Whether it's because of some significant change in the series (like being released on a new console, or in an Alternate Universe), or just the designers wanting something different, occasionally the art style of a series may change for a sequel. Then, in some cases, the new art style may become the default art style. This trope is for when the previously used art style in a series is switched in a sequel. This can invoke They Changed It, Now It Sucks, if the change of style is unwelcome by fans of the original work. Note, that if a series continues to use one style for too long, some fans might complain that It's the Same, Now It Sucks. A Sister Trope of Art Shift, which is a change of visual style within a work. Compare Video Game 3D Leap, when a franchise's visuals change from 2D to 3D. Video game sequels and remakes being made for games on older console generations would most likely get an Art Shift to take advantage of the new hardware, although there are exceptions.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- The first season of Beyblade was animated by Madhouse, while the next two and the movie were done by Nihon Animedia in a style closer to the manga. The franchise would retain this style into Metal Fight Beyblade, where animation was handed off to Tatsunoko and SynergySP, along with the Nelvana-commissioned BeyWarriors series.
- Lupin III: With four series to date, and dozens of TV specials, it is inevitable that this work would become an example of this trope.
- Lupin III (Green Jacket) has thick lines, and a dark colour palette with high saturation.
- Lupin III (Red Jacket) used thinner lines, and rounder shapes. The colour palette was much lighter this time, with lower saturation.
- Lupin III (Pink Jacket) was somewhere between the two in terms of saturation, using a mix of bright and medium colours. The shapes were often very curvy, especially in the first few episodes. Except for one movie, the animation style used here is never repeated.
- For several decades, the Lupin III Yearly Specials would draw elements mostly from the "Red Jacket" series, with updated colour palettes and techniques, every year. This style is still in use.
- The release of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine brought the franchise to a new style, one inspired by the original "Green Jacket" series, with darker lines, multiple Art Shifts, and a tendency for more lines, as well. This style is still in use.
- The traditionally animated Hungarian film Vuk the Little Fox got a 3D CGI sequel several decades later. This Art Shift was one of the many reasons the sequel was universally disliked.
- BIT.TRIP. Compared to the 8-Bit Retraux of the first 6 games, the spinoff BIT.TRIP Runner 2 features a more realistic art style.
- The Dragon Age series had a major art overhaul between Dragon Age: Origins—which was pretty standard fare Medieval Fantasy style—to Dragon Age II—whose visuals are highly stylized, particularly in regards to the depiction of elves and the Qunari. The series backpedaled on the stylization a bit with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which tries to find the middle ground between the first two games' styles—this overhaul was also partly a consequence of moving to a different Game Engine.
- Jumper Three features stylized retraux graphics in contrast to MS Paintish graphics of previous installments or 16-bit style of Jumper Redux.
- First, this trope occurs between Kirby Super Star and Kirbys Dreamland 3, the artstyle changed from one that resembled more or less an updated version of the older games' artstyle to a crayon-like look.
- Then came Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, where game's now in full 3Dnote Then came the remake of Kirby's Adventure, where the artstyle's is yet again, changed, not only giving Kirby his modern design outside of both his 3D portrayals and his portrayal in the Anime, but also giving the game a modernized artstyle that involves, amongst other things, smoother animations and bigger minibosses.
- This then became averted with Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, which uses the same artstyle as with the Kirby's Adventure remake.
- Then came Kirby: Canvas Curse, which went with a paint-like artstyle due to the fact that a paint sorcerer being is trying to turn Dreamland into a world of paint. The next game in the series, Kirby Squeak Squad, then reverted back to the artstyle of the Gameboy Advance games.
- After that, the remake of Kirby Super Star came, which changed to an artstyle that can be described as a combination of both the artstyle of the Gameboy Advance games and that of the original Kirby Super Star.
- Thennote came Kirbys Return To Dreamland, which has a different 3D artstyle to that of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shardsnote .
- Averted in Kirby's Dream Collection's challenge stages and in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, which uses the same 3D artstyle as Kirby's Return to Dreamland.
- The Legend of Zelda series frequently changes its artstyles in between sequels.
- The switch between Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time saw a minor increase in sprite size to take advantage of the NDS's bigger screens. Other than that, it's mostly the same artstyle. While Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story averts this by having the same artstyle compared to Partners in Time, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team does not, being the sub series' Video Game 3D Leap with 2½D elements.note
- Metal Gear Ac!d had a graphical style closely in keeping with that of its parent franchise, whereas Metal Gear Ac!d 2 had stylized, cel-shaded graphics.
- Puyo Puyo. Starting with Puyo Puyo Fever, the art style of the series drastically changed, replacing the old Super-Deformed style with a more modern Animesque style.
- A minor one between Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends: in the former, the characters had a more cartoony style with flat colors and clearly visible outlines, but in the latter it gets replaced with a more painted look.
- Out of all Blizzard's strategy games, only the first◊ two◊ WarCraft games look like each other, with III having made the jump to 3D◊. Interestingly, StarCraft originally looked◊ a lot more like Warcraft II. This changed after the dev team saw a much better made game using Isometric Projection, giving it this look◊ (and twelve years later, Starcraft II◊).
- The second season of American Dragon: Jake Long saw a number of character redesigns. The overall style was much more sketchy and the designs of several reoccurring characters had them thinner with more cartoony embellishments. To the point many of them would be unrecognizable if they hadn't been mentioned by name on screen. Sliver the Mermaid goes from being able to pass a brunette human from the waste up to being completely green. The Oracle Twins go from being identical besides their clothing style and level of perkiness to having different faces and hair colors. Even the title character's dragon form changes from a Western style dragon his friends could easily ride on, to an Eastern style dragon that was skinner and more mobile in the air.
- The New Batman Adventures saw a number of changes in art style from Batman: The Animated Series in order for the art to more closely fit with the art style of Superman: The Animated Series to allow for crossovers (and the eventual Justice League show). The color scheme was inked darker, but the former film noir influenced style was completely done away with. The lines became much more streamlined and everyone had a character redesign.
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