When it comes to character detail, how much is too much? Does Mario really need denim? Do Sonic's gloves require a fabric texture? How regal is too regal for Princess Peach? There's an interesting editorial over at Poison Mushroom that asks these questions and more.
Back when Mario redefined 3-D gaming in Super Mario 64, he appeared alongside the game in a new 3-D rendered form that was, for all intents and purposes, a perfect 3-D carryover from his 2-D imagery. And at the time, the consoles couldn’t handle much more than that; truth be told, they couldn’t even really handle that, as Mario’s hand seemingly morphed from a ball-like shape to sprout a pair of white prongs as he gave his signature victory pose upon clearing a level. If anything, the renderings left some wishing that the Nintendo 64 had just a bit more power so as to try and approach less-blocky graphics.
While I do miss the nostalgia of the older character designs, the modern look suits many characters. The comparison I always seem to return to is that of Mario and his iconic hammer. And on a semi-related note, has anyone else noticed that Princess Peach seems to have evolved into an empty-headed ditz over the years? I swear, in another gaming generation or so there won't be a coherent thought in that pretty li'l head of hers.