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Markies
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Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by Markies Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:33 pm

5th Generation Platformers: Another game I will be playing soon is Chameleon Twist on the N64. This got me thinking about Platformers for the 5th Generation. Platformers more than anything had a unique jump from 2D to 3D and the 5th Generation was the guinea pig for that transition. We had the Good and the Bad. So, for 5th Generation, we are talking about the 3DO, Jaguar, Saturn, PS1 and N64. Any platformer on those consoles would be perfect.

We are now in October, so let us all jump for joy!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_generation_of_video_game_consoles

Starting this weekend, I will be playing Chameleon Twist on the N64. It is a rather unique platformer on the console, so I'm excited to try something different.

Please tell me about your platforming experience. Did you play a 2D one? Did you try a 3D one?? Let's talk about the weird transition had during this time. And since we are now in October, extra points if it is a "spooky" 5th Generation Platformer! :D
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:54 am

I was saving Alundra to use as my "platformer" of sorts to use for this month, but then I forgot that I was saving it and just played through it XP

Now I'm not sure what I'm gonna play. I'm considering picking up Nightmare Creatures finally to see if it's really worse than Castlevania 64, but there are a *lot* of platformers that just never came out in Japan. Especially on the N64, damn near any 3D platformer that was made by a Western dev was just never localized, and the ones we did get often got quite small print runs so they're hard to find and/or expensive. Even games that are super common in the West, games like Croc on PS1 or Bug! on Saturn, are very hard to find and weirdly expensive (like $20~$30) too. Gonna do my best to find something though! And if all else fails, Clockwork Knight 1 is a game I've always been meaning to play through, and that's both cheap and not very hard to find~
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by alienjesus Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:35 am

I'm trying to focus on one handheld and one console at a time currently, and my current setup is Saturn and GBA. One the plus side, I have a 5th gen console in there, but on the other hand my Saturn platformer library is pretty small!

However, I do have an option, and that is Rayman. I've played it before (over a decade ago now) and wasnt really a fan, but if I'm going to go back and give it another try there's not a better time really!
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by Nemoide Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:41 pm

I think it's time I finally made a serious attempt at the granddaddy of all 5th gen platformers: Super Mario 64

I played it on the Nintendo DS years ago and found it kind of awkward. I think I got pretty far, but I definitely didn't beat it. I did learn recently that apparently the game plays better on a 3DS because the slider works much more like the analog stick of the N64 controller. But then a while back a coworker gave me her kids' old N64 and a bunch of games, so I can play it on the original hardware! I feel like I MUST play it.
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Markies
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by Markies Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:21 pm

All of those are absolute classics and perfect games to play for this topic. The Saturn is a perfect console to discuss the clunky transition from 2D to 3D as it fit that mold perfectly.

I will be very curious to hear about your opinion on Super Mario 64. I had a N64 for many, many years before I finally got Super Mario 64. Probably my "hottest take" is that I don't like Super Mario 64. The camera and movement is just too clunky for me. People who grew up with the game can control Mario like its second nature, but I never could. So, I'll be curious if its just me that has that opinion or if Super Mario 64 is just universally loved.
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by o.pwuaioc Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:53 pm

Markies wrote:All of those are absolute classics and perfect games to play for this topic. The Saturn is a perfect console to discuss the clunky transition from 2D to 3D as it fit that mold perfectly.

I will be very curious to hear about your opinion on Super Mario 64. I had a N64 for many, many years before I finally got Super Mario 64. Probably my "hottest take" is that I don't like Super Mario 64. The camera and movement is just too clunky for me. People who grew up with the game can control Mario like its second nature, but I never could. So, I'll be curious if its just me that has that opinion or if Super Mario 64 is just universally loved.

I guess that depends on what you mean by "grown up." I didn't get SM64 until I was already a teen. I liked it, and it is one of the few 3D platformers I like. I think its camera setup actually decently worked (for the most part), since it gave more control to the players (unlike many games that rely on automatic camera shifting).

In general, I dislike 3D platformers, so to have found one that I could return to and beat I think says a lot about it for me.

What I wish is that the Saturn had more 2D platformers. All these great games that have come out in the past 10 years could have also had a home on the Saturn, but outside some staples like MMX5 and SotN, the market had moved on to 3D.
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by Markies Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:58 pm

I beat Chameleon Twist on the Nintendo 64 this afternoon!

Here is my in depth review:
https://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=53405&p=1171619#p1171619

Overall, I really enjoyed the game. If you are looking for a fun, unique and easy little game, Chameleon Twist is perfect.
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by alienjesus Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:46 pm

Nice. Chameleon Twist is no masterpiece but I enjoyed my (very short) time with it.


I started up Rayman again today. Unfortunately, my opinion hasn't really changed on it. It's too hard for it's own good and it's game mechanics work against each other in ways that feel like poor design and unfair difficulty.

As an example - the platforming is often very trial and error, with lots of instant death pits. But extra lives are a rarity - extra lives from collecting 100 collectables are infrequent as the collectables arent that abundant, and the rare extra life items in the game are one time only - they literally never reappear, even if you restart the level or game over and use a continue - so there's no easy way to gain more lives.

Ok, so you'd assume the trick is to game over and just restart the level, but the levels are long, made up of multiple stages back to back, and if you die in part 5 you'll have to redo parts 1-4 again - making the trial and error deaths overly punishing.

In addition, to reach the final stage, you need to find all of the collectable electoons in cages, which requires backtracking to earlier levels with new powers. But not only is exploring often painful (you can't scroll the camera down enough so you often have to make leaps of faith), but with the overly long levels you'll often collect the last electoon of the level in part 2 but will need to beat parts 3-8 again as there's no way to exit to world map after. Again, the level design works against the revisiting idea - coming back to a level for 1 cage is fairly miserable.

Rayman feels very close to being a fun game, but it just doesn't know what it wants to do with itself. It's design and mechanics work against each other at every opportunity and the difficulty starts way too high and just keeps rising. I can only assume this became popular based on it's looks (and it is a pretty game) because compared to platformers from a generation before, this is a dud.
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by o.pwuaioc Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:28 pm

alienjesus, you've summarized my view of Rayman to a T. It's something I very much want to like, but I've realized more and more that it's just too flawed of a game for me to really enjoy.

Have you played any other games in the series? (Although that question takes us out of 5th gen for the most part, unless we're talking about handhelds.)
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Re: Together Retro October 2021: 5th Generation Platformers

by alienjesus Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:30 pm

o.pwuaioc wrote:alienjesus, you've summarized my view of Rayman to a T. It's something I very much want to like, but I've realized more and more that it's just too flawed of a game for me to really enjoy.

Have you played any other games in the series? (Although that question takes us out of 5th gen for the most part, unless we're talking about handhelds.)


I have played Rayman 2 on Dreamcast and thought it was decent enough. That's also available on N64 and PS1 so I guess it fits the theme. It's a better option than the first game for sure.

More Rayman today and I finished up world 2, although I need to revisit every level for missed cages so it's not the end of it yet. The second Band Land level Allegro Presto is the most miserable experience I've had in a game for a long long time - it's insane how much of a difficulty spike it is.

I also realised that your collectable tings which you need 100 of for an extra life reset to 0 upon death, making them essentially useless. I die frequently enough that I never even get near to 100.
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