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Favorite game, aesthetically

Sheikah_Witch

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I¨d like to propose a thread where we talk about the game which we feel has the best aesthetics to it. Not graphically, but I mean in therms of world/character design, artistic choices, graphical effects etc. Is it the gloomy murkiness of the Twilight Realm in TP? The wonderfully lush Spirit Tracks? The bright, blue sea omg so much bloom my eyes Wind Waker HD? Or, maybe, the dark surrealism of Majora's Mask?

I think official artwork can be taken into account for the question too, otherwise I think games like the original LoZ is at a disadvantage.
 

TheGreatCthulhu

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Personally, I think Majora's Mask and BotW have my favorite art styles and world building.

At least when it comes to the Zelda series. I could be here all night listing gorgeous and pretty looking games, so I stuck to the Zelda series.
 
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Sheikah_Witch

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The aesthetics of BotW are damn near perfect to me. I'm so much in love with the Sheikah tech design, it's ridiculously cool looking. And I also love the design of the architecture and the Zonai ruins. Just a thing like Links tunic just looks so damn cool, too.
Again, they really nailed the ancient-but-futuristic look with the Sheikah tech.
Graphically, I love the dreamy pastel look and the bloomy, saturated colors and the lighting.
 

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As much as I love OG Wind Waker, I think BotW takes it for aesthetics. I love the Sheikah tech contrast to the overworld and the lush greenery is incredible to behold on a sunny day. The vibrant world makes most other games look soulless in comparison.
 

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The Myst games

Myst went full on surrealism but presents environs that make no logical sense. Sure, we have a rocket ship next to greco-roman architecture and a pair of sunken gears atop a hill, but where are the bathrooms? This island was supposed to support a family of four and it doesn't look lived in. So while the ages of Myst might look aesthetically compelling, they aren't presented in a believable manner. Actually, the complete lack of bathrooms is a running joke among the fan base.

This changed with the sequel, Riven, which maintained Myst's surrealistic aesthetic but presented a fully realized believable world. It was clearly lived in, had a nature all its own. The world of Riven was so well realized by the end it was practically a main character. It is absolutely brilliant what the writers and visual designers did to make the world of Riven a part of the themes and story of the game.

All of the Myst games from then on maintained the series' focus on aesthetic and variety of surreal alien world to explore.

The offshoot series, Uru - which was supposed to be a shared MMO narrative adventure - is no exception, but unfortunately doesn't live up to the series' heights. The developer just never could meet the lofty ambitions they had for Uru. The game would have been set in the series' famed underground empire of D'ni and allow explorers to delve into the ruins of the ancient civilization that was built there and discover the lost linking books that take adventurers to the alien worlds of the series. Unfortunately, the game's graphics engine was dated on release. It was actually developed alongside early 3D graphics engines, and had it released then it would have surpassed every one of them. But the project was so long in development, by the time it finally released the graphics were sub par. Uru is, however, still an achingly gorgeous game. Unfortunately, it was a bust and players were never able to explore the length and depths of the D'ni empire and cosmos as intended.

The Zelda games

Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess feature the most striking aesthetically atmospheric environments in the series. I will always be drawn to environments that feel seeped in atmosphere, which is why I detest the ones that are drawn like cartoons. There is simply no substitute for the whimsical magical wonder of the Kokiri Forest, or the slightly more dark and foreboding nature of the adjacent Lost Woods that clashes with it. Or the foreboding, mystical intrigue of the Lost Woods in Twilight Princess. The fascinating ruins in Eldin Field and the majesty of the aging Eldin Bridge. Even the nearby solitary abandoned mine hidden in the cliffs near the bridge is a strange anomaly that lends a sense of interconnectedness to the world that isn't often present in Zelda world building. The spooky confounding confines of the Forest Temple in OoT. The distant frontier mystique of the Gerudo Desert in OoT. The solitary tranquility of Zora's Fountain in OoT and the pristine grandure of Lake Hylia in TP. When ninty wants to, they really know how to make a world feel aesthetically rich and wonderful.

Batman Arkham Asylum/City

The attention to detail in these games is mindboggling. The graphics are adequate at best, but the visual designers have placed so many minute details all over even empty stretches of hallway that the world of Arkham Island and Gotham City really comes to life. Be it the intricate architectural motifs in the gothic and art deco architecture. Or the scattered papers, books, various furnishings and personal effects in living rooms and offices. The items on display in abandoned store fronts. Flickering neon signs outside of abandoned bars and restaurants. The visual designers really know how to lay on the surrealism too. Architecture choked in giant vines. A section of the city partially submerged in water. A lost subterranean city from the turn of the century frozen in time.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Wow. Just. Wow. Chronicles was the game that really first impressed upon me what video game worlds would be capable of from then on. The vast seamless regions of the Bionis and Mechonis are an epic visual treat to behold! From an archipelago of floating islands in the sky over a vast sea surrounding a massive floating city, to foggy marshlands seeped in mists and subdued lighting, to the vast expanse of a massive jungle on the edges of a deep watery bridge spanned crevasse and a massive water fall spilling in to a huge lake and the endless grasslands of rolling hills and stark cliffs from which you might glimpse the eerily glowing visage of the other titan at night or illuminated by flashes of lightning during the thunder storms, Xenoblade Chronicles brings to life a world like no other.

Bioshock

Not a huge fan of the games themselves. But, come on, it's a ruined art deco city only under water. How much more aesthetically awesome can that be?

