Is a 3D Platformer Revival on the Way?
As you may have noticed, the last few years haven’t really been too good for the traditional 3D ‘collectathon’ style platformer. Mario’s moved towards increasing linearity with the Galaxy series, 3D Land and 3D World. Rare has basically died out and abandoned the successful Banjo Kazooie and Conker series and most of the other series in the niche haven’t really had a lot more luck either (Spyro has gone all Skylanders, Crash Bandicoot is dead, Ratchet and Clank and Jak and Daxter vanished, Croc pretty much fell off the face of the Earth). But with a few recent indie games and such like, is it possibly the time for a 3D platformer revival?
Personally, I think it might be. And here are the two main reasons why…
1. The indie scene is finally starting to come up with 3D platformers
Which means that like it or not, a significant amount of the world actually has nostalgic memories of the Nintendo 64 and Playstation era and its style of games, which can be seen in the upcoming titles ‘A Hat in Time’ and ‘Lobodestroyo’. Here are videos of each:
Heck, the games shown above even explicitly mention the Banjo Kazooie and 3D Mario franchises as their inspiration! So there’s definitely signs that people who grew up with Banjo Kazooie and Mario 64 are finally entering the indie game development scene and are trying to bring back the genre they so loved all those years ago.
2. The audience is finally interested in seeing the genre again
Seriously, have you seen how many articles and comments exist now about how Banjo Kazooie and Rare’s other franchises should be brought back?
How many people seemingly want a return to the style of Super Mario 64 and Sunshine instead of yet another linear 3D platformer?
Or how many articles and posts seem to exist about a hypothetical Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine remake for the Wii U? After all, the support for that Paul Gale ‘Nintendo Reumagined‘ thing has to be coming from somewhere.
And it’s the 90s generation growing up and missing their own childhood and games. The ones who grew up after the ‘8 and 16 bit’ eras and who are wondering when this silly NES nostalgia fad will finally be replaced with nostalgia for the Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 days.
They’re the ones now growing old enough to start remniscing about the old days on the internet, to start up indie dev companies devoted to making the types of games they want. And when the likes of A Hat in Time and Lobodestroyo catch on, we could finally be seeing their generation of video games get the much needed revival and popularity boost they’ve always deserved. We could see a more open Mario platformer, a new Banjo Kazooie game…
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 15, 2013
So yes, I definitely do think a 3D platformer revival could be on the way soon, and I definitely hope that the likes of Nintendo look at these new indie games and realise that titles in the style of Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie still have a (currently unserved) market.