DS Daily: How much do graphics matter?
Handhelds have come a long way over the years, and even the GBA can churn out some impressive looking games, to say nothing of our beloved DS and a certain other handheld. Even so, graphics on handheld games don't really rival those in other consoles, for obvious reasons. For the past year, graphics have been one of the biggest topics in the gaming industry, and it's at the heart of some of the discussions concerning the next-gen console war. Despite all the attention given to graphics, the DS -- pretty, but no graphical powerhouse -- continues to outsell everything, everywhere. So we come to you, dedicated DS gamers after our own hearts, to ask ... how much do graphics really matter?
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 2)
1-24-2007 @ 9:15AM
graphics only matter to a degree. To me, great graphics are an added bonus, not a deal breaker. I think that graphics are great to lure a gamer into a game, but if there isn't great gameplay to back up those graphics, I'll lose interest quickly. Gamers inherently tend to have a very short attention span, and if there is nothing in the gameplay to keep you coming back, no amount of great graphics will keep you there.
Of course I'm biased as a lifelong nintendo supporter, but I think the big "N" has this *mostly* figured out and I think this has a lot to do with their recent success.
1-24-2007 @ 9:25AM
Good question! After playing my DS for the past three months, I decided yesterday to give my GBA games some love. I decided to pop in Breath Of Fire II.
Well, my DS must be spoiling me, because my first reaction was, "UGH, what is wrong with this screen?! Oh wait, those are the graphics." Great game, but the graphics feel seriously outdated now. So I took it out and popped in Riviera. Ahhh, much better. It's all relative.
Superior gameplay can save a game with mediocre graphics. But vice versa, mmm... not so much.
1-24-2007 @ 10:01AM
We all remember Final Fantasy 7 and how awesome it was looking back then. I tried playing it again recently and it was really difficult. My eyes just couldn't adjust after FF12.
Graphics do matter to a degree.
Usually if graphics are awful = gameplay awful.
1-24-2007 @ 10:22AM
It depends on what platform I'm playing on, really. For instance, having spent a pretty penny building a gaming PC, I would much rather play games with all the bells and whistles enabled. However that doesn't mean I exclude myself from less pretty games. The DS holds its own without the graphics of any current gen console just by having fun and entertaining games. I guess it's all relative to the system the game is on...
1-24-2007 @ 10:47AM
Graphics are nice but not needed. Those people who rely heavily on graphics lack the ability to imagine the game in a different way. Take mudding most of that is just text but I have friends that love to play. I think that if you believe graphics can destroy a game don't have the imagination to actually enjoy the but use the game as a pure escape from reality, the more realistic the game the easier it is to escape.
1-24-2007 @ 11:09AM
Who cares about graphics that much? Sure, the games on my Xbox 360 look fantastic, but I didn't buy the console because it was a graphical power house, I got it for innovation such as Dead Rising, hundreds of zombies on screen at once, Gears of War, fantastic single and xbox live multiplayer.
I got the DS because it was a step in the right direction, innovation of two screens working side by side, touch screen and microphone. But most importantly, the titles which were set to be released for it, and thinking of titles that may come about.
So what if the console can do 10,000 polygons on a single face? Gameplay is what makes a game, visual autheticy makes a movie. People seem to forget this sometimes.
1-24-2007 @ 11:11AM
Personally, I find more and more that I hate when games move to 3d when they were better off as 2d or semi 2d.
Example: Civ 3, IMO, was better than civ 4. I just can't get behind the civ 4 engine, even though I suppose the graphics are technically superior.
Another example: Any 2d castlevania game vs. any 3d castlevania game. The 2d wins hands down.
Counterexample: Metroid Prime vs Fusion or Zero Mission. While all three are excellent games, Metroid Prime comes out ahead, almost exclusively *because* of the graphics. Although if Prime were 2d, I somehow think it still would have been better. Not that the other 2 are bad, by any means.
1-24-2007 @ 11:19AM
Hmmmm, tricky one this. If the game is truly brilliant, graphics don't matter at all - I STILL play the original Tetris and it's as good as it ever wars. Advance Wars is another example.
You shouldn't compare graphics by loooking back - Goldeneye looked great back in the day, but it is quite clunky if you look at it now. However, Super Smash Bros (2001??) still looks great. I don't really know what my point is ...
1-24-2007 @ 11:23AM
how much do graphics matter?
yes it does. it prevents us from getting somewhat bored by looking at crappy stuff...
focusing to much on it would suck alot!
just enough to get people interested and let the gameplay make the people stick to the game...
graphics enhances the gaming experience...
however, if you don't have good gameplay, there's really not much experience to enhance now, is there?
1-24-2007 @ 11:23AM
I just played Deus Ex. The first one. And enjoyed like hell.
In short: Graphics can be nice, but not really that important.
1-24-2007 @ 11:34AM
I think too much emphasis is placed on "realism" when refering to good graphics.
