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Graphic Effects

DJ Sack

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Bullet Time! Everyone loves that. Apparently.

My personal pet hate at the moment, particularly in EA games.

The bullet time in True Crime was quite well done and quite useful. Bullet time in Max Payne 2 was OK too as it formed part of the game. "Bullet time" in Viewtiful Joe is also great as it's part of the game.

However, Bullet time in golf games (for example), yes Tiger Woods and Link 2004 I'm looking at YOU, is totally uncalled for. When it's used as a bolt-on effect it sucks. When it's integrated into the gameplay it generally works. I will, however, be glad to see the back of it.

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Re: The reflections on cars in PGR2. I can't quite tell whether that's really reflecting everything in realtime, or if it's mapping a Flintstones-style lampposts-and-trees texture onto the car. Even capped at 30fps, the first method seems like it would be a bit much for the poor old 'box. (See PGR1.)

HL2's water is a bit underwhelming in motion - it doesn't react dynamically to things intersecting with it (i.e. it's dead flat). Although to make such an effect look good (and run fast) is notoriously tricky.

Luigi's Mansion (dynamic lights and the weird glowing 'consistency' of the ghosts) is still quite impressive, it's how I imagine Pixar would implement a Game 'n Watch.

Max Payne 2, although still May Payne, really goes to town in the cutscenes.

Metroid Prime is the king of spot effects though.

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