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Art Book Collection Thread Show Off & Talk About You're Gaming Artbooks!

May 15, 2013 at 4:13:57 PM
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Vivi-gamer (5)
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Hello,

I know many people on this site show of their collections but today I wanted to  present a topic which really goes into detail about Video Game Art Books. I don't mean for this to just be an excuse to show full collections. I want you to to choose your absolute favourite and talk about it. After all, what is the point in collection items if you share no interest in the content.  You don't have to be as detailed as I am if you don't want, but I at least ask for you to pick out one favourite image and talk about it I shall go first:

Art Book - The Art of Metal Gear Solid by Yoji Shinkawa:



I find this book so staggeringly detailed. It really showcases what the job of a concept artist is. Throughout the book, it also has little captions beneath many of the images in where Yoji Shinkawa talks about the image. Whether it was a promotional image or if he used a certain digital software to colourize the image. I feel I learnt a great deal just reading through and observing the comments

The book itself is a hefty 180 pages, sadly it is not hardback, but the plastic cover it comes with is pretty strong so it gives it plenty of support. The book is split into two sections Promotional art which was used for poster and some images directly for certain gaming magazines - This I found fascinating as I thought it would just be the magazine companies sourcing the images they could find, not having the images made for them. It also has many detailed concept art of the characters. The second half of the book is  the concept art, so the nitty-gritty design elements of the game, the imagery looks superb presented with such a fine print from the book. It also points out little details you may never had known, one that caught my eye was some sketches of Grey Fox's mask opening up, with images displaying multiple stages of the motion. It also contains the early designs of Metal Gear and the characters, even what Sniper Wolf looked like as a man, or Vulcan Raven with hair. It really displays the thought process and progression of the designs so well.

To top it all of the book ends with an interview in English too with Yoshitaka Amano, who I regard so highly for working on the concept art for Final Fantasy (Had I not picked this book, it would have been 'The Art of Final Fantasy IX' which I also adore.) Which was brilliant to hear two people at the top of their profession talk about their experience and conflicts.

Favourite Piece of Art from the Book:


I just find this image so striking, The heat from the bottom of the page that streaks up the design of the characters is just very stylish. I also admit I am very fond of these 3 characters so to see them together in this one piece is a treat, I also like the composition as it demonstrates the level of detail Shinkawa puts into a character close up, medium and in the distance, each one with a different style but blends together so well.

I managed to snag the book for £25, considering it goes for £80 - £100 I am very pleased to say the least. But it is not just that it is a rarity, the book utterly delivers in content design wise and from my impression delivers a perfect display of what is required from a concept artist in a project.

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Edited: 03/27/2015 at 01:42 PM by Vivi-gamer

May 15, 2013 at 7:07:46 PM
GameTrigger (5)
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The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy


Amano's ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games.

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FS/FT: Final Fantasy VIII promo (PS1; PAL)
WTB: Final Fantasy items


May 16, 2013 at 2:15:01 AM
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Originally posted by: GameTrigger

The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy
Very

Amano's ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games.
Very Jealous, i could not afford the Original edition, but I have preordered the slipcase edition from amazon which isset for August this year. Can you talk more about it, what is youer favourite piece inside? I don't have the book yet buy I know this is one of my favourite pieces:



Funnily enough I haven't even played Final Fantasy II yet (Along with III & V from the main numeral series) but I just love how bold and vibrant it is. I also love all the details like the Bombs, the sea and mountain terrain which you don't initially see. I wonder if they will ever be able to make a Final Fantasy that replicates Amano's wild designs.

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Edited: 05/16/2013 at 10:28 AM by Vivi-gamer

May 16, 2013 at 9:54:10 PM
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Not truly a guide book, but I love the Ni No Kuni CE guide with art in the back. Though if I can count another book, the Wizards companion is truly a sight to behold in terms of artwork.

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Edited: 05/16/2013 at 10:45 PM by Tim81DE

Oct 10, 2013 at 4:01:09 PM
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Bringing this back thread back!

FINAL FANTASY: THE SKY

I talked previously about how I wanted the Final Fantasy: The Sky art book well, it turned out my local GAME had one even before Amazon stocked them, needless to say I jumped in line and launched for it.


It's just such a lovely boxsets words just cannot describe the value you got for this collection. I don't care if it is not an original edition, the quality of this release is second to none. Here is a photo next to a PS2 game just so you can get an idea of the scale of these books.



There are 3 books overall in this set, Book 1 - Final Fantasy I,II & III. Book 2, which covers Final Fantasy IV, V & VI. Then Book 3 which covers VII, VIII, IX & X. Book 2 is the biggest book by far, I was a little disheartened to see that book 3 was the smallest, but when you consider how Amano wasn't as involved in them games as heavily as the earlier titles it backs sense.

