written by owen on 2009-Aug-03.
In my view the reason we can't have both is because development resources are always limited. Probably only the first party companies (sony, nintendo, microsoft) have infinite resources to spend years and pay the most talented and imaginative people to built their games. Which is why first party games always seem to come out with games that are excellent in all areas.
Now let me list the reasons why normally we can't have excellent graphics and excellent game play on limited resources;
Better graphics means; bigger textures, more processing power needed, more assets, more art, more physics, more motion capture, more sound samples, more video
Better Gameplay means; More options, more NPCs, more characters, more objects to interact with, branching paths and story, more actions, better A.I.
Now lets try to combine the 2;
Graphics over gameplay leads to; small maps, Flat A to B stories (most Fps games), limited interactions or Quicktime events, buses crashing into intersections that BLOCK YOUR DAM PATH!(uncharted 2 video) Big open spaces with nothing to do in them (ala Just Cause). Enemies that always spawn at the same place. Switchs.
Gameplay over graphics lead to; Old Games like Mario 1, PacMan, Zelda TTP, Time Splitters. Because really they had no choice but to make the gameplay solid (old and multiplatform games seem to suffer from this). I'm finding it really hard to find examples for this nowadays.
My examples are limited to what I can remember now. Either way what is needed is a balance between graphics and game play. Something like NMH, or FZero Gx (yeah the other racers on the track look shitty but they were 30 of them so it kinda balances out). Most games nowadays are shitty because the graphics department has more power and is therefore using up too much of the systems resources. hence forcing the gameplay/stories to be implemented inadequately.