As for cell shadeing, the PS2 sucks at it. That is why games like 'Tales of Symphonia' look so much better on the GC than they do on the PS2. To get proper cell shadeing on the PS2, it takes just as much power, if not more. It has to make like 3 or 4 passes. While the gamecube has a specific chip for cell shading. I think the gamecube/Wii have a MAJOR advantage over the PS2/360 when it comes to cell shading. However from what I have seen from the PS3, I am eagerly awaiting some of the 'next' gen cell shaded games. I cant rember what it was, but I was hard pressed telling the diffrence from it, and modern anime. I dont even rember if it was a full game. I have never been a fan on cell shading tho.
I think WindWalker was beautiful. And I think TP was very sub-par graphically, compared to what it could/should have been. But that is just showing how small nintendo gives their AAA games of a budget. Kinda why I'm not expecting alot this year from nintendo.
Why do I say that? Let me give an example of how a game is built, and why a game can look beautiful and be a great game, or look horrible, and be a great game, or even look great, and play like crap.
It's called the dev process.
Main Programmer team - Usually about 4-8 people who program the graphics engine, and make sure it uses as much power as it can possibly use. If it is a port, or useing a old engine. There would only be 1 or 2 programmers.
Art Team - Depending on how much art content is already needed. They need anywhere from 5 to 100 artists. The art team builds the models, the worlds, the levels. They make the game beautiful.
Voice Team - Usually these people are from other parts of the game, and just do horrible voice overs.
Story/gameplay team - Usually 2 to 8 people who work together to make sure the story fits together right, makes sense, and is generally enjoyable.
That is for a last gen game.
If the Art team sucks, and cant do a good job, the game's graphics will suck. Even if the programmers created the best engine of all time.
If the art team is the best in the world, and the programming team gives them crap to work with... It will still look like crap.
The gameplay/story team works very close with both art and programming teams. As the game starts to peice together, they are the ones who make sure everything is working like it should. If they are too stressed and on a time schedule they will drop certin things. Depending on who they are. Alot of the time, they cheap on gameplay, becuase it is the easiest to hide.