Twenty years ago, when photorealistic games were still just a faraway dream, companies like Square sent our imaginations soaring before we played, with big-budget intros and cutscenes. Long before Overwatch normalized the practice of releasing Pixar-quality animated shorts for each new character, Blizzard’s Diablo II and Capcom’s Onimusha 3 put us in the demon slaying mood with incredible mini-movies stretching to six minutes each.
But if you dare try watching these classics on a modern 4K TV or even a 1080p monitor, they’ll look like a pixelated mess. That’s where a YouTube channel named Upscale and machine learning comes in — making them look nearly as good as they did on your old CRT. Or perhaps even better. It just depends how well the game’s art style works with the AI algorithms bringing it back to life.
The Kingdom Hearts intros, for instance, look incredible. I scanned around, and I’m willing to call these the definitive versions currently in existence: