2D Game Art and the Virtual Console

HD Pixel Art

I’m a bit of a game art aficionado. Actually, I’m an admirer of many things related to games (shock), but right now I’m going to talk a little about art specifically. Concept art: awesome. 2D art: awesome. Animated pixel art: awesome. And now HD pixel art? Well, Capcom is redoing their infamous game, (Super) Street Fighter 2 (Turbo), for the XBox 360 and PS3 in glorious 1080p HD. What they’ve released so far, looks pretty cool.

More images and information at the Capcom Digital Blog.

But with the resolution so high, I don’t think it’s fair to call it pixel art. The artist no longer has to be concerned with having enough pixels available in the character’s head to portray a complete face, or how they’re going to fake multiple digits on the character’s hand that is only 4 pixels wide. It is simply… digital art now. 🙂 It’s fun watching in-game art approach polished concept art!

However, I must watch this HD generation from afar, for now, as I have neither an HD system nor an HD TV. I have only a Wii and a small CRT (not even wide screen). But I’m among the majority, so I’ll remain confident I will receive some high quality games that I can enjoy for a long while yet – they just won’t look as pretty.

Some cool articles on video game sprite evolution: Mario, Castle Vania, and Sonic.

Interesting quote:

Shigeru Miyamoto made him look the way he does because of hardware limitations of the time. He was given a mustache to seperate his nose from his face, overalls so arm movements were visible, and a hat because hair was hard to draw.

And the book they’re from.

Virtual Console Rant

Speaking of Wii, Super Mario Bros. 2, often referred to as the black sheep of the series just came out on Virtual Console, yesterday. That game is great, but why can’t Nintendo just release Super Mario All-Stars on VC and get it over with?! I have All-Stars on SNES, so I can’t justify getting anything less on VC. Same with Capcom and Street Fighter! They are guilty of starting with the oldest game of the series some six months back, just to release the next in the series (an improvement in the existing game, nothing uniquely different, making the previous version obsolete) a week or two ago, making all the people that bought the original feel ripped off. Awesome way to treat your fans, guys. Really impressive.

Both of these Street Fighters are the same price on the VC: 800pts. One can’t help but feel that Wii owners are getting the short end of the stick. PS3 and 360 owners get a revamped HD version of the latest (best) version with added net play and other goodies. While Wii owners get to progressively download all of the classics from the nineties in their original form, starting with the first. At least Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting is the last version released on SNES, so we shouldn’t expect to be shafted any more in the SNES VC. Of course, Street Fighter Alpha 2 may be on its way, but at least it’s a reasonably different game. I wonder if we’ll get to witness this same fan-milking by SNK when the Neo Geo becomes available on the VC this summer. Samurai Showdown 1, 2, 3, …. I hope not. Go straight to the good stuff. Quality over quantity, please.

And in a store, when the newer game comes out, the older one goes into the bargain bin. Where is the bargain bin on the Virtual Console? There’s no stock to get rid of. The older game, smug with defiance, remains equally priced next to its usurper. Any consumer considering the older game is likely doing so because they found it first, unaware there is a better title for the exact same price, making them a victim. This is made even worse with the lack of sorting options and meta data on the Wii shopping channel. A “Related Games” link for each game could be very useful to the buyer. A virtual bargain bin would be awesome, and could even increase sales (baseless blind guess). The Virtual Console is obviously very successful and still very young, but I hope Nintendo plans for some evolution in its life-cycle to make it more dynamic and mature.


  1. you realize there are people who PREFER the old and “inferior” games to the newer versions… ESPECIALLY when you talk to the zealous streetfighter fanbase, it’s loaded with purists.

    Also you seem to of confused Nintendo ‘fans’ with Nintendo ‘customers’
    The idea of dropping the price on older games is a nifty one. But you know it won’t happen anytime soon. Those who can afford home console luxury machines can afford to drop a few bucks on a game even if it is old. They do after all sit in the same pricing area as a Venti Caramel Frappucino

  2. oh and, the comparing to ps3/360 stuff can be stopped now. You know just as well as I do their intentions weren’t to compete with them in “next-gen” wars, and just do things their own way.

  3. Ask any of these streetfighter zealots if they would like an enhanced version (redrawn graphics and net play) of an existing game or just the existing game, and I’m sure they’ll go for the former. Ask them if they want the latest version released or the first, I’m sure they’ll go for the former.

    I used fan and customer interchangeably. Sue me.

    I wasn’t commenting on Nintendo’s intentions of next-gen competition, but Capcom’s treatment of their customers/fans on all systems.

    Venti Caramel Frappuccinos are a little bit cheaper than an NES game. Why, you could nearly get two for the price of an SNES game! I know, it’s a whole new perspective. I await the promotion where I get (Nintendo) points for purchasing those delicious beverages. 😀

  4. i asked a random street fighter zealot, those very 2 questions.
    (he plays it via MUGEN mostly)

    first question response
    “f*** that, i don’t want to see how g*y Ken really looks”

    second question response
    “I don’t understand”

    …I linked him here to clarify, but I think too much was asked of his attention span.

    so you get half points

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