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Timeless Beauty


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Ok how have we gotten this far without any mention of the mue!

Shenmue 1+2, these are two of the few realisticly styled 3D games I can never see truely ageing.

These were the games the dreamcast was made to run, they squeezed the dreamcast for everything it had and in the early 2000's all of our jaws were dropping as we played it, but even now whenever I see these two games in action I can't help but be awe struck and think about how very gracefully these games are growing old. Infact in some ways they look even better now, when compared to the brown and grey games with no loveingly handcrafted details we have seem to have in abundance these days.

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Shenmue is all about the ridiculous amount of detail and the lush warm colours that draw you in like few other game can. When you look at the face of an elderly man each wrinkle seems to have been lovingly carved, the transition from day to night is masterful, and the cities are genuinly bustling with real unique cahracters who all go home at the end of the day.

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Ryo himself may be considered as a bit of a dull character but the visuals are anything but lacking in character and charm and this is what made exploring every nook and cranny of it's cities so immensly enjoyable, not the raw processing power of it all but rather the love and heart that everything in the has been carved out of. There's really nothing like it still to this day in my opinion.

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Surprisingly little mention of handheld games. Most of my old GB games remain visually pleasing today, perhaps due to the relative simplicity? The Pokemon games in particular continue to look great but I think they peaked with Gold and Silver, especially when played on a GBC. Same goes for the portable Zelda games, the almost top down perspective is utterly lovely.

After a recent replay, I'm really impressed by the first Ratchet & Clank. The Metropolis level in particular is astounding, matched up to a memorable score.

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Always loved the visuals for most of Nippon Ichi's titles from Disgaea onwards, yes they're all essentially the same visually but they're still pretty damned good looking.

I think anything thats sort of unique in appearance will always stand the test of time, I'd also put Phantasy Star Online on the list.

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I dunno - have you checked out the remake?

Compare and contrast, I think this is how they probably wanted it to look in their heads.


Nah, there is far more style and warmth and charm (and a timeless quality) in the original lower resolution Spectrum version than there is in the remake. It's exactly the same for the recent 3D Batman remake, too.

Another World has been mentioned a couple of times, but no Flashback?

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I can't believe I forgot Machinarium. Sends shivers down my spine every damn time.

Still my fave game ever that I can go back to at any time and it does not feel dated.

You've slightly missed the point of the thread I feel. Visually the game has dated quite badly. I think it's fair in the context of this thread to cite Super Mario Galaxy more readily, as that was a game where the developers weren't fighting with the technology and were actually able to focus on beauty and imbuing the game with a (quite Disneyesque) sense of 'wonder'.

You're all wrong. Especially those two first posts! Timeless? Erk they have that horrible late 90s/early 2000 prerendered hideousness going on.

Settlers II isn't prerendered.


I forgot to mention the ArtStyle games in my previous post. Cubello for instance betrays no signs of when it was made and has a stark beauty to it.

And if we're going to have HOMM2, then holy crap, definitely King's Bounty (the remake). Glorious. There's stuff later on in that game (like the crazy vehicles) that live up to the term 'eye candy'.


Punch-Out!!, though? Really? There is a rather massive difference between something being beautiful and something being even quite shit looking for the time but hyper-simplistic enough to look iconic if you blow it up large enough. Look at the portraits on the arcade version. It's a game that's wilfully ugly for OTT comedic effect, like those Japanese boys comics about muscles and punching. Not beautiful.


Oh, and as Wiper asked, why Quake (1) is beautiful:

There's the technical aspect: everything is solid geometry, nothing is faked with flat sprites, there are no parts of the world clipping through each other or with misaligned textures. There's the way that the developers have avoided cliches to make the world believable while still being abstract enough to work with the technology. There's the use of colour, lighting and material (this was still a time when 3D game worlds were full of red bricks, blue water, grey stones and grey metal). I have a coffee table book with some screenshots of Quake that still look great (alongside contemporaries like Dark Forces and Turok which look awful).

The game looks best in software rendering or the 'VQuake' version (which requires a DOS PC and a Rendition video card). GLQuake always smooshed the textures too much for my liking.


And for Squirtle:







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A few that I don't think have been mentioned.

Samba de Amigo (DC, 2000)


Vib Ribbon (PSX, 1999)


Broken Sword (PC, 1996)


The Dig (PC, 1995)



Although the tone was very different from the other LucasArts point and click games of the time I really had a soft spot for this.

The Story of Thor (MD, 1995)


Maybe a contentious one but I still think the visuals hold up really well, much better than most Megadrive games.

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What about the Donkey Kong games on the SNES. They still look great today if you ask me;

Really? I think that pre-rendered 3D sprites look hideous. Given, the ones used in those games are probably the best of the bunch, but I think they've aged terribly.

Given the number of Squaresoft fans on the forum, I'm surprised we didn't get this sooner:




The only problem with it is that all of the backgrounds were paintings - which meant the game looked gorgeous of course - but you can't get larger screenshots as it was quite low-res.

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