Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Castlevania is getting uglier.

I’m not sure if there was a falling out with artist Ayami Kojima or Konami just wanted a new look, but the character art for Castlevania has been on a steep decline. I beat Aria of Sorrow on the GBA this past weekend (I know, three+ years late), so Dawn of Sorrow’s (the follow-up to Aria) poor art has come to sharper focus for me.

This is not an original observation as many in forums and news sites has voiced the same opinion. I’ll just present the sad tale through pictures.

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Aria was just fine and the art was used in-game as well.

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The last 3D installment featured nice art and was better than Lament of Innocence.

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Truly this a the Dawn of Sorrow. Much sorrow.

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I am nearly at a loss for words.

Is this an attempt to bring in more young gamers to the series? That’s the only thing that makes sense to me. I mean, hardcore fans will bitch about how ugly it looks, but will be content as long as the game is great. That audience is locked in no matter what. This younger crowd, not so much. Still, it seems they could achieve this in a more visually appealing manner than this.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wet Clothes

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I was going to ramble about how we probably won’t see wet clothes happen in this next generation of consoles when it dawned on me. Are wet clothes really even important?

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For games that strive for realism, having a dude jump out of the sea with perfectly dry clothes is going to look like ass. I don’t envy the challenge ahead for game developers charged with making that happen.

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Off the top of my head, I can only think of a small number of instances where wet clothes would deeply affect gameplay. Wet clothes making a character sick over a period of time, movements slowed by heavier clothes, water trails left by clothes that could be tracked by enemies, etc. Everything I just mentioned can be done or has been done in current consoles to a certain extent without the need to make apparel look visibly wet.

On the other hand, it would make a big difference for fans of the upcoming Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. With the increase in the amount of water-based mini-games like jet ski, water slide, tug-o-war, and er…butt bumping(?), wet bikinis sure wouldn’t seem gratuitous. Well, it’ll still be gratuitous, but it fits with the game is the important thing.

Like I said though, chance of that getting implemented is pretty slim. Especially since the game is set for release this fall. There just can’t be enough time. Or can there? Naw.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hair is the next challenge

Games are getting better at making clothes behave in a realistic manner, but it’ll be interesting to see how quickly (or slowly) great hair can be conquered. It’s a crucial part of a person’s overall look and greatly affects the outfit they wear. So pay close attention to all the next gen games at E3 okay?

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I avoid cosplay here because so much of it is terrible. When a lot of work is done to make things look good, it has a chance of catching my attention. The orange haired SiN character is not that bad, but the black haired one is kinda rockin. You can get the wallpaper here if you dig it.

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If you want wallpaper that is, er, unique, nothing beats the set found on the Japanese Silent Hill 4 web site.