• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Is there no love for 32-bit era sprites?

Boss Doggie

all my loli wolf companions are so moe
Jul 1, 2008
72,865
5
0
Philippines
You know, the PS1/N64/Saturn era of console video games. While there are a bunch of indie games and even non-indie games that utilize 8-bit and 16-bit style sprites for the retro feel, somehow people don't like to do 32-bit era of sprites.

I honestly love the sprites from that era because it is a step up from 16-bit - they're cleaner and smoother. However, unlike typical "sticker" sprites used by some modern games and lots of indie games, they don't "stick out" from the environment as though they are stickers.




 

Keslord

Banned
Feb 15, 2013
632
0
0
That last screenshot isn't something you should use to try and say 32 bit sprites are good

That being said, lots of PSX games had amazing sprites
 

Wyndstryker

Member
May 24, 2006
10,826
0
0
Burning Ranger
Castlevania: SOTN had great spritework.

Suikoden was good but didn't like the style personally. Just not my taste.

Can't remember what other games I liked that had awesome spritework back then.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,666
1
705
I think it's just that we didn't see it too often, combination of publisher mentalities, SCEA bullshit, and the Saturn (THE 2D beast of the time) tanking outside of Japan really didn't help. But yeah, quite a few of the games were a definite step up from what the 16-bit generation saw, you can really see that in the fighters.
 

Boss Doggie

all my loli wolf companions are so moe
Jul 1, 2008
72,865
5
0
Philippines
That last screenshot isn't something you should use to try and say 32 bit sprites are good

That being said, lots of PSX games had amazing sprites

The last screenshot is the only good image I can find though. I played Hermie Hopperhead and although it's no Mario it's a nice 2D platformer for the PSX... and a beautiful one at that.

I think it's just that we didn't see it too often, combination of publisher mentalities, SCEA bullshit, and the Saturn (THE 2D beast of the time) tanking outside of Japan really didn't help. But yeah, quite a few of the games were a definite step up from what the 16-bit generation saw, you can really see that in the fighters.

Ah yeah, forgot about fighting games. Yeah, the spriteworks in them are awesome, although you need good RAM to make them arcade-like.
 

googleplex

Member
Jun 7, 2010
9,069
1
0
That last screenshot isn't something you should use to try and say 32 bit sprites are good

That being said, lots of PSX games had amazing sprites

PSX had horrible sprites. Not enough VRam. Saturn's sprits shitted all over the PlayStation 1.
 

Tizoc

Member
Jun 23, 2010
81,144
20
960
34
Oman
Apparently the sprites for Megaman 8 are actually 16 bit since they were re-used in Megaman & Bass.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,666
1
705
Apparently the sprites for Megaman 8 are actually 16 bit since they were re-used in Megaman & Bass.
I'm sure if someone seriously analyzed they'd see serious differences, IE less frames or colors. For the most part console games ran at the same resolution from the 16-bit and 32-bit days, so it was more about being able to do more at a certain resolution than being sharper.
 

Orayn

Member
Jul 4, 2010
34,288
4
920
Minnesota
The pre-rendered sprites used by games like Wild Arms and Golden Sun make me cringe. I don't know what it is, but I find them really, really unappealing.

Legend of Mana's are jaw-dropping, though.
 

GorillaJu

Member
Apr 23, 2010
26,258
0
0
Always loved FFT's sprites. I didn have a PSx till later in its life (got it around the time of Square's onslaught of Bushido Blade 2, Musashi, PE and Xenogears), and I was desperate for something that looked and felt like that on N64. Ogre Battle 64 just didn't satisfy. :(
 

Guess Who

Banned
Oct 21, 2012
10,408
1
0
You know, the PS1/N64/Saturn era of console video games. While there are a bunch of indie games and even non-indie games that utilize 8-bit and 16-bit style sprites for the retro feel, somehow people don't like to do 32-bit era of sprites.

A lot of games these days use 8-bit "retro" graphics because it's cheap and easy to do. More advanced sprites like Guilty Gear require a good bit of time and talent.
 

Rodney McKay

Member
Jun 13, 2009
10,180
0
0
A lot of that just looks like blurry, low res versions of higher quality artwork.

