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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPnyZ5txtmE

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…

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.

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Niknique
Niknique
6 years ago

I remember back in the day when everything Rare made was gold… Banjo-Kazooie games were absolutely amazing… if Banjo-Kazooie games ever came back with the original Rare team that would make my 2014 year. 3D and 2D Platformers are my favorite, I’ll definitely be getting these games if they come to Wii U!

Michael Ocampo
Michael Ocampo
6 years ago

This would be amazing!! A Hat in Time looks AWESOME!!

Vahkiti
Vahkiti
6 years ago

I’ll be honest, you kinda lost your credibility when you said Ratchet & Clank vanished when they’ve not only had three games just in the last 2 years, but also a MOVIE in the works. Ratchet & Clank are far from vanished.

Billy McKenna
Billy McKenna
6 years ago

While I long for more platformers, I actually prefer the linear platformers. Super Mario 3D Land/World are fantastic and far more interesting to me than traipsing around the same level over and over in Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, or Donkey Kong 64 looking for more random shit. Platformers should be about platforming, not be a glorified scavenger hunt. Personally, I want to see great platformers such as Psychonauts and Alice: Madness Returns, that have some collectables, but largely linear levels and great art style, story, level design and character; finally recognised by people. Some of the better platformers in recent… Read more »

James Wade
James Wade
5 years ago

wow, 3d platformers are making a comeback, that would be awesome, we might see a brand new gaming mascot