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I LOVE 2D Platformers! (56Kers Beware?)

Scribble

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One of the reasons I'm thankful for being a 90s kid is being able to experience the 2D Platformer era at its prime. Despite all the emphasis on realism and 3D worlds (Obligatory anti-3D comment, but I still love current-gen gaming, though not as much as 16-bit era gaming) today, 2D platformers are, in my opinion, the most immersive genre, with their vivid worlds, colourful characters and catchy/funky/atmospheric music . And the challenge! Narrowly avoiding collision with a baddie when you're on your last bit of health or the sense of satisfaction you feel when you FINALLY figure out the enemy boss's pattern and exploit it are some of what makes 2D platformers so great.

It probably sounds like I'm being affected by nostalgia, but that's not the case, honestly. I was a Sega kid, and therefore never got to experience the NES/SNES era platformers, yet they make up most of my list. After listening to the Retronauts Mario podcast earlier and hearing them gush about the Bros. series , it's a pity that I didn't get to experience the impact that SMB had on gaming at the time. But then again, my *recent* playing of the Super Mario, Megaman and Donkey Kong Country games IS proof that my love for these games isn't nostalgia-tainted. These games are just timeless!

My Top Ten, in no particular order:

Mega Man 2

Having to strategically choose abilities to overcome certain obstacles was a blast, especially when it came to fighting bosses. The feeling when a boss loses a whole chunk of health because you have the right ability! Mega Man 2 was just a bigger and better version of 1.


Jazz Jackrabbit 2

There's nothing that particularly stands out about JJ2 IMO, but it's just brilliantly executed. And that's enough. It also felt so...wide and...free, though that might be just down to the resolution. And STAGE BUILDER.


Kirby Super Star

Probably the most satisfying platformer, but that's probably because it's more action orientated than most. So many abilities to choose from, and being a Sonic fan, I was
extremely impressed by the partner system, which seemed a hundred times better than the one in Sonic 3.


Puggsy

Platformers aren't usually what you would call calm and relaxing, but Puggsy is the exception to the rule. The physics system was GREAT, because it let you approach a situation in so many different ways. It's also pretty unconventional in the sense that it's not a platformer that revolves around action.


Dynamite Headdy

I didn't get to play Kirby till much later, so the head thing was really a breath of fresh air. This game has so much character it's amazing, and it's HILARIOUS.


Super Mario Bros. 3

I prefer it to Super Mario World because it feels more....intense and linear? I shouldn't be so unsure, but I just did not enjoy SMW as much as SMB3, and I played SMW straight after I finished 3.


Donkey Kong Country 2

I love DKC2 because it's extremely atmospheric. Platformers usually have a bright, upbeat nature, while this felt atmospheric. And I think that DKC2 absolutely NAILED the
*gimmick-per-level* formula of creating variety, and the more subtle difference between Diddy and Dixie made the partner system perfect.


Yoshi's Island

Amazing graphics, amazing bosses, amazing music, and refreshing gameplay overall.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Had the speed/platforming balance down perfectly, and sometimes I prefer it over Sonic 3 because of the linear gameplay. Introduced Tails, and had best final boss ever.


Sonic 3 and Knuckles

This platformer is absolutely EPIC in the true sense of the world, and no other platformer has replicated that sense of scale and adventure, IMO. The special stages were SO scary, and Knuckles was simply badass.


The colours! My list is pretty uncontroversial (Except for the lack of Super Mario World, but that's number eleven. Ghouls and Ghosts, Lion King, Castle of Illusion and Mickey Maniaare there too. OMG, and Ghostbusters and Castlevania and Alex Kidd....too many) , but I'm currently playing platformers that I missed first time round, including:

Pulseman (Genesis)



and


Umihara Kawase (SNES/PSX)



and

Ristar (Genesis)




And I plan to check out Bonk's Adventure. I'll post more images later.

But I'm hoping that in this 2D Platformer lovefest, some of the hidden gems will surface. What have you played? What do you like? What do you hate? Have any nice screens you would like to share? Any recommendations to make (Including indie platformers)? Any comments about the future of 2D platformers?

I just love 'em.
 

Sharp

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Where is Super Metroid? I mean, if you haven't played it, cool, but you should really get on that! Like now!
 

Threi

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<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

Don't forget the BONK series.


