Thursday, April 26, 2007

DOXOfeature: Graphical Retardation

I think it’s fair to say that all companies exist solely to turn a profit. It is a bit pessimistic, but overall, a fair assumption, wouldn’t you agree? Good.

So of course, based on that notion, I can understand the urge to set up ports in Nintendo’s blue ocean. What I cannot stand for however, is cold hard capitalism latching it’s cold scaly hands over this beloved industry. I’m looking at you Ubisoft, you too EA, Even you Sega…for shame.

The Original Games

Various developers have exploited the Wii and it’s surprise success ever since launch, and it’s really starting to make me sick. I suppose it hit me hardest tonight when I watched a video for Alien Syndrome. Sega is doing this whole, ‘let’s see how many more of our old franchises we can destroy’ thing and has been hyping this game up quite a bit. Now, for the life of me I couldn’t understand why the Wii channel of IGN was showcasing a DS game. Of course then I came to the sad realization that this was, in fact, a game for the Wii. What’s worse is that the title is actually a Wii exclusive, built ground up for the new console. It is well known now, that the Wii only holds a fraction of the power that the 360 and PS3 boast, but there is no excuse for a game looking like it came out of the N64 era, cartridge limitations included. The game is insultingly ugly, drab environments, muddy textures, low polygons, and unnatural animation make it obvious that this game was probably funded by the income of a lemonade stand set up somewhere in Nunavut.

Hit the jump for more fun with critical analysis!

Red Steel was, in a word, disastrous. The controls seemed to be your toughest foe in the repetitive game, but it didn’t look that great either. Don’t get me wrong the environments weren’t bad, and the special effects were very nice, however when I enter a room, only to find that the bland character models are all 12 feet off the ground and convulsing like an epileptic at a night club I have to stop and wonder why I paid for a bad episode of Kriss Angel: Mindfreak. To say the least, the cut scenes in the game shouldn’t have been there. I’m sure that by the end of the first level nobody playing this game cares about the story, and the way it’s told is the main reason. Ubisoft seems to believe that power point presentations are very engaging. I’ve seen more dramatic video presentations in my high school math classes.

The Ports

The majority of Wii games out there right now, are ports. It is, as Al Gore would put it, an inconvenient truth. While some of these ports actually play surprisingly well, the graphics are most obviously not something the developers really invested in.
Tiger Woods 07, is a perfect example of good game-play, bad graphics. The game has some brilliant mechanics worked into it, and should be in any golf lovers collection, however Tiger, just like in real life, is a bit confused when it comes to his appearance (your black Tiger.) The game is very flat, and nothing really moves besides the golfer, it’s just really boring to watch. I guess EA really nailed the golf atmosphere then, but graphically the game is just laughable. Most notably, the deer seen in the woods on some holes. I’d be really impressed if those deer showed up on my NES, however here in 2007 we really frown upon anything animated at under three frames per second, call us spoiled.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance There were moments in this game that I just could not believe. I could not believe that I could play as so many of my favourite heroes, I could not believe the play mechanics went as deep as they did, I could not believe the length of the game. Of course I also couldn’t believe that my characters were all comprised of around 12 polygons. While the backgrounds are moderately good looking, the characters were blocky and the special effects were pathetic. I cannot begin to explain the flaws in the special effects. It was as if they had no art team working on it, none at all. The programmers sat around, and thought that since the event was actually triggered it was good enough.

Call of Duty 3 is, the best FPS on the Wii right now. It is intense WWII action, the controls work great, but its ugly as hell. The textures all suffer from whatever the hell the original DOOM suffered from. They’re terribly indistinguishable from close range, and it’s obvious that the game is a straight port from the PS2. Special effects are nice in some cases, but lack polish in others. Definitely PS2 quality graphics here.

While I don’t have much to say about Manhunt 2, I can say this; from what I saw in the trailer, it seems to be ripped straight off the PSP.

I know Nintendo has beaten us into submission about graphics not mattering, but I think that some developers are taking this slogan and running with it, all the way to the bank. Of course, Nintendo could be partly to blame here. After e306 Miyamoto told the press that the Wii was built as an extention of the Gamecube hardware to make it easier on those developers who had experience with the cube. He went on to actually encourage developers to bring their gamecube titles over to the Wii, and the term ‘Wii-make’ was born. Many feared the worst. Wii would see a bunch of lazy ports; The internet was right, AGAIN! Just like with that ‘Nintendo ON’ video. I can see how the ease of porting to Wii is enticing to developers but we as gamers have to put up a fight. They can port whatever they want, but unless they are willing to put in some effort, then we should not buy these games- AGAIN! So I guess what I’m saying is…

With the Death of the PS2, Wii owners will find redemption.

I know that could sound like the biggest fan boy flame bait out there, but think about it. I think the PS2, had an outstanding run, and deserves to be remembered as one of the best consoles ever, but I also think that while it is alive, Wii will suffer. When the PS2 is finally put to rest, there will be no more ‘last gen’ games being made, and thus, the Wii developers are going to have to pull up their socks, and start creating some original content on the system. Games that take advantage of the controls for more than mini-games, games which make use of the hardware and deliver visuals that look twice as good as the last generation. Games that will move us into the future of gaming, instead of holding us back in it’s past. Third parties need to move past the ports and tap the potential of the Wii. Graphically, there is no excuse for what we have seen thus far, and game-play mechanics are being tacked onto these old games. I can’t blame them for wanting to make money, but I won’t support them, and neither should you.

We were promised a revolution, I’m still waiting.

1 comment:

Pascuzzi_46 said...

WOW! and this is comming from a nintendo fan boy. But before you read the mad profits dislike on capitalism in gaming, take this into consideration. Without capitalism, we would not have video games. Just shows not everone cannot be pleased. Like any form of media.
AND another thing! "we were promised a revolution and were still waitin for it!" isnt the fuckin controller enough! i mean! how is that NOT revolutionary! and this is comming from a person who has never owned an nintendo product in there life! seriously! give the system time! they havent even been out a year! and forgod sakes. WII is #1 on the sale charts stop complaining!