But in all seriousness I don't think you can define most video games graphics as being intentionally one or the other - I mean...I think anyway.
I very much disagree, there's A LOT of stylisation in games in general. An example off the top of my head would be Zelda games. I don't recall if many of them were graphically impressive in their time, but most of the 3D ones either didn't age well or looked old already at release... from a technical point of view anyway. Because many are very stylised and beautiful in the "artistic" sense; art direction does the heavy lifting here and makes up for a game being lacking in "modern graphics". BotW hardly
has "cutting-edge graphics", but it can look amazing.
I mean it mostly in a very general sense, as in disagreeing with "graphics in game not intentional", but very specific stylisation (art direction based on a specific artist or style) isn't that rare either. Or perhaps you meant something else entirely.
But its also not a result of old technology, outdated graphics. I think in the case of Bioware and BG1 it was mostly about budget.
BG1 for sure. You can see the huge leap in graphics between BG1 and BG2, with just two years between them and the same engine. Maybe it's not as apparent nowadays (albeit it was to me and I played BG1 last year for the first time), but the difference is substantial and indeed seems to be the result of bigger budget after BG1's success.
I have no objections here (especially comparatively to their time) but that has nothing to do with the style used.
Sure, was just referring to the "poor image quality".
Although I guess you meant what you mentioned in the rest of your post, which I have to agree with.
Incidentally, since we are on topic, if you go back to look at a lot of the prerendered backdrops in BG 1 and 2 as they were originally worked on, you'll realize that they were often a tadbit less charming/artistically pleasing that the low res let us imagine them to be.
We tend to remember them as "very painterly" while in reality a lot of details (buildings etc) were touched-up and not particularly detailed 3D studio renders. Not to mention amusing little details like the streets made by scanning pictures of coffee grains and relying on the low resolution to hide the fact.
Yeah, I noticed some of the 3D renders, though they were mostly rather nicely touched-up. Enough to not look out of place. I have more of a problem with creature sprites that were based on 3D renders, those don't look as good. I didn't know that about the coffee streets, haha.
with the two Icewind Dales and their weirdly mismatched sprites (you could occasionally see creatures realized in one style while some other were completely different), often recycled assets from some of their past titles.
I must shamefully admit I didn't notice mismatched sprites, and I'm playing IWD2 now... I'll pay more attention now, haha. (There's LOTS of recycling though.)
I mean whats the worst thing that happens if they know us? a banning for belligerency? Being turned into a bunch of jerk NPCS at the tavern complaining about how badly the people in charge of the adventuring guild arent living up to the legacy of the previous leaders? get put into a sidequest where the player has to go kill some trolls named after us?
Hmpf! I will have you know that "Uncle Lester" would be a great name for a certain type of NPC, more than that, very much appropriate to the series...
(They'd need to make some kind of backstory of how he ended all the way up in BG though.)