Courtesy of GelatinousEncore, it's a thread for the superficial! With the Wii's time on this planet becoming more and more limited, it's both fun and interesting to look back at how it handled some of its key aspects. Ever since the system was announced, we knew it was gonna have sub-par graphics compared to its competitors, and we wondered if it would have any games that would look truly "next gen", or at least distinctively better than Gamecube. There haven't been nearly as many of those as I would've wanted; developers have been lazy, but there are a few games that are a pleasure to look at.
Games on this list have to have released (no Skyward Sword, though I don't think it would've made it anyway), and have to look good. There's no technology or art restrictions, they just have to be appealing for whatever reason.
Prime 3 was the first game that made me a true believer in the Wii. I mean overall, but that also includes our topic at hand, the graphics. While the difference wasn't huge (and I knew it was never going to be), it looked noticeably better than the Gamecube Primes. You can't tell me two minutes after firing up the game, you didn't notice the difference in the Power Beam shots compared to the previous games. Textures were crisper, effects were sharper, animations were smoother, art was still fantastic.
I know it's a PS2 game, but leaving it out would just be wrong. Okami is a game that would be one of the most beautiful on any system. Have you seen the water palace? Jesus Christ almighty. Besides, I know I'm in the minority here, but I think it looks better on Wii, thanks to the diminishing of the paper filter. Colors just look crisper and it makes the art pop out more.
I know there's not many scenarios to look at in this game, but there's so many characters and brilliant animations to look at, it deserves to be here. In addition, its art style is just perfect. Every character's punches are different depending on their personality, and the gestures they make when they get hit are priceless. This game is the definition of eye candy.
Venga, quieres mas? Mira abajo!
The Conduit / Conduit 2
These games would've placed higher (or lower?) on the list if it wasn't for their unappealing art style. They're pulling off some amazing technology for the Wii, but the art is just so bland, it makes them look generic, realistic almost. And we all know a realistic approach on the Wii is never going to work, because it will not impress anyone who has seen a 360 or PS3. Still, the effects on some of the guns are gorgeous, and the aliens are completely pumped with bump-mapping which makes them have a certain flavor to them. They deserve to be on the list.
Wario Land: Shake It!
Now we're talking, eh? Just look at that. Beautiful hand-drawn graphics if I've ever seen them. But that picture's not gonna do this game justice - you have to see it in motion. The animation is some of the best I've ever seen in anything, not just video games. The only reason this game's not higher on the list is, well ... I think the rest look better.
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Lots of 2D games, huh? Well, I can't help it when they're pulling off amazing art-styles. You all know about this game. It looks like a bunch of threads. I still don't know how the hell they thought of it. The water is just a bunch of blue threads. The trees look like jeans. The grass feels like pants! Brilliant!
Donkey Kong Country Returns
I FORGOT ABOUT THIS GAME. It was edited in later. You have the right to e-punch me. What's wrong with me?
Red Steel 2
I am impressed by this game every single time I fire it up. It looks better on your TV than on that picture, trust me. I'm not quite sure what's so appealing about it, too - the art is not that great. Sure, it's well-made cel-shading, but it's not on par with Okami or the game below this one. It's still beautiful. I guess there must be tons of polygons hidden in that art. Tons of polish. That's what makes it pop-out so much, probably. Either way, it's a beautiful game.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade
This game is something else. It literally made me say "wow" multiple times. Do you remember the towns? What about those plains that looked huge, even if it's a 2D game? Or the waterfalls? God, the waterfalls. Yeah, gameplay wasn't genre-defining, but it's still a satisfying game. And I'll be damned if the visuals aren't a big reason for that. This game is a perfect example why graphics matter.
Super Mario Galaxy / Super Mario Galaxy 2
You saw this coming. Before you even clicked the thread. And for good reason, since no other game should be at the number 1 spot. These games is truly something to behold. They can stand up to many PS3/360 games without any problem. These games look delicious. There's no better way to describe them
I think I disagree with Prime 3 way down at number 10. It's probably second only to Galaxy for me.
I do agree with including Okami. Some people would be all LOLZ WII GRAPHIX SUCK SO BAD U NEED TO INCLUDE PS2 GAMES but hey, art style is king in the end. Okami is easily one of the prettiest games I have played on any platform.
@GelatinousEncore I think I used to have something like that but took it out at some point? I'm not sure it saves too much time in the end, since it takes as much time to submit as to preview. Although I guess you have to submit then hit "edit" to get back to working on it, so yeah, it would save some time.
You can prepare your article all you want (I'm not talking about proof-reading, more about codes and stuff), but maybe there's something screwed up you just didn't notice. But you definitely would notice it after hitting preview - if it looks messed up you'll know. And you can fix it before anyone else sees your post.
I've always wondered if you could add a check to images included in posts. It would check to see if the source image has a width > 740 pixels, if so, add the necessary width arguement to automatically knock it down to 740.
@Abdooooo Hmm, I looked around for a solution to this, the problem is that there doesn't appear to be any way to download just image data from a link. Essentially just to check an image height/width you have to download the entire image, so if someone makes a post with an image (or multiple images) in it, it would take a long time for the post to download the images, check their stats, and make any necessary adjustments.
Still, I might look into it at some point, if resizing is annoying enough people. It can't take that much longer than it does to load a page with a bunch of images.
That's a great list! In my head, I always kind of felt that the best-looking GCN games might have been prettier than the best-looking Wii games, but there are lots of beautiful games there. Mostly triumphs of art, rather than tech, but that's even better. I might've thrown Brawl in there, but I wouldn't have an easy time kicking any of those games out.
Red Steel 2 is really an impressive game, from a visual standpoint. Super-smooth, with an attractive aesthetic. I don't think it gets enough credit for its graphics. Especially surprising coming from Ubisoft.
I never thought much of Zack & Wiki's graphics until recently. They're very cartoon-y and not the realistic style people are generally talking about when complimenting a game's graphics. But during my recent push to 100% it, I started noticing some of the amazing details they put in there. It was in the "boss battle" in the ice-world where you meet Captain Rose and you can see her breath as she breaths in the cold air, and then it hit me, "Wow! These graphics are really good."
SMG1 and 2, are obviously spectacular, with SMG1 being nearly over-whelming the first time you hit outer space.
Warioworld is obviously a complete labor of love, stunning, really for a product that most would categorize as a "B-release."
But for my money, I think I'd have to say DKCR is the best I've seen.
I'm not sure if I would include Okami, Punch-Out!! or The Conduits.
- Okami looks fantastic, but it's a port of a PS2 game that didn't really take any advantage of the Wii's additional horsepower. Still looks lovely. - Punch-(O)ut!! artistically looks great, but technically it's not doing much. - The Conduits are the opposite however; technically impressive but otherwise ugly.
Other titles that deserve a mention: - Dewy's Adventure - Nights JiD - Z&W - Dead Space Extraction - Goldeneye - Silent Hill (The lighting elevated it to a great looking game)