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The State Of The Platform Game 89

Posted by Zonk
from the no-skool-like-the-old-skool dept.
simoniker writes "Gamasutra has a rather huge article up explaining the state of the platform gaming genre, with an interesting introduction: 'Platform games used to enjoy a 15% share of the market in 1998 - and considerably more in the 16-bit era - but [has now dropped significantly]. As a consequence, marketing circles are reportedly deliberating that platform games - as a genre - are not as attractive to consumers as they once were. We believe it's not an issue of genre, but an issue of effective design principles of past being forgotten.' There follows plenty of comparisons between Sonic, Mario, Rayman, Crash, Jak, and friends! Is it time for the platformer to make a bigger comeback?"
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The State Of The Platform Game

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  • mmm 2d (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kingkade (584184)
    If it aint 3d, ppl think it's from te 90s. oh well. we need more 2d platformers *using* some 3d tech and effects.
    • Re:mmm 2d (Score:2, Informative)

      by Leiterfluid (876193)
      So... Super Mario Sunshine? Sly Cooper?

      Those are all 3-D platformers that were loads of fun. The number of dimensions are irrelevant, it's how the game holds your interest. My complaint about the Xbox 360 is that there aren't enough platformers. With one or two exceptions, it's all about sports titles and first-person shooters.
    • Cloning Clyde on Xbox Live Arcade is good example of where platformers are now. They're not the A-List games, but they are still being made.

      I personally am not a huge platformer fan- I get frustrated by a lot of the puzzles. (Sad but true) But Cloning Clyde was a refreshing change of pace for me. It is a platformer with some pretty nice graphics and some interesting play mechanics, like turning into a chicken or a frog to get through different levels.

      Both my wife and daughter said, "Oh, that looks like M
  • Gameboy advance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Friday August 04, 2006 @10:27PM (#15850286) Journal
    I believe two Nintendo handhelds would like a word with you. Last time they checked 2D gaming was very much alive and quite popular.
    • After sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours the last thing I wanna do is put some sort of screen even closer to my face and focus on it for an extended period of time.
    • One reason for the drop in interest lately is the pending release of the next generation of consoles. They have been talked about long enough that interest has left the current generation.
    • You're likely right however 2D isn't why I purchased my Intel inpregnated MacBook Pro or my Alienware $4000+ gaming computer with the new Physix (or whatever) technology with 512Mb nVidia blow yer socks off graphic card. That's a little beyond Mario but a challenge for those even interested in first person shooters. Look at Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Is it a Nintendo DS game? Naw- that would suck- its a 3D experience and with the right hardware it really rocks. Even then the physix engine was a s
      • Look at Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Is it a Nintendo DS game? Naw- that would suck- its a 3D experience and with the right hardware it really rocks.

        I suggest you look at the difference between a movie and a game. If it's about the graphics then you should question why you're playing the game instead of one which is fun even if it looks worse.
        • Does awesome graphics preclude the game from being fun?

          I hear that same mantra again and again on Slashdot- "graphics don't make the game fun."

          But fantastic graphics can make a good game even better- and GRAW is a good example. The game is solid- fun, well balanced, good off-line and good-online.

          But the graphics really send everything over the top. The game is beautiful, which makes it even more fun to play. Just as watching a movie on 70mm film is a much more enjoyable than the same on Super-8.

          I don't t
          • I agree completely.
            Too often people go on and on about how graphics don't matter and gameplay is the only thing that should matter. Get over yourself. Graphics can be just as important as gameplay. I enjoy classic 2D gaming I also enjoy cutting-edge 3D gaming, I'll go from Project Gotham Racing 3 over to Street Fighter 2 without hesitation.. however graphics can make or break a game just as much as gameplay can. A game that looks amazing but has poor gamplay will have me put it down after a few minutes fro
      • You do know that playing a 2d platformer on said machine doesn't prevent you from also playing the Ghost Recon game? I hope you're not using the web bowser on your $4000 whizbang device. The machine is a little byeond IE or Firefox.
    • I still enjoy a quick retro game on my GBA, my PSP and its ability to emulate the GBA takes pride of place now. Why would I even bother to carry around several handhelds when I can fit a whole pile of them on my memory stick and emulate them. Both the PSP and the DS hand held consoles are sounding the end of 2D. They both play 2D, however, they also do 3D exceptionally well for a small unit.

