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Topic: 2D or 3D Adventure?

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CowLaunch

1. Posted:

The Mario, Zelda and Metroid series are known to have successfully made the transition from 2D to 3D (at least commercially if nothing else) but there are some series that Nintendo seems to have deliberately kept 2D. In particular Kirby, Yoshi, Wario and Pokemon.
Is Nintendo wise in this respect? Should some be made into 3D games? Should some Nintendo games never have made the transition to 3D? Are 2D games generally better than 3D or vice-versa?

I think Kirby should be kept 2D, whereas Yoshi could make the leap. I also think the time has come for Pokemon to make the transition. As for Wario, I'm not sure, maybe someone who has played Mario 64 DS could help me out on that. I think the Zelda series certainly came into it's own when another dimension was added, Mario, I think the 2D and 3D games are about equal.
Well, I've said quite enough on this for the time being, what does everyone else think?

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natendo

2. Posted:

I’ve always wanted a full 3d Wario game that plays like Super Mario 64/ Sunshine/ Galaxy. I did not like Wario World for the Gamecube, and I’m surprised that Treasure Games really screwed it up badly. I though it would be cool if Wario could use his strength to pick up things like rocks and chucks them at his enemies. The game could be full of humor like Banjo Kazooie or Conker.

Wario does rock in the 2d world though, as seen in his great WarioLand games for Gameboy & Wii.

To me, any game could work well in 3d if done correctly. I’ve always thought Metroid would be impossible to create in 3d with the whole Morthball aspect. But then Prime came out and it rocked!

But I yearn for 2d games sometimes. Megaman, for example, would probably always remain better in 2d. Although Megaman Legends was not too bad for his first attempt in 3d…

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theblackdragon

3. Posted:

Kirby had Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (I believe it's available on VC actually), but it was pretty much 2D platforming in a 3D setting. I preferred the cutesy, fully 2D look of the prior Kirby games than the 3D graphics. :(

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CowLaunch

4. Posted:

natendo wrote:

I’ve always wanted a full 3d Wario game that plays like Super Mario 64/ Sunshine/ Galaxy. I did not like Wario World for the Gamecube, and I’m surprised that Treasure Games really screwed it up badly. I though it would be cool if Wario could use his strength to pick up things like rocks and chucks them at his enemies. The game could be full of humor like Banjo Kazooie or Conker.

Wario does rock in the 2d world though, as seen in his great WarioLand games for Gameboy & Wii.

To me, any game could work well in 3d if done correctly. I’ve always thought Metroid would be impossible to create in 3d with the whole Morthball aspect. But then Prime came out and it rocked!

But I yearn for 2d games sometimes. Megaman, for example, would probably always remain better in 2d. Although Megaman Legends was not too bad for his first attempt in 3d…

I'd like to see Wario's charge attack in 3D.

The choice often seems to be a compromise with 2.5D, for example Kirby 64. I did enjoy Kirby 64 but not as much as his other games, although that may have more to do with different personel working on the game.

Games that combine both 2D and 3D quite well are the Paper Mario games.

I haven't played NSMB as I was put off by it's appearance, but I might give it a go.

Edited on by CowLaunch

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CowLaunch

5. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

Kirby had Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (I believe it's available on VC actually), but it was pretty much 2D platforming in a 3D setting. I preferred the cutesy, fully 2D look of the prior Kirby games than the 3D graphics. :(

Same here. I feel the same way about Yoshi's Story. I think it's better than some give it credit for but nowwhere near as good as Yoshi's Island. Yoshi's Island does however have some 3D-esque elements to it that I quite like.

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Adam

6. Posted:

Definitely give NSMB a go. Aside from the graphics and the inclusion of wall jumping (which I actually think fits well), it is quite the traditional Super Mario Bros. experience with lots of nods to both SMB1 and SMB3. The two-player mode is also quite fun, but what ultimately made comfortable selling away the game was that SMB is just meant, in my eyes, to be played on a TV screen alternating turns with a friend or family member. That is the way I played as a kid, and probably the only reason I understand that strange concept of "sharing" now. :)

2D Vs. 3D is a really interesting change, and I think all series that have undergone this transition have actually become totally different games... but I'm at work so I'll have to reply to the actual topic at length later!

