How important are graphics in the scheme of game design? Do they trump audio? Level design? Gameplay? Peer pressure probably dictates that we downplay the importance of graphics, but the impact of eye candy cannot be understated. Anyone believing differently need only take a cursory glance at comments made by readers in reaction to news that NIS America would bring the third game in its popular console strategy franchise Disgaea to the PlayStation 3 this August.
The reactions were made not to the game's release date, but rather to the title's appearance, which despite calling Sony's latest console home, look very much the part of a last gen release. Recently we caught up with the publisher's marketing coordinator Jack Niida, and asked him a number of questions about the game, including just what's the deal with Disgaea 3's lack of visual fidelity.
"It's simply because PS2 lacks the processing power and memory capacity to support Disgaea 3," Jack told us. "PS2 could not load the same amount of data on to memory and process it like the PS3; therefore, we decided to develop it for the next-gen platform." He added that "the character sprites for Disgaea 3 take 3~4 times the amount of labor to create compared to Disgaea 2," and the team is "doing our best to improve the sprites."
While you mull over that justification, and decided if it's enough of a reason to continue to look forward to Disgaea 3's release this fall, look for our complete interview with NIS America later this week.