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Topic: The All-Encompassing 3D Platformer Thread!

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Not_Soos

The 3D platformer is easily my single favorite video game genre, and I wanted to create an all-encompassing thread about it! Whether you fancy a linear ordeal like Crash Bandicoot, or a sandbox-style collectathon á la Super Mario 64, this is the place to chat about navigating perilous pits along the z-axis! (A riveting description, I know.)

Although Nintendo is often hailed the "king of platformers," Mario is basically their only real foray into the 3D platforming genre outside of Rare's Nintendo 64 efforts like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. In fact, I would argue many of the best 3D platformers made their debut on the PlayStation; thus, I think it's only appropriate to open the pool of games discussed beyond the scope of what can be found on a Nintendo console. (Besides, if Crash and Spyro are any indication, your favorite 3D platformer may find a home on Switch just yet!)

I, for one, have only ever owned a Nintendo console, though I have fond memories of playing my brother's PlayStation 2 growing up and the plethora of great platformers available on it and the PS1 it was backwards-compatible with. With a surprising amount of new 3D platformers recently announced for Sony's PS5, I am strongly considering investing In my first non-Nintendo system. Sackboy's Big Adventure, Astro's Playroom, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart all look immensely interesting.

As for my current-favorite platformers, while this ranking might fluctuate slightly on any given day of the week, here is my top 10 ranking:

1. Super Mario Galaxy
2. Super Mario 64
3. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
4. Super Mario Galaxy 2
5. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
6. Spyro the Dragon
7. Super Mario Sunshine
8. Pac-Man World 2
9. A Hat in Time
10. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

Naturally, there are a lot of games out there, so there's a handful of notable 3D platformers I simply haven't had the chance to play. Banjo-Kazooie and Sly Cooper, for example, have unfortunately never graced my television screen. As I'm sure many of you also have great 3D platformers left unplayed, I think this forum would be a great opportunity to share ones that shouldn't be glossed over--even if they aren't perfect. (Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, anyone?)

Hot takes are also welcome, as long as they can be discussed in a mature manner like the reasonable adults we are. (They're just video games, and at the end of the day, and everyone is entitled to an opinion! We're all gamers, after all--no need to belittle when we already share common ground!) Guess I should give mine first. Ahem... gulps I found Mario Odyssey to be somewhat underwhelming. Phew! That's a weight off my shoulders. Why do I feel this way about a critically-acclaimed game, you ask? This and other opinions can be debated in the comments below! Also let me know what 3D platformers you want on Switch that haven't been announced yet! Still holding out hope for a Pac-Man World Collection...

Thanks for giving this thread a looksie! This is the first forum I've made since when I first created an NL account maybe five years ago, so hopefully I'm adhering to the regulations and this wasn't too painfully long to read. Whether you're a Power Star conniseur, a Jiggie junkie, or a Wumpa Fruit fanatic, let the commenting commence! And may we enjoy this wonderful renaissance of the 3D platformer while it lasts.

Edited on by Not_Soos

Not_Soos

Switch Friend Code: SW-0365-3043-2731 | 3DS Friend Code: 2836-0531-4472 | My Nintendo: Aaron | Nintendo Network ID: 3DGamr | Twitter:

Anti-Matter

Is Ratchet & Clank categorized as 3D platformer too ?

My Top 3 Dance Dance Revolution Arcade:
1. Dance Dance Revolution X2
2. Dance Dance Revolution EXTREME
3. Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix

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jump

Captain Toad, a 3D platformer where you can't jump!

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

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Not_Soos

@Anti-Matter I've always thought of it as one, so I included it on this list, though I haven't played enough of it to say for sure. Maybe a mixture of genres, since it's also a third-person shooter. Definitely not a conventional 3D platformer, but it meets the "cute animal mascot" requirement, so that's good enough for me.

Not_Soos

Switch Friend Code: SW-0365-3043-2731 | 3DS Friend Code: 2836-0531-4472 | My Nintendo: Aaron | Nintendo Network ID: 3DGamr | Twitter:

Not_Soos

@jump A 3D platformer where you can't your name!

Captain Toad is great, by the way. I vastly prefer it to 3D World, which--like Odyssey--didn't blow me away. I double-dipped and bought the Deluxe port on Switch, but I can't say for sure I would be willing to do that for 3D World's rumored port. Maybe if the game goes on sale after a couple years or something.

Edited on by Not_Soos

Not_Soos

Switch Friend Code: SW-0365-3043-2731 | 3DS Friend Code: 2836-0531-4472 | My Nintendo: Aaron | Nintendo Network ID: 3DGamr | Twitter:

Dogorilla

I love 2D platformers but now that I think about it I haven't played many 3D ones. I've played all the Mario ones, both De Blob games, some of the Lego games if those count, and... I must have played at least a couple of others but I can't think of any. I should probably change that; I'd like to get the Crash Bandicoot trilogy on Switch at some point, although I occasionally see people talking about how frustrating its controls can be, which puts me off a bit. Also, it would be nice if Nintendo would sort something out with Microsoft and release Rare Replay on the Switch so I could finally play Banjo-Kazooie!

