Friday, September 17, 2010


They say a picture tells a thousand words. If that’s the case then what do the following images have to say?

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey (PlayStation)

Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)

Rez (Dreamcast)

Shadow Of The Colossus (PlayStation 2)

Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)

The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker (GameCube)

BioShock (Xbox 360)

LittleBigPlanet (PlayStation 3)

Wii Sports (Wii)

Limbo (Xbox Live Arcade)

PixelJunk Eden (PlayStation Network)

LostWinds (WiiWare)

Portal (PC)



Kirk Hamilton said...


Mark said...

Sometimes it's just fun to load up games and play the virtual tourist, finding aesthetically pleasing vantage points for no other reason than to drink in the view.

Of course, 3D games offer you many more possibilities for this sort of gameplay than their 2D counterparts. And you're more likely to snap a screenshot from a unique angle.

In fact, in most gaming forums where there's ongoing discussions of Minecraft (in which every player gets their own, truly unique, procedurally-generated landscape and the ability to build whatever they like), you'll find whole threads dedicated to posting screenshots of awe-inspiring land formations thrown up by the generator.

Steven O'Dell said...

Kirk -- Sums it up nicely.

Mark -- Yeah, something I always did in various games (but never realised it) was pause and take in a breathtaking view, or sit in awe at something I was seeing. I only realise that I do it now because my interest in unique art directions for games has increased over the past five years or so and, of course, my new-found fascination with game spaces means that I'm seeing them in a new light, thoroughly enjoying the contemplation that comes with it.

The fact that a lot of these games make you feel like you're in the game rather than merely seeing it, only adds to the enjoyment.

Michelle said...

Beautiful. I still have to stand in awe during the second level of halo, watching that beautiful ring world loop around in the sky.

Steven O'Dell said...

Michelle -- Strangely (for me at least), I always forget about that level (and a few others too!) in Halo: Combat Evolved and instead remember the feeling of adrenalin it was able to instill in me at certain moments or sheer astonishment (at the time) seeing some of the battles take place. It was completely new back then and totally awesome, but at the same time over the years it has been the art direction and vistas -- among other things -- instead that have proven to be the most significant thing that came from the game.

Proves just how easily tastes can change over the years I guess, and my recent fascination with game spaces certainly contributed to my change of mind.

Joseph Rositano said...

Ah, the memories of The Wind Waker. I personally think it's the best Zelda game released thus far - the world is huge, the art direction was breathtaking, and it just had that a unique feel that so far hasn't been matched by a single game since (yes, that includes the DS Zeldas). I think what stands out for me the most was the music and the story, and that terrible Triforce hunt at the end which was annoying. I don't mind exploration, I don't mind sitting back and looking at your surroundings, but god damn Ganondorf is on the lose and wreaking havoc and the best they could come up with was sailing around the distant ocean hunting around for these shiny gold things? Not to mention the pain that was purchasing the maps from Tingle!

Super Mario 64 brings back a lot of memories as well. I can remember obtaining the Wing Cap for the first time and just mucking about flying everywhere and seeing how long I could stay in the air for. Doing dips and tricks and slamming against the boundaries of the levels - poor Mario! Then I just used to muck around in the castle gardens, and chase bunnies around for hours on end.

And Steven, I am disappointed you didn’t have a screenshot of the original Banjo-Kazooie. How dare you NOT have the best game on the N64 in your list. But then, I am a fanboy towards that series so I’ll let it slide this time… ;)

Steven O'Dell said...

Joseph -- If you paid attention (:P) you would have noticed that I chose one game to represent each console that I owned. That doesn't mean that the game I chose for a particular console is what I believe to be the best game with the best art direction, it is just the one I chose for this post. I'm actually considering making this a series because there is just so many games out there with absolutely stunning -- and certainly timeless -- art directions.

As for Zelda, I agree wholeheartedly. Wind Waker is probably my favourite in the series, though Majora's Mask stands out as well. In fact, that's where I would disagree with you a little: MM had as much personality, breathtaking visuals and emotion as WW did, if not more so. It had its own unique feel that absolutely cannot be found anywhere else, probably why, like WW, it's one of my favourites.