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Scenery Porn: Video Games

Updated on February 26, 2015

Scenery

Scenery Porn in regards to video games referred to scenes or scenery that emphasize the capabilities of a game system to bring an animated world to life. Due to advance software, artistic directions that mandated a high level of visual aesthetics, or a need to make viewers want to play a certain video game for extended amounts of time, certain video games have succeeded in creating video games that made the media into an art form. One good video game that made awesome scenery to go along with its awesome game mechanics was Jet Set Radio Future, a game published by Smilebit and released in 2002 for the Xbox. Another video game that utilized advanced software to create luscious scenery for its game was Flower, a game produced by Thatgamecompany and released in 2009 for the Playstation 3, had the player control a single flower petal while flying through various fields that were both visually pleasing and interesting to play in at the same time. Assassin's Creed II, a game developed in 2009 by Ubisoft, was visually similar to its predecessor Assassin's Creed, but with the addition of Ubisoft removing the glitches of the first game, made the player control the main protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who was more appealing compared to the last main protagonist Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, and taking place in a more urban environment of Italy during the height of the Renaissance, this was a game that made players excited at playing a sequel to a game. All of these game were aesthetically appealing with their scenery, and they all deserved to be recognized for their contributions to the video game industry.

North American Xbox cover art for Jet Set Radio Future.
North American Xbox cover art for Jet Set Radio Future. | Source

Jet Set Radio Future

Taking place in a futuristic Tokyo, Japan, Jet Set Radio Future was a game where the players used graffiti as a form of protest. One method that this game was a good example of scenery porn was its colorful levels. Because of its urban setting, Jet Set Radio Future could take place in various overcrowded areas filled with people, which made the levels feel like actual communities. Another instance where Jet Set Radio Future was a good example of Scenery Porn was its different levels and its differing environments. Some of the levels included the store-filled Dogenzaka Hill at a time where huge crowds of people were going shopping, another level was Shibuya Terminal where the player saw a major increase of areas to practice rail grinding and numerous parked buses that could be covered in graffiti, another shopping district called Chuo Street and its giant dinosaur statue, the rusted-down slum of Rokkaku-dai Heights, the neon sign-fill 99th Street, and the labyrinth of the Tokyo Underground Sewage Facility. On top of the Scenery Porn of the levels, Jet Set Radio Future allowed players to create more scenery porn by spray paint various surfaces in graffiti. Coming in all sorts of colors and sizes, each finished attempt permanently covers certain areas with stylistic pictures which ranged from colorful, intricate, cartoon-like, unique, and generally awesome looking. Jet Set Radio Future was a game that emphasized artistic visuals and creating a game that was both fun and simple, which resulted in an artistic game.

The cover art for the game Flower.
The cover art for the game Flower. | Source

Flower

Flower was a game that had no story in its game. The premise was that the entire game took place inside the dream of different potted flowers in a city; which meant that there also were no humans in this game. The player only played as a single flower petal. All of the levels were outside different fields outdoors, Flower was a game that showed viewers what high-definition consoles were capable of when the developers decide to make a game that emphasized luscious visuals. Controlling the flower petal by tilting the Playstation 3 controller in whatever direction was desired, the player competed levels by flying through the air collection more flower petals, unlock new areas within a level, and fulfilling different objectives throughout all of the levels. The first level was a green field where the player could learn the basic controls and took place on a green field. The second level took place in a completely gray landscape and the player had to bring color back into the level, which included a rainbow as a way to congratulate the player for completing the level. The third level took place in a field which had windmills scattered in random areas, and had a transition into a radiant sunset. Level four took place at night, and included some illuminating aesthetics. The fifth level took place in a rainy, ruined field filled with mangled pieces of metallic girders, which was the darkest level in Flower. The sixth and final level however, had some ruins of a city where the flower petal had to transform in gloomy surroundings into a bright and cheerful area filled with color; culminating with the transformation of a radio tower into a giant flowering tree. Bright and realistic scenery, combined with wonderful pieces of music, made Flower an excellent example of Scenery Porn in that the player spent just as much time looking at impressive visuals as the player did with finishing the game.

Box art for Assassin's Creed 2.
Box art for Assassin's Creed 2. | Source

Assassin's Creed II

Assassin's Creed II took place in Italy during the height of the Renaissance. Playing as Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the player could do parkour on ancient Italian architecture. One good example of the Scenery Porn that was in Assassin's Creed II was the player's first introduction to Ezio Auditore da Firenze. In the introductory sequence set in 1476, Ezio was forced into what would be referred to as a street fight in modern times. This sequence was a good example of scenery porn because the viewer got into a fight during the late afternoon, so the player got to see somewhat accurate Ubisoft could make the shadows that fell on the buildings. After the tutorial about the combat of Assassin's Creed II, Ezio and his brother went to a doctor to get a wound Ezio received treated by a doctor. After the treatment and night had fallen, the two siblings decided to have a race to the top of a church. Here was where the parkour aspects of Assassin's Creed II were taught. The player, as Ezio, had to run, jump, and climb various structures until he reached the finish line. Upon winning, Ezio's brother wanted the both of them to climb even higher on top of a tower. Here, the player got to see the sense of scale that Ubisoft put in this game. Which really emphasized how small the human characters were to the architecture. Like in the real world. Which made the sequence where the title appeared all the more epic in that the player got to see a panoramic view of ancient Italy, which looked awesome for first time players of this game.

Art

Scenery Porn was a term that described luscious scenery, details that made viewers want to take in the scenery, and views that emphasized how awesome the world could look. This idea has been implement in the video game genre due to improved software and graphics. Jet Set Radio Future made its players bring art to a world that was visually appealing, but needed more variety in its surroundings. Flower, a game developed by people who made Scenery Porn a normal expectation, lets the player view fields and nature in ways that only a flower petal could, and it was breath-taking. Assassin's Creed II, taking place in an architecturally complex setting, also provided visuals that most first time players would admit looked awesome for a sequel.

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      Robert E Smith 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Yep, But I never grew with them. They went the way of younger folks and I am now looking at this and marveling about how much technology has changed. But you are right. Super Mario Brothers was pretty colorful at that. hmm never thought of that. God bless, Bob.

    • Jake Peralta profile image
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      Jake Michael Peralta 2 years ago from Indio, California

      Well, the NES had its own share of games that were pretty. Plus it helped make game like these possible.

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      Robert E Smith 2 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I had an NES like a lifetime ago. Why did I become bored with it so I never tried any newer game systems? Why did I get old between then and now, so that my hand-eye coordination fizzled to the point that these games go way too fast to even contemplate moving the character with the stick-e-thing? Now that I vented... The Sony game was beautiful and mesmerizing... but still not enough to try it. I enjoyed the article and peeking into a world in which I will never be a part. Voted up and beautiful (for the writing and the art, not the game). Bob.