Thursday, June 3, 2010

Three dimensional platforming

Super Mario Galaxy 2 isn’t a very challenging game, at least not the regular levels. Some of the levels in the unlockable Secret World are an exception to this and offer some real controller breaking difficulty. You might think I would welcome this; I am a big fan of games with a sadistic twist such as Mega Man 9 and 10. But I have become more and more convinced that really difficult platforming doesn’t belong in three dimensional platformers.

Doing near impossible pixel perfect jumps in a 2D game works because of its fixed camera. When the jumping becomes too challenging in a 3D platformer it no longer works. The camera will often be in a less then optimal position and even if you manage it yourself it becomes hard to precisely judge the angel of your jump in a 3D environment.

When it no longer feels like your fault when Mario falls to his death it doesn’t work for me. For extreme difficulty to be fun it must feel like it is my own fault every time I die. When it starts being the games fault it is not nearly as fun to really challenge myself.


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