"Remember, Funky's the Monkey!"

Funky Kong
porto

I love the original crash games! That and every Nintendo 3D game is my favorite.

porto

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Dark_Magician

I love 3D sandbox games! I wish they would make more of them and less of WiiU ports!

Mancer_X

Not_Soos

@Dogorilla I'm a massive Crash Bandicoot fan, so I highly recommend giving the N. Sane Trilogy a chance! I can't say I've heard too many complaints about the controls, other than when the game first came out and some didn't think it felt one-to-one with the original. You get used to the changes, but as an outsider, I don't imagine you would even have that problem.

To me, the controls feel similar to the old Donkey Kong Country games, but in 3D. (Makes sense, since they're both products of the 90's. Probably some inspiration there.) Donkey Kong doesn't really have a run button, but he can gain speed by performing a roll. He can even roll off a cliff and has a small window to perform a mid-air jump afterward. Crash's slide move that is introduced in the second game and carries over to the third one works almost identically to this. So if you like the controls in Donkey Kong Country, you should be fine here. Crash isn't as nimble as Mario--he can't perform parkour moves all over the place, but given the linear nature of the levels, he really doesn't need to.

That being said, if you purchase the trilogy, I would STRONGLY recommend starting with the second game. In the first game, Crash can only jump and spin, which makes him feel a bit stiff and means you can't get extra momentum from jumps, so they have to be almost pixel-perfect. The first Crash game can be needlessly frustrating, and while I still enjoy it--and the remake definitely fixes some major issues with the PS1 version--I could also understand why someone might think it's mediocre. Starting here could potentially turn you off from the rest of the package.

But Crash 2 is one of my favorite games of all-time. Crash 3 is probably the fan-favorite, but it does have a fair amount of gimmicky, non-platforming levels for the sake of variety that don't always have the best controls. The motorcycle levels in particular really suck! Crash 2 is almost platforming perfection, in my opinion, though ridiculously slippery ice physics on a few levels bring it down a notch. Overall though, I think the Trilogy is a great package, and I highly recommend giving it a go. At $40 for three classic games (which often goes on sale), I think it's a great value and well worth your time. Hope this helps!

Not_Soos

Switch Friend Code: SW-0365-3043-2731 | 3DS Friend Code: 2836-0531-4472 | My Nintendo: Aaron | Nintendo Network ID: 3DGamr | Twitter:

Dogorilla

@Not_Soos Thanks for the advice! I do like Donkey Kong Country so hopefully I'll get used to Crash's controls if/when I get the trilogy. The issues you mention with the first game are probably what I've seen people referring to before when they say it's frustrating.

"Remember, Funky's the Monkey!"

Funky Kong
Not_Soos

@baller98 Oh yeah, AntDude is great! As is NitroRad, who isn't quite as family-friendly, but dives into more niche 3D platformers. I would recommend them to anyone here.

Not_Soos

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Not_Soos

@Dogorilla No problem! The ice levels in Crash 2 and the gimmick levels in Crash 3 can definitely be a real pain, but it isn't enough to sour the whole experience for me. The core platforming mechanics are really solid and make up the bulk of the collection.

Not_Soos

Switch Friend Code: SW-0365-3043-2731 | 3DS Friend Code: 2836-0531-4472 | My Nintendo: Aaron | Nintendo Network ID: 3DGamr | Twitter:

porto

@Not_Soos The N. Same trilogy is my most played game on the switch! It has so much replay value, especially the 2nd one.

porto

Switch Friend Code: SW-2940-3286-4610 | My Nintendo: Pikmin4 | Twitter:

RR529

I haven't had a large history with 3D Platformers outside of trying out various Mario entries, a few Sonics, & the first Crash Bandicoot, but outside of Galaxy & 3D Land, I had never completed any now that I think back on it...

...At least until this gen. On Switch & PS4 I've completed Arca's Path VR (if marble maze type games count), Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Knack, LEGO Jurassic World, New Super Lucky's Tale, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (again, if "marble" games count), & Tearaway Unfolded. I wouldn't say it's become one of my favorite genres, but they make nice breathers between longer (and usually thematically heavier) games.

Edited on by RR529

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Buizel

I absolutely love 3D platformers (they're probably tied with 2D platformers and JRPGs as my favourite genre), and although they died down for a good while, I'm quite happy to see that they're getting slightly more interest these days.

Mario Odyssey is probably my favourite 3D platformer of all time - I think it not only showed that 3D platformers have a place in the 8th gen and onwards, but that there's so much room for them to evolve and surpass their previous limitations. Runners up include the other 3D Marios and the original Spyro trilogy, and I'm also a fairly big fan of Jak and Ratchet games.

At least 2'8".

Krull

@Not_Soos I can accept that a lover of 3D platformers might not adore Super Mario Odyssey - but when it does not even make the top 10? And when that top 10 has Super Mario 64 in second place? Mind. Blown. But good for you!

