My Google Fu for finding other people with the same idea isn't very good and so this is why this post exists.
This post is because of a Legendary Marathon I had of the Halo series and I can't for the life of me understand why in Halo 4 everything is shiny along with enemies being impossible to distinguish from even mid range from my position with like 2 million lens flares on the screen, and i'm playing Halo 4 on a Fat White Xbox 360 that makes Kevin Spacey's face in COD Advanced Warfare look like PS2 racing audience graphics.
The straw that broke the camel's back especially was in the Star Fox 64-style flying section at the end of Halo 4, aside from the orange lightbulbs and turrets which lock the doors, I can't tell what's a wall and what is considered the next area in the distance, the level is like a more complex trench run from A New Hope.
Sometimes, I would crash into a wall thinking it was just the next area but off in the distance and other times, I would dodge what LOOKS like walls then end up crashing and burning in another wall.
Seeing as how I had just finished playing Reach, It had me thinking:
It got harder identifying things as the Halo series went on.
Because Combat Evolved was a very simple looking game, yeah it's dated but the Art Style still sticks around, Anniversary Graphics notwithstanding. I can actually assess my threat and it shines especially in Two Betrayals when watching the distinct green glowing Flood battling the primarily purple, blue, orange, red and yellow Covenant.
Halo 2 was much of the same, a bit darker and foggier on some levels but it's basically a more detailed CE.
Halo 3 was half-half, the first level that takes place in a Forest was admittedly hard to go by if just because of the sheer crispiness of the area, it's a Forest obviously and so there are tons of irregular shapes, holes and bumpy ground to get any good feel for, but the rest of the game is still fairly easy to see through because of the bigger more distinct Brutes contrasting with the new fleshy Flood, it's as if the game is color coding itself for you.
I'm skipping ODST and Reach since again, they look fantastic but you can tell what things are without much trouble.
Halo 4 and 5 are so terrible at this with how flashy and eye melting they look, they ARE good looking games, but sometimes this extra flair just isn't needed at all.
I once saw a comparison of Halo 5's Beta and Retail releases and that the reason Retail has glowing Spartans and dull plastic lighting is to please the competitive scene, to make it more suitable for them, OK, so they DO notice the practicality of simpler graphics, then they went TOO far in the other direction and everybody hates how the game looks. The campaign is unchanged.
Then Halo Infinite comes around and while i do get what people are saying with the game looking hideous, the Phantom, Weapon Textures, Environmental Details, Craig.
I much prefer how simple but good looking the game looks, I do not need photorealistic graphics like Modern Warfare being almost 200 GB but being a smaller gamey-game overall.
Then you have Doom 1993, despite the level design being stupidly labyrinthian, the art style and gameplay sticks around despite looking "old"
Then you have Lion King Classic and Remake. Lion King still looks timeless and nothing about putting in Uncanny Valley faces on animals helps the remake in any way.
Minecraft looks incredibly retro and is around 10 or so years old but then people INSIST on adding these stupid realistic shaders and RTX to everything. WHY!? What does adding eye bleeding aesthetically ugly graphics accomplish?
Artstyle and Gameplay is forever.
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