Genre Opinion- Platformer (2D & 3D)

November 28, 2016

Platformers are one of my absolute favorite genres. I think that a large part of this is due to the floaty feeling the character has. I think that a large amount of thought is needed in both types of platforming games, but especially jumping in 3D platforming games. When looking at 3D platforming games most give the player some way of telling where they are landing. The camera may shift, or there may be a marker or shadow to show where the player will land. This is due to the special reasoning in these games being a little harder to tell than in real life. Games that lack something as a buffer for the players jumping will lead to them falling and dying multiple times.

 

I feel that a good platforming game allows for the player to play it at faster speeds to clear sections over time. Platforming games that force the player to stop at sections for a prolonged time ruins the flow. It’s fine when the player should run up and hit a switch, but once the game requires them to stop and mash a button to crank the fence door open the game is starting to lose its pacing. Enemies in these games also must be an important part. They should each have some sort of weakness or ability different from each other that makes the game more fun. Even the turtles let Mario kill other enemies with their shell.

 

I think a “good” game example is Recore, which is not a game I particularly like. However, I do believe that they did the platforming sections right. The last segment of the game is extremely fun (Excluding the battle rooms) because the platforming is stretched to its limit. There are many segments in the game that allow for a more enjoyable experience due to them being about the players movement and avoidance of objects. The character has a double jump, a staple of 3D platforming, and a dash to allow for even more control over the character. This mixed in with special jump resetting games and small moving platforms makes the platforming segments a ton of fun. They even have typing of enemies based on colors to break up the combat gameplay. As I said though those battles become frustrating as soon as they stop the player’s movement and lock them in a small room. Though they do become more enjoyable when the room adds platforms into the play space allowing for more versatile movement.

 

I think a good “bad” example of a game dealing with platforming are the Lego games. Them as the complete genre have a terrible time at giving the player spatial reasoning while jumping. The issue is that these games require segments of jumping between floating platforms or something equivalent that if missed will lead to the character’s immediate death. This become frustrating because there is no way to tell where the character will land. A perfect example of a section in the games, is at the end of Lego Dimensions on the final boss there is a platform that has a chest on it. To reach it took me and a friend about 20 attempts to reach it. This is not due to difficulty, but the camera and controls itself. This makes for a frustrating gameplay element that must be worked on.

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