 

Scribble

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Sharp said:
Where is Super Metroid? I mean, if you haven't played it, cool, but you should really get on that! Like now!
Yeah, I've played Super Metroid, but I wouldn't call it a platformer. I don't....really want to get into this debate, though.

Threi said:
<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

Don't forget the BONK series.
One of the series I've missed. Will play after I've completed Ristar!
 

lyre

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There are a LOT of 2d platformer series you did not list that it's almost criminal.

Threi: you should take care of your 5 minute double post.
 

Scribble

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Bootaaay said:
Some of my favourite platformers from the Saturn;
Wow, I didn't even know these existed. They look extremely cool, especially Tryrush Deppy. Are there any other hidden platforming gems on the Saturn?

Oh, I liked Bubsy, even if the character was obnoxious. The game was a bit unforgiving, but nice to see another take on the 'speedy platformer' genre that Sonic began.
 

mr stroke

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how could you mention Saturn and not say Clockwork Knight?
I remember seeing it for the first time in GameFan and shiting my pants on the rotating
2d graphics


 

Iam Canadian

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You're a good man, Scribble. A very good man.

You get fifty bonus points for mentioning Jazz Jackrabbit 2.

And here's the obligatory image dump. A random assortment of my favourites.




(I don't care if history lumps him in with other Sonic ripoffs like Bubsy and Awesome Possum; Jazz Jackrabbit rules.)



 
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mr stroke said:
how could you mention Saturn and not say Clockwork Knight?
Well, i've not personally played it - been meaning to pick up CK 1 & 2 for a while now though.

Scribble said:
Wow, I didn't even know these existed. They look extremely cool, especially Tryrush Deppy. Are there any other hidden platforming gems on the Saturn?
Here's a video of Tryrush Deppy if you're interested to see how it plays; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biB13V_NeIk

Also, this is another kind-of obscure Saturn platformer, Super Tempo which is the sequel to 32x game Tempo;



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vlSCTQXiRQ

djtiesto said:
OMG, I've wanted to play this for the longest time, how is it?
It's alot of fun actually, pace-wise it feels like Sonic 1, and the gameplay formula is pretty much identical (even down to the number of stages per level before the boss fights and the bonus rooms that see you navigate mazes to collect star pieces) - the only major difference being that as you're a car you can run out of petrol and need to grab gas-cans to re-fuel, getting hit looses you petrol and once your out you loose a life, also Police Cars chase you about and if they hit you, you loose petrol too. The bosses are really huge, easily the most impressive thing about the game. The graphics are some of the lushest 2d visuals on the Saturn imo
 

Scribble

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Ranger X said:
You should play Knytt and Knytt Stories.
I love the atmosphere of those games.

Iam Canadian said:
You're a good man, Scribble. A very good man.

You get fifty bonus points for mentioning Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
:D Jazz doesn't get enough love...maybe because it was on the PC? There are so many platformers out there that I've really enjoyed, so many that it's impossible to list them all ;_;


Bootaaay said:
Here's a video of Tryrush Deppy if you're interested to see how it's played; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biB13V_NeIk

Also, this is another kind-of obscure Saturn platformer, Super Tempo which is the sequel to 32x game Tempo;
Looked at videos of both. Super Tempo looks so off-the-wall, and I really want to play it. Life is not fair, because I'll probably won't get to play them.
 

biggkidd32

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Ah. I love retro threads. I hope psn/xbla spurs more 2-d platformer development. Capcom's Bionic Commando remake looks promising.
 
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Scribble said:
Looked at videos of both. Super Tempo looks so off-the-wall, and I really want to play it. Life is not fair, because I'll probably won't get to play them.
I managed to get both Tryrush and Super Tempo for around $35 each recently, but both can be a bit pricey to find - did a quick search on ebay for Super Tempo and the only copy on there is going for $90 :/
 

Toy Soldier

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HERE is where the heart is.
Scribble said:
Super Mario Bros. 3
I prefer it to Super Mario World because it feels more....intense and linear?
I agree with this. SMW is a legendary, amazing game, but SMB3 is a rollercoaster ride - just like SMG. SMW is definitely more exploration-heavy, and it's great, but the action-heavy Marios are some of the best gaming experiences on the globe.
 

