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The 2D Devolution Rant
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TOPIC: The 2D Devolution Rant

The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1860

I play a fairly large number of video games, especially considering my job, marital status, and other responsibilities.

I loved the 3D Revolution, don't get me wrong. Mario 64 is one of my favorite games of all time. And modern games can be quite fun. Uncharted 1 and 2 are my current favorite modern console games... if you have a PS3, I suggest you buy them.


Is anyone else REALLY happy that games are starting to trend back to the 2D realm?

New Super Mario Bros, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Little Big Planet, the Lego series are barely 3D, etc. Its a fantastic trend. These games tend to have short levels that you can play and then move on. Perfect for my lifestyle. If my wife tells me I have 5 minutes left to play, she means it. There is never really a worry about when I will get to save next in these games. Just beat the board or don't. Sure, some 3D games have constant saving... but after having just beaten God of War 3 and Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands, I felt they were just more of the same. None of the battles seemed difficult, and none of the platforming was as difficult as I'd like (Played both at the hardest difficulty you are allowed to when you first start the game). I mean, in Mario, you could go through 30 lives on one level, screaming the entire time about how "cheap the game was." I miss difficulty like that. Hell, even Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 were easy in my opinion. I had every star within 2 weeks, and thats with limited play time. There was never that situation where you HAD to jump off a bad guys head and land on a platform you could never reach otherwise. Each level was linear. Even Mario 64 felt like it had more exploration, those levels were MOSTLY open right from the start. You could get almost any star right from the beginning of the level.

On another note. Now that games are back in 2D, my wife has started joining me again. I can get her to play at least the first few levels of most of the games. And Little Big Planet was purchased for her. This is a huge plus. As much as the Wii had originally gotten her to play games again, the titles that we could play together and have fun quickly stopped coming. I am VERY happy they are coming back again.

Re: The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1861

Very few games actually need or benefit from the extra spatial dimension, and 2D tends to be far more accessible than 3D (a lot of people get confused by the camera, even if they don't control it), so I think it is a great thing that 2D is coming back in favour.

Re:The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1863

2d makes this gamer happy. But at times it's only 2d in the fact it's side scrolling or overhead. The backgrounds are so complex and the animations so complex it takes away from what I enjoyed most about 2d games.

I hated the 3d revolution when it hit. I don't own very many 3d games in my collection. I did enjoy the Dreamcast and I am a fan of the entire Mario Kart series. I do like some 3d games but as a whole I play my old systems much more or my MAME Cabinet.

I played NSMB on the DS then the Wii it held NONE of the magic the other games had for me. Zelda died for me once it went 3d. It's like the charm was sucked out of the game for a bigger world and some huge score.

Remember it's hip to be old school in clothing and gaming lately at least that's what I see when I go out or take my kid somewhere. So this 2d revolution may just be a phase but I hope pick up and play aspects of it come back. Nothing worse than trying to play a game where you need more than 1-4 buttons.

Ok gotta stop I could go on and on and on as I'm sure Mossy can attest to. In short I'd like to say vote for pixels over polygons in your 2d gaming. "I HUNGER COWARD" oh crap here comes Sinistar I gotta run before that scary ass thing tries to break into my front window again!

Re:The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1867

2d/3d Games aside, as a teacher I notice many games these days seem to eat people. Some examples:
- People use language they have learned from games, which sounds weird.
- Last week a guy (18 years old) was drawing a dungeon from a game and became zoned out while doing some weird (nonsensical) maths in order to solve the dungeon. He literally cried when I took it away from him and forced him to do some real work. His parents think he's a genius and egg him on because he is apparently doing maths all the time and "meeting" lots of friends.
- Many students don't seem to know they are being bullied, and feel they have totally pwned the bullies by saying weird computer things, rather than burying themselves further. It's difficult in tackling bullying if they can't identify it is even happening to them. One guy truly believes hebis te social king and everybody wants to be his friend because he is king of a video game. In reality people are coming up to him and asking really slack questions about how he is going with the game, and sit around chuckling at his weird responses all day.

I guess nerds have always existed (heck I am one) but I feel that the bigger worlds offered by games (in part made possible by 3d) are a lot more frustrating than the quick action 2d games I used to play, which I would get frustrated with after 20 minutes and give up on.

