Franchise Transition From 2D to 3D

The other day I posted the following questions at Tendoweb.com

“Just recently I have been playing Metroid Prime for the first time. Yeah I know — I’m slow. But I was actually quite surprised on how true to the 2D originals the new 3D versions actually are.

Now, I’m far from a Metroid expert, so I wanted to get your opinions on this matter.

Are there any other classic franchises that you think have been accurately been brought to the 3D world? I supposed Mario and Zelda pretty much fall into that category. But I haven’t played the 3D incarnations much at all.

Is Nintendo the only one that is dedicated to this?”

Soon after, CrazyGoon followed up with a nice response that I wanted to pass along:

“We, IMO, it doesn’t matter if a 2D game franchise transverses across into the 3D realm and loses everything that the original was founded on, and loved for. It’s just a franchise after all. For example, you could have 2D Metroid, and then change the name/ characters of the 3D metroid, so that it has no immediate associations with metroid, and it wouldn’t matter. My point was, it’s only a franchise – a franchise is only a character and a name (and a story sometimes), nothing more (ya?), and a franchise isn’t (and shouldn’t be) limited to the style/ genre of the original (which the franchise was created with). With that said, look at the Mario franchise – there are more “Mario” games which don’t involve the “reach the goal whilst avoid dying along the way” which was common in the original (taking Super Mario Bros. as the ‘real’ start of the Mario franchise). Games I can think of are “Mario is Missing”, “Super Mario RPG”, “Mario Paint”, etc. You know.

Ok, IMO, what is important, however, is if the game of the franchise is apart of a series, and the following sequel transverses across into the 3D realm. For example, Abe’s Oddysee. I think this is bad, because since it’s apart of a series, you know what to expect from the sequels – more of the same. When you dramastically change something, the ‘changed’ game should be in a league of it’s own (I’m sure you’ve read this before, so I won’t go into why). So with the Metroid example (in fact, any example), going from 2D to 3D is fine – so long as it is not apart of the “2D” series. The reverse is true aswell. Still, this isn’t to say that when a game actually does stick it’s nose into a series in which it shouldn’t, that it can’t be good. Of course it can be good – but when comparing it to the predessors in the series, is still like comparing two completely different things.

Examples:
Mario 64 took the franchise, but not the series into 3D. That’s fine.
Metriod Prime took the franchise, but not the series into 3D (I hope). That’s fine.
Munches Oddysee took the franchise and the existing Abe series into 3D. That’s bad.
Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon drastically changed the control and viewpoints, whilst being a sequel to an existing series. That’s bad.
Resident Evil 4 drastically changed the control and viewpoints, whilst being a sequel to an existing series. That’s bad.

Nevertheless, as I said, this does not mean the games can’t be good – that depends of the games’ design!

Hypothetically speaking – if Super Mario 64 was named “Super Mario Bros. 4” (or 5 if you say the American SMB2 was apart of the SMB series), then I would be mad, since the game is quite a bit different the previous games of the series, in which I was expecting it to be more of the same. I would be enjoying the game on completely different levels that the previous games of the series, when I should be enjoying it on the same levels! Case in point – I was sincerely pissed off when I found out that Broken Sword 3 and Abe’s Oddysee 3 was going to be in full 3D, because that is not what I was counting on. That’s not what I was waiting for…

So again, Broken Sword 3 (and Munches Oddysee) can still be great games (depending on the games’ design), but in my books, should have been 2D! (unless they were apart of another series..)

A bit of a tangent, though still in regards to 2D to 3D conversions. I needed to say that, because I would not be able to answer whether a franchise has been accurately brought in the 3D realm. Why? Read my first sentance of this post. You used the word “acurately” in regards to bringing a franchise from it’s 2D roots into the more common 3D. IMO, ‘accurate’ is hardly the thing to be looking for when it comes to judging whether a game from a franchise is a worthwhile/ successful/ (accurate) 2D to 3D conversion. Like I said – it’s like comparing to completely different things, so of course the answer is going to be “rather inaccurate” wink.gif Going from 2D to 3D is a dramatic change – comparing the two, judging whether the conversion is ‘accurate’ is an inaccurate judgement IMO .

But if you really didn’t care about that, and just wanted some 3D game suggestions that are sort of similar to their 2D counterparts, then fine. I just thought of the perfect one: GTA3. And from the looks of it, Rockstar is quite dedicated towards bringing their franchises into the 3D world. Quite dedicated even, given the fact that GTA3, 4 and 5 are all based on the cities of the first GTA.

Anyways, a bit long, but some food for thought. And hopefully I helped you out in one way or another.”

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