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The Last Story Director Says HD Graphics Are “Excessive” For Video Games

Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director behind The Last Story believes that video game developers are worrying too much about producing rich HD visuals, when they should in fact be worrying about the fundamentals in video game design.

“Now that high-quality graphics rule supreme, you can reproduce what you want to communicate visually, but at the same time, I don’t know how to put this, but there’s an element that’s slightly excessive about it all…You end up communicating too much to the player.”

“This is why I now feel that we’re at a turning point. With this title, I pressed reset and returned to the basics of what a game is. I started by spending a lot of time considering just what it means to tell a story in a game. But it went beyond simply considering the story side of things – I looked again at the fundamentals on the system side too.

“To be honest, I think that the HD images which have become mainstream in the TV industry are, for me personally, still rather over the top for the world of video games. There’s a tendency for developers to allow all their energy to be diverted into maintaining the high quality of the graphics.”

85 thoughts on “The Last Story Director Says HD Graphics Are “Excessive” For Video Games”

    1. it was was stupid as hell,”Zanza destroyed earth with the big red button, then he became a god for some reason, also Alvis was a computer. A computer that had the power of creation. Now shulk is a god,only he isn’t, but he recreated the world again anyways, but it was the exact same as before, only flora isn’t a robot. now look at the future…rolls credit Yep xenoblade ending was lame!

      1. Bro the universe destroying device was to destroy and create new worlds because the gods were the ones who created the new world. The big red button initiatied another big bang; alvis was the AI 0f the research satellite and the program that caused the big bang to reoccur.
        So when zenza made big bang new gods were born.

        Xenoblade ending wasn’t lame its clever like our multiple universe properly filled with creatures and there gods.

        btw the game ending had cheesy dialogues like ” how they didn’t know what the future holds” or ” we will forge our own destiny ” crap

    1. um alvis was the sentient ai created to oversee the experiment,the goal of which was to turn humans into gods, by granting them the power of creation. In the new universe alvis is omipotent via the power to foresee the flow of and manipulate either but being an ai is still bound by the will to serve humans(its refernce severle time that he grants wishes). so he remakes klaus and mayneth as gods. so xenoblade story is to strong to comprehend and the endings is unique but overall it was a bland sukass game. play cod instead it gets to the point and has replay value unlike this upcoming fail.

    1. Me too. I’m so uninterested in HD. Game quality should trump visual design. If the wii u weren’t HD it would be cheaper :(. Im not complaining though, it’s cool that we have it.

      1. Bollocks. If. Nintendo announced now that the Wii U weren’t HD, you would all shit the bed. You’ve been drooling over the idea of Zelda in HD ever since the demo.

        And riddle me this: what is the damn point in releasing a we console without HD visuals these days? You basically would be getting another Wii. An exact replica. WTF is the point of that? I wouldn’t pay a single thing for that. I barely use my Wii as it is!

        HD is key. Because almost everyone has an HD TV, and standard def games look right shit on them by comparison.

        If people didn’t give a shit about HD visuals, we’d all still be using tube TVs and VHS tapes. Video games are NO different, despite what this mong wants to try and say. I’m sure he plays his games on an HDTV and not an old standard def tube TV, so he should shut the hell up. Especially considering even Nintendo is in the HD market now.

        1. It seems he meant that developers shouldn’t base their games on simply producing HD graphics, not that HD graphics itself isn’t important. What you’re slamming him for and what he’s saying are entirely different.

          1. he made a statement that was true in some games look at battle fild thay released a pach for it two weaks after lounch but in some games this is not true at all i mean look at skyrim no need for any fixes there

      2. I suppose I agree, because Wii games can still look beautiful. I only hope Wii U games will have the potential to make more realistic metal textures, lighting, etc. I know that the best developers will have this done right while still created lavish worlds. There’s no doubt Zelda HD has something in store for everybody.

    1. 22 stages in resident evil revelation is a ripoff 40 bucks morgan was traitor veltross last boss shoot purple heart

  1. I think HD visuals look sort of abnormal. like unusually crisp. it just looks weird to me. But I agree with him. Everyone is too graphics obsessed, we should really focus on telling a story with awesome gameplay.



      2. Honestly, good graphics are a plus, but when they focus too much on that, the product doesn’t come out as it should. Portal 2 and Skyrim were not such games.

        But I was actually a little disappointed with Skyward sword. Although I enjoyed it and the motion controls and dungeon concepts were good; I found the story to be bland, the dungeons were far too easy and linear, and there wasn’t a big variety of sidequests. As much as I like Zelda, I’ll have to go with Portal 2 and Skyrim on this one.(btw, Portal 2 sold much faster than Skyward Sword.)

        1. Hydra shotgun

          hell mode

          infinite rocket launcher

          new game plus mode raid mode

          custom five characters all secret unlockables for resident evil revelations

      3. If any games deserves to be known in higher regard more so than Skyward Sword, it is definitely Portal 2. Then again, Skyward Sword shouldn’t be held in that high of a regard anyway.

    1. trained in the arts of Forever alone you cannot win

      meh who cares lol u still fail and I win ill destroy nintendo and microsoft will win I swaer.