As a father U love playing with my daughter. She loves blocks, balls, soft toys, balloons...etc and hasn't quite met the computer yet. I love hearing her laugh and seeing her smile... I hope This doesn't all turn into zoning out with a computer in a few years time like many people I know.

Re:The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1868

jetboy wrote:
- People use language they have learned from games, which sounds weird.

Any examples for that?

I for one don't see a 2D trend coming, I would like it though. Games like New Super Mario Bros., Little Big Planet are still (semi)3D, like the old Crash Bandicoot games. What I would love to see is something with drawn backgrounds and sprites and such. Wario's Shake Dimension's graphics where great, I would love to see more like that.
Last Edit: 9 years, 7 months ago by MetalDragon.

Re:The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1871

Machinarium anyone? I'm of the mind that games will follow take an approach like arthouse vs. Hollywood before too long, although it was a non-gamer friend of mine that coined that analogy. More and more, the accessbility of game production, publishing and distribution through online content delivery stores is opening up channels for independent developers to get games out there (Mac/iOS App Store, Steam, XBLA etc.). As a result, you'll get games that aren't like your average 'blockbuster' PS3/360 hit, although major developers play on this too.

My girlfriend's currently working on her dissertation based around the so-called retro gaming 'revival' on platforms such as the iPhone. Of course what's really happening is the same thing as when University students and hobby programmers got their hands on Commodores etc. and started making their own games, purely for fun, or so I'd hope. I'm sure she could offer some of her own views on the subject from her research and writing and maybe I'll convince her to give some here. The nature of technology on platforms such as iPhones means that old trends are repeating themselves with regards to the style of games, hence the current influx of 'remakes' and 'revamps'.

The fact is I'll still play any game of any style as long as I feel some form of 'game' quality come through. I don't want a spoon-fed CGI fest which is completeable within 24 hours, nor do I want a chore of an experience (I won't use the phrase 'learning curve'), I just want a video game!

EDIT: I'll withdraw my comment about XBLA, I just remembered Jeff Minter didn't really have any nice things to say about them recently and that Machinarium wasn't released on Microsoft's platform for similar reasons about financial crap, publishers etc.
Last Edit: 9 years, 7 months ago by dickmedd.

Re:The 2D Devolution Rant 9 years, 7 months ago #1878

I would agree that the iPhone has revived a lot of retro gaming in 2 ways.
1) As mentioned above, many people have given homebrew iPhone apps a shot just because there is a marketplace, and... they can. You see this through all the quality 2d games for the iPhone. I think Apple's heavily criticized approval plays a part as well because people are forced to polish their apps, or they simply won't be approved. So we get not only a puck load of 2d games, but also some quality, with the cream floating to the top due to popularity/ratings.

2) It is economical for developers to remake/port games to the iPhone. BASS, Broken Sword, Monkey Island, Sonic, Golden Axe, Giana Sisters... etc were considered abandonware, but now we can buy them cheaply/legally, often with added extras. People around my age have visa cards and don't notice letting 10 bucks slip for an old classic. As a consequence there's millions of dollars out there for game houses who want to port their back catalogues to the iPhone (some at minimal cost, others with enhanced remakes.) The iPhone has opened up a legitimate way for developers to easily and profitably port their back catalogues to a modern OS without having to heavily market the games, support a puck load of hardware/OS configurations and pay for lots of packaging/shelf space.

On a side note, while consoles are selling in record numbers, they have lost a lot of people like me who were their old fanbase. I know a lot of guys who have gotten married and/or had kids, and rule #1 is no zoning out on the computer/video game machine. Also I simply can't connect with the newer consoles... I don't want a big flat screen TV, HD graphics and control pads with more than about 3 buttons.

The iPod Touch suits me perfectly for gaming because:
- You can put it down anywhere (including a high shelf out of baby's way)
- There's no load time, so you can get in a quick 5 minutes every so often very easily.
- There's no buttons!! Lots of awkward buttons annoy me!
- Anybody can make a popular game.

Since many iPhone games are 2d, I think all of these factors have contributed to well... maybe not a move back to 2d games (HD games in 3d with 3d glasses...etc aren't going away any time soon) but we are seeing a legitimate mainstream marketplace for many 2d games that were once simply warezed/considered abandonware.
Last Edit: 9 years, 7 months ago by jetboy.

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