1995–2008: 5 Games with Innovative Design and Aesthetics.

5 incredibly charming and uniquely beautiful games.

Good morning Arcade Press readers!

Sharing some inspiration with just a few of the games that had a huge impression on me from an artistic point of few. Which games did you play throughout your lifetime? Which games had an art style that really moved you? Let me know! Here’s a few of my top picks:

1. Mirrors Edge (2008)

Game Type: A Minimalist, 1st Person, 3D, Parkour Platformer — 

The first time I played Mirrors Edge I was totally blown away. Of course the controls were dynamic, innovative, and practically seem-less. What I was most impressed with was its design choices and aesthetic.

Mirrors Edge exemplifies minimalism, boasting a mostly white and clean level design while outlining stages in simple, bold colors.

Because of its first person camera mode, you’ll be totally immersed in a metropolis that seems pure and pristine. And as you travel throughout the story mode you unveil the corruption that is beneath the sterile city.

Atmospheric and ambient cityscapes makes Mirrors Edge one of the most beautiful games ever made. Go play it. 

2. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest (1995)

Game Type: A classic 2D, ship-wrecked/underwater dreamscape

Donkey Kong Country 2’s appeal is really indescribable. It’s so unique.

Thinking about this game, i’m reminded of the abandoned pirate ships and aquatic escapes. The art style at the time was very similar to clay animation, very child like in a way but at the same time it seemed mature, it wasn’t particularly bright and colorful like, say Super Mario World was. When you played DKC2 it was like you drifted out to the edge of the ocean, the edge of earth. It made you really want to go deeper into each level.

3. Tekken Tag (1999)

Game Type: Atmospheric, nostalgic, simple yet futuristic fighting game perfection

I think that TEKKEN Tag is not only my favorite game ever, but it just might be one of the most dramatic games to ever be released.

Cinematic close ups, dramatic acid jazz ballads, vaporwave styled in-game HUDs, and a huge emphasis/celebration on the diversity that is the TEKKEN roster. Even the game disc was one of the few and first PS2 games to have the blue discs. The box art for the game was incredible and unlike any artwork at the time, The game seemed to theme itself as an electrifying, fading memory. Considered to be the best Tekken game by many fans.

4. Killer Instinct (1995)

Game Type: A Fighting Game that reflects abandoned industry and isolation (with a soundtrack that conjures of Peter Gabriel’s legendary 1982 Album “Security”)

Killer Instinct for SNES….Wow! When I think about this game I can’t help but think about how moody, epic, and deep this intro is. The game was just cold blooded, serious, and gloomy. Playing this fighting game on the vacant stages that seemed to be corners of abandoned cities was not only eerie, but also profoundly beautiful. What made this game shine the most was its industrial rock soundtrack (which got its own soundtrack release known as Killer Cuts, how cool is that?) You can take one look at this game and see how much of a beast it is. It’s deadly, it’s cold, it’s Killer Instinct.

5. Braid (2008) 

Game Type: A 2D plat former that is about time travel. It’s basically like playing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was released just 4 months after Braid. 

Braid is one of those games that doesn’t have a lot of bonus materials, it’s just a really good single-player title

It’s a platform that has a pretty straight forward objective: Collect all the items in the levels by manipulating and obeying the fluctuating rules of time. The amazing thing about this game is that it’s so beautiful that it’ll bring you back to play it again and again. The game is literally a painting. Its gorgeous, its folk, its romantic, its just a beautiful break from any other games you’ve ever played before. If you want to take a beautiful video game-cation, Braid may be the game for you. 

Thank you for reading!

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