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Skrill.exe
Oct 3, 2007

"Bitcoin is a new financial concept entirely without precedent."

This is a thread for appreciating the unique art style of Japanese HD surrealism. Japanese HD surrealism is a term coined (by me) to describe art styles in Japanese-developed games on HD consoles with certain commonalities such as:

-Painstakingly crafted real-world objects/brands
-Weird boxy architecture
-Seemingly inhuman proportions/scale
-Flat-ish lighting
-Semi open world
-Limited animations - no mo-cap, very simple cutscenes often without lip sync animations
-A strange emptiness like a bad cheap movie set

So what are some examples?


Yakuza Series


Yakuza Series


Metal Gear Solid 4


Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (note the strange scale of the walls and doors)


Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (surreal, wide empty streets)


Deadly Premonition Series


Deadly Premonition Series


Bayonetta 2


It's important to note that not every Japanese game has this unique art style. Here are some examples of games that are close but would ultimately be excluded:
-Persona 5 - too stylized, Persona 4 might fit
-MGSV - Kojima graduated to actual realism with this title
-Souls games
-Any Sony first-party game - too detailed and realistic
-Resident Evil 2 - that burger looks too real compared to the horrendous food creations of the other titles


Possible precursors to this style:
While the style didn't hit its stride until the HD era there are some examples of games that most likely precipitated the trend.


Sonic Adventure - the OG


Resident Evil 4 - Later RE games achieved too much fidelity to be included


Please use this thread to share your examples and appreciation for this unique art style. If you're like me, starting a game within this category is like slipping into a warm bath. A glimpse into another reality where the goal of game design is no longer realism, but just the same crappy models and textures from 2 gens ago in HD and characters with really detailed pores.

And with that, I'll leave you with a question for discussion: Does Mario Odyssey's New Donk City fall into this category?

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Skrill.exe
Oct 3, 2007

"Bitcoin is a new financial concept entirely without precedent."

That's a very good example right there. You touched on another point which I hadn't thought about until now but I think theatricality is one of the key elements. In that clip, York's room is laid out like a stage with various props (stacks of books treated as a single object, the phone on the desk etc.) shown less to depict a hotel room or bedroom and more to signify one.

It touches on something else I'd noticed in the Yakuza series which is how characters handing objects to one another is depicted. In the games, Kiryu moves his empty hand toward the other person and they receive an object. You are then told what this object was through text or a menu. In all likelihood it's a cost-saving measure but the effect is that the game is making no attempt to convincingly render the object itself and is fine to use some visual shorthand and rely on the player's familiarity with the menus and video games in general to glean that knowledge.

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