I'm sure they look great on a CRT having the pixels blur together more, like a blurred version of this would look as good as a blurred version of a higher quality bit of art.
But looking at them in their pure square pixeled form, they just look kind iffy to me.
 

Enk

makes good threads.
Mar 21, 2007
3,698
0
1,130
Memphis (aka Hell)
As someone who has spent the three years of my life working solo on a pseudo 16bit game, making pixel art can be really time consuming. Once you get the main sprite art done you then have to worry about getting the animations right, and even then in the end you may end up scrapping that character or stage all together. I can't imagine how long it would take me to make a game like Mega Man X 4, Astal, or Castlevania :SoN.
 

Boss Doggie

all my loli wolf companions are so moe
Jul 1, 2008
72,865
5
0
Philippines
Apparently the sprites for Megaman 8 are actually 16 bit since they were re-used in Megaman & Bass.

Wait, they were? They looked too clean to be 16-bit.

Then again MM and Bass was sorta "zoomed in" like MM7.

Lots of love. I approve. SotN was beautiful as well, I'll never forget that cape animation.

I love me some Legend of Mana even if people didn't like it.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
Dec 5, 2005
51,641
6
0
I love Castlevania Symphony of the Night.. And it's secret sister game: Gradius Gaiden.
 

Giever

Member
Dec 20, 2012
2,101
1
0
A lot of that just looks like blurry, low res versions of higher quality artwork.

I'm sure they look great on a CRT having the pixels blur together more, like a blurred version of this would look as good as a blurred version of a higher quality bit of art.
But looking at them in their pure square pixeled form, they just look kind iffy to me.

Does adding this CRT shader help any?

 

Boss Doggie

all my loli wolf companions are so moe
Jul 1, 2008
72,865
5
0
Philippines
A lot of that just looks like blurry, low res versions of higher quality artwork.

I'm sure they look great on a CRT having the pixels blur together more, like a blurred version of this would look as good as a blurred version of a higher quality bit of art.
But looking at them in their pure square pixeled form, they just look kind iffy to me.

They're pretty well done back when they were released.
 

xJavonta

Banned
May 25, 2012
5,917
0
0
That last screenshot isn't something you should use to try and say 32 bit sprites are good

That being said, lots of PSX games had amazing sprites

This lol

so ugly

But I have seen more 16-bit sprites that look good than 32-bit good looking sprites.
 

DonMigs85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
27,143
1,013
1,255
36
Philippines
They looked better mainly as a result of moving up to 320x240 and having a larger palette. Also more memory for more frames of animation, especially in the Saturn's case.
Shame we never saw much spritework done on the N64, other than Yoshi's Story

 
Sep 13, 2007
11,022
0
0

Cuburt

Member
Nov 14, 2012
6,298
1
0
32-Bit sprites never really got their moment in the sun where all the AAA games used them due to 3D games really taking off during that time.

The DS was a reminder to me of an era that almost happened but even then I don't think a lot of DS games took the sprite work as far as it could go.

Too bad there isn't a big market for that level of quality art/sprites/animation. I wouldn't mind an industry where Wayforward was king and artists like Paul Robertson were given free reign over some of the biggest productions.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
36,666
1
705
This lol

so ugly

But I have seen more 16-bit sprites that look good than 32-bit good looking sprites.
Given nearly every 16-bit game was 2D and sprite based whereas most 32-bit games were 3D it's not really surprising that'd be the case. But 32-bit HAS reached higher highs then 16-bit could pull off, whether it's in animation or detail.
 

Night_Trekker

Member
Jan 27, 2005
17,174
2
1,465
38
South Carolina
You know, the PS1/N64/Saturn era of console video games. While there are a bunch of indie games and even non-indie games that utilize 8-bit and 16-bit style sprites for the retro feel, somehow people don't like to do 32-bit era of sprites.

I honestly love the sprites from that era because it is a step up from 16-bit - they're cleaner and smoother. However, unlike typical "sticker" sprites used by some modern games and lots of indie games, they don't "stick out" from the environment as though they are stickers.