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theblackdragon

7. Posted:

CowLaunch wrote:

I haven't played NSMB as I was put off by it's appearance, but I might give it a go.

NSMB uses the 2.5D more in the level-selection. The levels/toad houses themselves are straight-up 2D with 3D (think Mario 64) sprites, so there's no weirdness with the actual gameplay at all.

I liked the way Yoshi's Story looked and the way the levels were set up... the story was lame, though, there weren't enough levels, and the 'the goal of the game is to get a high score and then try and beat it' deal was BS. I loved Yoshi's Island and was sad that Yoshi's Story was nowhere near it in overall fun.

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CowLaunch

8. Posted:

theblackdragon wrote:

CowLaunch wrote:

I haven't played NSMB as I was put off by it's appearance, but I might give it a go.

NSMB uses the 2.5D more in the level-selection. The levels/toad houses themselves are straight-up 2D with 3D (think Mario 64) sprites, so there's no weirdness with the actual gameplay at all.

I liked the way Yoshi's Story looked and the way the levels were set up... the story was lame, though, there weren't enough levels, and the 'the goal of the game is to get a high score and then try and beat it' deal was BS. I loved Yoshi's Island and was sad that Yoshi's Story was nowhere near it in overall fun.

I was OK with the score aspect, but for the love of God you have mute your TV when the yoshi's start singing...

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CowLaunch

9. Posted:

__adam wrote:

Definitely give NSMB a go. Aside from the graphics and the inclusion of wall jumping (which I actually think fits well), it is quite the traditional Super Mario Bros. experience with lots of nods to both SMB1 and SMB3. The two-player mode is also quite fun, but what ultimately made comfortable selling away the game was that SMB is just meant, in my eyes, to be played on a TV screen alternating turns with a friend or family member. That is the way I played as a kid, and probably the only reason I understand that strange concept of "sharing" now. :)

2D Vs. 3D is a really interesting change, and I think all series that have undergone this transition have actually become totally different games... but I'm at work so I'll have to reply to the actual topic at length later!

Yeah, my siblings and I used to alternate like that, in particular the DKC series; on the harder levels it became more of a duty than anything else.

I ought to get myself one of those job things.

Edited on by CowLaunch

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warioswoods

10. Posted:

natendo wrote:

I did not like Wario World for the Gamecube, and I’m surprised that Treasure Games really screwed it up badly. I though it would be cool if Wario could use his strength to pick up things like rocks and chucks them at his enemies.

CowLaunch wrote:

I'd like to see Wario's charge attack in 3D.

Well, you can do both of those things in Wario World. His charge attack is of course exactly the same as it appears in the 2D titles, and you can also hurl objects, columns, and even other enemies at your foes. It's actually a very good game, although it takes a bit of getting used to, since it does not follow the mold of Mario 64 at all. It's much more like taking the Wario Land formula from later iterations (banging around for treasure over just a few maps, but they are large areas with tons of hidden treasures to find) and making it 3D, but not quite as free-ranging as M64, since there are specific paths through the scenery, giving it a hybrid 2D-3D feel (but it is absolutely not 2.5D, that's a different thing entirely, and some areas are less restricted than others, almost like entering all-range mode for the boss fights in StarFox 64). It also uses an idea reminiscent of Mario Sunshine in that it features little areas you can enter through trap doors that take you to self-contained mini-levels which might involve something like jumping across floating objects to reach the treasure at the end.

Concerning NSMB, I greatly enjoyed it, but I was somewhat disappointed by the level design here and there -- way too monotonous and repetitive in some places for a Mario title. Galaxy is, in my mind, a far greater successor to the kind of gameplay and adventure found in a classic like Mario 3.

