Hmm, it's probably too late to give a serious answer now. But oh well.
I'm going to pretend this isn't a debate about graphics and instead about art direction (I think a lot of you are already doing this). Because the fact of the matter is the games with truly the best graphics are based on amazing art direction. I think a lot of WRPGs suffer in this department. Their art direction is often dull and boring (Serious offenders are BioWare and Bethesda), though often animated very well. They make up for it with game play, which is fine because games are meant to be played anyway. But it does give me a dulled feeling while playing. Like the worlds aren't really alive. JRPGs are extremely varied in how they approach art direction. Often quite visually stunning and engaging. But they have this problem where the characters populating these stunning landscapes often all look 10 years old (no matter their age) or like incredibly chic, fashion conscience teenagers (what many of the rest of you seem to like calling "emo"). This contrast between the wondrous world and its sometimes visually off putting populace really hurts them at times.
So generally WRPGs have dull, boring worlds, but with a fitting populace. And JRPGs have magical, wondrous worlds, but with an alien populace.
This I can dig. Art is waaay to subjective and personal half the time and definitely falls on a matter of taste. I spent a few hundred words too many ranting about the issues I had with Devil Survivor when no one saw a problem
And generally yeah, art direction can certainly take the spin that I think really helps split the divide between the love and hate for J and W RPGs. And it certainly varies depending on the art style games individually go for.
Guaranteed, without the snazzy filters, Okami probably looks like rubbish (I'm over-exaggerating a bit there too). You get FFX that had an appealing world, and interesting design. Resonance of Fate was hurt by the repetitive if not somewhat hopelessly steam-punk design, but went with it. Mass Effect, though ultra realistic, drove me nuts with the constant Star Trek-esque aliens... but hit the sci-fi future extremely well. Uncharted made me cream myself with how into the Indiana Jones vibe it hit in a more modern setting.
And I think for that reason, I find Venus & Braves
the most ATTRACTIVE game I've played in years. This is an extremely personal choice of course... but I think they hit the nail on the head with a visual style that was not 3D perfect, but certainly a clever mix of anime-medieval-storybook from top to bottom. The characters have these sort of western cartoon-y style, the menu interface never looses the old paper and pen look, the enemies are frightening, but nothing too grotesque, and backdrops look like a sort of medieval rendering of Tim Burton's animated works. Of all game titles, this game strikes me as one that hit EXACTLY the look they were going for, and for that, it's amazing to watch.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXGqhCo6Kqo
(watch the first bit, then skim to 2 minutes in, then 6 for the battles)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npfvsa-iFIM
trailers that shows a bit of everything. I actually can't write enough about this game's style - to me, it's perfect.
From all that I've seen of Last Story, I think it looks ugly as Resonance of Fate.
Does that mean every time you see my post you cringe?? =((((
;___; I'm kinda meh too, but I thought Leanne was nice animated at the very least.
I find Last Story looks like garbage though myself. I blame more the Wii's power, and MistWalker's attempt to over-bloom scenes where graphics are just too flat. It's like a pretty hair do on an ugly chick. God, that's an awful example.... and I'm hating myself for saying it.