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 Post subject: Favorite NES Graphics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:19 pm 
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While I'm tearing the sub forum up with posts, I thought I'd ask everyone a couple of questions.
You don't have to answer all of them, but any answers you can provide will help me!

What are you favorite NES games graphically? Ugliest Games? Any particular thing you dislike?

For example, I hate dithering. I think it usually looks like crap. I also tend to like cartoon looking games the best.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:30 pm 
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Ian A wrote:
While I'm tearing the sub forum up with posts, I thought I'd ask everyone a couple of questions.
You don't have to answer all of them, but any answers you can provide will help me!

What are you favorite NES games graphically? Ugliest Games? Any particular thing you dislike?

For example, I hate dithering. I think it usually looks like crap. I also tend to like cartoon looking games the best.


Try looking at Sunsoft's amazing graphics blending in Ufouria/Hebereke, and also look at how Dahrkdaiz's hacks pack a graphical punch, The NES may be lo-res, but shading via blending is best

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:53 pm 
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It is difficult to list all the favorite graphics, there are many games with good graphics to my taste, but without thinking too much I could name Batman and Solbrain/Shatterhand. Although these are japanese-made, and japanese artists usually avoids dithering, it used there a bit, in a good way.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Here are some games with graphics I really like:

Batman: Return of the Joker
Little Samson
Willow

I like these mostly because of their good use of color, which makes it look like the NES has more colors than it actually does. I like dithering when it's used well (i.e. no large areas of the same pattern repeated over and over).

I also like cartoony graphics a lot, but that's more common on the NES so I don't feel like listing anything in that category.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Graphics in NES games which I appreciate (read: the style and implementation works very well for the kind of game it is and/or impress me in general):

Batman: Return of the Joker
Battle of Olympus[1]
Blaster Master
Contra
Fester's Quest[7]
Fire 'n Ice
Gyruss
Magician
Megaman 1-3
Ninja Gaiden series
R.C. Pro Am
River City Ransom[2]
RoboWarrior
Shatterhand[3]
Solstice
Strider[4]
Super C
Super Dodge Ball[2]
Trojan[5]
Willow
Xexyz[6]

I almost added Power Blade 2 to the list, but the colour choice is fairly uniform, so I kept it off.

[1]: Sprites tend to blend in with the background, which is a downside, but the overall quality is NES-ish without being "old" (classic).
[2]: I love the "stubby" SD look, and the choice of matte ("flat") colours on sprites makes for an enjoyable, humorous overtone, and the contrast vs. the background really makes things stand out. Comparatively, I cannot stand the version of this game on the SFC; the graphics look horrible/stupid and remind me too much of Renegade (which I hate).
[3]: This one rates extremely high in my book. I can't really describe it; they're just really amazing graphics to me, everything looks great.
[4]: Graphics glitches aside (and there are many), the actual quality of the art fits the style of game very well.
[5]: Hard to explain. The backgrounds are nicely done (in my opinion), and the sprites are kept to matte colours to make them easily stand out from the background. So, similar to [2] but not quite.
[6]: Very uppity and cartoon-ish, kinda like Darius Twin.
[7]: Almost didn't put this on the list; had to think about it for a while, and figure it's worth mentioning. A lot of people hate this game and its graphics alike, however. What always amused me is how the title game implies it's going to be some silly comical game with simple graphics yet it's an adventure game with really rocking music.


Last edited by koitsu on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:38 am 
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Did someone remove my post? I realize it wasn't strictly about my favorite NES graphics, but I put some effort into it (graphic editing) and it's frustrating to see it taken down for being slightly off topic. :?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:14 am 
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Which one? The interesting one about all kind of graphics about castlevania and other games? I would be surprised that your post would be removed. This would be quite unusual for nesdev since it was nes related.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:22 am 
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Banshaku wrote:
Which one? The interesting one about all kind of graphics about castlevania and other games? I would be surprised that your post would be removed. This would be quite unusual for nesdev since it was nes related.

No, it was a reply to the OP about dithering. I explained that it's pretty ubiquitous and often useful, and linked some pictures from Little Samson to help illustrate, including this one that I edited to show how dithering adds texture. (Original game graphics on the right, they used dithering pretty effectively.)

Image

I suppose maybe I never correctly submitted the post or it got eaten by the forum, but I was pretty sure I posted it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:00 am 
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Okay, I'll concede that dithering can look good. Maybe the only time I consciously notice it is when it's badly done, and everything has that grainy sand like textures.

@UncleSporky - You should post more in your 'graphic design of NES games' thread!

@Tokumaru - Good call on Willow. It has a pretty unique style.

@koitsu - Solid list! The annotations are really helpful. Most of those games have really good music as well. Coincidence?

Okay, time to study some videos.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:43 am 
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Image

The thing that looks bad to me is when the two colors being dithered are too different like #2. Trying to get too much out of three colors looks bad to me. I'd rather see a game that uses more of the palette (#1), or even use a hue that doesn't make sense (#3) over the sort of dithering in #2.

Though, this is all personal opinion :)


Last edited by cartlemmy on Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:21 am 
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yeah, that makes sense, artists trying to get away with a little too much color blending.

Actually that's a very nice tree. Is it yours? I like how it doesn't use dithering on top, but the lower part does, showing the difference between direct sunlight and shadows under leaves.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:58 am 
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The thing that looks bad to me is when the two colors being dithered are too different like #2. Trying to get too out of three colors looks bad to me. I'd rather see a game that uses more of the palette (#1), or even use a hue that doesn't make sense (#3) over the sort of dithering in #2.

I'd say all 3 are fine as long as there is no block solid color, such as seen in many early NES games.

Here 1 is obviously the best, then comes 2 and 3 ex - eacho. If the three is in the BG, then 3 would probably work well, nobody will notice the "hue that doesn't make sense".

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:32 pm 
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UncleSporky wrote:
Actually that's a very nice tree. Is it yours?

Thanks :) Yep, I made it just for this example lol.

Bregalad wrote:
I'd say all 3 are fine as long as there is no block solid color, such as seen in many early NES games..

Yes, I suppose that's true :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:40 pm 
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Don't forget Kirby's Adventure! Lots of gradients made from billowy cloudy material.

Batman and Strider both have great graphical choices, looking flat and shiny when needed, and rusty/stony when needed. NTSC artifacts help with the blending. Bionic Commando and Code Name: Viper also have great gritty stages and share cool character designs at the moment when enemies are killed.

Mario Bros., Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr.: Flat graphics but exceptional clarity. Primary colours and great-looking shiny "pipe" designs.

Mega Man 2: Much less blocky chaos than MM1; Much less blocky predictability than MM4-6. Crash Man's stage is cartoony but with a great beveled feeling of depth.

Shadow of the Ninja has fantastic shading and interesting light-sourcing in many stages.

This might turn into an endless list if I keep thinking about it...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:06 pm 
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My personal favorites:

Zelda II - Except for the castle bricks using the same patter for foreground and background, the backgrounds are varried and interesting. I also like the contrast between the more realistic looking backgrounds and the cartoony, flat-shadded sprites.

Metroid - Everything is dark, grimmey and foreboding. The palettes used have great varriet and contrast.

Crystalis - I love the consistentelly cartoony style, and how everything in tuat game, even the thouguest of dungeons, looks bright, happy and inviting. That said I think the color choices could have used a little more contrast, and the endless repetition of backgrounds gets tiresome.

It might not be a coincidence that I just ned the last three games I played through in order :oops: I might be a little biased here.

Am I the only one that thinks the colors in Willow are a washed out nightmare? I mean seriously, there is hardly any contast at all.


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