Maxime Viventi's Top 3 Artistically Inspiring RPGs
Inspiring RPGs
1The world Ends With You
2Final Fantasy A2: Grimoire Of The Rift
3Knights In the Nightmare

Some readers may know what I do here at RPGamer - I run the Fan Art column. Every week, I try to have a little something to say about fan art that readers send my way. I don't review games a lot, so I do not get to criticize or praise games for their art. So, here are my thoughts on artistically-inspiring RPGs I've played. They are all on the DS, but I've always liked old-school pixel art so I guess it had to be expected.

The World Ends With You is, without a doubt, my favorite RPG of the decade. Not only is it unique, but it is also beautiful. The character art, 3D backgrounds and sprites are detailed, colorful and most of the time, creative. The twisted, wide perspective in the battle scenes makes the player feel overwhelmed by the town, an important part of the story. The colorful palette goes hand in hand with the cheerful music to make the experience unique and uplifting. The cartoon style looks very good in the game and justifies the use of minimalist animations and over-expressive poses and faces in the cutscenes, and it works very well. So much that it inspired me for a personal project.

Though it would never be part of my top ten overall games of the decade - let alone top three - Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire Of The Rift impressed me with its detailed, colorful pixel art. The characters, unfortunately, are nothing special, but the environments and special effects were beautiful. I've always been amazed with pixel art because it is such a limited technique. Every pixel counts, and picking the right color is essential to the overall outcome. I think this game's art is a fine example of well-made pixel-based imagery.

I've never finished it, but Knights In The Nightmare first interested me because of the mood the screenshots evoked. The lighting, palette and style used work formidably to create an unsettling and dramatic atmosphere. The textures and general design were all appealing, too. On top of that, they gave you an art book when you pre-ordered it. Although I didn't like the game quite enough to finish it as of yet, it has beautiful art that deserves to be seen.

- Maxime Viventi
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