THE FUNSTOCK ADVENT CALENDAR – DECEMBER 2nd – 2D PLATFORMERS

Day 2 of our festive celebration of all things retro, and I think we need to check out the whole 2D platforming deal!

Dangerous Rick

Made big in the 80s with Nintendo leading the charge, we had games like the Super Mario Bros. series, Kid Icarus, Mega Man, amongst countless others. This truly was the age in which we all grew to love jumping around on platforms to head for our goal. It was so innovative for the time, and this trend of quality gaming was followed up in the 90s when the classic Sega Mega Drive / Super Nintendo ‘war’ began.

It wasn’t a schoolyard debate if you weren’t rating games based on their graphics

With the advent of 3D in the mid 90s, developers tended to neglect the 2D style and went full on with titles such as Jumping Flash, Ape Escape, and of course Mario 64. Still all very good games, but just lacking the glorious pixellated detail of their older brethren. This was also where 2.5D gaming became a thing and Playstation had a plethora of titles featured, including Pandemonium!, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Spider, and many more across all of the consoles of the time.

Klonoa, soon to be made into a full-feature film

It feels like the platforming trend has come full circle now, as indie developers see 2D as a much more affordable option when deciding on the graphics engine to engineer with. We’ve seen some true indie classics in the last 10 years with Braid, Limbo, Hue, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Super Meat Boy coming through the indie side of things. That’s not to say the big players have neglected the genre. Nintendo have remained very prominent in the genre, especially on the DS and Wii  / Wii U and even Sony got in on the act with their unique 2.5D Little Big Planet series (though it did use multiple playing fields to switch between).

The dark and foreboding but fantastic Limbo

I have always loved platforming games and although I enjoy the 3D worlds that can be provided to us, I still don’t believe we’ll ever see the genre pulled off so good as it is in 2D. Platforming games are a staple of retro collectors today with titles like Daze Before Christmas commanding huge values when selling. Keep playing those classic retro platform games, you may even get one for Christmas! 😀

Nothing like seeing a jolly old fat man falling down the stairs

See me walking in a straight line @auto2112