The Coin-Op Question: Graphics or Gameplay?

Real Talk By: KJ

Graphics definitely have the wider appeal.  It can help motivate average consumers to take the next system leap.  Games such as “Killzone: Shadow Fall”, “NBA 2K14”, and “Ryse: Son of Rome” were attention grabbers.  Just as important (especially to diehards) can be older games.  While the visuals are dated, these gems are still played aggressively.  Ms. Pac-Man, Super Street Fighter 2, simply because of their timeless mechanics.  Some modern games are made with the intention of replicating these experiences.  A lot of times, it works out (“Super Meat Boy”, “Hotline Miami”).  However, I’ve met people who won’t give oldies (or retro-looking games) their time if it doesn’t look AAA, potentially missing out on unforgettable titles.  Sometimes (intentionally and unintentionally) we’ll pay just for the graphics, as the main game may have lacked features it used to.  WWE 2K15 comes to mind.  If things were flipped (modes instead of visuals), would the game have been inside consoles longer?  So this why we have to ask you all.  What is top priority when you’re shopping? The Coin-Op Question: Graphics or Gameplay?

#GraphicsvsGameplay @PlayLegit


3 thoughts on “The Coin-Op Question: Graphics or Gameplay?

  1. Definitely the gameplay. If a game controls poorly, isn’t interesting, or even fun the pretty skyboxes, and lighting effects are meaningless. There’s a reason why even newer generations can go back, play Missile Command, Berzerk, or Donkey Kong, and still have a great time. Because the game play in those games is captivating enough to want to keep playing, and get a high score. That isn’t to say graphics aren’t important. If a game places a big importance on telling a story, it can make a more realistic line of set pieces, and make things a little bit more believable. If it’s something like an open world game, or a deep RPG the little details can be a wow factor, as well as give you better cues to when you need to do something like heal a character. Of course there can also be those times when there is too much emphasis placed on how whiz bang everything looks, and then not enough time is spent on making the game fun, or in some cases even all that interactive. We’ve certainly seen instances of this, and many people giving their disdain for it. That isn’t to say that everything needs to be Pac-Man or that every instance of pretty visuals means a game will be more tech demo than game. But it’s something that should be thought about. Sometimes going for a formula with pretty pictures is a safe bet, and we wish that more would take chances. But making things so pretty is really expensive, which is why a lot of times we don’t see them take chances. This is why I think ultimately, the gameplay wins out. If you make something unique, and fun that doesn’t require the kinds of imagery seen in a modern movie,you have staying power. Graphics also start to lose their luster over time because newer technology makes the limitations a little bit more visible. At least until there’s a point where it is moot. So if a game is all flash, and no substance, it doesn’t age well. That’s not to say everything old is great, there is a lot of dreck in any era. But look at any game you keep going back to, again, and again, and you’ll probably have to admit it isn’t how realistic it looks that makes you do so.

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