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Graphics, Animation and General Model Quality

Sweet Veil

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Surprised I didn't see a thread on this, gotta say that I'm not a fan of this with this being 2022 and supposedly us reaching the end of the Switch's life cycle, I never complained much before because I was always told how "this game is just a test run for the next game to improve" it feels like that's the excuse since XY and Pokemon going 3D. It's really crazy considering this franchise's popularity and #1 status that they can throw content like this out.
FUMKc0fXEAAIkS2

Pokemon Snap by Bandai Namco showed that
FUMKWHiWAAMKPJb

Same hardware - Xenoblade
FUMKaibWAAASh-5

Sonic Frontier's trailer from yesterday
1654135854838.png

ScarletViolet vs. PokePark 2

FULEH_HXEAMxJ89

FULEE3uXEAEgeVT

Game Freak really out here doing the bare minimum.
 

Scruffyjay

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Graphics aren't great. SWSH had good graphics (fight me). The pokemon textures shown in the first SV trailer are awesome though.


Overall it doesn't matter to me if they're doing the "bare minimum" for graphics. The rest of the game usually ends up being great, so it doesn't matter to me.
 

takoyaki

↑avatar by Blanc♡
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Graphics aren't the best, oh well? Gameplay is more important IMO. I'd like to focus on the improvements made to character and Pokémon models, although in an open-world game the outerworld graphics ARE important as well.

Also, Snap is a waaaaay different game than Pokémon mainline. Can't say that for Xenoblade though! It looks nice!

also, wow, whenever I play Pokepark it doesn't look half as good as that! that person's setup is awesome~ or maybe I just don't remember how the graphics of that game look.

Point is, I like the Wii and Gamecube (and grew up with the Wii and PS2!). Graphics don't bother me that much☆
 
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it feels weird to talk complain about Pokemon graphics being subpar when they've pretty much always been subpar. playing pokemon for its graphics seems silly, like playing COD or some other warfare shooter for its plot.
 

Torchic W. Pip

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One thing to keep in mind is that this footage is probably from more earlier builds of the game (game footage not final and all that). I'm not an expert on trailer design/game graphics/game release scheduling, but my guess is that they didn't take this footage recently. I remember the graphics between the first trailer of BDSP and even the next trailer (+ the final release) drastically improving.

I'm sort of eh on some of the graphics at the moment (trainer models and some of the scenery), though I kind of like it because I'm partial for the graphical quality of Wii/Gamecube games. There's also certain things like the metallic texture of Magnemite or the scales of Serviper that are a drastic improvement over even recent games like Sword and Shield. The trainer models are one thing graphic wise that I'm hoping will improve with the final release, but the models themselves are really nice imo. And the animations are really, really charming.
 

Arylett Charnoa

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I don't really think there's any excuse for the level of graphical quality GameFreak's been putting out.

It's not a matter of the graphics being outdated persay - it's that the are lazily done with cut corners. Textures of horrid resolutions, terrible shading/lighting, an incohesive art style where the trainers look like they belong in a different world to the Pokemon. New Pokemon Snap looks better in spite of using the same models as Game Freak because they put more effort into the shading, lighting, and texture of the characters, making them blend in better and not look so out of place.

There are plenty of old beautiful games that I still love the look of, in spite of being old. Okami has objectively outdated graphics, yet it looks far better than Pokemon because of the attention and care the artists put into its graphical stylings. Wind Waker, a GameCube game, is also the same. I'm not asking for hyper realism HD, because I've never liked that and have been tired of games putting far too many resources into looking realistic. But at least put some style and effort into it. Every [Switch] Game Freak Pokemon game has looked like uncanny plastic toys running around in a low resolution world.

So yes, I do agree, OP. People are prone to make excuses for the Pokemon Company, but the truth is that they have been working with 3D for a decade now. Excuses have run thin - we should at least have a game that looks as good as Wind Waker by now. Graphics may not be the most important thing, but they are pretty vital to the immersion of a world. Pokemon relies on its character designs and pulling you into the world, and it is very poorly served by such lazy graphics. The 2D games looked leagues ahead in spite of being outdated because they actually had a sense of style and effort put into them. Everything looked cohesive and worked well together. They were colorful little worlds where the Pokemon and the humans looked like they were part of the same reality.
 
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CuboneKing

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I don't really think there's any excuse for the level of graphical quality GameFreak's been putting out.

It's not a matter of the graphics being outdated persay - it's that the are lazily done with cut corners. Textures of horrid resolutions, terrible shading/lighting, an incohesive art style where the trainers look like they belong in a different world to the Pokemon. New Pokemon Snap looks better in spite of using the same models as Game Freak because they put more effort into the shading, lighting, and texture of the characters, making them blend in better and not look so out of place.

