I gotta co-sign on the Street Fighter Alpha 2 and the Darkstalkers 3 stages, those are all amazing visuals. Capcom definitely hit a mark during the mid/late nineties. The stages from Street Fighter III: New Generation are all works of art. My favourites:
Wait, what? I was always excited for the HD KoF's, I was just never much of a KoF player. KoF XIII reminded me of the the solid, responsive feeling and fun game play experience I get when I play 3rd Strike moreso than any modern fighter I'd played, so I had to goosh.
Anyone else love some good old low-res action? Here are a few NGPC ones that I liked, I really enjoyed the look of fighters on that system, the sprites did a really good job of capturing the style of their larger resolutions counterparts.
The only problem with this stage it's too clearly CG "rotoscoped" in pixelart, a la Donkey Kong Country. I was never a fan of this type of style, because it's too... how can I say it... "uncanny valled".
And only I see the errors in tiling in these SvC gifs (the big rotating whells in the other background are jarring...)?
helps that the city in the back is straight from Akira. Scanned from this frame in fact.
i instantly noticed when the game came out because i was remaking the exact same Akira frame pixel by pixel on Amiga 1200 for a 2D beat em up (never released, but i had 3 backgrounds i'd like to show you, shame they are on an amiga floppy which i doubt can still be read).
maybe not 'secret that blows your mind' material, but still interesting.
off topic, the same image was obviously an inspiration for Last Resort too