Topic: Games that took full advantage of the systems they released on

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Hi everyone!

The title basically summarizes this thread. Which video games took full advantage of the systems they released on, and were incredibly advanced (in graphics, AI, world design, atmosphere, scope, etc.) given the hardware they released on? If you would like, you could mention any other consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Sega, etc.) in addition to Nintendo systems (portable and home).

Here's the list I could think of as of now:

Super Mario Bros 3 (NES) - It amazes me that this game released on the same system that previously had Super Mario Bros. It improved graphics impressively from the blocky graphics of Super Mario Bros, it featured an overworld, more levels, etc.

Star Fox (SNES) - While its graphics have aged badly, the fact that a 3D game released on a 16-bit system like the SNES was astounding

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U) - While the definitive version is on Switch, this game is undoubtedly a technological marvel on the Wii U. A huge, lively world, unique secrets and features throughout the world, mostly stable frame rate with the exception of a couple of towns, great graphics, a robust physics system, no loading times when entering buildings or traveling, impressive enemy AI, etc. all on a system barely more powerful (and actually CPU-wise weaker) than the PS3. It probably is the greatest video game achievement technologically-wise in the last couple of years.

So what games do you guys think fall into this category?



Metroid Prime Hunters, to a rather literal extent.

Best graphics on the system, dual screen, touch controls, uses all the buttons, used the online capabilities of the system, etc.

Edited on by Eel


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Breath of the Wild is pretty much what I expect of an open world game on the Wii U. Empty, sparse fields, compromised frame rate and resolution, and probably the least optimised game from Nintendo in a good while.

Good examples would probably be the latest releases on any pre-eight gen console. I feel that these days devs are able to utilise hardware way more efficiently day one. Undoubtedly due to the PC-architecture of consoles these days. So, that's a good thing, no more waiting for the technical marvels.



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Trauma center was the game that used Wii motion controls in the best way possible to create an experience that would haven't been possible with a traditional gamepad, while many other games that used motion control even in a very good way would have been perfectly playable with a common gamepad too.

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@Octane Pretty much this. I struggled to really feel like I was in Hyrule sometimes when I'd look around and just see a ton of empty space with isolated woodland areas scattered around. It's hard to feel immersed in a place when you're traveling between the interesting areas and there's literally nothing to see. That might be a slight exaggeration, but downsizing the world would have done the game a lot of favors.



The Last of Us on PS3: Not my cup of tea, but you can't really deny that this game was a marvel, given the hardware it was on.

Final Fantasy XII on PS2: Huge, mostly open world with graphics that made it look like an early PS3 title.

Metal Gear Solid on PS1: Does anything match this game's combo of amazing (for the time) visual design, full voice acting, and ambitious level design?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U: The scope of this game is just stunning in terms of scale (this is the first time I've ever truly felt like I was actually exploring Hyrule as opposed to segmented video gamey areas), the number of interacting systems that are always at play, and the art design. While I don't feel like it took full advantage of the Wii U's unique features (the second screen features were pretty clearly removed when this was planned as a double-release on Wii U and Nintendo Switch), I think it's still the most impressive game on the system.

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Skyward Sword was pretty much exactly what everyone wanted when Nintendo first showed off motion controls, and I think they nailed it!



God of war 2, it was a dream come true to play such a thing on a PS2. Technically it was incredibile and artistically had an outstanding style. It was beyond perfetction. I always loved that game.

Breath of the wild Wii U. I don't like BOTW and I never tried Wii U version but I cannot believe a game like this can run on a Wii U. I can only imagine how exciting it must be to play this for a Wii U lover

Silent Hill PS1: it took one of the weakness of that console and turned it to its advantage to improve its atmosphere using the fog.

Edited on by LuckyLand

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Super Mario Maker (Wii U): This was the perfect use of the Gamepad, create your own levels and submit them to the rest of the world which from everyone doing that overall would form an infinite number of 2D Mario levels. If this was a launch title, I don't think we'd be seeing Switch until later this year at the earliest.

Halo 2 (Xbox): The first console leap into online multiplayer and it showed the world how amazing online multiplayer can be setting a high bar for the future. I didn't experience it until several years later but it's still a fantastic game.

Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360): Music games and weekly DLC pushed Microsoft into a better Xbox 360 dashboard experience. From a better Xbox Live marketplace, all the way to a better overall UI. This was only made possible by the insane quantity of Rock Band DLC released especially during the Rock Band 2 era. From full album DLC releases such as Screaming For Vengeance and Rust in Peace all the way to multiple artist packs released in a single week. If you wanted variety in a music game, this was the game for you until Rock Band 3 came out in 2010 but the new DLC quantity started to reduce at that point.

Rock Band 4 (Xbox One): Similar logic as Rock Band 2 but the special thing being that all the content you bought on Xbox 360 is (or will be soon) playable in Rock Band 4. Very few new games allow you to use what you bought on previous games in a franchise on last gen consoles for FREE. Sure it's taking a while but no other franchise has as much content as Rock Band.


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Definitely Donkey Kong Country 1, 2 and 3. The pseudo 3D graphics that it managed to pull off without the Super FX chip was an amazing feat for the SNES. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were also pretty impressive games for the Gamecube.

Edited on by Cynas


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They were just simple sprites created using a different method. Once they were put in the game there was no real difference from any other 2D sprite. The water parallax effect in DKC2 and expecially in DKC3 was amazing, but only in DKC3 it looked really good, incredibly good I must admit. DKC2 water was impressive but in the end it didn't looked that good imo. But the sprites were just common sprites like in every other game. DKC1 is my favourite amongst those 3 but it had nothing impressive at all about its graphics, it was just something new that we never saw before, but only because it was done in a different way. The final result for the hardware was exactly the same as any other game to handle

Edited on by LuckyLand

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Oh, Perfect Dark for sure! 4 player, so took advantage of all 4 controller ports - compatible with the Rumble Pak too - and the extra juice offered by the Expansion Pak as well...every available resource used to its fullest potential! #BEAST

Edited on by NaviAndMii

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@LuckyLand Just because it doesn't push the hardware to it's limits in terms of processing power, that doesn't mean it hasn't pushed it to it's limits visually. Using pre-rendered 3D sprites was a clever way of making the game look better than any other SNES game at the time and compete with the 32 bit systems that were coming out. The game certainly pushes the 256 onscreen colors. I wouldn't say it had "nothing impressive at ll about its graphics".


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Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. It was an arcade perfect port back when that was pretty much unheard of. I mean yeah you had arcade ports going back to Atari but ges where never as good at home as they were in the Arcade. You had some games come close in the 16 bit era like Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and Turtles in Time but something was never right.

Soul Calibur did that though and it was due to the Dreamcast hardware. It was then that we could say we got the quality of the arcade at home.

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Pretty much any of the major releases from Nintendo going back to the NES. Pick any of them and they're probably pushing the hardware to the limits. Super Mario Bros, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Metroid Prime, Super Mario Galaxy, Breath of the Wild. The same is true for most first party developed games if we're being honest.

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N64: The Zelda games, Yoshi's Story (easily one of the best looking games of the console), every other Rare game, Episode 1 Podracer (at least it blew my mind when it was new)
GCN: Metroid Prime 1 and 2, Wind Waker, Resident Evil 4, Rogue Squadron 3*
GBA: Super Monkey Ball Jr (look it up, kids!), Minish Cap, Mother 3, Advance Wars 2*
Wii: Wii Sports/Resort, Metroid Prime 3/Other M (Other M is gorgeous, if nothing else), Skyward Sword, Xenoblade
DS: Mario Kart DS, The World Ends With You, Okamiden, Metroid Prime Hunters
3DS: Super Mario 3D Land, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Kid Icarus Uprising
Wii U: Nintendo Land, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Super Mario Maker, Splatoon, Xenoblade X

*my assumption based on its insane amount of content

Edited on by kkslider5552000

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Battletoads for NES looked great. Castlevania Dracula X for SNES maybe. Metroid Prime was a great looking Gamecube game. BOTW is an achievement but I think MK8 and Pikmin 3 were gorgeous on WiiU.

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I'm inclined to say Pokemon Gold and Silver, after hearing how Satoru Iwata managed to practically duplicate the original game to add in Kanto when it wasn't even planned in the first place. But I don't truly know how much those games pushed the limits of the GameBoy cartridge, just a guess.

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