I know exactly what you mean. I don't tend to like the look of modern sprites, though I think that has more to do with their sprites clashing with backgrounds than with their higher resolutions. Almost everything tends to look like a damned Flash game from Newgrounds if you're not careful.

I think 32-bit era sprites don't get quite as much love because in that era everyone was obsessed with the move to 3D, not so much with sprites anymore. Later games especially tended to focus on 3D stuff over sprite art. Plus, there's something very attractive about how comparatively simplistic 16-bit sprites are while also being pleasing to the eye. I think 8-bit sprites are loved for their attractive simplicity of design. 16-bit sprites are not too far removed from that look, while 32-bit sprites tend to be a little more complicated and are an obvious step towards the visually complex sprites we have today. (Which I, personally, don't even think of as "sprites" anymore, usually.)

Also, there's one minor thing that always sort of bothered me with 32-bit sprites: there tended to be a lot of sprite scaling using in 32-bit games that used them, and that scaling always looked like shit. That did the sprites themselves no favors, and it looked remarkably primitive and unattractive. Compare that to 16-bit sprite scaling (like was used in a lot of SNES games), which didn't look quite as weird IMO. It looked primitive, but endearingly so.
 

DonMigs85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
27,143
1,013
1,255
36
Philippines
There was Mischief Makers. The blurry anti aliasing on the N64 didn't make for the cleanest looking sprites though.

I guess Paper Mario also partially counted, as well as Pokemon Puzzle League, Ogre Battle 64 and KI Gold?
Seems Nintendo NEVER allowed anti-aliasing or bilinear filtering to be turned off, though.
 

RM8

Member
Mar 11, 2012
21,312
1
0
Love them. Even as someone who doesn't mind going back to very primitive 3D games, it's undeniable that 2D ages MUCH better if at all. Sprites are truly timeless.
 

DonMigs85

Member
Sep 3, 2009
27,143
1,013
1,255
36
Philippines
Love them. Even as someone who doesn't mind going back to very primitive 3D games, it's undeniable that 2D ages MUCH better if at all. Sprites are truly timeless.
Yeah they really only look bad when scaled up to HD displays, but Super2xSaI will take care of that :p
 

luka

Loves Robotech S1
Jan 15, 2009
9,990
2
0
I kind of feel that KOF13 is the only game in recent memory that has come close to the elegance and cohesiveness of the best 32 bit 2D games. It's also a perfect example of why no one really does it anymore. Making well animated, good looking pixel art that blends well with a scene the way older games did at modern resolutions just isn't worth it. Which is disappointing because I feel like it's only worth doing if you do it that way.

Super2xSaI will take care of that :p
 

SAB CA

Sketchbook Picasso
May 18, 2009
10,875
2
810
www.sabworks.com
People seem to always forget that the people making those 32 bit and arcade sprites back in th day... got to cut their teeth on YEARS of making NES, SNES, Genesis, and Arcade games beforehand.

It's no surprise that the pixelartist of today wanna get their chance to start learning from a point where they actually have a CHANCE to make a few hundred pictures for all the characters and animations in the game. Many are doing these things alone, or in very small groups.

Even the professional artist of the time started to "cheat" with those glorious spritework games. The backgroundswould start to become pre-rendered rather than hand drawn, polygonal enemies were added in, special effects became pre-rendered particles rather than hand-drawn, hand-animated ones...

Personally, I rarely care which sprite style people use, when they also shove the best quality animaton they can into the style. The Secret of Grindea stuff looks fantastic, even if it's color palette isn't much more than an SNES game at points:



Phantom Breaker Battlegrounds just came out recently, and straddles a line right between the 8-bit they claim to have, and the more 32-bit era attacks and animations:


Even Super Time Force, with it's actually-retro looking sprites, manages to look much more detailed and defined than the era it's graphics claim to be from. They also use Ragdoll animation of the sprites upon death, to really give you those dramatic kills for your ain characters:



Special mention to Sully: A VERY SERIOUS RPG, coming to Computers and Vita this summer; I'm glat to see an RPG that attempts these kinds of graphics for battles:


I think it's great how much these smaller companies do with obviously limited resources and budgets. These games don't get the kind of attention they used to, and we're not in a race to impress anyone with the largest sprites (lacking animation) like we were back then.