New 3D platform video games   Leave a comment

It’s been pretty slim pickings for 3D platform lately, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been like that for a while, but the last few years has been really bad.

But now apparently indie creators are finally making those games again. Such as the upcoming “A Hat in The Sky”. Marketed as “collect-a-thon” game, these new games aim to revive the 3D platform gaming of the 90s…

And my only thought, as someone who has been an avid platform gamer since the first Super Mario Bros for the NES is: Don’t. Please don’t.Now, why am I saying this? How can I possibly not be contradicting myself? Shouldn’t I be happy that they are reviving a genre that’s been nearly invisible for a while now?

Not really. See, most of those early 3D platforming games had “big world” levels where you do collect a lot of things… And honestly, they haven’t really aged all that well. There is an art to making collecting fun, and many of those early 3D games missed that mark.

The most egregious example would be Super Mario Sunshine for the Gamecube and its infamous Blue Coins. Horrible things, those. But even without that, it wasn’t really that fun to collect 100 coins on every stage in Super Mario 64. I will in fact say that that was the least fun part of it. And some of the Purple Coin challenges in Super Mario Galaxy 1 were like pulling teeth, at least compared to the rest of the game, which was so incredibly goddamn awesome in more ways than I can count.

And then came Super Mario Galaxy 2 and showed how collecting should be done: One comet coin per galaxy.That’s not even per stage, that’s per galaxy, which would have two or three stages each. That’s the one major collecting piece. Just one. Not a hundred, or ten, or even three. Just one.

And then there is one minor collecting piece, the “infinite” star bits. And the neat trick here is that you -don’t- have to collect them all, because they game does not count how many of them you find in every stage, only the total. That seems like such a small difference, but it’s actually a really major one to a collecting junkie like myself. It means that I don’t have to search every single damn corner of each and every single level a dozen time. It means I only worry about having enough star bits to feed the Lumas and turn them into galaxies.

I remember playing Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. I played through the first level. I found out that it keeps track of collecting something that each level has more than three hundred of, making each level a slow sludge of going through.

I rage-quit that game because of that.

At worst, at the very worst, you can have a game like Rayman Legends, where you need to collect enough minor things to reach a certain level… But at least you don’t have to collect 100% of them in every level. Personally, I feel like it should be enough to save all those innocent people, but that’s just me. Rayman Legends is still really, really, really good, by the way.

But yeah, when it comes to 3D platform games and collecting, don’t look to the 90s. Look to Super Mario Galaxy 2, the true gem of the genre. Then you’ll be more likely to make a game worthy of my attention again.

 

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Posted 23/11/2016 by Emperor Norton II in Entertainment

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