      2D has had its day and will only survive as a retro genre mostly through emulators. All the good 2D games, and/or
    • Indeed. Kirby: Canvas Curse for the DS is one of the most enjoyable platformers ever. And that's just the DS.
  • by starwed (735423) on Friday August 04, 2006 @10:31PM (#15850300)
    From what I remember, most of those platformers were licensed dreck. (Anyone ever played the Barbie game for NES? ^_^)
    • Yes, and I weep at the thought...
    • Cool Spot for Genesis and other systems was a platformer AND a blatant advertisement through licensing of the "7UP Spot" but there isn't anybody who can convince me it wasn't at least a decent game. It did well enough to earn itself at least one sequel, if not more... I'm not saying it was the best game ever, but it was at least fun at the time.
  • Wow (Score:3, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Friday August 04, 2006 @10:38PM (#15850326) Journal
    I know we get some poorly displayed articles on Slashdot but this takes the cake.

    (Page 1/31)

    Why the hell do I have to go through 31 pages when each page doesn't even display a full browser windows worth of context? We have mouse wheels in 2006, lets use them for more than skipping banner adds and FPS weapon changes.
    • I've always thought it should be possible to write a script that would take the text from multi-page articles and just dump them into one page. I guess it would have to be site-specific though, which is unfortunate... oh well, yet one more thing I don't have time for. :)
    • by BTWR (540147)
      31 ad impressions... :)
  • At least, for me, all 3D platformers are steaming piles, no matter how beautiful/whatever they are, because no compelling control interface exists. Even with an analog stick, you're using a 2D control scheme for 3D movement.

    That's why Mario 3 kicks Super Mario 64's ass all the way up and down the block.

    But I'm not biased, I swear. ;)
    • Without the use of jumping/climbing/etc, how often do you travel in 3d in your daily life? Airplanes use "2d" controls. Cars use "2d" controls. In a game, if I have keys to jump, crouch, walk sideways, and climb I am happy. Control stick for walking and one for aiming/turning and I am really happy.

      Then again, I might be biased, I didn't really start playing video games until 2000 or 2001. Ahhh, Half-Life 1 and BZFlag...
    • by dosboot (973832) on Friday August 04, 2006 @11:15PM (#15850461)

      I agree. I've argued many times that there are things that 2D can do that 3D can't. It's much harder to make a fun 3d platformer because you can't expect the player to have things we take for granted in 2d games. What 2d games have that 3d don't is precision (i.e. moving, jumping and landing with near pixel perfect accuracy) and clear perspective (the enemy, and hence his attacks, are frequently not in view to the player in a 3d games). When you can't expect the player to have precision and situational awareness things end up being more boring.

      I can't help but zero in on this part of the article:

      "The real problem was the language barrier and a lack of understanding each other's creative goals. When I would pitch say, a 'platform shooter with racing bits inbetween levels, set in space', they told me it was unmarketable. There was no hook for them. For me, I was imagining the potential fun aspect, but for them, it was about trying to find something sexy or 'MTV" within the concept they could sell to a shop. Fair enough."

      Any gamer or half decent developer thinks of video games in terms of their gameplay, and thus thinks in terms of controls. Marketers and publishers don't know anything about videogames. They think we play video games to literally play as the characters, not for the underlying gamey elements.
      • What 2d games have that 3d don't is precision (i.e. moving, jumping and landing with near pixel perfect accuracy)

        Got me there. Now we actually have to use real-world measurements, like centemeters. Per-centemeter accuracy is something you often can achieve in a 3D world.

        and clear perspective (the enemy, and hence his attacks, are frequently not in view to the player in a 3d games).

        Then the camera sucks. That's not a problem of 3D, it's a problem with a specific game. Would you claim all 2D games have

        • Some of us think about plot, also. The best games have enough of both. If I just wanted gameplay, I'd play Tetris. If I just wanted varied gameplay, I'd play Neverball. If I just wanted plot, I'd watch a movie. If I just wanted (somewhat) interactive plot, I'd read a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

          Yes, some games focus on story more than gameplay. So what? Why bring Tetris into it, of all things?

          Do you know how many games I've played and enjoyed which had either no plot or one that is incredibly easy to dis

        • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Saturday August 05, 2006 @02:56PM (#15852983) Homepage
          Then the camera sucks. That's not a problem of 3D, it's a problem with a specific game.
          The fundamental problem is that you can't represent a 3D image on a 2D screen without loss of information. If you have a gap infront of you and a block further away it is impossible in a 3D game to tell exactly how far away it is, the only way to get the distance is by guessing. Simple example, how far do you guess are those blocks [seul.org] away from each other. Aproximatly 2 block sizes you might guess? Close, but totally wrong, lets enable shadows [seul.org] and look from it from another perspective [seul.org]. Woops, its actually a smaller block on the left and in the air, not an equally sized infront of the player. Now, this is an artificial example, but such situations happen all the time in 3D games, restrictive level design (don't just change platform sizes without giving clear hints, limit jumping puzzles to a streight line whereever possible, etc.) and a player controlled camera can help a bit, but it can't make the problem go away. Same is true for enemies, if you have an enemy infront of you the camera might be able to give a clear view, but if you have one behind you, one infront, one on your left and one on your right, the camera has a problem. Often you will also have plenty of level geometry inbetween you and the camera. Again there are solutions which will lessen the problem, but you can't make it go away completly. In 2D on the other side its very simply, the most complicated thing you might ever need is to zoom out, but beside from that everything is always in crystal clear view, no obscuring, no perspectivic problems, nothing, every distance can be messured down to the exact pixel count, in 3D that is simply not possible with a camera that stays attached to the player.
      • When I would pitch say, a 'platform shooter with racing bits inbetween levels, set in space', they told me it was unmarketable.

        What was he pitching it to? Sounds a lot like Ratchet & Clank, and those games are not only excellent, but pretty big sellers.
        • I concur that Ratchet and Clank are great. And they are 3d platforms mixed with combat. Having played all but the first one of the series, I'd say that they each had good stories, lots of fun levels and interesting diversions with various vehicle combat. The thing was that interesting in some levels was the ability to walking up a wall onto the ceiling, or the small moons/asteroid levels where you got to jump around in low gravity, which made the experience much more refreshing from a regular 2d platform
    • by donscarletti (569232) on Friday August 04, 2006 @11:50PM (#15850591)
      Play a new Prince of Persia game. The original PoP revolutionised 2d platformers, taking them from something blocky and cartoonish to something dynamic with weight. Sands of Time did the same thing. It's dynamic, it's fluid, it's exciting, challenging, intuitive and immeasurably fun. The added complexity of the 3d levels allows an element of thinking, calculation and perception that was never the genre's strong point. The controls are the best feature. Move around with your arrow keys or stick, look about with your mouse or other stick, jump or roll with space (it always knows what you want), run on walls, grab stuff, swing, interact, whatever with right mouse button and unsheath/swing your sword with your left button. Just 5 controls and you can do anything you want.

      Unless someone has played SOT/WW/TT they have no right to talk about any platformer because they lack context, unless they have played Ico of course, but what's the chances of that?

      • I own the Sands of Time game (I think it came with a video card). I stopped playing very early on. I found it boring because there is only one sequence of moves that can get you through the platforming portion of each level.

        In Mario 64, you can chose your own path through all of the levels (Even some of the more linear ones, such as the Bowser levels, give you some choice). You also get a quite large variety of moves, and you can use the ones you are most comfortable with.
      • Ah, the great innovations of Sands of Time are two:

        1. You are mostly platforming in 2D despite the 3D environment. It rotates somewhat, but the way it works is walls and narrow ledges. In other words, your 3D polygonal character is restricted by elements of the 3D environment, most of the time, to 2D movement. Now, this isn't 100%, but much of the game works this way.

        2. If that's not enough, you can rewind your death so that if you make a catastrophic mistake, you don't die.

        I still like Super Mar

        • I agree with your second part (being able to rewind if you die makes it possible to "experiment" with solutions to the jumping puzzles.

          I don't agree with your first point. Simply becuase *any* movement in 3D can be mapped on a "2d projection" of the 3d world. Your argument would mean that going in a hallway is 2D since most of your movement is limited by walls and roof. Actually that would make it 1D when I think about it.

          IMHO POP:SOT had plenty of 3D puzzles. A lot of the time you had to move up and down a
    • I maintain that the problem is not the controls, but the screen. On a 2D televsion screen, there is no true depth perception. Judging 3d distances becomes a lot more difficult without binocular vision, and most of platforming is judging distances. In 2D platforming, depth doesn't play a role, so judging distance is much easier. Personally, I want to see a 3d platformer that uses Red & Blue glasses. Red & Blue glasses are cool.
      • I've found that 3D platformers that use shadows while jumping help mitigate that factor. One game to utilize such was the, in my opinion much maligned Jedi Power battles. Especially if you had a friend to play with. It, also like sands of time blending it's 3D world into smaller 2D enivironment, And while its' conbat is fun the jumps can be very difficult. And I found that new players would often find the jumps far deadlier than the foes. And in a game with shared lives that that need to be carefully co
      • go buy (or download) 3d world runner for NES, it used red/blue glasses to make a three diemensional world if you press select to switch views, i think it also had a 'cross your eyes' mode
    • There's nothing wrong with using an analog stick to control movement in "3d" space, since you're usually only moving along two dimensions, with a jump button to access the third.