So to keep in theme with the thread, I will be picking my favourite illustration from the book... Good thing there are 3 books this time

Final Fantasy Book 1 - I, II & III:


This is piece for Final Fantasy II, it reminds me of them Star Wars posters which have a collage arrangement. The characters aren't all in proportion but it uses the size to dramatic effect - The Villain being large and hovering over the characters for example. I like the purple colour scheme but what really interests me is the detail, there are just so many things going on from bombs, to stars and boats on the sea. I just find it interesting to look around. I have yet to even play Final Fantasy II yet, I have a PSP version and should really work on that.

Final Fantasy Book 2 - IV, V & VI:


I really wanted to choose something from VI as it is my favourite game of the 3 by far, but I just love the design of this airship! It's just so colourful and wild. I like how it looks like a surreal zeppelin, with so many compartments that look like they could be airships on their own. Also, not how even though this image is spread over two pages and none of the detail is lost in-between - This is a sign of a well designed book!

Final Fantasy Book 3 - VII, VIII, IX & X:


While this might not be my favourite illustration in the book, it really took me by surprise, by now I had seen most of the art work for these games by years of research but I have never seen this piece before looking in The Sky. What I love about it is how the setting the cast around a camp fire in the woods. It shows my favourite aspect of JRPG's that sense of being part of a team on an adventure.

I love this book to bits, I have wanted a Final Fantasy Art Book for years and while I was content with the Final Fantasy IX one I got last year this is just beyond what I could ever hope for. If you are a Final Fantasy fan you must have this or even if you appreciate video game art you'll be challenged to find better value for money than this boxset.

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Edited: 10/10/2013 at 04:05 PM by Vivi-gamer

Oct 12, 2013 at 10:06:59 PM
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Is there any descriptions in there? Or is it purely art?

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Oct 13, 2013 at 4:34:01 AM
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Vivi-gamer (5)
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It's purely art, sometimes little descriptions can be nice But these books are about seeing the art. There are 576 pages overall and the quality of the paper and print is just so superb.

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Oct 13, 2013 at 4:58:45 PM
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Posted this ages ago but oh well...mine are here:



Sorry about shoddy camera work.

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Oct 13, 2013 at 7:12:58 PM
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Not at all, it was cool to see them, should anyone else want to video their art book for the topic please feel free

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Dec 6, 2013 at 10:07:36 AM
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Okay, so I got the second part to one of my favourite books today:

The Art of Metal Gear Solid 2:


This is actually a lot more difficult to get hold of, I have never seen it go under £90 myself until recently this seller on eBay sold it for £45. Metal Gear Solid 2 is one of my favourite games of all time, so this was just an necessity for me.

The book itself is just as comprehensive as the first, with such a huge variety of artwork from promo art, concept art and even rough sketches. I'd say the only major difference this time is we don't get brief paragraphs from Shinkawa himself on the work unlike the previous book.

My favourite piece:


I love this piece on Raiden, just the use of pale blue and fine detail on the hair is excellent, very moody. I wish Raiden's hair in game was thinner and less like a mullet...

But what is really nice is seeing the sketches during development, characters being formed (Vamp for instance starting off as female.), its just a great insight into the creation of the game, I'll leave you with a few pages from the sketches section to enjoy

Soilder and Elevator Sketch:


Dead Cell & Fatman:


Solidus & Solid:


Once again if you have any books you enjoy please feel free to share them, it is an important part of game creation and I love to hear about what others enjoy, so feel free if you have any content you want to share.

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Edited: 12/06/2013 at 10:09 AM by Vivi-gamer

Mar 15, 2014 at 10:01:04 AM
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Well I seem to be the main person contributing to this thread... don't you think that will stop me though

I got a new arrival today which I think is worth talking about:

The Art Of 'The Last Of Us':


This book has been published by Dark Horse, who also made the wonderful 'The Art Of Final Fantasy: The Sky' Artbook shown previously. The book itself is slightly larger than A4, Hardback and has a good 175 pages - The pages are thick and of great quality too.

The Content:


The book covers a broad range of the development from early concept drawings of the main characters to an in-depth analysis into the creation of the infected. I really approve of the structure of this book as it first details Joel & Ellie then it goes through the art covering each area in chronological order, so it would be a great companion piece while playing the game.

The artwork is detailed and has a wide variety of character art, environments and infected and it is great to see how they went from earlier designs into finished concepts. One thing, which is a personal negative point is that the art design is mostly digital art, so it has that wishy-washy effect seen in a lot of concept art these days. I've just never been fond of it myself.


My favourite piece from the artbook is a piece made for to promote the game, they hired a chap to make a poster and I really like the composition and sharpness in detail. You also get a page showing earlier stages of the development into making the piece:


So that's about it, overall very pleased with the artbook and enjoyed looking through it and reminiscing my experience with the game, one which is undeniably one of the standouts of this generation.

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Edited: 03/15/2014 at 10:28 AM by Vivi-gamer

Mar 16, 2014 at 3:17:53 AM
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I absolutely love TLoU and bought that art book right away. I think I simply forgot that I bought it simply because I was so blown away by the game.

Overall I don't think I go out and purchase art books in general. I rather wait for them to be released in a CE or wait for them as gifts.