  2. I cant say I agree more…the game needs to be really well developed like Ocarina of Time was. That was far from HD, yet even today it’s still fantastic. They really need to bring The Last Story over to the N.A. so we can see the supposed awesomeness for ourselves!

    1. Moron: Ocarina of Time was the most graphically impressive game of its time. There WAS no HD back then. Ocarina of Time is to its time as Skyrim is to today. Graphics matter. Shut the hell up and stop acting like Wii U being HD isn’t a selling point. Otherwise you’d be happy with nothing but the Wii for another 5 years. And no, you wouldn’t be. So just be quiet.

      1. Why are you so angry? Gameplay>graphics. That’s the whole point.
        Also, he meant that even by today’s standards OoT is an amazing game, despite not being in HD.

        1. Yeah. Try releasing OoT on XBOX 360 now days. Good gameplay or not, it will absolutely bomb. You forget that OoT lends most of its current success to: a) bring in a handheld which allows forgiveness for lesser visuals, and b) nostalgia.

          Games need both gameplay AND HD visuals. He says HD visuals are excessive: WRONG. Having HD visuals is the standard these days, same as 16-bit color schemes were for SNES/Genesis, same as 3d polygons we’re for PlayStation & Nintendo 64. To even suggest HD is in any way unnecessary is to be the same as the guy who doesn’t listen to MP3s and thinks vinyl records should still be relevant.

          He’s not stating anything new: games have ALWAYS benefitted most from having both gameplay and cutting edge visuals. Having one or the other usually leads to poor response. You can sometimes get away with really good gameplay and nice-but-not-cutting-edge visuals (usually nostalgia driven, a la Mega Man 9 or 10), but if you stray off to far and/or for too long, it’s going to hurt you.

      1. Internet full of white fag manchildren

        yeah like metriod other m which failed on soo many levels and miyamoto was supervisor smh fucking idiot. wii music suck and vitality sensor suck. u are a big fag and iwata admitted wii u wont be strong enough 4 next gens and that he wont use hd 4 all games making wii u an outdated underpowered crap wii clone full of old reports. it a wii with an ipad smh nintendo sucks they hate smartphones but copy there touch screen,ipad and appstore. and dont give me that ds faggotry cuz ds copy 96′ phone touchscreen. btw powerglove made by 3rd party stop not dum shitendo. sega trj
        ue innovators nintendo is i novation based on misinform lying losers like u le-stick 1st motion control. n64 was an inverted mouseball not analog u fucking dum faggot i should rape ur fucking mom and cat nintendo is doom lying theives!

  3. Game developers should concern themselves with both great story lines and great graphics. It’s progress in an industry that has seen the same type of progress since the early days of console gaming. What if game developers had decided SNES graphics were all they needed? Sure SNES had great graphics, but I like where the industry has gone. I hope it just better and better, and the thought that we should freeze time @ 480p is ridiculous. There are plenty of games that do not need HD graphics to be great games.

    1. I like HD graphics as an indication of how far we’ve come tech speaking, but as far as how it addresses gameplay for me, it’s a non-factor. I barely care at all how beautiful it looks and I care more about whether or not it draws me into the experience. That is what ultimately counts.

  4. HD has been standard for well over five years now, get over it., I swear to god if it Nintendo had its way we would still be playing video games in 8 bit..

    1. So what did it change gaming as new way to interact with games? No it didn’t. I have a ps3 I am getting nothing but same result from PS2 and PS1.

  5. Main reason why Kingdom Hearts stayed on Nintendo system for awhile.
    Sonic games being exclusives to Nintendo systems because of the failure of Sonic The Hedgehog on 360 and PS3.

    1. Esta bravo? jajaja blanco transexuales.

      yeah cuz sonic secret ring or black night or warehog were such great games full of waggle lol dumbass btw morgan was a traitor who was incriminated at end of resident evil revelation and xenoblade ending of pushing red button to destroy and make new worlds sucked.

      1. also kingdom hearts recoded failed in sales yep oh and resident evil revelations raid mode unlocked after episode 3 and haz online co-op and streetpass weapon custamastion and secret unlockable characters like o’brain…Fail.

  6. Since most people have an HDTV at this point, this comment is out pf place in the world we live in today. Its called adapting.

    1. TipsandTricks magazine

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      you can also unlock hell mode and raid mode.
      u can change your name to colors name in raid mode to blue,green and pink by winning s ranks in raid mode.

  7. Yea, Skyward Sword had beautiful art, but it was a blurry mess on my HDTV unless I sat pretty far away. They spend so much time developing rich worlds in video games, the least they can let us do is marvel at it in high resolution glory.

  8. peteriuss says that he would never buy any Sony product, yet what make is his laptop? Also it has a microdick operating system.

    Wind waker was my all time fave game. Would love to play zelda in hd though.

  9. I agree that games should focus more on how the game tells the story and not letting the graphics do the job, but at the same time I don’t think HD gaphics are excessive. 3D for that matter as well. Games can look better and make you believe this world is more real, and still have a great story and gameplay. Just not too many people try these days. That and non HD games, especially Wii games, look horrible on my 55″ HDTV. HD graphics are fine in my book, just don’t make it an interactive movie unless it’s meant to be so like Heavy Rain.