      Old school platformers are really 1-dimensional. All you go is left and right, gimmick levels aside. You're really only using the d-pad to go left and right.
  • by jamestheprogrammer (932405) on Friday August 04, 2006 @10:52PM (#15850370)
    Another truism however, is that if online reports are correct, not a single game - of any genre - has sold as much as Super Mario Bros 3. Being that we're in an industry which is largely built on forward thinking, it may be productive to look to the past for lessons in improving the present and future of games - and this includes looking in classic game designs and ideas.
    Good idea! Now, let's take Super Mario, who sold well, and combine him with a gun, which also sold really well, and what do we get? MEGA SALES! MUAHAHAHAHAHA! ...I believe there is a Flash game somewhat like that somewhere.
    • I know you're trying to make a joke, but I'm willing to bet you that a game of Mario Paintball with all the Mario characters, would easily outsell Halo 3.
      • Okay, I've never enjoyed a pinball game on a console, but I've always been fond of it in the arcade. I've played my share of pinball games. But none recently, because I've never played a console pinball game that I've enjoyed.

        Can you, or anyone else, explain why pinball would sell?

        • It wouldn't. Which is fine, because I did not type Pinball, I typed Paintball. You know, Mario & friends (& enemies) shooting little balls of paint at each other. No one dies, so they can give it a (T)een rating, but you still get to run around and shoot people. And, being a Mario title, much like their Mario sports titles, each character is guaranteed to have a special "trick shot". It sounds silly as all get out, but I guarantee you it would break sales records.
    • > Good idea! Now, let's take Super Mario, who sold well, and combine him with a gun, which also sold really well, and what do we get? MEGA SALES! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

      I know you're joking, but Sega actually tried this already with Shadow The Hedgehog [metacritic.com]. It was both a critical and commercial failure.
  • Stinkoman (Score:4, Funny)

    by Dadoo (899435) on Friday August 04, 2006 @10:55PM (#15850384) Journal
    As far as I'm concerned, Stinkoman has the market on platformers cornered. :-)
  • Aside from the afformentioned GBA/DS titles, there's been a few good releases on XBox like "Battle for Bikini Bottom" and "Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure" and to a lesser extent, "Pac World III." The downside is that for every creative and kitchy fun platform game, there are 4 crappy cookie cutter games to crowd the market space.
  • They Still Exist (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday August 04, 2006 @11:14PM (#15850458) Homepage

    Platformers are still quite alive. 3 of the best platformers ever made were made in the last few years: the Sly Cooper series. On the GBA there was Drill Dozer by Game Freak last year, which was also quite fun. Nintendo is currently working on a sequel to Yoshi's Island (which same rate better than Super Mario World, both being amazing games). While Super Mario Sunshine was no Mario 64, it was still fun and had some moments of ingenious platforming (like the tighrope walks).

    The difference is that platfomers aren't the "in" thing anymore. In the 16 bit era, if you made a game you made a platformer. That stayed true for a little while in the 32 bit era (Crash, Croc, Gex 3D, etc) but it faded as other kinds of games became the new "in" game. Right now, it seems to be a combination of FPSes and WW II games.

  • I think all game genres are evolving (or devolving) to the 'First Person *'.
    I think it's mostly because back in the day you didn't have the technology to make a realistic looking enviroment, so you adopted a mechanism that communicated whatever was most importat to you.
    Now graphics are pretty close to photorealistic, look at Crysis for example.
    With near-photorealistic graphics you have the simple goal of making things look cool and you don't have to do something as risky as innovate and try creating a new k
    • "Now graphics are pretty close to photorealistic"

      why do people keep saying that games are near photrealistic? They're clearly not!! not even oblivion which probably cant be fully rendered on 95% of current systems looks very convincing. To be honest I wouldn't even say it approached the final fantasy film in terms of photorealism (and final fantasy wouldn't fool many people).

      When you look at screenshots of unreleased games they always show the most favourable ones. People were making a fuss about Gotham Cit
      • Here, take a look at this: http://www.gametrailers.com/player.php?id=9882&typ e=mov&pl=game [gametrailers.com]
        And i've seen an actual gameplay video from a game convention, so this is not just some prerendered hype generator, this is actual gameplay.
        The enviroment looks pretty close to real to me...
      • why do people keep saying that games are near photrealistic?