There are plenty of old beautiful games that I still love the look of, in spite of being old. Okami has objectively outdated graphics, yet it looks far better than Pokemon because of the attention and care the artists put into its graphical stylings. Wind Waker, a GameCube game, is also the same. I'm not asking for hyper realism HD, because I've never liked that and have been tired of games putting far too many resources into looking realistic. But at least put some style and effort into it. Every Game Freak Pokemon game has looked like uncanny plastic toys running around in a low resolution world.

So yes, I do agree, OP. People are prone to make excuses for the Pokemon Company, but the truth is that they have been working with 3D for a decade now. Excuses have run thin - we should at least have a game that looks as good as Wind Waker by now. Graphics may not be the most important thing, but they are pretty vital to the immersion of a world. Pokemon relies on its character designs and pulling you into the world, and it is very poorly served by such lazy graphics. The 2D games looked leagues ahead in spite of being outdated because they actually had a sense of style and effort put into them. Everything looked cohesive and worked well together. They were colorful little worlds where the Pokemon and the humans looked like they were part of the same reality.
Hard agree with all of this. What matters to me most when playing a Pokémon game is that I feel immersed in this fictional world I love dearly. It’s a lot harder to do that when there’s all these impossible to ignore (for me at least) visual discrepancies that force me to remember this is just a video game - and one that probably needed more time in development at that. Sure, in my ideal scenario, mainline Pokémon would be visually right up there with Nintendo’s best. But, I’d rather have a smooth, polished, and artistically coherent GameCube-looking game than a buggy, unfinished mess that only in screenshots can compete with Breath of the Wild or Odyssey. But we aren’t getting either of those. It’s both unpolished and dated, and that’s really difficult to defend.

I want to like Scarlet and Violet, I want to be more hyped, the idea of an open world Pokémon game is so exciting, but I can’t help but feel like I’m going to be depressingly unimmersed when I’m playing it. Not like it’s gonna matter to anyone involved in making these games because I’m an absolute sucker and I’m going to give them my money anyway. Yeah, I’m part of the problem. Not much I can do about it at this point except complain.
 

Norzan

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it feels weird to talk complain about Pokemon graphics being subpar when they've pretty much always been subpar. playing pokemon for its graphics seems silly, like playing COD or some other warfare shooter for its plot.
It's much less playing it for the graphics and more that graphics are an important part of immersion. Seeing bad lighting, weird textures and hardly any anti-aliasing can take people out of the game and remind them it's just a videogame.

The thing is that the graphics in the older games, while not being top of the line, did the job. At least for me, there's never been a point in the those games (the 3DS games included) where i was taken out of the game because of graphical oddities. Now those are honestly commonplace in current games. There are some pretty looking locations, but it's rather often to run into stuff that takes me out of the game and reminds me that it's just a videogame instead of the game trying to immerse the player into their worlds as hard as they can.

All of this becomes harder to swallow when Gamefreak said that they needed to remove the ability to have every pokemon in the game for better graphics and animations. So graphics do matter if Gamefreak thinks they do. But have we gotten that substantial boost that they should have gotten for losing such a long standing feature? Not really. We have gotten some better animations and graphics, but nowhere as much to justify losing that ability and having to spend 60 bucks (30 more for DLC).

Then there's the fact that much less sucessful franchises put in the effort for better graphics, better gameplay and more content in each new entry, while Pokemon gets to do the bare minimum and sell a gazillion of copies. People might tell me that effort doesn't always mean a better reward, but i still think it's highly unfair for much less sucessful franchises to go the extra mile for their games to be better, and yet Gamefreak doesn't try as hard and gets to sell more copies (and people celebrate this like it's a good thing when all it does is send a message to Gamefreak that they don't have to try as hard as other companies in order to make a ton of money).

So it's not just "lol graphics sux" and more just a bunch of issues piling on top of each other.
 
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PinkIceFox

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I think the game looks alright. But I think a lot of the problem is the fact that they made a huge open world.

Pokepark and New Pokemon Snap look lovely, yes. But they are smaller, condensed areas where they would have time to finely detail everything. Open world games tend to suffer a bit for this. Even Breath of the Wild can look very bland and same-y in areas with not much points of interest in them. Plus if the open world is big enough they probably had to make prop assets (if that is the wrong word sorry, I am on low sleep and also have the dumb) and have an algorithm to mold the world's hills and things and put trees, rocks, and stuff like that around. In some games you can easily recognize an asset like piles of rocks or a certain unique hill shape if you play it enough. I mean. I do anyway but I'm weird.

