Throughout History, Games have been limited by hardware. Whether its nowadays PC’s that can’t handle graphics or the old Arcade Machines which couldn’t handle anything more than 8-bit.
I’m going to go through some of my favourite games and explain exactly how it was limited by hardware, and how the design of the game worked brilliantly, or horrendously.
Super Mario 64
Originally created for the Nintendo 64, hence the name, was the first Mario Game of its kind. All Mario games before were 2D or semi-2D, however Super Mario 64 was a 3D game based on saving Peach, by gathering stars from different worlds within Paintings.
The game did wonders by being one of the first to have dynamic camera controls, allowing the player to see all 360 directions using a analogue control. 11 Million copies being sold definitely backs up my opinion that this was one of the best Mario games ever released.
The targeted audience was both children and adults who loved the series, and it did even better when it was released with the new Nintendo DS. The game was limited by the hardware of the Nintendo 64, the models had to be very low poly for the game to run at decent speeds, however they mastered a perfect balance between graphics and playability.
Overall this game did brilliantly, and I really enjoyed the unique mechanics. The design was great, and introduced a new mechanic and idea in every level, as well as bringing back old ones to test the player. Performance was truly good, and the game ran fine, never having any major bugs and glitches.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Oblivion, the 4th game in the Elder scrolls Series was arguably one of the best. Based around the downfall of Tiber Septim, one of the later Dragonborn and how you help him defeat the Daedric invasion of Cyrodil. Again coming out for the Xbox 360, PS2 / PS3 and PC the game was a graphical phenomenon. Considered the best graphics for its time. This game alone attracted in thousands of new players to the Elder Scrolls series.
The target audience being the original players of the series, and any player from teenagers to adults who are a fan of RPG games. There wasn’t many hardware restrictions, and against he game looked great, having a good balance between visuals and performance for its time. However animations and rendering were not great. the animations seems a bit blocky, and didn’t look as good as they could have, and the rendering of places further away was very broke and didn’t look good. However this may be on purpose and the game developers Bethesda had to sacrifice this to have a smooth running game.
Oblivion won GOTY from multiple of the best critiques and did very well. The mechanics were unlike any older elder scrolls game, which was a risk that paid of brilliantly. The idea of different swords worked great being a new feature, as well as Oblivion being one of the first big DLC’s in gaming. some say this as a bad thing, however Summerset Isles was worth every penny, being an entire new continent.