        Because we are pretty close to photorealism, just look at this (GT on PS2) [seul.org] or that (Crysis) [gamesfirst.com]. Its not quite photorealism, but already pretty close and those are games either already out or to come out in a few month, a late PS3 game or XBox360 game might look quite a bit better, not even mentioning what PS4 or XBox720 will be capable of. However this is just photorealism, as in non-moving images, where the realism falls apart is soon as you add mo

        • Now I don't know if those physics and animation problems will be solve to a reasonable degree in this console generation or in the next
          *coughcoughHalf-Life2coughcough*
          • *coughcoughHalf-Life2coughcough*

            Half-Life 2 is the "problem", not the "solution", there is nothing in Half-Life 2 that behaves remotly realistic. It might be closer to real physic behaviour then a MarioBros, but really not that much, weight, speed and other parameters for example are still totally wrong and gravity gun doesn't really help to make the scene any more believable. Destructive environments are also almost non existant and stuff life that. The physics in Half-Life 2 make some interesting new gam

        • Trouble is that these are still well inside the Uncanny Valley. You may not consciously see that all the grasses and trees are clones of each other, but subconsciously you see it's *wrong* because of that. SW Ep1 suffered badly from this, and Ep2 wasn't much better.

          Admittedly, we're probably starting on the up-slope of the far side of Uncanny Valley. Trouble is that the down-slope started with games like Kung Fu Master, where there were obvious attempts at realism but things just didn't move right. Assu
          • Assuming equivalent levels of progress, then maybe another 20 years...

            Quite possible, the thing is just being able to render one scenerio in a almost photo realistic fashion, doesn't mean that you are able to render everything in photo realistic fashion. Doing some rendering of one human in-door is a different beast then rendering an army of thousands of soldiers in a gigantic landscape, doing the first one in a "close to Final Fantasy look" should be quite doable in this generation, doing the second might

  • dead??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nossie (753694) * <IanHarvie@4Devel ... minus physicist> on Friday August 04, 2006 @11:39PM (#15850541)
    I think you just need to see the review of 'new super mario bros' to see the 'state' of what platformers could be.... The sad truth of the matter is that 2D in general costs more due to animated frames and artists having to put their magical touch to the games.... but I dont believe they are dead, unpopular and crap as a whole.

    http://uk.ds.ign.com/articles/705/705537p1.html [ign.com]

    Admittedly NSMB is partly 3D, but I believe that this game still shares the same foundations and roots as a 'true' platformer. I think developers these days just havent got it into their head that it doesnt matter how many more polygons at an object you cant add gameplay with pretty graphics.
    • Smash Bros. Melee is basically a 2D platformer fighting game. The movement control systems stem directly from platformer: running, jumping many times your height, with ledges and "platforms" to land on. The action stems, more-or-less, from a Street Fighter style fighting game (without the combos). It's the most popular game on the GCN, and quite possibly the most anticipated title on the Wii. Sure, the graphics are 100% 3D, but who cares? The result is a great 2D platformer/fighter hybrid. I think games lik
  • by Teach (29386) * <grahamNO@SPAMgrahammitchell.com> on Friday August 04, 2006 @11:51PM (#15850599) Homepage

    I can explain the problem in two characters: 3D.

    When it was still okay for games to be 2D, then platformers were super common. Jumping about in a 2D platformer is pretty trivial, and such games are fun. The past decade (ever since Mario 64, really), most games are in 3D. Jumping about in a 3D platformer is not trivial, and even usually frustrating. So developers have to decide between making a 2D platformer: and risk looking technologically out-of-date, or making a 3D platformer that just isn't as fun to play.

    Google for 'hell is full of jumping puzzles' for a related perspective.

    Now, I'm not going to say that it's impossible to do 3D platformers right. Obviously there are a few out there that really pull it off. But the majority do not, in my opinion.

    • >Obviously there are a few out there that really pull it off. But the majority do not, in my opinion.

      Yep. With Mario64, you had complete control over the camera, which means you could line up your jump precisely if you needed to. And if not, you could make yourself feel like a hero by jumping off-angle.

      Then they decided that controlling the camera was too hard for us stupid, 19-year-old CS majors, so every game since then, on every 3D platform, camera control was totally dropped. Now you have to wait
      • Yep. With Mario64, you had complete control over the camera, which means you could line up your jump precisely if you needed to.

