I feel relatively confident in saying that almost everyone reading this blog has some great memory's of playing a particular Platformer, whether it be Mario, or Contra, or even Crash Bandicoot. Platformers were without a doubt the dominant genre in console gaming last century. For Sony, there was Crash. For Nintendo, there was Mario. For Sega, there was Sonic. Every major Gaming company had a finger in the delicious platforming pie.
Some of my fondest memories of my early childhood involve sitting infront of the PS1 playing Spyro and Tombi, or staring blankly at the TV playing Super Mario 64. Games back then were so fun and carefree, without the pressure of grinding for Trophies or DRM or DLC. If the game froze, rather than downloading a patch you would pull the cartridge out of the slot and blow into it.
It's hard to imagine going home with a new game nowaday's and not immediately checking the cheevo/trophy list, or looking up the DLC. With a PS1 or PS2 platformer, the first thing you would do is look up cheat codes for things like Infinite ammo and stuff. Cheat codes in today's video games? Basically non-existent!
Since the beginning of this gen, 2D and 3D platformers have been fading from view. A handful of them have been released, notably the Ratchet and Clank Future series and Rayman Origins, but no huge amount. The platforming games of old have been replaced by a onslaught of FPS games, where K/D Ratio is the only thing that matters. The slow death of Platformers makes me sad, but the loss of the Spyro series is a truly tragic event for me. The last good Spyro game, Year of the Dragon, was released over a decade ago now. Still to this day, at least once a month I'll pop it into my PS2 for a whirl, and I will always acknowledge it as my favourite game of all time.
Do you foresee a return to the golden age of Platformers in the future? What are some of the favourite games of your childhood? Were you a Mario fanboy, or that quiet kid who liked Alex Kidd? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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