Some games are utterly timeless. Super Mario Bros is still perfect. Soul Calibur 1 is still beautiful. But this is GR’s Week of Hate, after all. So here are the once-great games that might shock you if you play them today.
Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast, Gamecube)
“One day all games will look this good but right now, only this does”. That’s what Charlie Brooker’s review of Sonic Adventure said in the Official Dreamcast Magazine, and we dared not believe it. The quality of the textures, the lushness of the scenery, the speed and the imagination on display... how could it get any better?
How wrong we were. We loaded up the superior Gamecube port recently and couldn’t believe our eyes. Everything’s so... primitive. The cars on the street are mere boxes, the NPCs look like they’ve just stepped out of Final Fantasy VII and every special effect like reflective windows now looks tacked on and wholly unconvincing.
Above: Even Sonic's wondering where all the detail went
It’s glitchy as hell, too, and while we could overlook it back then because of the ambition and thrill of a 3D Sonic game (ahem), in the harsh light of 2008 it’s a mess. If you loved it like we did, do yourself a favour and leave it be. It’s better that way.
Mortal Kombat II (Mega Drive, SNES etc)
What’s best? Super Street Fighter II Turbo or Mortal Kombat II? Well, clearly the former. But have you played MKII recently? Maybe, like us, you bought it on PSN cos it was cheap and you fancied a nostalgia hit. Big mistake. Its punches have zero sensation of contact. Ridiculous splashes of red fly everywhere and the digitised sprites look (surprise!) like photos of people in cosplay.
This is the eternal problem for cutting edge ‘realistic’ graphics. As soon as technology moves on, they look hopelessly outdated, whereas for games like SSFIIT, quality artwork will always be exactly that.
Above: It looks fine in static screens because the sprites are digitised photos. But you'll laugh/cry if you see it moving now
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