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
@Zero Rating graphics is always tricky when it comes to art and tech. But for for me it has to be a combination of both, which is why Okami and Punch-Out!! (while awesome looking) don't make my top 10.
Oh it's good. But as Guillaume mentioned, the game doesn't do a great job of explaining itself. But if you like adventure games, it's worth playing. And keep in mind that it's an ADVENTURE game. Yeah, it's got the Final Fantasy name, but it's not really an RPG. I think a lot of reviewers were put off by the fact that it didn't feature a lot of traditional RPG tropes. But I thought it was pretty fun, and makes good use of the IR aiming. It's a great-looking Wii game, has a terrific soundtrack, and a good, meaty quest, and some unique and interesting gameplay mechanics.
Having said that, I recommend you STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS GAME. I... I don't know you *that* well, but for some reason I think you'd end up hating it. So... yeah, it's a really fun game IMO, but I don't think it'd fit your tastes.
At least, I don't *think* it does. Anyway, fair warning.
Why is that? I like adventure games and I like rpgs. I just don't care for a lot of the new age post FFVII jrpgs that are over emotional, incredibly poorly written with copious amounts of hand holding and horrendously designed, executed and voice acted characters. And even then I can overlook it if the game is awesome. Like say Rune Factory. I swear to God they have a fan for life. I'll buy every RF game made from now on.
@Oldmanwinter Ha, I'm enjoying the Rune Factory love on the board! It really did take the Harvest Moon series to the next level and even made HM somewhat obsolete. There are three Rune Factory games on the DS, so there you go! The first is very similar to Frontier, so I'd recommend the 2nd (though I haven't played it yet).
I was getting worried that Muramassa wouldn't make your cut but I was pleased at the #2 spot. However, there are a lot of games that were not mentioned as you know that were brought up by the other posters that would definitly make my top 10... (TvsC, FFCC, REvil:DC etc) And lets not forget:
I think that's a good thing though - it goes to show that the Wii just doesn't have "10" games that deserve to be on this list. People forget what the Wii is capable of and I think, when it comes to graphic style, the Wii has that in spades.
@Oldmanwinter The Crystal Bearers is possibly my favorite game on the Wii. Some people didn't like it though, because for the most part there isn't much to the main game, but as a uniquely designed sandbox game I found it to be a ton of fun. The controls seem weird at first, but after about an hour you get the hang of them, and eventually they started feeling totally natural to me. I spent as much time as I could simply exploring every little side thing I could before completing the main game, and even then I discovered that there were entire areas of the game that I completely missed. Exploration and experimentation in the world is highly rewarded. It's almost like the original NES Zelda in that regard.
@Oldmanwinter I think you'll appreciate The Crystal Bearers' story in that case. It's not an award-winning story by any means, but it at least avoids a lot of the melodrama that Final Fantasy games tend to feature. It can be quite amusing and unexpected at times, and it really doesn't have much of a "Final Fantasy" feel to it, which is also another reason why most reviews of the game weren't positive. I think it helps to not think of it as being a Final Fantasy game in any way. It probably would have sold better if it weren't released with the "Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles" titles attached to it, because it's not like a Final Fantasy game, or even like a standard Crystal Chronicles games. It's a spinoff of a spinoff, so it's kind of at a disadvantage when it comes to finding an audience.
I'm just warning ya - the game has a reputation for being a very "love it or hate it" kind of experience. On the other hand, there is very little hand-holding (IIRC) and the usual melodrama isn't there; mostly because the main character is kind of a smart ass. So that might appeal to you.
I dunno, maybe I read ya wrong. If you can find it for cheap (or rent) give it a whirl. Maybe you'll end up liking it, too. It's worth playing to at least find out which side of the fence you fall on, I guess.
Don't the claims that the Wii doesn't have good games sound more and more ridiculous to you?
Well I don't think I've ever said the Wii doesn't have good games. It's my most played console this generation. But yeah, it is a ridiculous claim.
Back to Sin and Punishment 2. This game is outstanding. I'd highly recommend everyone on this board who even remotely enjoys shooters to pick it up. It's pretty cheap, I got it on sale at Newegg for like $16 and it's worth full price. It's honestly one of the best balls out action games I've ever played and blows the ever living shit out of any Star Fox in existence, scouts honor. Further while the graphics technically may not be amazing, it looks amazing because of how much is going on and the constant changing of perspectives, direction, explosions... ridiculously large enemies surrounded by hundreds of smaller ones surging in and out of the foreground, ludicrous speed, full control over your guy, etc. Huge boss fights, fast and accurate gameplay, tons of fun.
Awesome game. Seriously buy it. It's one of the absolute best games I've played on the Wii and among the best shooters I've ever played.