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2D vs 3D: Star Ocean 4 Can’t Decide

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Moderately anticipated Xbox 360 “exclusive” SF RPG Star Ocean 4 has has some screenshots released which show off the game in some detail, though questions have been immediately asked about the wisdom of their character design and graphical style.

The style adopted seems to be a hodgepodge of Final Fantasy style CG and classical anime style visuals, and the results seem to be mixed.

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The game itself doesn’t look too bad, though nor does it look particularly impressive, but as Hachimaki says, “they look more like dolls than humans”. Maybe this does a disservice to some dolls though…

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Via Hachimaki.

We saw a similar phenomenon with Tales of Hearts, although in that case players (at least Japanese ones) would have a choice between 3D and 2D cinematics. Could this ungainly hybrid style be a similarly misguided attempt to secure international marketability?

If the favourable reception Tales of Vesperia received is anything to go by (to say nothing of the success of Valkyria), they might be better served by sticking to 2D style 3D, although it has to be said the previous games experienced some success with the 3D style 2D.

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10 Comments

  • Barbarian of Gor says:

    I’m for 2D but in 3D. The computers are advanced enough now, we need more 2D games with 3D to support them.

    It’s like this: In the early days I was amazed at the “Laser Games”, notably Dragon’s Lair. I, as a brat, wanted them to make it so you could move beyond the “Flashing” choices, but of course even trying it would have probably overloaded a Cray at the time.

    Fast forward to the 90s and onwards, computer power grew sufficiently. Almost as an afterthought I got the GameCube “Dragon’s Lair 3D” and it was indeed almost like the classic game come to full life.

    Sadly, the 3D issue seems to have taken the edge and not too many good animated games are out there, such as Odin Sphere, GrimGrimGrimoire and Muramasa and of course Okami. Computers should be used for more advanced “Mobile animation” techniques. The polygon count would go down, leaving tons of rooms for “Texture Scripts”. I bet there could be a re-make of “Atari Adventure” but literally have the artwork look like a classic “Bob Pepper” inkwork painting come to life and it could run on a PS2 or 3 year old home computer easily.

  • That loli in the first pic looks too cute that i don’t even mind about this topic…… Stick to this style, Enix, you don’t need to emulate Nomura and destroy 3D Moeness with overrated 3D realism.

    • actually, square has nothing to do with this. they are still 2 separate companies(and in fact it was ENIX that bought square to begin with), and tri-Ace is the sole developer. they only publish it. publisher =/= developer sweets.

  • I wouldn’t mind at all seeing the 3d models. On the side note i do question square’s credibility for 3d model designs. The hair and eyes throws me off compared to how cloud looks in advent children or how the characters look in FFXIII. I do like how the battle scenes look and its a definite upgrade from Star Ocean: til the end of time. I also do enjoy the 2d portraits.