Data + Design Project

How Rad Were Old Game Graphics? The Real World Contrasted With Their Gaming Counterparts

Wednesday 03.12.2014 , Posted by
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If you were a gamer in the early ‘90s, you probably remember raving about the awesome graphics. It seemed like the future was right around the corner, about to pop into full color photo realism… I mean, just look at Jean-Luc Picard’s head!

To see how ‘real’ each of those games really was, Brother Brain (aka NYC artist John McGregor) has done movie/game mashups, showing us an animated look at how the old games measured up to reality… or at least a promotional picture.

(above – Star Trek: The Next Generation (NES) Absolute 1993 vs Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Series Promotional Photo)

Predator (NES) Activision 1989 vs Predator (Film) 20th Century Fox 1987
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With their pixelated and dithered details, those classic 8-Bit NES graphics had a look that estimated reality in ways we’ll never appreciate the same way again. Some examples here are way off the mark. Others, like that illustration from the Predator are almost spot on… if you squint really hard.

See another example with Arnold as the Terminator, and the rest of the series at brotherbrain.tumblr.com.

Batman (NES) Sunsoft 1989 vs Batman (Film) Warner Bros. 1989
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George Foreman’s KO Boxing (NES) Acclaim 1992 vs Promotional Photo.
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Mad Max (NES) Mindscape 1990 vs Mad Max 2 (Film) Warner Bros. 1981
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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES) LJN 1991 vs Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Theatrical Poster) Orion Pictures 1989
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Jaws (NES) LJN 1987 vs Jaws (Theatrical Poster) Universal Pictures 1975
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Magic Johnson’s Fast Break (NES) Tradewest 1989 vs Promotional Photo
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via Reddit

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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