seconded guilty gear, that game looks insane. Cel shaded done right can be timeless, Guilty gear is super, actually looks drawn.

I love the art direction of Shinkawa, the guy is a genius, has a very distinct style.
Metal gear, Zone of the enders, Death stranding, even left alive. His artwork is on another level.
 

Keihart

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Capcom has such an endearing art style. It is unmistakenly japanese but there is an universal appeal in it. I like it so much that it goes beyond videogames for me, it is a huge influence in my work as an illustrator.



Udon stuff was pretty influential, i feel like almost every Capcom after him had something similar to his style. It really hit me hard too, whenever i watch some of Capcom's art of that era, i feel the urge to draw.

Edit: stole that first image, new desktop wallpaper! thanks.
 
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Kataploom

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My problem with this game art style is that white border around everything... Maybe it has a reason to be there, idk, I'm still yet to play it, maybe some time next year.

BTW, people can say whatever about BOTW, but regarding some low res textures (not all, not the most of them neither), the game looks absolutely outstanding, even technically since I can see so many little details and techniques mostly used on 8th gen than in 7th gen (like PBR, i.e.).

These pictures are not from myself:





Real time lighting in this game is amazing, really mixes realism with cartoon very very well, I was amazed to realize that these were not just some shadowmaps put depending on the time of the day:



Another example I can think of is this game "nobody remembers", all the details it had specially color wise makes me think that devs were already saying "good bye" to gritty shitty unsaturated mature" look:



Edit: Damn, 01011001 01011001 beat me... This is rly an underrated gem if you ask me.
 
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Belmonte

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Udon stuff was pretty influential, i feel like almost every Capcom after him had something similar to his style. It really hit me hard too, whenever i watch some of Capcom's art of that era, i feel the urge to draw.

Edit: stole that first image, new desktop wallpaper! thanks.

I posted Udon art but I'm talking about Capcom concept art in general. Love the boldness and consistency of the art style in Capcom games in general.

The artists at Udon are great but I'm not sure if they are responsible for the concept art.
 
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Keihart

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I posted Udon art but I'm talking about Capcom concept art in general. Love the boldness and consistency of the art style in Capcom games in general.

The artists at Udon are great but I'm not sure if they are responsible for the concept art.
Yeah, i may be thinking more of Bengus specifically. Like that whole fighting games golden age era.
 
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Omeggos

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While it wasn’t directly tied into the game’s graphics, the artwork for majoras mask is by far some of my favorite in gaming and easily my favorite in the zelda series. I love the almost comic-book aesthetic of blacks and almost water painted colors but with that zany twisted Japanese mythology with a hint of Tim Burton. MM3D went in a different direction with a more Pastel work which still looks really damn good but this right here is my favorite.
The original concept art for Pokemon was pretty great. And it translated into a game with lots of charm despite the primitive graphics of the gameboy.

I kinda prefer that Akira toriyama OG dragon ball look honestly. Especially when compared to the more generic anime look of today’s pokemon games
 
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laynelane

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Aug 21, 2019
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There's so many great mentions in here already. OP, the art style of Guilty Gear is amazing. I've been looking forward to every trailer for the new game and that's one of the main reasons. It's hard to narrow down my choices, but the games below come to mind:

God of War



Persona 5



Dark Souls 2



Bloodborne

 

Tschumi

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Morrowind, and the Tribunal expansion, are two games that can accurately be described as Art, Imo.

I was struck by a lot of scenes in PoE 2: Deadfire.
 

Hunnybun

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I really love the art style of Resident Evil 7. It's one of the most distinctive looking games of the generation imo. Halfway between an old 70s horror movie and photorealism, it's a look I don't think I've seen in any other game.

It's really a great looking game.
 
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VysePSU

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I kinda prefer that Akira toriyama OG dragon ball look honestly. Especially when compared to the more generic anime look of today’s pokemon games

Yeah, the earlier, chunkier character designs are more interesting. They look closer to the Game Boy sprites.

Maybe also because I grew up seeing them first so it's kind of nostalgic. I like this one too:

 
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I love Kaneko's designs for the SMT games, both the classic ones and the PS2 era "black lip" style.

IMO the peak is the official art for SMT Nocturne. You could hang this shit in a wall and I would look incredible.





I love his demon´s designs and the wide range of those. From cute to fearsome ones, and from truly crotesque (search for Mara) to even sexy ones.
 

Mabdia

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Chrono Cross is probably the prettiest game you could play on the PS1. It still looks amazing with its art direction. I know it doesn't get as much love as Chrono Trigger but I like them both and think it's a shame we never got a third entry.

Never played Legend of Mana though.

Don't know. I think that is for the best that we never got a 4th Chrono game in the franchise. We might get our dreams radically destroyed.

Old Square was absolutely way better than nowadays. And I really don't think that they have what is needed to do a game that comes close to be as good as CT and CC.
 
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Jan 11, 2019
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Perhaps in the same way we look at the latest "photorealistic" graphics and appreciate how the resolution increase from SD to HD to UHD or 4K has granted us the chance to see more detail on the screen and make us believe the game worlds are more immersive, we also look at the next generation of cartoony, stylized graphics, with the key difference being the latter is immersive because it looks like we're playing through a painting or cartoon. And for just that reason alone I believe that games can be art and we can appreciate the many different visual styles on display.

For example, the cel-shaded 3D graphics in Guilty Gear -Strive- are striking and beautiful. Arc System Works first introduced their new visual style for the series in Guilty Gear Xrd back in 2013 and have further refined it for the latest chapter of Guilty Gear set to release next year in early April for the PS4, PS5 and PC.





