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Reader Comments (52)

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:06AM MMOaddict said

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Depends on the style. I can play WoW just fine. Wildstar looks awesome.

BUT, I can't stand the look of Maplestory, mabinogi, eden eternal, etc. All of THOSE types of graphics make me want to...well, not play them, lol.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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Cartoony graphics can be done extremely well: Team Fortress 2. As long as a game is aesthetically well designed, I don't care what style it uses.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:15AM GrumpyGnome said

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It depends. Graphics like what we see in Glitch, are fine, for games like Glitch. Whimsical, and Cute, and generally taken in smallish bites. To me if I am looking for a casual romp, this style of graphics is fine, if not down right great.

The Graphics in Wildstar also work for me, (maybe the WB style trailer helped with that), although, I don't know how immersed I would ever get in that game. Fast paced action type MMO's work well with the cartoony graphics IMO.

Allods; what can I say, I love the graphics, (Although the upper tier armor is way over the top for my taste), the game world is just amazing, and easy to just fall into, or off of depending...

I prefer a slower game play, where you actually try to lose yourself in the game. For that, I like a more realistic style. If I have taken some time off work, and plan on playing 60+ hours over a 4 day weekend, then I need some kind of realism, and in this type of scenario, yes catroony graphics do bother me.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:20AM Baby Choo Choo said

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No. In fact, I prefer cartoony graphics.Not only do they often look like a barrel of fun or just plain stunning, they also tend to hide their age better than they're realistic brethren.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 9:41AM DarkWalker said

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@Baby Choo Choo

Very much agree.

What I can't stand are bad graphics (and animations). And it's much easier to have bad graphics when the developer aims at realism.

Simple, non-realistic graphics need way less effort to rise beyond what I consider the "fail" threshold.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:25AM Bramen said

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All graphics are cartoony.
Little kid show cartoony graphics like Maplestory make me feel strange for playing them and ultimately I don't play those games long. More realistic cartoony like WoW or Wildstar don't bother me.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:27AM (Unverified) said

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I'm hardly young (definitely past the yuppie stage), but I almost got caught up with Free Realms. Graphics were cute and gameplay, while a little childish, still provided some sense of accomplishment when getting things done.

I often wonder at people who says WoW has cartoony graphics. Yes, it's true, but that's also one of the reasons it's great. It's a fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously and it also looks great. Armour with spikes/blades larger than my weapon? Those are fun to look at and it provides for many chances to make fun of them. I make fun of my own armour in game.

"Realistic" graphics, while great, won't hold up if there is nothing else under the hood. I did not like Age of Conan because it felt clunky even if the graphics were nice. I loved Rift until a few months of level 50 and no time to raid. Rift was also disappointing with having really bad armour models and I did find the mob model re-use a little bit overdone. Also, Rift was not quite accessible in that I had problems playing until I upped my graphics card.

Maybe realism works well with first person shooters, but it just isn't as valuable for games in other genres. They do help with immersion, but games with cartoony graphics (WoW, Infamous, GTA, to name a few) do that very well without needing to be "realistic".

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 11:13AM (Unverified) said

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@Ren54

Hardly. But a cartoony look can benefit a cartoony game. "Realistic" graphics would benefit if the game can capitalize on it. Many FPS games are inherently immersive and being "realistic" just adds to it. Rift is mostly a great game, the graphics are a plus, but I didn't need to make the most of it to enjoy my time there. For a few months, I was playing at low settings but had fun.

Not saying I don't like great graphics, but when it comes down to the core of it, the graphics is not going to be the main reason to keep playing a game. Unlike single-player games, MMOs rely on people playing a long time.

