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Jrecee
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What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by Jrecee Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:43 pm

What is it that separates the Mario Worlds from the kid chameleons and the Sonic the hedgehogs from the Aero the Acrobats?

ZeroAX, based on your pickiness from the other thread, I'd like to hear your opinion :P
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by Gamerforlife Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:48 pm

depends on what kind of platformer you play, they come in so many flavors
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by Gamerforlife Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:02 pm

For hop and bop, mascot type platformers, depth of play is one thing. Sonic games were full of hidden areas and stuff to collect, Mario games are full of secrets. Compare that to an average platformer that is just about jumping from platform to platform and avoiding enemies until you reach the end of the stage

Personality was key for a lot of the older platformers. Sonic had "attitude", Mario was everyone's child hood friend, Earthworm Jim was weird and wacky, Conker was basically a middle finger to traditional platform characters, Crash Bandicoot made cool commercials, and everyone loves Clank from the Ratchet & Clank series because he represents everyone's inner nerd. Plus, Sly Cooper and his gang are some of the most charming characters I've ever seen in a game. Compare this to characters like Bubsy, who know one seemed to like

I think unique play mechanics are important too. Nothing plays like a good Sonic game with its emphasis on speed, Ratchet and Clank fused shooter based play into the platformer genre like no one else had before, Sly Cooper had tons of retro styled, fun mini-games and brought in stealth based play to a genre that doesn't usually have it. Klonoa is another one platform fans love because it doesn't play like other run of the mill platformers
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by sevin0seven Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:29 pm

this question has many answers, but i think Gamerforlife pretty much cover what need to be said :P
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ZeroAX
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by ZeroAX Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:17 pm

Jrecee wrote:ZeroAX, based on your pickiness from the other thread, I'd like to hear your opinion :P



:P

I'm going to answer what make a good 2D platformer imo. It's a variety of things. Interesting graphics and levels, tight platforming with smooth movement, variety in gameplay (meaning each stage having a "gimmick" of it's own). A level should have multiple secrets and stuff to do in it.

And fun jumping techniques and mechanisms. For example the "jump on enemy to jump higher" is a very fun mechanism perfected by certain Mario games, and some Sonic games. On the other hand having to hit endless blocks for points, is a stupid thing. Mario only uses it a little, even though most players end up hitting every block they find. On the other hand kid chameleon is a perfect example of the boring side of this idea.


And just good level design in general. Level design is key to platformers. That's why there are hardly any good fanmade platform games, when there are so many excellent games in all other genres. Man I'm sleepy. I'll explain more tomorrow. I just saw the challenge and had to answer now :P.

Lovely thread btw
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by slowslow325 Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:55 pm

Well, I loved Kid Chameleon. I think that one thing that is great about that game is cool powerups, but they aren't necessary in every platformer.

One big thing I look for in platformers is graphics. Not just looking good, but it should be simple. If there is too much stuff, I have a hard time playing it because it can be hard to see what's going on.

Obviously, they need really tight controls. If they don't have that, then there's no hope.

One thing I felt was really lacking in Super Mario Bros. was the boss fights. They were just super easy, and they all looked the same. A good boss fight is always original and it gives you incentive to play through the level to see what the boss will be. I always thought Sonic did this better than most.
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by lisalover1 Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:29 pm

ZeroAX wrote:
Jrecee wrote:ZeroAX, based on your pickiness from the other thread, I'd like to hear your opinion :P



:P

I'm going to answer what make a good 2D platformer imo. It's a variety of things. Interesting graphics and levels, tight platforming with smooth movement, variety in gameplay (meaning each stage having a "gimmick" of it's own). A level should have multiple secrets and stuff to do in it.

And fun jumping techniques and mechanisms. For example the "jump on enemy to jump higher" is a very fun mechanism perfected by certain Mario games, and some Sonic games. On the other hand having to hit endless blocks for points, is a stupid thing. Mario only uses it a little, even though most players end up hitting every block they find. On the other hand kid chameleon is a perfect example of the boring side of this idea.


And just good level design in general. Level design is key to platformers. That's why there are hardly any good fanmade platform games, when there are so many excellent games in all other genres. Man I'm sleepy. I'll explain more tomorrow. I just saw the challenge and had to answer now :P.

Lovely thread btw

And it also has to sell at least 5 million copies, apparently. :lol:
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ZeroAX
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by ZeroAX Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:09 am

lisalover1 wrote:And it also has to sell at least 5 million copies, apparently. :lol:


nah that's successful for activision, not what makes a good game.


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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by Ack Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:14 pm

ZeroAX wrote:
lisalover1 wrote:And it also has to sell at least 5 million copies, apparently. :lol:


nah that's successful for activision, not what makes a good game.


Make fun of me all you want but I'm going to be the next bobby kottick one day. mouahahahaha


Please, Mr. ZeroAX Kottick, don't forget us little people.

I dislike platformers, as in general I dislike the very basis of platforming: jumping from one platform to another bothers me greatly. But there are certain ones I love to pick up again and again, and I believe personality and attitude has a lot to do with it, as GamerForLife mentioned, though I'd also say that the overall personality of the game itself must be likable. Titles like Donkey Kong Country probably wouldn't be as popular if it weren't not only for the Kong family, but the forces of Kaptain K. Rool and the many entertaining landscapes the player must proceed through.

Platforming has also successfully mixed with other genres. There are many aspects of platformers to be found in Half-Life, especially in regards to the physics puzzles, and consider the mixture of platforming and run and gun action that makes up Mega Man. I love Mega Man because it features cartoony but enjoyable characters and sticks to its themes of robots gone amok. I probably wouldn't like the series nearly as much if the music wasn't there to support those themes.

But if there's one thing that will make me despise and abhor a platformer more than anything, it's poor controls and sliding. By its very nature, a platformer requires precise controls. Otherwise players while end up sliding right off the platform and into the pit under no fault of their own. It infuriates me when I attempt to jump only to never actually jump despite my finger pressing the button. And sliding is the worst. I detest Ice levels.
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Re: What makes a good/perfect platformer?

by Pingfa Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:01 pm

Ack wrote:It infuriates me when I attempt to jump only to never actually jump despite my finger pressing the button.

Uh, this. One thing that bugs me in some platformers is when there is a slight delay between jumping after having already jumped - this can be fatal if you happen to jump on a dodgy platform and need to jump away immediately.

I'd say clean controls and fair design are most important in platformers. Always sucks to be cheated.
slowslow325 wrote:A good boss fight is always original and it gives you incentive to play through the level to see what the boss will be. I always thought Sonic did this better than most.

I agree. I wouldn't say it is essential for a good platformer at all, but an epic platformer needs a good boss fight.
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