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Mar 16, 2014 at 7:45:53 AM
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Yeah, you can do that in the US, the European special edition artbooks are never as good, they're usually A5 tiny little books which are pathetic or we get the art at the back of a guide... However, companies have been releasing more and more artbooks in recent years, even in the UK I can buy ones like the Last of Us, Remember Me, Bioshock: Infinite, Assassins Creed, so they;re becoming more available.

One I really want is for Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, but they only gave it to the US in their special edition - & of course you look for it on ebay and people are putting it up for stupid prices...

But I love looking through them, they give you a great insight into the design choices made while the game is in development. I also find them really exciting to look at and appreciate the talent of the artists involved.

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Apr 2, 2014 at 9:27:11 AM
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I got something wonderful today!


Nier has always been one of the more striking game this generation for me, it is the perfect blend of action/JRPG for me. The story is really unique and demands multiple playthroughs which really enhance the experience. The art design for the game is really unique too and I have always wanted a book that focuses on this.


The book itself is sort of an all round book, which covers the story with interviews (Sadly which I cannot read), a walkthrough and artwork. Despite the text being in Japanese the content of this book is still very satisfying. The book is smaller than A4 but still a good size.

I haven't seen much of the Art of Nier, so the book is a real treat, it features character concept stages, environments and weapons. I haven't had too much time to look over it but I am very content with the purchase - It even arrived only 3 or so days from Japan to England.

So overall very happy, I never thought I'd get this book at a decent price, I bought it off Amazon for New at £20.

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Edited: 04/02/2014 at 09:28 AM by Vivi-gamer

Apr 2, 2014 at 2:49:58 PM
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Man, I loved what I played of Nier. I wish I could understand Japanese because this book would be a purchase right away.

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Apr 2, 2014 at 3:17:21 PM
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I really wish I could but understand the written content, I heard it's meant to really go in depth about the games lore and setting, much like the Final Fantasy Ultimania books, still I am happy with it

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Mar 27, 2015 at 1:24:53 PM
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Bringing this thread back, artbooks are awesome!

Final Fantasy Type-0 Artbook!:


I love this! It was part of the Collectors Edition set which I know Kennyrh has already showed off. What I love about the artbook is its not one of them crap little ones the size of a game case, it's near A4 and hardback! brilliant.

Inside:






The artwork shown is superb and well organised. I managed to haggle it down to £13 and for that price I am very content. It has 80 pages, so a little thin but it is bursting with content and just a very pleasant book Happy indeed.

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Edited: 03/27/2015 at 01:25 PM by Vivi-gamer

Mar 27, 2015 at 4:02:17 PM
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Glad you found one, Vivi. 13 quid seems like a fair price.

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Mar 27, 2015 at 5:08:49 PM
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Originally posted by: kennyrh

Glad you found one, Vivi. 13 quid seems like a fair price.
Thanks, yes im rather pleased, especially considering some morons were asking £30 for it, which is just ridiculous. But for that price and co spidering the quality of the artbook im happy. Really want to get my hands on the Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns artbook, but as it wasn't even released int the UK the only deal on Amazon I can see would be £30+ with postage

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Mar 28, 2015 at 4:05:15 PM
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Originally posted by: Vivi-gamer

Originally posted by: kennyrh

Glad you found one, Vivi. 13 quid seems like a fair price.
Really want to get my hands on the Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns artbook, but as it wasn't even released int the UK the only deal on Amazon I can see would be £30+ with postage

That might seem steep but, in my experience, most UK artbooks are 30 quid sealed. If you want it that badly I'd say go for it - assumung you've got any dosh left after all this Type O expense.

Personally, i want the other Typse 0 steelbook that GAME are doing, now that I've seen it in the flesh so to speak.


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Apr 12, 2015 at 3:09:18 AM
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with the MGS book i take it that the comments arnt in English ?

Apr 12, 2015 at 3:03:46 PM
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Originally posted by: mikezilla2

with the MGS book i take it that the comments arnt in English ?

yes, the comments in The Art of Metal Gear Solid 1 are in English, it even features an interview with Shinkawa at the back it a brilliant book which can't disappoint, highly recommend it

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Aug 27, 2015 at 5:34:19 PM
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Got a pleasant arrival today

The Art of Metal Gear Solid - Peace Walker:


It's a bulky book with 200+ pages of art, like previous metal gear books it features great concept art showing off the desgin choices the studio went through. Plenty of drawn art of characters, mech and environments and gives off a real presence of the game. It's not hardback but it delviers in such a wide range of imagery, ever so pleased with it.




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Edited: 08/27/2015 at 05:35 PM by Vivi-gamer

Jul 18, 2016 at 2:54:02 AM
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I got a gift from a friend the other day  :

Ever so grateful, as this wa an Artbook I always wanted to get myself   It was released around the time of Mass Effect 3 and includes art from the 3rd game - even content regared as spoilers, so it doesn't compromise on quality. Really worth getting for all Mass Effect fans.

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Edited: 07/18/2016 at 02:54 AM by Vivi-gamer