Sometimes it can be hard to get back to games due to poor controls that haven’t aged well or the graphics. There’s a visual art style that can help games stand the test of time: cel-shading. Well-crafted cartoons will generally look better over time, so this principle applies to games as well.
While games like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker ridiculed at the time for looking too childish, true fans knew it would hold up so much longer than any other entry. Turns out they were right, but everyone remembers The Wind Waker. What about those other cel shading games? Are they worth remembering, or should they be forgotten despite their sleek looks?
8/8 Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is the last console game in this series to be released and this was back on the PS2. Since then there has been a fifth entry, but only for browsers and phones in Japan. Fans of Capcom’s classic turn-based RPG series are hungry for a new console version, or even just a remaster, of this gem. The series ended with a bang in terms of graphics and challenge as this was no ordinary RPG on the PS2. It was a tough nut to crack, but a rewarding one.
7/8 Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 is the only game in this sub-series with cel-shading. That’s odd considering it’s based on a classic anime series and only one out of four games has chosen this art style. This is one of the reasons why it stands out the most in this sub-series and turns out to be one of the better ones Dynasty warriors spin-offs. There are countless characters and mechs to choose from that will delight fans. The action, while repetitive, is fun in a thoughtless way, especially in co-op.
6/8 Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc is forgotten on two levels. First, it was a single-entry cel-shaded game. Secondly, it was on the PSP, a system that is often forgotten as many games remained trapped on this platform and could not be played through legal means.
It’s a tactical RPG and it was made from level-5 and was a more fantastic read on the historical character of Joan of Arc. There was magic, beastmen, non-biblical gods, and so much more.
5/8 Mega Man X: Command Mission
When it comes to MegaMan RPGs, most tend to think of those combat network Series. There was another RPG in this series, Mega Man X: Command Mission, and it unfortunately only got a single shot. Based on the X-Universe, it featured turn-based combat similar to Final Fantasy 10 and had a sophisticated cel-shaded visual style. X was joined by familiar heroes like Zero and Axl, as well as new characters. It wasn’t the most original RPG on the PS2 and other consoles, but it’s good enough to deserve a memory, let alone a sequel.
Metal gear acid 2 was the cooler of the two games in this spinoff series. Both games are tactical RPGs set in an alternate timeline, with Snake still being the hero. This sequel was and still is better because it overdid the story and the graphics were stunningly beautiful for a PSP game. The colors popped like tripping on acid, hence the name. The game also came with a set of cardboard 3D glasses which makes the graphics stand out even more and that was before 3DS.
3/8 under the skin
under the skin was a weird little game by Capcom that was like a chaos simulator. Players took on the role of an alien who had to infiltrate humanity to steal goods for his people. Players could transform into other characters on small open maps to cause as much commotion as possible.
There were references to other Capcom games such as resident Evil with the Nemesis apparently helping terrorize the townsfolk. It was a one-time situation for Capcom and is now very difficult to find and play.
2/8 Viewtiful Joe
“Henshin A-Go-Go Baby!” That’s a buzzword fans of Viewtiful Joe will never forget. That’s what the titular Joe said whenever he morphed into his superhero self. It was an action game with the unique concept of movies jumping into real life. Players could punch or kick enemies like in a standard 2D brawler, but they could also speed up or slow down time. The humor was upbeat, the soundtrack was banging, and the graphics were out of this world. This streak was short-lived, but it burned brightly for a time.
1/8 Wild Arms 3
Wild Arms 3 is the best entry in the series for many reasons. The gimmick of these RPGs was that they had an old west aesthetic in some design decisions. The only thing that went more Old West was this game, which gave fans something more to chew on. The graphics helped too, as cel-shaded graphics often do. Luckily, unlike most of the other games here, this is still playable with ease since it was ported to the PS4 as a PS2 classic. Not much has been done on this port other than upscaling the graphics, making an already amazing art style look prettier.
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