How does one define it? Saturn and PS1 era are easy enough, and the idea is so pervasive that people make filters to emulate it. What about the Dreamcast? I feel like the astute observer can tell at a glance whether something is on the Dreamcast or the PS2, but what defines it?
- high res textures, but a below-average polygon count.
- overcompensatory use of transparency to show after the Saturn that “we can do it.” (this is mostly in sega games of course)
- a crisp but almost blown out color scheme, as though someone turned up the brightness and the unsharp mask tool at once.
What else is in there? What makes a Dreamcast game look like a Dreamcast game? Look at this here:
That’s not a PS2 game, you know it by looking at it. Does it look like a Gamecube game? Not quite - it’d probably have a higher polygon count.
Why doesn’t this look like a Dreamcast game?
As you get up in generations and the 3D gets better in general, it gets harder to define the look of a console. Who’s got thoughts!?