Scribble

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My favourite Disney platformers:

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)



Mickey Mania (Genesis)


The Lion King (Genesis)



Aladdin (Genesis)



My LEAST favourite Disney platformer:

TaleSpin (Genesis)
 
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Scribble said:
My LEAST favourite Disney platformer:

TaleSpin (Genesis)
TaleSpin isn't exactly one of the best platformers, but I personally spent countless hours co-op'ing this game with a friend - I used to love the shmup sections, but overall it was a pretty cheap and frustrating game (didn't seem to bother me when I was a kid though :p)
 

VGChampion

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Winter Park
+1 for Aladdin for the Genesis. I also liked the SNES one since that's what I had but my cousin had the Genesis version and she rocked at it. We used to play that all the time. I don't know how it would hold up today but I also enjoyed Cool Spot on the SNES. Fun times. :lol
 

Scribble

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Bootaaay said:
TaleSpin isn't exactly one of the best platformers, but I personally spent countless hours co-op'ing this game with a friend - I used to love the shmup sections, but overall it was a pretty cheap and frustrating game (didn't seem to bother me when I was a kid though :p)
I don't think I actually thought "OMFG, this is dreadful" when I was a child, because yeah, you tend to just see games as 'games', and not whether they are good or not. I just remember getting frustrated:D

It's funny, because I played Fantasia a lot when I was little, and I remember it as a solid game. I just checked out some GameFAQs review scores and people have given it horrifically low scores.
 

Apoc29

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Scribble said:
Donkey Kong Country 2

I love DKC2 because it's extremely atmospheric. Platformers usually have a bright, upbeat nature, while this felt atmospheric. And I think that DKC2 absolutely NAILED the
*gimmick-per-level* formula of creating variety, and the more subtle difference between Diddy and Dixie made the partner system perfect.
That's Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble. DKC2 was a good one too, though.

Edit: Whoops, I forgot Dixie was introduced in DKC2. The fat monkey baby was introduced in 3.
 

Scribble

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Apoc29 said:
That's Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble. DKC2 was a good one too, though.
Lol, oops. I'm talking about DKC2, even if the screen is wrong. I didn't like DKC3 as much because of the Dixie and Kiddy combo, and that darn elephant.
 

Sciz

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Scribble said:
Jazz Jackrabbit 2

There's nothing that particularly stands out about JJ2 IMO, but it's just brilliantly executed. And that's enough. It also felt so...wide and...free, though that might be just down to the resolution. And STAGE BUILDER.
Wonderful game. Wonderful level editor. Pretty bad netcode.

Epic, remake this game.
 

dwin45

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Is the Kirby game on the NES (the one available on the VC) worth downloading on the wii?
 

FightyF

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Bootaaay said:
Some of my favourite platformers from the Saturn;

Astal



Silhouette Mirage



Tryrush Deppy

I WANT THESE. NOW. I remember seeing them in mags, and when I bought Saturn games I opted for VF/Daytona/sports games...but I should have picked these up when they got cheap.
 

Gagaman

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I want Kiby Superstar on VC, but that upcoming DS remake pretty much means it won't happen. =(

Kudos for mentioning Superfrog, Dynamite Headdy, Aladdin, Clockwork Knight and Ristar. So many great games thay shaped by wasted childhood. =)
 

Meloche

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Super Mario World is my favourite platformer, though I can understand people who prefer SMB3 even if I don't agree with that opinion. Honourable mention goes to Kirby Superstar... I can't freaking wait until that hits the VC or DS; whichever comes first. :0)

dwin45 said:
Is the Kirby game on the NES (the one available on the VC) worth downloading on the wii?
Yes, definitely, although the GBA remake (Nightmare in Dreamland) is the better choice if you have the means to play it. The original NES version (and subsequently, the VC release as well) suffers from minor lag at times and the visuals aren't as crisp as those in the remake. Though the minigames are better in the original... for some reason they changed them for the remake and they aren't quite as good.
 

Ciel

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This thread is making me enraged that 2D isn't used this gen. Imagine the possibilities. I bet they could make worls so lush if they wanted.
 

Jiggy

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Gagaman said:
I want Kiby Superstar on VC, but that upcoming DS remake pretty much means it won't happen. =(
NES Classics Metroid, Metroid Zero Mission, and unlockable Metroid in Metroid Zero Mission didn't stop that game from coming to VC.

I think/hope we'll see Kirby Super Star (AKA Best Nintendo Sidescroller Ever) show up on VC eventually--just not for a good 14-20 months after the DS game.