Sunday, 16 October 2011

Game: A graphics Odyssey Part 1

Computers have changed the way we live on this planet since the very inception of early ones like ENIAC. I however am not a computer scientist and have a very limited perception of how it all works but there is one question I hear quite often that bugs me "how much better can video game graphics really get?". Any logical person would simply look
at the history of video games to draw the obvious conclusion but to put more emphasis I will describe a very basic way of understanding (because it's the best I can do).

From Pong to Battlefield 3  video games have progressed into something that we can call art, from the desolate wastelands of RAGE to the intergalactic cities of Mass Effect 2  we are treated to some of the most beautiful manifestations of human imagination and as computing power and engineering improves coupled with the fact that programmers will discover better and more efficient ways to code in order to squeeze more out of CPU cycles than graphics will undoubtedly improve for a long time yet, in fact I like to think that humans can fill anything as long as it has more capacity.

So lets have a look at some of the games that have changed the way we look at computer graphics.

Super Mario Bros 3. NES 1988

Yes there were video games before The NES but for the first time everyone had to stop in awe of what was happening (I think)" was this successor to Nintendo's popular mascots previous outings on the same system. The game feature beautifully detailed sprites, fast moving graphics and expansive levels and whats more still looks fantastic by today's 2D standards.

Mario with his version of the "leap of faith"

Red Zone. Sega Mega Drive 1994

Red Zone is a game released for the Sega Mega Drive in 1994 and features amazing graphical achievements for that system such as 3D vectors and FMV, a screenshot simply doesn't do the game justice so here's a YouTube video from  

Doom. PC 1993

Doom is not just a game about demons, violence and scaring the absolute crap out of you, it was a revolution in what was possible whithin a 3D environment on home computers setting the standard for all modern day FPS games and 3D games in general.

ughh, ughh ughh ughh

 Metal Gear Solid. PSX 1998

Metal Gear solid marks the birth of good 3D stealth games, but more importunately ridiculously long ingame realtime cut scenes, featuring a realistic lighting system and some of the best graphics on PlayStation one this game earns it's spot on the list. 

Goldeneye 007. N64 1997

This First person master piece was released on a console struggling to compete in the market and revolutionised how people saw consoles. No longer where they just toys for kids but instead where very serious competitors to High end PCs. Half life may have beat it a year later but it didn't do it from the couch.
For England

Final Fantasy X. Ps2 2001

 If ever there was a console that blew away common beliefs about hardware and it's capabilities it was the Sony's PlayStation 2  and this 2001 game is one of the many reasons why.
Seriously man, I parked the chocobo right here!

Halo: Combat Evolved. Xbox 2001

debatably the best game of all time Halo is often overlooked for it's then cutting edge graphics. With beautiful skyboxes Insane real time lighting effects and high resolution textures Halo easily made many other games look pale in comparison, Including those on PC.
Best level period

Stay tuned for part two of 8-Bits Graphics oddessye that brings us up to present day.

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