Graphics vs. Aesthetics and Nintendo’s Ace in the Hole
"Aesthetic focused art styles may be more work than focusing purely on graphics, but they provide a way for developers to stand with AAA developers who focus on pure graphics power."
Video games are obviously visually focused and companies spend millions of dollars making the best looking games possible. It’s why engines like Unreal and Crytek are sought after by developers with the budget to have them in their titles.
But there is another side of making a game that looks good and that’s getting the aesthetics right and is something that Indie developers and Nintendo continue to do.
I am reaching back with this one. Following the success of Zelda on the NES, Nintendo experimented with other games in the action adventure vein and as a result we got Startropics. When it comes to sequels not living up to their predecessors, Startropics is a perfect example — featuring both improved and worse gameplay.
Up next we turn to another Xbox 360 series that had an amazing first game in the form of Crackdown which brought sandbox style open world gameplay to the 360. The first game did so well that the series seemed like a slam dunk, however a new developer and redesigned turned it into one of the worst games on the market.
Condemned is another series that tried to merge action and horror to create a unique experience. Where The Suffering went with giving the player fluctuating powers, Condemned was about making combat chaotic.
What’s interesting about Condemned is that the sequel for all intents and purposes was a great game, but did not win over fans and ended the series.