Because I highly doubt that unless its an area like a town or something they aren't probably having someone sit down and making every hill and cliffside by hand. I'm pretty sure there's evidence of that kind of thing in Legends Arceus. Like, a rock/bush/tree slightly floating off the ground. A random polygon spike in the ground where the ground is kinda lumpy. Edges of cliffs looking a bit spikey instead of smooth... yeah.

We can all rest assured that if enough people hate it though that Gamefreak will go "oh guess we should NEVER DO THIS AGAIN and do the complete polar opposite" instead of 'we should try harder to learn from this and do the next even better'.
 

Blob

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I did make a thread about how much I hate the lighting and how low res everything is. Some Pokémon just blend in too much and the bloom is way too high.
 

Arylett Charnoa

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I think the game looks alright. But I think a lot of the problem is the fact that they made a huge open world.

Pokepark and New Pokemon Snap look lovely, yes. But they are smaller, condensed areas where they would have time to finely detail everything. Open world games tend to suffer a bit for this. Even Breath of the Wild can look very bland and same-y in areas with not much points of interest in them. Plus if the open world is big enough they probably had to make prop assets (if that is the wrong word sorry, I am on low sleep and also have the dumb) and have an algorithm to mold the world's hills and things and put trees, rocks, and stuff like that around. In some games you can easily recognize an asset like piles of rocks or a certain unique hill shape if you play it enough. I mean. I do anyway but I'm weird.

Because I highly doubt that unless its an area like a town or something they aren't probably having someone sit down and making every hill and cliffside by hand. I'm pretty sure there's evidence of that kind of thing in Legends Arceus. Like, a rock/bush/tree slightly floating off the ground. A random polygon spike in the ground where the ground is kinda lumpy. Edges of cliffs looking a bit spikey instead of smooth... yeah.

We can all rest assured that if enough people hate it though that Gamefreak will go "oh guess we should NEVER DO THIS AGAIN and do the complete polar opposite" instead of 'we should try harder to learn from this and do the next even better'.
I don't really think that the open world or the size of the world itself applies, considering that they delivered a poor graphical quality even in Legends Arceus, which was not open world. There are, as you've mentioned, so many instances of graphical error in that game. Things such as white outlines often appearing around the characters, floating characters, terrible texture resolutions, etc. Game Freak hasn't really made a polished looking 3D game regardless of the scope, especially for the Switch. Sword and Shield had the issue of terrible tree textures and the aforementioned lighting and shading issues.

And whilst they've improved the human models in the trailers, the environments and the Pokémon don't really look far off from Legends Arceus quality. Many of the Pokemon have minimal shading and texture and still look like plastic toys. Being open world should not affect this - most of these models are being reused from older games and would just require some retouching. Some scales on Seviper is a nice step, but I haven't seen much texture on the others. Especially not the new starter Pokémon.

Furthermore, we don't actually know what they mean when they use that term. Does open world mean to Game Freak that we can go anywhere at any time but the areas are small? [As they've said on the website, we will be able to do things in whatever order regardless of the story, but that's all we have to go on.] Is it just a buzzword they're using because it's what's popular nowadays? There's no telling at this point.

But even so, I don't really think any of us are expecting them to handcraft every single rock. I really doubt that game developers do that nowadays anyway - even for a non-open world game, such a feat would probably balloon the development schedule. There's a lot of copypasting and asset reuse in all games. It's totally understandable. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to look cohesive and not have weird shading/lighting that either makes the characters stick out too much or makes them melt into the colors of the environment around them. It looks unprofessional and should not be the standard for a game of Pokemon's calibur. These games don't compare to their contemporaries either - open world or not. Breath of the Wild still, at least in my opinion, has far more polish in its graphics than what we've seen of SV so far. There are also the Xenoblade games, which have very vast, beautiful worlds. The point of a trailer is to impress potential consumers, so they should be showing us their best look. If they are not, either they are rather irresponsible business-wise, they don't care, or this is all they got. None of it bodes well.

And before it is mentioned again that the graphics could be fixed before the game releases, this has been said about Pokémon games time and time again, and it has very rarely applied. There is little evidence to suggest things will be different. Perhaps they could do what they did in BDSP and fix a few shading/lighting issues, but very little is likely to change.
 
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Ryoma Maser

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I don't really think there's any excuse for the level of graphical quality GameFreak's been putting out.

It's not a matter of the graphics being outdated persay - it's that the are lazily done with cut corners. Textures of horrid resolutions, terrible shading/lighting, an incohesive art style where the trainers look like they belong in a different world to the Pokemon. New Pokemon Snap looks better in spite of using the same models as Game Freak because they put more effort into the shading, lighting, and texture of the characters, making them blend in better and not look so out of place.

