The DifferenceApril 13, 2007
I was just admiring the Ar Tonelico 2 screens at Famitsu, and something occurred to me. The nagging, gnawing thing I’ve been wanting to express, the thing about what I enjoy in a game versus what I don’t, but have never been able to articulate satisfactorily. I don’t need to write it down. I just need to show it.
On the left, two typical screens from Gears of War, the universally popular new game, which I most commonly hear described as “pretty”. Painstakingly modeled and bump-mapped 3-dimensional 1080p realistic battered dirty dilapidated gray-brown war zones, populated by burly men in dented gray-brown armor firing loud automatic weapons.
On the right, two (presumably) typical screens from Ar Tonelico 2, the unknown new game that will occupy my brain for the next year or so. Hand-drawn vividly-colored character portraits having long conversations, meticulously arranged pixel-art people running around hand-painted green twisty-tree forests and crystal-blue fantasy towers, crafting swords and parfaits and defeating fluffy monsters by singing at them.
This is The Difference.