The recent generation of consoles have notably been lacking an upgrade to 1080p, a resolution expected to be the standard by now. Some recent games I have played are Wii U games that laud a 1080p resolution which is nice to have every now and again. However these games don’t seem to benefit from it all that much and to push it that far there have been clear reductions in the extras that could have been, lots of little detail and work that could have been put into making them look gorgeous rather than having some more pixels in games where fine detail isn’t gonna be lost at 720p.
So I playing smash 4 on the Wii U and I take a gander at my character models on the victory screen. Yeah they are clean and less jagged than ever before but..well really that is it, it looks like somebody just cleaned it up. It hits that early period of HD gaming look where they really only knew how to touch up models to a new standard without adding all the bells and whistles to make a character look charming or characterised by appearance alone. Someone also had the dumb idea of adding more realistic fur textures to characters like Fox Mccloud, repeating the same problem with Mario from Brawl who had weird, realistic textures on his overalls.
In game the effects of a lot of the attacks aren’t particularly fantastic, they are kinda pretty at times but mostly they just seem to cut it for a HD game which bothers me tremendously. The enhanced resolution means bugger all in this game, there are no long distant headshots that are easier with more pixels, no HUDs that use thin lines which could be much sharper with an upgrade. This desire to have a higher resolution is good and all and I’m sure all the PC gamers are laughing with their monstrous tech that can run 4k games at more frames than could ever be necessary but in cases like this it does more harm than good.
As I said the newest generation of consoles has been a disappointment for many who expected 1080p to be the norm and not the exception. I question though how much is it really worth it, to throw away all the niceties and little extras you can have to make something look gorgeous all in the name of resolution bumping. At times I wish more PC games had the optimization to bump up the extra things in exchange for resolution or sometimes even frame-rate if it doesn’t matter all that much
. I don’t run a behemoth PC so I would be what I call a tweaker, the guy who runs to the options on boot up in a staggering motion to turn everything down so I can actually play. A good handful of games are very customisable and allow me to fiddle with these sort of things, others are more hard headed and refuse to lower their visuals for what I can only believe is a perception of me as a “filthy casual”.
I spot every now and again on my surfs around the internet the astounding arguments and cases people make for why and how Nintendo is achieving “True HD” with 1080p 60fps games while the other companies struggle. While in terms of technical quality they may have but I don’t think they’ve gotten down the little things that add up, I still get annoyed there are so little facial movements in the characters fighting in Smash Bros short of King DeDeDe. The damn penguin king sweats, laughs, grits his teeth among other things that really make him lively, compare that to a lot of the other fighters and they don’t really do much. Some of them do to a small extent and others are so unbelievably boring I start to lose interest.
HD may stand for High Definition, an aspect that comes with more visible detail and more pixels to display that detail sharply in. Such a textbook definition is harder to apply when you look at all the things capable on the HD systems, the laundry list of advances and changes since the previous generation that really made the games POP out at you. The strong colours, the darker blacks among many others helped the higher polygon counts and new physics.
I’m not a fan of technical prowess when it comes to a games graphics, new fish AI are hardly anything I care about unless it affects gameplay. In fact they could just have horribly modelled fish who run away so I can never get a close look at them. I’m more interested in how you make something look beautiful and lush, without having a stark drop in say texture quality on that wall or this ceiling which happens from time to time. Some game genres really do need a high frame-rate at a massive resolution because they use those things to their advantage. A lot of others however would be better off doing more than a simple clean up and a higher resolution, they should have little tweaks and polishes that bring a game world to life.
What games do you think have a really beautiful or lush environment/game world? Do you think a higher resolution is worth cutting out all the extra details? What kind of tweaking do you do to get your games running or looking nice in your mind? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.