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Games that sit at the peak of each generation graphically.

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Was thinking about this recently:  I don’t have any examples off hand so mainly hoping to hear the forums thoughts on the matter. 

 

Im guessing that the most graphically impressive games will come very late in any generation, and almost certainly as they’re dovetailing into the subsequent generation. 

 

I was specifically interested in games from Atari, Sega and Nintendo but all generations are welcome. 

 

PS. I’ll rename the thread something snappier if it takes off. 

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I know what you mean; those twilight releases where studios have really got to grips with the console and know how to get the most out of it. I think notable technical achievements should be noted too where it's warranted as that's part of it, even if it's sometimes harder to define.

 

The Last Of Us, GTA San Andreas, Twilight Princess, Snake Eater, GT6, Conker's BFD and SOTC come to mind. Nintendo might end up falling comparatively short here as they tend to know their hardware inside out from day one. 

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I'd recommend Donkey Kong Country on the SNES.

 

It was so different to anything that had come before it, and was running on a stock SNES too (so none of the cheating nintendo enhancement chips)

 

How about Grand Theft Auto V / Red Dead Redemption on the xbox 360?

 

Still amazing that they run and look great on that console.

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Wouldn't always say twlight releases always have the best graphics as the best teams tend to be the first to move away from a platform.

 

Saturn

3D: Panzer Dragoon Saga/Azel / Athlete Kings

2D:  NANATSU KAZE NO SHIMA MONOGATARI

 

SNES:

2D: Star Ocean / Far East of Eden Zero / Seiken Densetsu 3

Mode 7: Super Strike Eagle

Super FX: DOOM / Star Fox 2

 

Mega Drive:

2D: Comic Zone, Ristar, Sonic & Knuckles, Alien Soldier

Intro: Sonic 3D (For that intro alone)

Cool Effects: REd Zone

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Riven said:

SNES:

Super FX: DOOM / Star Fox 2

 

 

The SNES and NES games that use enhancement chips, like Super FX 2, should not be included - of course they have great graphics, because they have a chip on the cart thats more powerful than the processor in the console!

 

/rant 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Colonel Panic said:

The system was designed to allow extra onboard chips

 

 

still a hardware add-on, like a mega cd or 32x

 

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4 hours ago, Camel said:

How about:

Red Zone - Mega Drive

Mayhem in Monsterland - C64

Solaris - Atari 2600

 

I came in here to mention Mayhem. Dat parallax... :wub: 

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2 hours ago, ulala said:

 

The SNES and NES games that use enhancement chips, like Super FX 2, should not be included - of course they have great graphics, because they have a chip on the cart thats more powerful than the processor in the console!

 

/rant 

 

 

 

Most of the super fx stuff was horrible at the time, it’s just we didn’t know no better. Single digit frame rates, low, low poly models and minuscule play windows. SNES Doom whilst technically fantastic, was a fucking horrible bastardisation of Doom. 

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1 minute ago, mash said:

Most of the super fx stuff was horrible at the time, it’s just we didn’t know no better. Single digit frame rates, low, low poly models and minuscule play windows. SNES Doom whilst technically fantastic, was a fucking horrible bastardisation of Doom. 

 

Not so sure about that. at the time i played starfox, there was nothing like it on any other home system.

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20 minutes ago, Camel said:

So you could say .. you didn't know any better?

 

So what you are saying is, compared to games on the Xbox One X or a high end PC in 2019, Star Fox on the snes was a pile of crap?

 

 

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Sorry to be so vague here, there was a game that released with with either the original xbox, 360 or maybe the PS2 that was graphically amazing.  It was a driving type game and I remember crashing through the streets with debris flying everywhere. I want to say crazy taxi but i think that was only Sega, but it was similar. Even though it was one of the first games out, nothing came close to looking as good for a long time.

 

What was that game?

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54 minutes ago, Cool Ben said:

Sorry to be so vague here, there was a game that released with with either the original xbox, 360 or maybe the PS2 that was graphically amazing.  It was a driving type game and I remember crashing through the streets with debris flying everywhere. I want to say crazy taxi but i think that was only Sega, but it was similar. Even though it was one of the first games out, nothing came close to looking as good for a long time.

