AuthorTopic: The Pixel Art Quality Between Two Games  (Read 422 times)

Offline thesydneylad

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The Pixel Art Quality Between Two Games

on: August 28, 2018, 10:41:23 am
Hey, this is crazy to me. I don't understand the limitations of the NES, granted, but I really wanna know what could've happened.

See, I guess, IMO, I find the Batman sprites in 'Batman: The Game' to be really bad, to put it mildly.



Then you get to the sequel, 'Batman Return of the Joker' and the sprites look incredible.



The first game was released in January 1990, and the sequel was released 21 months after the first game, December 1991.

What happened between those months is what I want to know. Did the technology to the NES increase, did the sequel get more 'funding' (I don't know jack about how much money goes where in game development), did Sunsoft simply hire a far better pixel artist, or did the art design for the whole game simply allow these advances for everything? Before I found out the first game was made by Sunsoft, I was betting that LJN made the game and the sequel got made by a different company.

Offline eishiya

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Re: The Pixel Art Quality Between Two Games

Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 03:06:58 pm
The technology didn't change. The artist just seems to be different. The big differences are:
- the sequel sprites are larger, so it's easier to get more detail in, and the anatomy can be less ambiguous.
- the sequel sprites have better use of Batman's cape for adding oomph to the animation, the original was rather stiff. The animation seems better in general.
- the first game had lighter colours overall to help Batman stand out against the dark environments and could avoid using outlines and instead have some external AA. The sequel had both dark and light-ish environments, necessitating a sprite that could stand out against all of them, hence the greater reliance on outlines. Because bright colours were no longer helpful with keeping Batman visible, they went for more "natural" colours for him, using the deep blues.

IMHO the original game looks much better (at least in stills; as I mentioned, the animation is stiffer), so I guess it's just a matter of taste xP The original using external AA because of the predictably dark environments is clever, and the art is less noisy, making it easier to read Batman's pose. The sequel's art, in comparison, has better animation, but the pixel art, though by no means bad, isn't as clever or clean.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 07:10:29 pm by eishiya »

Offline nvision

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Re: The Pixel Art Quality Between Two Games

Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 01:48:32 pm
The first game is also a movie tie-in, so there were likely time constraints to get the game out to coincide with the film release. The second game is an original storyline, so they would have had more free reign. I still prefer the look of the first, since I think they did a decent job with NES palette restrictions, especially with all of that black!