  10. That’s great that Nintendo believes in gameplay over graphics, but at the same time, Nintendo is a little old fashioned when it comes to hardware and technology, and older gamers want that option of being able to play a rich, HD game on a system that also plays Mario titles. Who wouldn’t want to play the next Elder Scrolls on a Nintendo system? (granted it had the same power as the other consoles)

  11. But here’s the thing, at this point, if a system doesn’t have sufficient power to run HD games, it’ll never have good third party support. Luckily, Nintendo learned that in this day and age, HD capability is pretty much necessary. I find it hard to believe that any developer is going water down a visually beautiful game so it can be released on a system without the power to run HD games. The only reason the Wii survived this generation is because of its first party games and because of its low price relative to the PS3 and xbox.

  12. I agree that he’s right, but I don’t agree that HD is a bad thing. HD will be good if developers just take some extra time to make good details AND a good game. If they don’t, then we’ll boycott!

  13. These days gamers only worry about graphics. They are not worried if the gameplay have innovative things, if the artwork is creative or if they are buying a crap or not. They are only worried about the character’s blood being realistic. I can’t blame some softhouses to give what these gamers want. But it’s sad to see how games have changed generally.
    But we still have companies that do what they think it’s best, instead of listen to their kids crying for realistic blood.

  14. He spelled “necessary” wrong just then…

    Funny he’s harping on about graphics when he’s making a game that has such extravagant visuals. Idiot. Put this game in 1080p an it’s just as “excessive” as anything else. You mean to tell me the bump is resolution is “too much” and not the millions of dollars and time spent on your lavish visuals? Get off it you knob…

    1. I think you didn’t get it.
      He is not saying graphics don’t matter, what he is saying is that these days companies are so worried about the possibilities of HD (graphically) that they forget about the basics.

      1. Exactly. @Obi Learn to understand what you’ve just read before you make an idiot of yourself by pointlessly slamming it.

  15. I honestly think that while HD graphics are nice, look great and all that, I’d have to agree.

    Take Final Fantasy XIII as an example, game looks fantastic but it’s not the most fun game to play.

  16. hd up-scaling is just an icing on the cake. it means nothing to actual gameplay which developers these days should focus more on. beside I prefer games with their own style of graphics over some bullshit realistic looking shit that plays like a redundant generic piece of crap. you know what I’m talking about.

  17. The full point is HD is here everyone knows how to develop it, and unless displayport become vastly popular maximum capibilities as to HD have been reached, so why put a team of 30 to making HD graphics that are equal to everyone else’s team of 30 design workers, but leave the story to 2 writers?

    You can drop the HD crew down to 15 people and let 15 colaborating story artists create the game world, and that’s what he meant by pressing the restart button, game graphics are at a stand still now yet everyone’s still trying to spend high resorces just to “tweak” that department yet they all leave big gapping holes in gameplay and story.

    1. Game franchises are no better than Disney re releasing the same 30 year old movie “remasterd” first black and white to technicolor, than to digitaly remasterd, now to HD remasterd, and 3D remasterd but its the same movie yes they are classics, but they release something new rarley ever.

      The average player can immagine a story of their own unique but these companys are so niche and nieve they can’t think out side the box anymore, only reason they win is cause they have the equipment and skills needed to make a game happen. And as long as the people see georgious graphics they freely hand their money over to these geeders.

      So blame people that buy into the same remade game with better graphics, and let’s see how many will see themselves in the same boat

      1. +1
        exactly, people tend to forget that we are the consumer, and developers/publishers cater to us, if you dont like it or if its bland DO NOT support it. It surprises me the bashing a certain capcom franchize gets, fanboys cry, rage and tantrum, but as soon as another one of their IPs is out they hand over theyre money (RE:Revelations is an example) if you guys dont want to keep getting shit games/short games/dull games DO NOT SUPPORT the Developer period.

  18. While HD graphics are nice, they should not be just the main focus. A good balance of great game play and graphics is what is needed. I rarely play my 360 in HD on my HDTV, but that’s only because I can not use my capture card in 720p. Standard graphics on the 360 were fine to me. It’s about the game play.

  19. Been saying this from the begining of the seventh gen (Wii , ps3 and 360). Graphics aren’t everything, seems like that’s all anyone cares about then when you meet people who don’t neccessarly care for hd graphics they got to be a person who plays the wii or whatever. I agree with the director from last story, I’m in college from game design and that truly speaks to me and let’s me know that there are still developers who want to make games based on stories and experiences (nintendo) and not focus on graphics that any game console can do.

  20. The man has got a point. I agree that games should focus more on the fundamentals rather than the graphics. Graphics should only be the icing on the cake. Now if only we could get this brilliant game to come to the U.S.

  21. HD is the icing on the cake; what matters most is actually being able to play the game and enjoying it. Visuals come second to that.

  22. Pingback: Hironobu Sakaguchi: “HD-Optik ist nicht alles”

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