Great gameplay can easily overcome "poor" or "cartoony" graphics (see Minecraft) but a poor game cannot be saved by amazing graphics.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
"It's a fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously "
Bleh, I wish.
One of the reasons I dislike WoW is that it keeps jumping from "Magical rainbow pop culture reference adventure!" to "Oh no! Grim McDarkShoulders The Trying-Too-Hard-To-Be-Badass is trying to blow up the world!"
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:29AM Lucidus said

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The landscape of SWTOR is fine, it's just the "Clone Wars" distorted bodies, Warcraft shoulderpads and plastic Max Headroom hair that I just can't stand.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 6:48PM Naru now in 3D said

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@Lucidus I agree... I have nothing against cartoony graphics, but they just feel really out of place in the Old Republic franchise.

The original game, KOTOR, was so good at capturing the atmosphere of the original Star Wars trilogy, and I was looking forward to experiencing that again on an even grander scale with TOR. However, because of the cartoony WoW/Clone Wars style of the game, it doesn't really seem to have that same exciting, mysterious Star Wars ambiance at all and I have no interest in it.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:29AM Dumac said

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I would say i prefer very stylized graphics, which often fall under the description of being cartoony, so what. Glitch is pretty. But as with 'realistic' graphics that can turn out generic and/or bland and/or all flavors of ugly, so can cartoony graphics, so i can't say either of them "rules".

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:33AM (Unverified) said

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Dear god yes, loathe cartoony. I think the only reason developers try this; A. to mimic the top dog, WoW, and B. cartoony is easier to make, less stressful on computers.

There hasn't been a graphic max game in a while, XIV was suppose to be, but we know how that train wreck turned out. Aion graphics are very impressive, but PVP not for everyone. Tera, GW2, SWTOR should set the standards much higher.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 9:39AM alzeer said

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@(Unverified) maybe TERA will but both ToR & GW2 are below AoC graphics
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:37AM Thorqemada said

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I have no Problem with the old ISO-look of games like Syndicate or Ultima.
Perfect World has also cartoony graphic? It looks good.

Games like Glitch i do not like, WoW withg its oversized anything i dont like.

SWTOR looks fine to me as far i have seen screenshots.

I would love if a fantasy mmo would have the style of The Witcher 2.
I think this is the best graphic you can have b4 it becomes ridiculous overdoing.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:37AM Carolina said

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Depends on the cartoony style. Some of them I like. And as was pointed out, they have a good chance to hide their age better then the realistic texture heavy styles.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:43AM Luluna said

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No if it's done right.

I actually love cartoony graphics with style, like Okami.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 8:53AM Faryon said

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Nope, but stuff like bad texture quality and extremely low polygon models bothers me a lot. Cartoony graphics isn't a valid excuse for bad graphics.

It also bothers me when games are not consistent about their graphic style: If the game is going for the toony/stylized feel they should use that graphic style for everything and not just characters and monsters or terrain and buildings.

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 9:02AM Beau Hindman said

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The older I get, the more I prefer a stylized or cartoony game. It's as though I can see through the lack of realism in a "realistic" looking game better, and so I don't take it as seriously. I guess it's sort of like going to a Halloween party and everyone is SUPER SERIOUS about being accurate with their costumes and scaring the pants off of everyone. As good of a job as they might be able to do, no adult would ever think it was real. I'd rather go to a party that is absurd.

Of course, I still love some Vanguard or LotRO. They look great. And when the game is cartoony, I like to have some underlying "adult" themes like tragedy, etc. Maybe like a Howl's Moving Castle type of thang.

Great topic!

Beau

Posted: Oct 7th 2011 12:04PM Saker said

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@Beau Hindman "Howl's Moving Castle" is a excellent example! Yes I agree completely! Same thing I want. The anime (which is significantly different then the book btw - which is absolutely worth reading!) and the book are on the surface kids classic fairy stories, but just below the surface, deeper more adult themes. I like much of the better cartoony graphics, but dislike when they go over-the-top and turn it into almost a parody of itself ala much of those WoW-type armor pieces. Insanely crazy-huge shoulder-pads covered in flaming skulls.... I mean seriously, too much... Same reason I can't stomach the more realistic style of say Tera, with those completely over-the-top immense weapons, and other over-sized parts.. cough... (I call it hooker-chic, nuff said!)
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