 

What was that game?


You’re probably talking about Wreckless on the original Xbox. Part of the super runabout series of games. At the time it looked great but now it’s a super blurry mess.

 

 

767554EE-F224-46A2-9841-B04FEABAE451.jpeg

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Yoshi's Island > Donkey Kong Country. Pre-rendered graphics weren't exactly an entirely new thing when DKC was released, it just did them well, and in a style more suitable to 16-bit platform games. Having deliberately stylised graphics, with super-weird graphical effects that hasn't been seen before in a platform game, or any game, that was the real deal.

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1 hour ago, Cool Ben said:

Sorry to be so vague here, there was a game that released with with either the original xbox, 360 or maybe the PS2 that was graphically amazing.  It was a driving type game and I remember crashing through the streets with debris flying everywhere. I want to say crazy taxi but i think that was only Sega, but it was similar. Even though it was one of the first games out, nothing came close to looking as good for a long time.

 

What was that game?

 

Flatout: Ultimate Carnage? 

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3 hours ago, ulala said:

 

So what you are saying is, compared to games on the Xbox One X or a high end PC in 2019, Star Fox on the snes was a pile of crap?

 

 

 

:blink2:

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1 hour ago, Cool Ben said:

Sorry to be so vague here, there was a game that released with with either the original xbox, 360 or maybe the PS2 that was graphically amazing.  It was a driving type game and I remember crashing through the streets with debris flying everywhere. I want to say crazy taxi but i think that was only Sega, but it was similar. Even though it was one of the first games out, nothing came close to looking as good for a long time.

 

What was that game?

Flatout 2 maybe. That became Flatout Ultimate Carnage on 360, but yeah Flatout 2 is still really playable and fun, especially the mini games.

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Not massively retro, but Halo 4 on the 360 is actually astonishing (skip to 2:55)

 

 

They're doing that in just 512MB of RAM 0_o

 

Ditto Ikaruga, as pretty much every game released on DC was at the end of it's lifespan :D

 

:(

 

...and the entire game was something like 90MB in size! 

 

 

 

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Are we focusing on how impressive they look in still screenshots, and ignoring any framerate performance issues? Because Perfect Dark is one of the most technically impressive N64 games, and one of the console's most successful examples of realistic character and environment design - but given the infamous framerate drops, in that sense it's less graphically impressive than the much simpler-looking F-Zero X.

 

Also, technical achievements and aesthetic appeal don't necessarily go hand in hand: sometimes an amazing feat of graphics programming was done in service of a graphical style that hasn't stood up. As a rule of thumb, graphical styles that play to the strengths of the console tend to age better than those that work around limitations to create what were (at the time) pseudo-"next-gen" effects. For example, I think Jon Burton's GameHut videos on the technical achievements of Toy Story, Sonic 3D and Sonic R are fascinating, and renewed my appreciation for Traveller's Tales' games - but I wouldn't call them my favourite games to look at on those consoles. I think Mickey Mania's cartoony pixels look better than Toy Story's attempts to recreate subtly-shaded movie CGI.

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1 hour ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Yoshi's Island > Donkey Kong Country. Pre-rendered graphics weren't exactly an entirely new thing when DKC was released, it just did them well, and in a style more suitable to 16-bit platform games. Having deliberately stylised graphics, with super-weird graphical effects that hasn't been seen before in a platform game, or any game, that was the real deal.


it has its own processor, so hardly pushing the SNES .

 

what other games had pre rendered graphics?

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14 hours ago, Protocol Penguin said:

Yoshi's Island

used the Super FX chip.


Megadrive: Alien Soldier

SNES: Treasure of the Rudras / Seiken Densetsu 3 / Bahamut Lagoon idk which

PS1: Vagrant Story?

PS2: Final Fantasy XII

PS3: Snake Eater

XB360: Halo 4

Dreamcast: Ikaruga was a tiny ROM size iirc at something like 19MB?!

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I guess in technical terms it's probably not completely pushing the PS2, but I've always thought Final Fantasy XII was a genuinely beautiful looking game.

 

 

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