For example, the N64 obviously had more realistic graphics than the SNES. But from an artistic standpoint most of the crisp, colourful SNES games look much nicer than the blocky, blurry N64 games.
It's kinda the same with Twilight Princess today. It's obviously technically not as powerful as other next-gen games, but it is without doubt the most beautiful next-gen game I've seen, because of the art. It just goes to show you can have all the power in the world, but it can't beat class.
But, in the end, to the average player, graphics don't matter one bit and no console in history has ever been successful because of its graphical power. It's just a nice extra.
1-24-2007 @ 11:42AM
I believe that when considering graphics we also have to consider what kind of system its on. When gamers give up an arm and a leg for a PS3 they're expecting to get the whole deal. The graphics and the great game. On a system like the DS, people don't go looking for a great graphics engine, its the connectivity, the portability, replayability, and most importantly whether the game is actually fun thats going to sell. Pokemon doesn't need amazing graphics, it just needs to play well.
However I do believe that in the end graphics do matter, I think that its basically the same question as do you think looks matter in the opposite sex. I mean sure you don't need a supermodel even if ud like one, but you don't want to see them as butt ugly. (no offense)
1-24-2007 @ 11:51AM
Well, as mentioned in the post, graphics don't mean TOO much or the DS would not be doing well at all.
Graphics don't matter to me as much as artwork does. If the art shows evidence of thought, and design, and a sense of fun, then I don't care about jaggies. Well, that and the fact that I like big pixels anyway.
1-24-2007 @ 12:57PM
I agree with Hame.
Realism is overrated. Take Yoshi's Island for example. The SNES game pushed the SNES's graphical abilities to the limit and was extremely beautiful. But at the time, realism was considered more important and Yoshi's Island wasn't really celebrated until much later. So graphics can be important, but we should all remember to confuse graphics and realism. You can have beauty in graphics without needing all the horsepower for realism, is what I'm trying to say.
1-24-2007 @ 1:24PM
To me, graphics are important on an inverse relationship with gameplay. If there is fun innovative gameplay then it could look like the Atari2600 and i dont care. But if the gameplay is nothing specail then it better look awesome.
The DS is about a generation and a half behind consoles but that doesnt matter because just about every game I own has innovation. Mario vs DK 2 is probably my favorite game on the DS because of type of gameplay. It was these reasons that i chose the DS over the PSP. I didnt want a half assed looking FPS, i wanted something quick and innovative... and oh yeah, FUN.
1-24-2007 @ 1:55PM
They matter a lot, depending on your set up, mood, etc. My high def TV, I get sick of playing games designed for standard televisions on it (xbox, gamecube, playstation 1 & 2). I'd much rather play xbox360/PS3 games on it. When it comes to handheld systems, I don't think they matter that much. I want them to handle at least between Sega Genesis and playstation 1 graphics. I've been wishing since I was little to have a handheld system that looks at least as good as sega genesis. I have more fun playing my DS than playing my PSP. When it comes to intense 3d games (1st person shooters, racing games) I'd rather play them on my TV.
1-24-2007 @ 2:18PM
Rubang B said...
I think that when a game tries to have realistic graphics, it's doomed to look dated after only a few years. Look back at any game that tried to look realistic that came out 2 or more years ago. They age horribly. But if you look at a game that had cell-shaded graphics or otherwise stylized graphics, the art holds up. So I think games that don't imitate reality are more ageless. But I don't really care about the graphics anyway. I still think the best games out there are GoldenEye and StarCraft.
1-24-2007 @ 2:50PM
forgot to add a few things.
I think the DS sells well because it's easy to slip in your pocket(unlike a psp), it's easier to keep the screen clean and safe than the PSP, the battery life is great, it has a stylus and that could be very good for games like bejeweled and Brain Age, it has a very slick design and is cheaper than the PSP. Don't make things so simplistic black and white, you come up with better and many more concepts if you be more of a perspective thinker instead of running towards absolutes all the time. END!
1-24-2007 @ 3:16PM
Hehe I was surfing for info about a ds game earlier and I ran into this site:
It's some guy who wants a ds lite but he does talk about how graphics have come to matter less and less at least to him over the past few years. i agree with his opinions on the industry. good luck getting that ds though, hah
1-24-2007 @ 4:28PM
haha, graphics? They only matter on a few games. Like Rez, and uh... Metroid Prime? Well, for the most part, I love games with no graphical showoff (games like DDR, Beatmania, and disgaea.) Of course, I expect most of the PC games to be all fancy and stuff, only because PCs are meant to be pushed to the limits on hardware performance. Hell, I remember playing wario land and Megaman X-treme for the gameboy, I was having so much fun that I played for hours on end... though I kinda regret doing so because I put off homework... college homework... and that's not good, lol. Well anyway, point being that graphics, to me, don't matter much, just as long as the games are fun.