With modern games like Halo and the Resident Evils, the video game world has become obsessed with the first person 3D format where you’re “virtually” mimicking your own real life movements. In a modern game like GTA, you’re given a 3D format where you’re able to move in all directions towards another point. What are all these games missing? In this article, we’ll discuss the fact that what’s missing from these games is mainly due to the 3D format of modern video games. With this in mind, we’ll see how the video game world needs to go back to 2D gaming to capture its lost greatness from the 8 and 16-bit era’s. The problems started happening at the 32-bit era. It’s time to move forward by taking a couple steps back.
Remember how simple Mario 1 was? Remember how simple Contra was? Were these games easy because they were simple? Absolutely not. They were difficult, detailed, and challenging. These games proved that you could make a game simple yet at the same time complicated. Super Metroid serves as another great example of this reason. Castlevania “Symphony of the Night” is yet another game that will always be remembered in it’s grace and beauty but held it’s simplicity with it’s 2D scope. It’s with combining the simplicity of the 2D space movement and the complexity possible within this space, that great games were made.
9. More Entertaining
How bored did you get playing Mario 64? You were walking…and walking some more in the same direction, with nothing in the way of where you were going. In the 2D video game space, there is always something to see, evade, or destroy. Why would I want to meander about a 3D world? I do that everyday in real life. In the 2D world, there is always something in front of you keeping you on your toes. This keeps you in the game knowing that something can come from behind or in front of you. This makes the game much more entertaining and has much more of a possibility of always being on.
8. More linear
With the 2D format for gaming, the video game was obviously more linear. Why is this a good thing? It gives the gamer a sense of purpose knowing that they have to go from point A to point B rather than having the massively relative options of going from point A to any point in a massive geographical 3D environment. The linearity of a game gives the gamer a specific place to go, and a specific thing to do. This linearity creates a sense of escapism for the gamer who already has too many things to do in the 3D environment given to them in “real life”.
7. More room for creativity
With not having massive world where you can move anywhere you want, the game developer is given more room for creativity rather than just filling space. In a 2D environment they can worry more about the enemies that a protagonist encounters, or a perfectly timed jump that needs to be executed. The game developer can worry more about how to challenge the gamer, rather than how to make them seem more like real life. Remember, we are in the video game world, not “3D reality” where we have to be in every day. Videos Games’ original greatness came from their sense of escapism rather than its pretension for some purported reality.
6. Easier on the eyes
There was much less strain on the eyes when playing 2D games. When you jumped, the whole screen didn’t jump with you. When you walked, you had a whole view of the screen while you were walking as the protagonist of the game. Turning around as your 3D character in these 3D games sometimes puts them so up-close immediately that you quickly move backwards from being to overwhelmed with a full screen of some face. There’s just too much screen movement in these 3D games. With the 2D format, you could see yourself within a static surrounding. This was much easier and more pleasurable experience for the eyes, especially when you sometimes wanted to concentrate on an aesthetically pleasing background.
5. Loss of focus on graphics
If the video games went back to 2D, there wouldn’t have to be so much of a focus on creating the “new graphical chip that will expand graphics to even more real life themes!” Game developers will be less worried about eye candy and more focused on story line, innovative levels, and how to specifically challenge the gamer. Starting with games like Virtua Fighter, gaming has sacrificed quality for graphical innovation. Once this unconscious drive for technological innovation is curtailed, video games can one again find their roots in which they first stemmed.
4. Smoother controlling
Ever play Resident Evil? Ever play GTA? Don’t these games sometimes just piss you off in the controlling? It takes two fucking hours to turn around in Resident Evil. This isn’t real, its just fucking annoying. The blocky, slow movement of many of these 3D games takes away any sense of gaming moving forward by not replicating the real phenomena of the human body like it wants itself too. You’re getting eaten alive by zombies and it takes you literally 5 seconds to turn around and knock these bastards down. This isn’t fun.
3. No more GTA’s
Although the first two Grant Theft autos were 2D games, the series found its first real success in the world of 3D. This is when it started to dominate the video game world. In a 2D world, there would be no more Grand Theft Autos, thank God (or at least they wouldn’t be as popular as they are now). There would be no more news stories of this hyper-urban game that found its success on bloodlust violence and man’s lack of good taste for immediate pleasure. No more having to see front covers who people who wear “bling” and are holding guns in front of them. This pathetic excuse for creativity in a video game would be abolished if the 2D world was able to reign supreme. The gamer would be back on an epic journey rather than living a pseudo-reality of gangster life that has nowhere to go except to modern violence.
2. You don’t want to play in the same dimensions you live in
You live in a “3D” world. You walk in it, you eat in it, you sleep in it, and worst of all you work in it. Why would you want to carry over these habitual characteristics to the video game world? I don’t want to think about another 3D universe when I go home to play games. I want to be taken into a simple 2D world with great story lines that have nothing to do with my own “real” life. Mimicking what we perceive as “reality” is not progress for the video game medium; it’s a lack of understanding of other dimensions, and more precisely, just another way of unconsciously privileging ourselves (ego) in all facets of the universe.
1. Better Games
Why were games like Mario, Mega Man, and even Sonic (Yes Old-Wizard admits Sonic was OK!) great games? There were many reasons why these games were great, but one thing is common to them all. They were all 2D games. Even when Mega Man saw it’s ascent to the 16-bit format, it didn’t change it’s 2D style. If I remember correctly, the Mega Man X’s were great games also. The same holds true for Mario’s ascent to the 16 bit age. The games that will be remembered past this time will be the 2D games. The new 3D games are going to be seen as being too tied to the times, and specifically the times lack of substance.