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J T
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Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by J T Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:45 pm

I've noticed that a lot of modern attempts at 2D platformers have really detailed 2.5D graphics and though they look really cool in screen shots, when you play them, they actually don't feel right. Sometimes this is because the animations have so many frames in them, that they don't work with the speed of the action. Other times it seems like there is so much detail on the screen that the game becomes overwhelming. Simple graphics are often easier to track visually and since you need to move so fast and so precisely in a platformer, this is often preferable. Some of the best platformers, old and new have simple stylized graphics that make the game visually appealing without convoluting the screen with so much information that it breaks the flow and simplicity of the gameplay. When I was a kid I always thought more detailed graphics would make games better, but now that this has become a reality, I'm finding myself preferring a simple aesthetic. What are your thoughts?
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by o.pwuaioc Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:03 pm

Definitely simpler graphics. I don't find myself opposed to nice looking games per se, and I'm not sure I've had the problem you had, but there is a feel concerning simple 2D platformers that make the whole thing flow together better. In other words, SMW > Yoshi's Island. Honestly, though, I'd imagine it's due to focus on graphics and not on that certain je ne sais quoi that makes platformers tick.
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by Xeogred Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:13 pm

"Too busy" is the phrase perhaps.

I don't know what to say other than the obvious, sprites > pseudo 2D/3D or 2.5D styles. There's not a single 2.5D sidescroller out there, whether it be a new game or a remake of an old one, that I'd say looks better aesthetically and all than regular 2D sidescrollers to me. Games like Shadow Complex probably would've looked even more epic to me if they were sprite drawn.

Having just replayed the original Metroid, I have to say I just can't get enough of how most of the game has a flat black background. That's it, just one color, and it gives the game so much atmosphere and such a strange vibe, it's amazing.
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by Incognito D Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:28 pm

Here's a good example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4y9-_yxsa8

Sure, it looks lovely, but when put into motion there is far too much going on.

It's hard for my eye to actually pick out Sonic in amongst it all - which is obviously a massive problem as that's who you're supposed to be controlling.

Visual clutter: The Game :lol:
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J T
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by J T Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:37 pm

Incognito D wrote:Here's a good example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4y9-_yxsa8


Great example! That's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. There's just too much going on and it looks like the extra frames of animation throw off the jumps and turns too. It looks beautiful, but it's not something I really want to play.
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by AppleQueso Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:40 pm

J T wrote:
Incognito D wrote:Here's a good example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4y9-_yxsa8


Great example! That's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. There's just too much going on and it looks like the extra frames of animation throw off the jumps and turns too. It looks beautiful, but it's not something I really want to play.


From people I know who've played it: the physics are just fine. It's the animation and screen size I think that makes it look kinda weird.
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by RyaNtheSlayA Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Rayman Origins looks pretty spiffy but in some cases I agree it can hurt the experience a little.
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by Erik_Twice Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:49 pm

The biggest problem 2.5D platformers have is that the 0.5D distracts the view from the character and level layout. The depth of the shot makes me look there and that's bad.

And it's on puporse, you can make the game 3D and not put such a deep background.

Note that the reason DKC gets away with a deep background it because it has another one right next to the path you are following.

Now, the prize for most useless visual clutter it's this game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6JR4DCmXFQ


Detail is great, but not at the cost of clarity.
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Xeogred
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by Xeogred Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:05 pm

Damn those explosions were annoying, lol.
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Re: Do detailed graphics help or hurt platformers?

by CRTGAMER Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:54 pm

I don't mind 2.5 if done right. Wario World on the Gamecube for example.
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