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Thread: Best flat shaded 3D games

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Default Best flat shaded 3D games

    Those of us who grew up in the advent of 3D games usually have a soft spot for flat shaded polygons in the days before texture mapping was feasible. What are some of your favorite flat shaded 3D games? In college in the mid-90's we played the hell out of Stunts on the PC, which was already an outdated game at the time, but still played well and the ability to race tracks your friends created and save replays was a blast at the time. I bought a 32X when they were on close out for $20 and even when much better texture mapped games were available, I spent a ton of time playing Virtua Racing on it. There's a charm to the graphics and the frame rate and control was amazing even past its prime. None of the Hard Drivin' ports were ever decent IMO, not even at the time of their release. The only 2 others that stick out for me are Star Fox and 4D Boxing on the PC. What are some other great flat shaded games?

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    Loved 4D boxing. I also liked playing Chuck Yeager's Air Combat. I would say the first Alone In the Dark counts because the actual rendered 3D entities didn't have textures. Loved that game and thought Resident Evil was a total rip-off. There was also a "Hard Drivin" type game where you could make your own tracks with crazy loops and banks. That was great too.

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    Last edited by StealthLurker; 04-04-2012 at 02:15 AM.
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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StealthLurker View Post
    There was also a "Hard Drivin" type game where you could make your own tracks with crazy looks and banks. That was great too.
    Yea, that was Stunts on the PC. There was also Stunt Driver, but I don't recall playing that one.

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    The original Star Fox is still pretty fun, IMO, but the frame rate is anything but smooth. Star Fighter is a personal favorite of mine. I played the 3DO version (to death), but it's available for Saturn and PlayStation as well. As mentioned, the original Alone in the Dark used flat shaded polygons. It was my first true survival horror game, and while it may seem silly today, it stared the hell out of my back in the day. That's another I played the 3DO version of, but it's also available for MS DOS.

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    Cybermorph and Iron Soldier on the Jaguar

    Virtua Fighter and Virtua Racing on the Saturn

    All great games.
    Last edited by Kevincal; 04-04-2012 at 03:50 AM.

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    I played the crap out of S.T.U.N. Runner in the arcade. Great game in its time.

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    I miss the flat-shaded look quite a bit myself, though not the rendering of humans and other creatures. Vehicle games work best. Elementary Gouraud shading was cool too. Good call on CyberMorph Emperor Megas. The CD sequel is nothing short of amazing. Alas, if only Checkered Flag and World Tour Racing were actually playable games.

    I wish the era wasn't so short lived myself, even as an aesthetic choice. StarBlade was my first throught here, though the home versions were all FMV games. The PSX version has a textured mode, but its too busy. The flat-shaded polygons are far superior in that case, though in HD, who knows. Too bad this barely happened: http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=543&page=4#1390

    The last game I played for more than five minutes was Child of Eden. Most of the multiplied tiny objects that make up the games mosaics of color and light have simple texture or none at all. Interesting. It is a very nice effect. I recommend the game to anyone who doesn't mind on rails reticle shooting games. It is one of the best of its kind and apparently the Kinect option is very cool. It looks intriguing but I'm not spending that kind of money on anything anytime soon, much less something I'll use once. I do wish the reticle could be sped up however.
    Last edited by klausien; 04-04-2012 at 09:25 AM.

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    Mario 64 used flat/Goraud shading to great effect. I'm surprised more games of the era didn't follow suit, everyone seemed to prefer low-res textures.

    A lot of first-party Dreamcast games achieved unique visual styles with flat shading, but with added light effects. Things like Sonic and the taxis in Crazy Taxi were mostly single-color textures, but the way that light bounces off of them creates a plastic/metal look. This was lost in some subsequent ports, which just look flat and dull.

    Currently, the posterchild for neat Unreal Engine indie projects is Antichamber. There are a lot of neat flat shading techniques used in that.

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    ServBot (Level 11) kedawa's Avatar
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    Shadow Squadron for 32X is pretty great. Virtua Fighter on 32X is also surprisingly good.

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    Cyber Sled was fun to play if you could find it at an arcade. I didn't like it so much on the Playstation for some reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikademus1969 View Post
    Cyber Sled was fun to play if you could find it at an arcade. I didn't like it so much on the Playstation for some reason.
    You didn't have the cool controls or the sit-down cockpit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kedawa View Post
    Shadow Squadron for 32X is pretty great. Virtua Fighter on 32X is also surprisingly good.
    Shadow Squadron is an excellent game and puts shaded polys to great use. I remember one of the later stages in the game actually had you fly through a giant ship to shoot its "core" and fly out the other side. It took multiple passes to take it down but it was was handled really well and kept a decent frame rate.
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    It also shows a replay of your entire game after you die or finish the game. That still blows my mind.

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    I've got Shadow Squadron, one of I think 6 or 7 32X games I picked up for under $10 back in the close out days. I don't remember much of it, I'll have to hook up the 32X in the near future here.

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    starfox is the only texture less polygon game I can think of. I would think "flat shading" would refer to stuff like Interstate '76.
    Last edited by old man; 04-05-2012 at 11:15 PM.

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    This one might be debatable - Silpheed

    Do arcade games count?

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    Quote Originally Posted by old man View Post
    starfox is the only texture less polygon game I can think of.
    Actually, Star Fox on the SNES does have some textures. I know what you meant, but I'm just clarifying.

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