Super Mario Odyssey is probably the best 3D platformer I’ve played, but I did love Banjo Kazooie and Mario 64 back in the day. I’ll put in a shout for Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey too. It’s not perfect, and it’s certainly not particularly good as a platformer, but it definitely has something. One of those games that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Switch ID: 5948-6652-1589
3DS ID: 2492-5142-7789

Not_Soos

@Krull

I'm glad someone finally acknowledged my hot take on Super Mario Odyssey, haha. I'll try to keep my thoughts on the game as concise as possible. I'll start off by listing a few of the pros before I dive into the negatives. Firstly, I think New Donk City is one of the most well-crafted levels Nintendo has ever made. The Sand Kingdom is also very good--I thoroughly enjoyed that one. They've also really refined Mario's moveset; I can't deny that he feels way better to control than in Super Mario 64, and being able to toss your hat as an attack and dive onto it is immensely satisfying.

Now for the aspects I'm not so crazy about. While the game has like four times as many collectibles as past 3D Mario games, which usually only have 120 stars, the vast majority of these extra Moons just felt like filler to me and were mindlessly repetitive. Ground-pound the glowy spot, kick the glowy rock around, zoom in on the taxi cab, follow the dog... Very seldom did the game feel like it was really trying to challenge me.

You go through a lot of these same, monotonous motions in each world, which to me took away the uniqueness of each location and made them feel artificial. Racing Koopa the Quick was special in Mario 64 because he only shows up in two paintings. In Odyssey, you have to race the Koopas twice in every level, and after a while it started to get grating. I loved the idea of the 8-bit wall murals, but even they show up multiple times in every level to the point where I thought they overstayed their welcome.

I still think Odyssey is an okay game, but it feels like Nintendo took a look at both the mobile market and what other consoles do with achievement systems and made a game where the player is constantly being rewarded. I might be in the minority, but I think it's much more satisfying to be rewarded after overcoming a challenge rather than getting the instant gratification. Which is why I'm not a fan of achievement systems, where you get a trophy just for completing the tutorial or something. I dunno, it's a bit patronizing to me, and I didn't often feel my skills were being put to the test.

Another point I want to bring up is the capture mechanic, which made me skeptical the moment I saw it in the E3 trailer, even though most people were really excited for it. This is a very subjective opinion and I understand that most people won't agree. I don't like the idea of capturing enemies because I guess you could say I'm a purist when it comes to platformers, and I don't like when games have a lot of gimmicks/transformations that take away from the core platforming. I really enjoyed navigating through corridors as a Bullet Bill, but most of the transformations either weren't as fun to control as Mario or took away from the challenge of platforming.

I have actually been wanting to replay the game lately, so maybe my impressions would change if I went back to it now after a couple years. I would probably still give the game an 8/10 or something, but I would give most 3D Mario games a perfect 10, so it was comparatively disappointing in my book. I probably prefer it over 3D World, though.

One thing I forgot to touch on is how a few levels just felt a bit too short. Metro Kingdom, Sand Kingdom, Wooded Kingdom, and the Luncheon Kingdom were all very large in scope, but these were also the ones Nintendo showcased the most when marketing the game. I know a lot of people thought the Ruined and Cloud Kingdoms should have been full worlds (which I agree with), but I was also disappointed with the Lake Kingdom, which felt no larger than Jolly Roger Bay did 20 years earlier. I also didn't find the game, despite the graphical improvements, to be as visually stunning as Super Mario Galaxy.

I also didn't know you could buy an infinite amount of Moons at the shop, and I maxed out my total by accident, which killed the incentive to gather the ones I missed. As someone who usually tries to 100% every platformer, that kind of sucked. So yeah, those are the reasons I don't think it holds a candle to games like Super Mario 64. I'd be curious to get your take on the aspects of the game I criticized.

Man, I'm quickly realizing everything I post on this forum is way too long. Sorry about that, haha! I guess that's what I get for making a thread about my favorite genre.

Edited on by Not_Soos

Not_Soos

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Not_Soos

@Krull (Making a separate comment since this is a different topic.) I don't really know anything about Oddworld. I had no idea it was a platformer series--which is absolutely crazy, considering it was also showcased in the PS5 event. I can't believe Sony is putting so much importance on platformers for the next gen! I wouldn't even be surprised if Microsoft follows suit and revives Banjo-Kazooie at this point. But anyways, I'll have to look into Oddworld!

Not_Soos

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Not_Soos

@Apportal Oh, nice! I can't say the same, despite putting 50 hours into the N. Sane Trilogy. Breath of the Wild stands at like 190 hours or something ridiculous like that. Even Super Mario Odyssey, which I didn't love, has a playtime of like 80 hours. Crash is probably my favorite platformer currently available on Switch, though. That would definitely change, though, if the rumored Mario remastered collection turns out to be true.

Not_Soos

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Not_Soos

@RR529 What are your thoughts on New Super Lucky's tale? I haven't picked that one up due to hearing it's very short and mostly easy. $40 seems too steep to me, and I'm waiting for it to go on sale for maybe $20. I actually keep forgetting about that one, but I'm definitely interested.

Not_Soos

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