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Adam

11. Posted:

The 2D to 3D jump has been filled with disappointments for me. Only a small part of this is due to the nature of 3D. I generally find 2D to look better. Pixel art is still improving with each generation, so it was really abandoned prematurely, though fortunately it is not altogether abandoned thanks to indie developers and the occasional risk-taking by a big name publisher. 3D was very rough around the edges when the N64 was released, and I still find that it usually amounts to some bland visuals due to all the extra space that needs to be filled (and usually isn't) with interesting scenery.

The game play also generally becomes complicated because now you can't see everything at once. In 2D, you are not limited by angle or perspective. The world is a map unfolded before you, and you can see as much as the screen can fit. But in 3D you can't see what's behind you or directly to the sides or below or up. Your vision represents a much smaller portion of the world, which makes game play naturally more frustrating as, in certain types of games, you constantly have to turn around, which can also be dizzying. In 2D if there is an enemy behind you, you can see it. In 3D, this is problematic. Of course it's more realistic, but if we want realism, real life is -- at least in a sense -- free. Game's should be fair, first and foremost, and being hit by an enemy you can't see is just frustrating. Nintendo's solution to this is generally to put less enemies and make them easier. When is the last time you were killed by a Goomba in a 3D Mario game? Probably never. But you can easily recall a few times at least when it happen in 2D games. You can say the same for an octorok in Zelda or an equivalent enemy in Metroid (I forget their names).

There are ways to accommodate these problems though. Graphics are greatly improving, even if Nintendo doesn't want to go that route just yet (and while I do hope the next console features graphics to rival its contemporaries, I'm quite satisfied with Nintendo's decision this go-round). And the game can be designed to accommodate the problems of perspective. The simplest solution is to just make the levels more linear like Mirror's Edge did (though I only played the first few levels, so I'm judging by those).

Nintendo has taken strange paths to transfer its franchises to the 3D realm. Mario is now a free-roaming adventure game with some platforming elements and occasionally linear levels, primarily for one player. Why? Miyamoto thought the old formula wouldn't work in 3D, but certain levels in Sunshine and Galaxy do hark back to the old days, and Mirror's Edge -- while not a particularly fun game to me -- takes a somewhat similar approach to linear, 3D platforming.

Zelda used to be about exploration and combat, but now it is all about the puzzles. Hyrule Field in Ocarina and Twilight were both quite small and uninteresting, with enemies that were not challenging whatsoever. Dungeons are more open with fewer rooms. This is all because perspective causes problems with combat against large numbers of enemies in enclosed spaces. So instead of switching to a more overhead view that would allow the game to keep a somewhat similar feel, the whole concept behind the game is changed.

Metroid Prime was perhaps the best attempt of the three main series (or what I consider the main Nintendo series), but the world took too long to explore and backtrack. In Super Metroid you can go from one end of a room to another in a few seconds, but play is much slower in Prime and the world is expanded to give you more room to maneuver in 3D, and this makes replaying the game a bit tedious, though I have nothing but fond memories of the first play through. More problematic though are the sequels which have become increasingly puzzle-oriented. The first two Metroids had no puzzles whatsoever, and Super had very, very few if any (I can't remember any). They feel even more out of place here than with Zelda.

The result, and the point of all this, is that I feel two things have occurred:

  • While classic series have changed not necessarily for the worst, they have nonetheless changed drastically. This means that viable game formulas have become sorely neglected.
  • Once radically different in formula, these three series have now become much too similar (though still distinct in theme and in how weighty or serious they are).

Personally, I think this is a mistake. 2D Mario and 3D Mario games shouldn't even carry the same name, much less the other series listed above. I don't expect this ever to happen, but if I were to wake up one day and find that I had become Miyamoto's successor, I would combine the ideas of Nintendo's 3D adventure games into one series with a new mascot because truthfully, these aren't the same series anymore, but despite my ranting, I think there are some absolutely wonderful ideas in these games, especially Galaxy and Prime 1. But furthermore, I'd put more effort into developing the ideas behind these classic series to be closer to their roots but so that they still work in 3D space (i.e. making Mario about short, action-packed, linear levels with alternating 2-player mode; Zelda with a more overhead view like in the DS games, except with a focus on combat and dungeon exploring; and Metroid... I don't know, that's one game that might be best left in 2D). I still think these game types are very viable without so many drastic changes in the formula, and it is my dream to see these ideas realized someday.