        ...and then it would needlessly swivel around the moment you pressed a control button. Sorry, but no. You could position the camera while standing still MOST OF THE TIME, but the camera really had a mind of its own when you tried to move. I'm playing Mario 64 DS right now, and I'm noticing it again, and more than ever. The most obvious example is the falling bridge in the "Womp's

        • Thanks for the reply. I haven't played Metroid Prime, and while I remember what you're saying about the Mario64 camera, it wasn't a huge problem for me. By the time I played Mario a few times through, I could jump in any direction regardless of the camera. And I was still hungry for more.

          Mario was unique because it emphasized the 3D environment. You were like a cat, crawling through every nook and cranny. After games reverted to a fixed camera, they became more linear (Banjo Kazooie, and One for psx com
    • Close, my friend. It's not all about the Ds, It's all about the DS. The platform game is doing just fine [nintendo.com].
    • I think Crash Bandicoot counts as one, and I thought it was pretty tough. That and similar games had very crude controls where I didn't have accurate control. Side-stepping takes several tries because it was tough to make a very small step with a quick button press, the analog sticks have a big dead spot and once out of the dead spot, it changes the controlled angle a lot. So all the fiddling and retries just to make one difficult jump is a pain, I gave up.

      But really, I'm kind of sensitive to drawbacks o
    • They don't have to make 2D platformers look out of date. There are plenty of sweet raster effects used in the PC demo scene that didn't make their way into many (if any) games. The developer also has the ability to make a 3D side scrolling game, using all kinds of pixel shader effects. Imagine highly detailed 1080p side-scrollers, this is entirely possible, and would look great. I'll bet if the next console installment of Castlevania were to be 2D, it would kickstart a new generation of successful platf
    • Jumping about in a 3D platformer is not trivial, and even usually frustrating.


      Amen. I will never forget my first real foray into a fully 3d platformer, analog stick and all. it was MediEvil for the playstation, bought with the then brand new dual shock controller.

      I loved that game. I still think its one of the best that the playstation has to offer. But I completely sucked at any jumping whatsover. there was this one level, the forest, and you had to jump over three quite large toadstools to get to a certian area. Failure meant instant death. It took me about twenty attempt before I could make it.

      Nowadays this is no real problem to me, but I've had years of expierience with 3D titles. Every time I see a young kid trying to play the industries latest ateempt to woo them, I see an excercise in complete futility. The child will not be able to adequately move the character around flat ground, let alone coordinate a jump in three dimensions. They quickly lose interest in the game, and it languishes on a shelf. These same children immensely enjoy any 2D platformers I put on the emulators for them.

      3D platformers are not simply 2D platformers with an extra degree of freedom. They have on average about five more degrees of freedom when you include the all the new axes, including the camera. They're really hyperplatformers, and their difficulty, and subsequent collapse of marketshare reflects this.
      • Ahhh, MediEvil. As an old fart, this single game was the thing that got me back into gaming. After seeing it I went out and bought a PlayStation and a copy of MediEvil. Simply one of the best games I've ever played.

        Another highly recommended one if you have an XBox (not 360) is Voodoo Vince [amazon.com].
    • Pandemonium, and its successor, Pandemonium 2, did it right. The gameplay was still 2D actually, but the graphics (and the 'curved' structure of the levels) gave it an awesome 3D perspective (it really looked great on my Voodoo 1).

      The clockwork level (which you get to play twice, and the first part, where the clockwork isn't in motion yet, is already difficult enough) still gives me nightmares.
  • by Chaffar (670874) on Saturday August 05, 2006 @01:50AM (#15850967)
    The problem with the platform genre is that it's just very easy to make a boring and repetitive game. Do you really want to go through n+1 levels of jumping on the heads of enemies that look like they escaped from the Teletubbies world?

    What the genre needs is a new Kirby (the SNES version, I dunno any other one), a game that just comes and changes the way the whole "Pick up mushroom/coin/magic fruit/hash bag and touch the enemies in a particular fashion", and 2D/3D shouldn't be an issue. Some games will feel better in 2D, others much less.

  • when marketing will be less important, time of development shorter, platform games can make a come back. It is simple and fun. It is not Hollywood style production friendly, and it would probably be a mistake to try to do so.
  • I think this is just a game cube game, but it is still a very nice example of how good platformers can still please, just unfortunately not an amazingly popular one on a console that is doing better in sales right now
  • Metal Slug is good 2d game and Metal Slug 6 came out not that long ago.
    You can play the older ones in mame.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Slug_series [wikipedia.org]

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