Fallout 3

The ruins of the Capitol Wasteland make for an awesome setting for the post nuclear apocalypse. When I visited DC I enjoyed comparing the sights to their depiction in the game. It's quite fascinating to be able to explore Fallout's alternate history versions of famous monuments, locals and landmarks in America's capitol.

Sleeping Dogs

Virtual Hong Kong brought to life like you wouldn't believe. Sleeping Dogs doesn't just feature randomly roaming NPCs. NCPs will stand outside of their businesses and smoke, cut meat out side of their restaurants. Vendors will compete for your attention with suggestive call outs. Business people will answer their phones. Shoppers will peruse storefronts. All the while the city features run down docks with massive warehouses, bustling commercial streets, tranquil temples, wooded hills with modern mansions, sprawling picturesque parks with manicured grounds, landscaping and water features, massive sea walls, fancy commercial zones, hidden aqueducts, and every conceivable nook and cranny you can expect to find in a major city.

The Witcher 3

Holy smokes, this game's graphics are unsurpassed. I actually think that, aesthetically speaking, the environments of the Velen and Novigrad regions are uninspiring. Velen, in particular, is your stock standard european medieval look. Thatched roofs, stone and wood forts - tandard depiction. The sprawling city of Novagrad at least features endless minute details all around. But the Witcher 3 only gets aesthetically interesting once you get to the Skellige Isles which are based on Scandanavian aesthetic and showcase mysterious castle ruins, old ship wrecks, and other much more aesthetically unique locals. But nothing compares to the sheer vibrant majesty of Toussiant from Witcher 3's Blood and Wine, which is a visual feast for the eyes no matter where you look. Color, Color Everywhere! Vast vistas of rolling hills and distant vineyards. And from almost anywhere in the land, the sprawling hillside city of Beauclair and its opulent palace are visible. Toussaint is a vibrant land of vibrant people who paint their homes with colorful frescoes, and flowery vines scale the walls. No description can do it justice. Toussaint is an aesthetic marvel to behold.
 

BlackWolf//WhiteAngel

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I¨d like to propose a thread where we talk about the game which we feel has the best aesthetics to it.
that sounds like a good thread you should make one :P

I really like BotW's style. It found that happy medium of TP's realism with TWW's toony aesthetic. Though I have seen some mids that remove the toon shader and at times it looks way better with the closer step to realism.
 

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Ocarina of Time maybe. The graphics have aged but the official artwork and designs look pretty cool (that's what I have for my picture right now as you can see).

BotW is a good one in terms of graphics, and I think that the cell-shaded aesthetic works really well.

ALBW is also good mostly for the same reason as OOT. The graphics aren't cutting edge, but what's done with the technology is great. The presentation of ALBW has a great aura of fun and adventure.
 

Deus

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For me the aesthetic of the original OOT and MM are my favourites if you discount the fact the graphics themselves are bad. If you look at the artwork OOT in particular is meant to be quite a realistic style in terms of architecture and texturing, but with stylised designs for characters. The 3D versions of the games definitely don't do the original N64 style justice. And you wouldn't be able to on weak consoles to be fair so I understand why they did that.

It is also clear the artist loved creating muscular characters and creatures. I like the idea of every enemy being swole and although the graphics didn't show it so well it would have been good if everything looked like the official art.


Never skip arm day people!
 
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Azure Sage

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Breath of the Wild, easily. The scenery and colors are absolutely breathtaking (haha get it) and the Sheikah tech is super cool. I love the blue glows of the Sheikah tech in the dark. And the Divine Beasts, hoo boy, don't get me started on them. They are some of the coolest looking things to exist in the series. The most beautiful Hyrule, some of the best character and equipment designs, this game has it all.
 

NoRush

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I¨d like to propose a thread where we talk about the game which we feel has the best aesthetics to it. Not graphically, but I mean in therms of world/character design, artistic choices, graphical effects etc. Is it the gloomy murkiness of the Twilight Realm in TP? The wonderfully lush Spirit Tracks? The bright, blue sea omg so much bloom my eyes Wind Waker HD? Or, maybe, the dark surrealism of Majora's Mask?

I think official artwork can be taken into account for the question too, otherwise I think games like the original LoZ is at a disadvantage.
I love your question.

Aesthetics are the *biggest* reason why I would be so attracted to a particular Zelda game. I have always felt as a child that I was truly exploring new worlds, and the emotional attachments to characters there was real. I really wanted to help them, to feel how they felt.

The man sleeping under the bridge in A Link to the Past is by far my most favorite npc - or maybe even character in general - in all of Zelda. There is so much mystery surrounding that man, with no answers given, none to come, and none to look to that might help develop a story. I get to imagine so much about that story - and I've even imagined fashioning myself into that person. I love being the lone dude, travelling and adventuring and exploring, and being purely happy without the recognition of Link. It's purely a lonely adventuring guy who seems to be quite happy in his lonliness. He's enjoying the nature and is purely content to just chill under a bridge whether anoyone notices him or not.

It's sad to think about what happened to him when the Dark World became a reality. Did he die? Is he chilling under the bridge and we just can't visit him? And what of the transtition - did he and others in AlttP know what was happening, or did the Light World change in an instant?

Today, I still feel those pulls, those tugs. I'm still thankful for the empty bottle he gives us as a reward. An empty bottle allows us to fill it up with whatever we want. I feel the same way about the man himself and my compassion for that game grows and grows as I realize the benefits of a bottle still empty <3

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