Alright enough chit chat. This is the Elemental Challenge Day Three and that can only mean 3D platformers. Early 3D had… somewhat of a rough start but it was a fledgling technological trend that needed to find its footing quickly for the fifth generation of home consoles. The easiest way to plow ahead while relying on the success of the past was clearly to adapt the then-popular 2D platformer genre to three-dimensional play. The results weren’t always spectacular what with camera issues and not every franchise being successful in their transfer from 2D to 3D (*cough hack* Sonic *cough*). I assert that late 16-bit games have aged a LOT better than early 3D ones but 3D platformers eventually came into their own and there are some really fantastic games that came out of the step forward after all.
These are just some of our favorites…
The Green Screen Mage
Getting four people going on Super Mario 3D World is by far one of my favorite things. All of the different levels and different powers make the game so much fun. The four players can lead to some good team work, though often it just leads to shenanigans.
The Black Humor Mage
Super Mario Sunshine is my favorite 3D platformer by far. The FLUDD item is a jet-pack and hose that allows to clean up the Island of Delfino. Everything about the gameplay is so fluid (pun intended) and the visuals and music are so bright and cherry. It’s just a fun game. And very challenging too. Definitely one of the best GameCube games.
The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)
Super Mario 64. Yes, Mario games will most definitely be taking a few spots on my list and with good reason. This was quite literally a step into another dimension for us as kids. There were certainly other 3 dimensional games before it but this was freaking Mario man!! Again as in the 2D Platformer category it is just a No Contest, and that is saying a lot coming from a 90’s kid in the hay day of 3D Playformers. (Honorable Mentions – Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie, Infamous)
The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)
Although my instinct is to choose a 3D Mario game, I’m going to go with Metroid Prime. Never before (and never since) had fairly complex 2D game mechanics including platforming been translated so perfectly into 3D, and all in first-person.
The Five More Minutes Mage (Retro Redress)
I really enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy. Whether it was the slight exploration aspect, the interesting take on battling enemies, or the tough bosses, I really thought that Super Mario Galaxy was really cool.
The Final Fourteenth Mage (Cilla vs. Games)
Rayman Origins – I grew up with a PlayStation One and a fondness for Rayman 2: The Great Escape. So it may come as no surprise that I was incredibly eager to play Rayman Origins. What a great decision that turned out to be as Origins was a terrific experience. It’s a game that demands perfection through its fast paced speed runs and musical levels. I did end up earning the platinum trophy and as a result I’ll forever have Dragon Soup etched into my brain.
The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)
Super Mario Sunshine. I feel like I’m alienating everyone with my answers! I’ve played Mario 64 and have a Virtual Console copy, but I’ve never played it enough to love it. Sunshine on the other hand was a tentative GameCube purchase that I did fall in love with. An underrated game that gets people’s backs up because of a gimmick and a game I’d love to play again.
The Rage Mage
Hey. Look me in the eye. You know what my favorite 3D platformer is: Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Conker is a rat I can identify with. It might’ve had clashing adultishness, sloppy cockney accents, furries, and a giant singing poo, but at least it didn’t have broken camera issues… Epic Mickey.
The Well-Red Mage
I really only think of a few games when I think of 3D plats, compared to the 2D category from yesterday in which I can think of a googley-exillion. Sticking to my guns I’m going to go with Mega Man Legends (aka Rockman Dash), even over the likes of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy, both of which contended for top spot in my heart. Mega Man Legends was one of those games that really captured my imagination and my affection. I loved the interesting new take on Mega Man as sci-fantasy Indiana Jones treasure hunter in a Kevin Costner Water World universe, distancing itself from both the classic and X series of games. There was a lot more to love, too, with the voice acting, customization, and new characters. This game hasn’t held up nearly as well as I would’ve liked it to, revisiting it again as an adult, but it’s still one of my favorite versions of Mega Man. I mean, I lost it when I saw MegaMan Volnutt in Mega Man’s special on the Super Smash Bros. Wii U. I should also mention that the amazing Bound counts as a 3D platformer, and it’s among my favorites.
Holy Nintendo dominance! That’s a lotta Mario! Momma Mia! Anyway, we’ve done the obvious with Day Two: 2D and Day Three: 3D, and considering there’s no clear genre for 4D, what could possibly be next? Prepare your bladder for imminent release… and wait until tomorrow. See you there!