And I believe a great art style is something that stands the test of time, a game that looks good to you no matter the console generation. Where you look at the art and feel inspired to draw or go back and play older entries. There's something about the linework, shading and color grading that catches your eye and makes you go, "Whoa!".

Another long-running series that comes to mind with a great art style is Dragon Quest. When Dragon Quest VIII released on the PS2, it looked incredible and combined with the amazing orchestral music composed by Koichi Sugiyama and the series' unique, charming monster designs, it all made for a truly immersive role-playing experience. But you also have to understand that before Dragon Quest VIII released in 2005, the last Dragon Quest game I played was Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color (never played Dragon Quest VII on the PS1). It was mindblowing. However, Dragon Quest VIII was not Level-5's first attempt at cel-shaded visuals. They had also worked on Dark Cloud 2 (or Dark Chronicle) which released a couple years prior and I found it to be pretty enjoyable as well. But for the Dragon Quest series, I always thought Akira Toriyama's signature art style lended itself well to the series.



And really there are a lot of games that come to mind when talking about games with great art styles but I can't finish this post without also mentioning Valkyria Chronicles. Like goddamn, did this game look good on the PS3 or what? I don't know if Shuntaro Tanaka and SEGA will ever greenlight development on a Skies of Arcadia HD remaster or sequel (probably they never will) but if they do, I don't think we would have to worry about the graphics that's for sure. SEGA has some truly talented artists in their company.

Fantastic thread opener, OP (y)

For me, I'm starting to appreciate art direction and visual style a lot more after playing XIII on the PS2.

That game blew my mind these past few months for how good it looks despite it being a PS2 FPS game.

I personally love the greyish art style that PS3 Japanese games have incorporated like Bayonetta and Resident Evil 6.

God, I need to seriously start playing games again :( it's been almost two weeks since I touched a game.

Thanks VysePSU VysePSU for motivating me to get back on the gaming grind :messenger_bicep:
 

teezzy

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My top 3 of this gen are all real show stoppers imho.

Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur 6 are both gorgeous, and their character and stage design are top tier. I actually have the Tekken 6 art book (looks similar to T7) and I'd be lying if I claimed the pages weren't starting to stick together.









I'm also gonna give much needed praise to Monster Hunter World. Top tier design wise and soooo pretty in motion. I love the usage of colors. Everywhere you go feels so distinct and the ecosystems, both wildlife and foliage, of each environment all feel so genuine as if they actually belong there. It's glorious, really. Nothing more fun than gathering gear and making your dude/chick look as trill as humanly possible either.




 

Trilobit

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The Silent Age

It nails both a luscious 70s aestethic with time jumped future vistas of a desolate world laid in ruins. I love its use of colours and light.

From beginning to end it oozes atmosphere and every new screen draws you in. Playing it on my large phone and seeing it like in the upper image, with black bars, gave me very filmic experience.

Machinarium

I love the art of this game. It feels like a lived in world, but at the same time it's quite dystopic with its rusty metals and dirty walls. This game too has an atmosphere you can cut with a knife and I was immediately absorbed into it.
 
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Jan 29, 2019
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the designs of Remember Me are fantastic.

it's futuristic Paris is both beautiful and ugly... and its ugliness is ugly in a beautiful way, if that makes sense

a bit of concept art:
I thought that was from the Killzone Shadow Fall city level (I'm on my phone).

I really like Kena, it's probably the best looking game that's coming out soon:


I really love the art of God of war 3:


Dreamcast soul Calibur :


Guilty gear games


Magician Lord


Golden Axe Revenge of Death Adder


Altered Beast


Phantasy Star
 

VysePSU

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Fantastic thread opener, OP (y)

For me, I'm starting to appreciate art direction and visual style a lot more after playing XIII on the PS2.

That game blew my mind these past few months for how good it looks despite it being a PS2 FPS game.

I personally love the greyish art style that PS3 Japanese games have incorporated like Bayonetta and Resident Evil 6.

God, I need to seriously start playing games again :( it's been almost two weeks since I touched a game.

Thanks VysePSU VysePSU for motivating me to get back on the gaming grind :messenger_bicep:
Thanks, MHK. I am also looking forward to reading another game review from you. I liked the one you wrote for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.
 
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Final Fantasy VI (GBA)
Super Metroid
Octopath Traveller
Chrono Trigger (GBA)
Zelda: BOTW/OOT/MM
Super Mario Bros. 3
Dragon Quest 8
 

#Phonepunk#

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recently played through the original Monkey Island. original EGA is the first way i experienced the game, it is how the creators originally made the game, and imo it is still the best looking rendition. i love the use of the limited color palette and dithering. the dithering was a big part of these backgrounds, which was a technique they first tried out on Loom. mostly the work of artists Steve Purcell and Mark Ferrari.













 
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JeloSWE

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The fist games to make my jaw drop to the floor was FF7, Soul Blade and especially Soul Calibur. I really like the looks of the FF series in general. And Demon's Souls remake is stunningly beautiful. On the other hand, I really don't like the look of most From Software games, way to rough textures and grey/poop colored in general. At lest Blood Born has beautifully designed maps, buildings and ornaments if nothing else.

 
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BusierDonkey

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For all it's failings, Fallout 4's art style is among my favorite things in gaming. The design of the vehicles, weapons, power armor and the architecture in their version of Boston was fantastic. The seamless mix of 1950's design with a retro-futuristic flair that all works well together. It was like snapshot out of time, but from the future, after it all blew up.