Author Topic: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?  (Read 13121 times)

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Offline azeke

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2013, 01:45:04 AM »
However I do think Yoshi's Island has yet to meet it's match within its own series.
Love this game so much, i first tried DS game and it just felt so bland, and a few months later i tried GBA port and it blew my mind how good it was.
Absolutely perfect game if there ever was one.
Winners don't hate and W101 rocks

Offline MagicCow64

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2013, 10:22:38 AM »
There weren't that many all-time great platformers to begin with, so I think you can make an argument that the contemporary period wins, particularly if you weight aesthetic variety. 


From the original era I'd rank these as genuine classics: SMB3, SMW, Kirby's Dreamland 2, Wario Land III.


From the contemporary period I'd rank these: NSMB Wii, Wario Land: Shake It, Super Meat Boy, DKCR, Kirby's Epic Yarn


Overall I agree that the original DKC series hasn't held up spectacularly, but they're still good, if not great. I never liked any of the Sonic games no matter how hard I tried to get into them. I basically detest Yoshi's Island. Most of the indie darlings that come out aren't actually that good. I did not love Rayman Origins, and suspect Legends is more of the same. NSMBU stalled out after the fantastic Wii iteration.


Mainly, though, DKCR and Super Meat Boy can stand up to any game of any era.


Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2013, 09:41:04 PM »
I really love the classic games, because they were mostly about simple platforming and ideas.  Sometimes they were too difficult or had cheap mechanics.

But if you look at the games that are classics, specially from Nintendo, you see some great things that modern platform games do not do as well.  Super Mario World, Bros 3, and Yoshi's Island did a great job of introducing new mechanics and enemies each level and not over doing them in future levels, but keeping everything fresh. 

These days it seems Modern 2D platformers try to do too much...either by adding too many different style play mechanics (stealth platforming???)  or push too much story and artsy design for the sake of being artsy. 

To me nothing beats the classics though, it may be that I am jaded towards modern stuff, and have great memories of the games I used to play. 

Online Ian Sane

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2013, 01:14:33 PM »
I guess it would be considered nostalgia but I do have an emotional connection to the older games that I don't have with the new ones.  I want to go back and play SMW every year but I don't really give a damn if I ever play NSMB Wii again, and I liked that game when I was playing it.  I was very impressed by the older platformers when they were current.  SMB3 lets you fly!  SMW lets you ride a dinosaur and has giant Bullet Bills!  DKC's graphics and sound are the best EVER!  Yeah I'm not that impressed by that stuff now but they made a great first impression while these newer platformers didn't.  I mean, they didn't suck but they didn't wow me either.  Now the Super Mario Galaxy games did impress the hell out of me so I think more highly of them then I do the NSMB games.

I also have kind of a kneejerk reaction to anyone spouting about how this exact moment is the best ever as it lacks context.  It's hard to properly judge something in the context of history when you experienced it so recently.  My brother has a friend for which his favourite movie is the last one he saw.  We know what platformers from the past are still well regarded today but don't know how today's will hold up.  If we were discussing what the best FPS of all time is and someone said Call of Duty: Black Ops II what would your kneejerk reaction to that be?

It doesn't help that the most well known modern 2D platformer is the NSMB series.  The very intentional design of those games is to be safe and conventional.  The selling point is "hey it's that same Mario gameplay you grew up with!"  Just look at the graphics design.  They all use the same 3D models and have this very run-of-the-mill look that won't offend or impress anyone.  If you just show me screenshots of the different NSMB games without labels and asked me to group them together by game I couldn't do it.  Meanwhile if you grabbed practically any idiot off the street and asked them to group screenshots of SMB1, 2, 3 and World (just group the ones of the same games together; not identify the game by name) they would probably get them all right.

Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2013, 10:54:56 PM »
Ian Sane:  Everyone is being safe these days, because video games are too expensive on larger budget games to be anything but safe...and so video games are now becoming quite boring.



Offline smallsharkbigbite

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2013, 04:45:10 PM »
I think the quality platformers of today are equal with those of the past. I did feel like NSMBU was worthy of being talked about with SMB3 and SMW as the best Nintendo platformers. Having said that, I count Sonic and Mega Man in with the platformers and I feel the Golden Age of platformers had more games that I would consider quality or high level.

I'm also surprised that more people didn't have issues with NSMB Wii motion controls. I had to have died at least 2 dozen times due to that spin jump inadvertantly going off. I'm fidgety and move a lot and it took concentration to get through the challenging platforming parts while remaining still. Notwithstanding the whole idea was dumb. A sideways Wiimote is < NES gamepad for comfort and directional pad. The classic controller was perfect for this game. Why ignore it?


Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: 2D Platformers: Now or 20 Years Ago?
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2013, 07:45:39 PM »
SmallsharkBite:  That is interesting that you mention Mega Man as a platformer.  By today's definition Mega Man is not a platformer, but when I was younger and playing the games, I was never stuck up on defining the genres and I would consider Mega Man a platforming game.  I mean you ran around defeating enemies and had to do specific well timed jumps to make it through the level...and if you failed the jump you died.  This seems to be the definition of a platforming game.  Even the enemy count didn't seem as focused on action gaming as say Contra. 

Though, I honestly can not ever lump Sonic into the great platforming games on any generation.  I think the design is clunky, and it has always been clunky.  It seemed cool at the time to see a character run so fast through the levels, but honestly, Sonic's controls were horrible, and trying to do precision platforming even when just walking with Sonic was difficult.  Add to that the level design that actually punishes you for exploring while running fast and you have terrible, terrible game design.

I do understand that modern games have learned many lessons in game design and overall all genres are more sophisticated and could therefore be viewed as better.  Graphics, gameplay variety, and overall level design and enemy placement is all understood and designed usually far better and more fair for the player. 

That said, I think the modern games sometimes are too slick and there is a charm the older games had that newer games don't.  Usually I think it has to do with overall character designs, art direction, and modern games taking themselves too seriously.  Seeing real 2D sprite based games coming back is helping with this problem though.