Anyway, that's rather long-winded, but something I've thought about a lot recently. Also, as a disclaimer to those grumpy members who have been taking issue with anyone who complains about anything ever, I'm not really complaining. I wish it were this way, but I am perfectly satisfied with Brawl and VC, and I do enjoy the current 3D offerings... just not as much. I don't mean to take issue with anyone who enjoys these 3D games as they are! These are just speculations. I'm no expert on why certain changes have been made during the 3D transition.

Edited on by Adam

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CowLaunch

12. Posted:

Adam:

Interesting points. I remember being a little taken aback by the graphics on the N64 when I went from DKC3 to Mario64. With regards to perspective I know what you mean, if possible I used to actually position the camera in 64 so that it looked 2D, a bit like some areas of Galaxy. I would also like to see a more linear 3D Mario game but hope it wouldn't end up like Crash Bandicoot. Mario and Zelda can now be classed as 3D Adventure, whereas the 2D versions were platformers and RPGs respectively. Zelda I think makes a better attempt at retaining the feel of the 2D games. I think there is a real sense of exploration in both Ocarina and Majora, and the latter addressed some of your concerns regarding enemies, and the 2D Zeldas have plenty of puzzles. I certainly think there is more continuity in the Zelda series than in Mario. I also think that galaxy is closer to the 2D games than 64 was.

I would like to see the Mario series go in the direction you describe.

Edited on by CowLaunch

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Adam

13. Posted:

I unfortunately haven't played much of Majora's Mask (hoping to rectify this someday on VC). I dislike Ocarina because while it was fun the first time, I feel it has no replay value. It feels very linear to me. Hyrule field is just a wide open, blank area without much detail, and the other areas lack many enemies or details, plus are blocked off until certain times of the game. Link to the Past somewhat does the same, but not nearly to the same extent. Also, the only "puzzles" the original Zelda had were not really puzzles at all but exercises in "Which of these random blocks do I have to push?" or "Which of these walls can I bomb / walk through?" which I categorize as exploration rather than puzzle since there's no logic associated with it. Link to the Past had some puzzles, but it met the original style halfway, and I felt it worked well. Each dungeon room in the 3D ones, the DS title included, is a puzzle though, and that just doesn't feel Zelda-y to me. It doesn't seem bad, but like I said, I think it'd be better if Nintendo made a more classical Zelda in 3D, but more zoomed out and angled slightly more overhead, with the current style being a different franchise altogether. Of course, this is just my dream, and I don't expect it to happen, nor do I think it is is a travesty not for this to happen. Just a dream. :)

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CowLaunch

14. Posted:

Link's Awakening has some very frustrating puzzles in it. I think you would enjoy Majora a lot more. It has more enemies due to the expansion pak, and more replay value (well, literally as the same 3 days keep happening, but you know what I mean). Majora also has a pleasant twin sensation of pressure and exploration that you certainly don't get in Ocarina.

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Adam

15. Posted:

Yea, I'm not a huge fan of Link's Awakening for that very reason. I think of the original and SNES game as the most representative titles in the series. I love Zelda 2, more than the rest even, but it is a different game altogether, in the same way I regard the 3D games as a different series. I played Majora's Mask for a few hours, but the town is just so boring. I prefer Zelda 2's towns. You talk to a few characters for a laugh ("I am Error" and "I know nothing" are always a hoot to read), get your new spell, and move on to the action. Short and sweet. :)
The only town I enjoy spending time in, out of all the video games I've played, is Tazmily from Mother 3. Every character is oozing with wit and charm. But I digress terribly...