There are plenty of old beautiful games that I still love the look of, in spite of being old. Okami has objectively outdated graphics, yet it looks far better than Pokemon because of the attention and care the artists put into its graphical stylings. Wind Waker, a GameCube game, is also the same. I'm not asking for hyper realism HD, because I've never liked that and have been tired of games putting far too many resources into looking realistic. But at least put some style and effort into it. Every [Switch] Game Freak Pokemon game has looked like uncanny plastic toys running around in a low resolution world.

So yes, I do agree, OP. People are prone to make excuses for the Pokemon Company, but the truth is that they have been working with 3D for a decade now. Excuses have run thin - we should at least have a game that looks as good as Wind Waker by now. Graphics may not be the most important thing, but they are pretty vital to the immersion of a world. Pokemon relies on its character designs and pulling you into the world, and it is very poorly served by such lazy graphics. The 2D games looked leagues ahead in spite of being outdated because they actually had a sense of style and effort put into them. Everything looked cohesive and worked well together. They were colorful little worlds where the Pokemon and the humans looked like they were part of the same reality.
I still think it says a lot, that Let's Go looks better than every non-spinoff Pokémon game on Switch and yet none of this carried to SwSh or Legends (even though I like the painting aesthetic it seems to have so I don't mind the lower quality in that case but still).

Your thoughts were similar to Ted/Exand Shadow of the Brain Scratch Comms crew and he pretty much said the same:


While it looks like they may be using the engine from New Pokémon Snap that Namco developed, and of course Game Footage is never not final but I'm kinda in the same boat. XenoBlade Chronicles 2 was developed only with 40 people from Monolith Soft, the company Nintendo bought and outsources their talent to work on nearly all their games (both BOTW & 2 have Monolith Soft talent on there) despite a few graphical errors and some model clipping on characters (Mythra is most noticeable with her hair) still looks better than SwSh and Legends coming out two and a little over three years later respectively, and Monolith worked on the latter.
 

Scruffyjay

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God, let's go eevee/pikachu still just looks so good to me. I'd have loved if they kept that style
 

A Wild Luxray

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I feel like I'm one of the few that doesn't really care much about the graphics looking like they're from the mid 2000's? Like, yeah Pokemon should be more on par with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Luigi's Mansion 3, or Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and I question how they aren't, but it doesn't bother me that much. For Pokemon, while some textures don't look that great, these are the best looking graphics to date for a Pokemon game, and there's still time to see improvement. The textures though on the Pokemon look great.
 

Blob

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I feel like I'm one of the few that doesn't really care much about the graphics looking like they're from the mid 2000's? Like, yeah Pokemon should be more on par with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Luigi's Mansion 3, or Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, and I question how they aren't, but it doesn't bother me that much. For Pokemon, while some textures don't look that great, these are the best looking graphics to date for a Pokemon game, and there's still time to see improvement. The textures though on the Pokemon look great.
The thing that gets me though is the lighting. Just because somewhere is hot IRL, doesn't mean the bloom has to be set way too high. In the first image the yellow spire structures in the distance are so blurry I can't tell where the sky ends and they begin. It's another reason why I hate forced FoV, since blurry things in the distance in games make me feel like I have water in my eyes.
 

Peppermint Phoenix

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"I just want jazzier idles and non dull colors. I don't want the dexcut to be retroactively ' 'justified' I want it gone" is what I was about to say until I remembered I hated the way the humans look in 3d. Their skin textures just don't mesh with the rest of the game for some reason.
 

Norzan

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And before it is mentioned again that the graphics could be fixed before the game releases, this has been said about Pokémon games time and time again, and it has very rarely applied. There is little evidence to suggest things will be different. Perhaps they could do what they did in BDSP and fix a few shading/lighting issues, but very little is likely to change.
This is another thing that also bothers me, how people keep telling me that the game's footage is not final when more often than not it is the final footage. I checked the early trailers for SwSh and the release version and they look basically the same. The meme Ocarina of Time trees are unironically still in the final product. Legends Arceus also didn't changed or it hardly did. BDSP is the only one so far that changed but it was because it looked so abysmal in that first trailer, and it was clearly rushed just to have a trailer to coincide with LA's trailer.

I will bet good money that the release version of SV will look like the trailers that were already released.
 

Team Gaara

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The graphics will likely improve as we get more footage. It's pretty meh, but far from the worst thing in the world by any means.
 

Miar

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The Pokémon look really good up close, and that's most important to me. The shading is more subtle, LGPE style, and adding textures might also indicate higher-poly models than last time

I almost never play handheld but I wonder if, as Pokémon is primarily a franchise for handhelds, the 720p screen is being prioritized.
 

SeanWheeler

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The textures were great. Too bad the screen resolution is not so great. We could see the pixels.
 
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