Debate: Music Vs. Graphics

Debate Music vs Graphics | Video games | gaming | blogging |

You know how people say, “Never judge a book by its cover?” People judge books by their covers all the time, that’s what the covers are for. You’re supposed to judge the covers, as they are potential readers’ first impression of whether or not they may like the book. Graphics are the same for video games. When researching games, I check out screenshots to get a taste of whether or not I’d enjoy the game based on how it looks. To me, graphics are a bit more important than music when it comes to my opinion on video games.

While I can agree with that since I too look at the graphics to decide if I like the art style or not, I have to say that’s all it is – it’s an art style. Art is unique and interpretation in varies ways depending on who is looking at it and what they’re favorite kinds of styles are. With that said, I don’t think graphics are necessarily important to making a game “good.” All it does is visually show off the characters. Meanwhile, the music has a lot to say about the game. Following along with the story and plot of the game, the music needs to be appropriate and add a certain emotion and atmosphere to the game play. That’s why I think music is more important than graphics.

Music does add a lot to games’ atmosphere, I agree, but if the graphics don’t capture a person’s interest in the game, no one is going to play the game and hear the awesome music. Not only that, the graphics of video games can be wildly different from game to game — cel-shaded, realistic, pixel, watercolor-like visuals, are just a few of the different styles that can make a game. Look at how many variations of art styles the Legend of Zelda franchise has had over the years. Seeing and experiencing a game with amazing graphics really helps to immerse the players and connect them with the characters they are controlling.

True, but how often do you hear about people complaining about the graphics? Depending on the game itself, the graphics are certainly a hit or miss. People will try the game anyway and complain about the art style. Music, on the other hand, can very well be a hit or miss too. I’ve mentioned before that a certain song might not fit a certain part of the game, but how many times do you use the music as context clues for what’s going on in the game? Or the deadly silence that tells you a boss battle is coming up?

I concede that graphics may be more hotly contended rather than music when it comes to critiquing video games, but that can also prove how invested people are in the art style of games. No two gamers’ tastes are alike (although you and I come pretty close), so to see arguments or even disappointment over a game’s graphic style just shows how passionate people are about the game’s look. Graphics can be used as context clues as well. Aside from the obvious healing spots or the game throwing healing packs at you, how about when horror or stealth games start using shadows and dim lights to set the mood? Or small movies that showcase the arena right before the boss enters? While music — or lack of it — certainly helps in amping up the tension before a boss fight, if the graphics don’t adequately show me a terrifying boss, I’m not going to be intimidated.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Fair enough. But how many times do you coo and awe at the graphics of a game? When you first turn on a brand new game, sure. You’re amazing and impressed at the various people and places you come across – especially Breath of the Wild and other games on the Switch. Music, however, changes and upgrades throughout the game. The art style never changes while the battle music for some can be completely different the further you get into the game. You’re always surprised.

I am always in awe of graphics on my favorite games, haha! Graphics are what got me interested in Gris, they’re still what I think about in Breath of the Wild, and I am floored by the amount of detail in the artwork of Smash Bros. Ultimate. Not only that, a game with good graphics keeps inviting you back like home. Music does that as well, I know, but it’s the visual immersion that’s important to me.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, I guess that’s what it comes down to then… are you more a visual person or an auditory person? We’ll let everyone else decide.

Which side are you on? Let us know in the comments below!

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