Edited on by Adam

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CowLaunch

16. Posted:

You have to play Majora for quite a while before the depth of the game becomes apparent. I've never played any of the Earthbound games and it doesn't look as if I'll be able to anytime soon. I had never really been interested in Zelda 2 but in the last couple of months or so I've had an urge to download it. I'm quite bad at downloading games I know I will like, so I'll probably give it a go soon.

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Adam

17. Posted:

If you're okay with games that will kick your butt, you can't go wrong. :)
It doesn't start off that hard, but come Death Mountain (which is early in this game) the difficulty ramps up, and the path to the last temple (as well as the temple itself) is absurdly hard, though I have beaten it a whopping one time (using a map I downloaded of the last temple, of course ;)).

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jangonov

18. Posted:

I don't know if it was said before but Kirby did make the 3-d transition. On the N64 he was 3-d...sorta...the gameplay was 2 1/2 d
and then there was the lesser known Kirby air ride. That was in full 3d but it was a racing game so who knows if that counts

wario, was also in 3d on the gamecube.

Still I think a 3d pokemon would be awesome. they could even recycle the character models from Pokemon battle revolution, and the gameplay from platinum. Of course add new elements, but still.

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Adam

19. Posted:

There hasn't been a fully 3D, normal Kirby game. Kirby is known for his spin-offs like Air Ride, but it's not really a "Dream Land" game.

Wario was awful on Gamecube. His series has just gone downhill since the the GB / VB games. I haven't tried the GBA one, but I heard mixed reactions.

And yea, Pokemon would do nicely in 3D... except that Nintendo is unlikely to take the main series off of handhelds given that they're based on trading and Wii doesn't have a memory pack system. Unfortunately the Wii Remote probably can't hold all your Pokemon data since it barely holds a few Mii's... but who knows.

Edited on by Adam

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warioswoods

20. Posted:

__adam wrote:

Wario was awful on Gamecube. His series has just gone downhill since the the GB / VB games. I haven't tried the GBA one, but I heard mixed reactions.

No, the Gamecube Wario game seems awkward at first, and the first couple levels seem a bit uninspired, but it has some very clever maps as you get further along, with a unique kind of charm and plenty of hidden areas to try to reach. It's not of the same caliber as the 2D Wario games, but worth playing nonetheless.

If you haven't played the GBA game, you're missing out on what is easily the best 2D Wario game to date (and I'm a big fan of the very first game for the GB). Wario Land 4 was incredible, and a far better platforming title than NSMB, with ten times the creativity and level design, and tons of well-hidden treasures to keep you returning to the maps. Plus, the bizarre music and humor from the Wario Ware series plays a big role in the game. If you just prefer point A -> point B platforming, then perhaps you wouldn't enjoy it as much, but personally I see something like NSMB as a step backwards for the genre, whereas the Wario series has continued to rethink the way exploring a level and hunting for secrets can be enjoyed.

You have mentioned that you don't care for puzzles (although mainly in reference to Zelda), but what about secrets / hidden areas / collecting red coins or Yoshi coins in each stage? Personally, I'd say that there is nothing more crucial to platforming, and to the history of the Mario series, than embedding numerous hidden areas throughout the levels, so that checking out the scenery for hidden paths is more important than rushing to the goal. The introduction in Super Mario World of the five Yoshi coins spread out across each stage, and which later turned into red coins and flowers in Yoshi's Island or other items in later games, is one of the most important improvements in the series, in that it gives you a specific goal to attain that is a measurement of how well you explored the level. As you know, Yoshi's island took this much further than the previous games, and even needed to drop the time limit entirely to make obtaining a 100% score on a level feasible given all the exploration you need to do in order to find the often deviously well-hidden flowers and coins. Fortunately, NSMB did preserve this idea with its five coins even as it mostly harkened back to even earlier titles in the series, but I found it far too easy in most levels to find them. A few were hidden well, but most of the time you didn't have to be particularly clever in order to stumble across all five.

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