Let’s Talk About Platformers!

This is dedicated to my biggest fan. 

This may be titled my favorite platformers, but the truth is I’m just going to discuss a few platformers I’ve enjoyed over the years, even if they don’t end up being the greatest ones ever made.

That said, let’s start with my favorite platformer of all time, Super Mario World.  What can I say about this game that hasn’t been said twelve million times already.  Well for starters, why is it my top platformer?  Shouldn’t Super Mario Bros. 3 be my favorite platformer ever created?  I suppose that’s the ultimate question, now isn’t it.  Both are exceptional games, and both are in my top three platformers ever created.

This remains my favourite platformer ever!

Super Mario World transcends time, and remains the best of the best though.  It expanded on everything SMB3 did and then went crazy.  Not only did you have the same variety in level design seen in SMB3, but you had Yoshi, you had the power blocks to unlock, you had secrets galore, ghost houses, and you had the incredibly challenging star worlds.  The list just goes on and on.  To this very day there isn’t a single thing I would change about that SNES launch title.  I’ve dreamed of returning to Dinosaur Land for a direct sequel to SMW, but alas that doesn’t seem like it will ever happen.  I don’t consider Yoshi’s Island a direct sequel either, because good old Mario wasn’t the central character, even though that game does indeed rule!

Who could ever forget this?

Instead of discussing SMB3, let’s switch gears to DKC, or Donkey Kong Country for those of you under the age of six.  DKC remains my favorite DK game ever created.  Sure the second and third parts evolved what the original started, but nothing compares to the original DKC.  I had always loved the original DK in the arcades as a young child, and to see him return with such fervor, such finesse, such badassness, it was a dream come true.  The graphics, the incredible music and the intense gameplay remain just as fun today as the day the game shipped way back on November 21st, 1994.

If you have the chance, check this one out ASAP

I suppose I should also mention that DKC Return is a superb platformer and one of the very best released on the Wii.  If you’re reading this article there’s a fairly good chance you enjoy platformers so I highly recommend you check it out.  It’s tough as nails and has a style all of its own.

Yet another reason why Sega does what Nintendon't

I can’t have a discussion about platformers without mentioning Sonic the Hedgehog 2.  Sure 3 is also excellent, but it was 2 that changed the game.  By allowing players to take on the role of Tails, have multiplayer, etc. it was leagues beyond anything I had played before on my Sega Genesis.  It was during this time period when the platformers were king, and on the Genesis, Sonic remained so until long after the platform fizzed into nothing more than a memory.  The classic boss battles, the awesome “3D” chaos emerald chases, all of it was incredible.

Go for the Wii upgrade if you're looking to get into Klonoa

I don’t want to list off too many more, but I do want to mention two others.  First is Klonoa for the original PlayStation.  While this may not be on my top five favorite platformers ever, it’s one that deserves mentioning because it came out right when everyone said the 2D platformers were a thing of the past.  This game was not only challenging, but also extremely fun, featuring lovable characters and excellent gameplay that hold up perfectly today.   If anyone is interested, don’t bother going after the PlayStation original, as it is quite expensive.  Hit up eBay and you can buy the remastered version for the Wii, still with 2D gameplay, for only $20 or so.

Sure the visuals are outdated, but this remains a really fun platformer

The last game I’d like to mention is Christmas NiGHTS because it’s another excellent platformer.  3D platformers have never been as enjoyable to me as 2D platformers, but this one is extremely special.  If you play it during the holidays the game actually features snow, Christmas trees and holiday music.  All around it took what made the original NiGHTS so unique and made it that much more special.  You can find an import of this game on eBay for just a few bucks.  Now before I get comments from people telling me about the true sequel made for the Wii, I’ve never had the opportunity to play it.  I’m looking to change that though as I just placed an order for it for $12 for a brand new sealed copy from eBay.  Sometimes waiting is a good thing.

I think that gives everyone enough meat to start a solid conversation on their favorite platformers or at least platformers they’d like to discuss.  So don’t leave me hanging here.  I expect to get some comments!

39 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Platformers!”

  1. Good choices. Pretty much agree with all of them except the ones I haven’t played, Nights and Klonoa. But I absolutely loved Klonoa 2. One of my favorite modern 2D platformers and a launch title which surprised me. Truly an underrated series.

    DKC was an interesting find for me back then. I wasn’t aware of its existence until a friend showed me a pirated copy for his SNES which didn’t keep save files. I got hooked as soon as I saw it and bought an original copy of its sequel, DKC2. DKC was mind-blowing for me but DKC2 was the peak of the franchise personally. Beating it 100% was tough.

    Regarding Yoshi’s Island, a lot of people harp on it because it was too different…but in many ways its mechanics and visuals charmed me more than Super Mario World. Of course the latter is a timeless classic, but I love how Nintendo took a big risk with this one and pushed the puzzle and exploration aspects of 2D platforming in many ways. I just enjoy it when platformers throw in surprises like that. Because of Yoshi’s Island design, levels are long and last more. With the typical Mario formula, levels are usually short in comparison, especially when you look at SMB3. Again, SMB3 is a timeless classic for me and I enjoy playing it over and over, but the levels were way too short at times. Mario World sometimes had that very same problem when looking back and comparing the series to one another. Back then, we never thought of it that way as World improved on SMB3’s short-lasting appeal…but today some of World’s levels are considered too short.

    Speaking of which, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a platformer that I kinda liked on the NES, too…despite being different. But I wasn’t overly engrossed. The length of the levels were impressive though. I had a new-found love for it when Nintendo released Super Mario Advance on the GBA. It’s like they took everything wrong with the original release and fixed them…turning it into an awesome sequel that should’ve been.

    As for Sonic, my absolute favorite is Sonic 3 + Knuckles. Sonic 2 was nice but I didn’t consider it mind-blowing. When Sonic 3 and the Knuckles expansion came along, my mind was blown. A game expansion with more levels and Knuckles being playable? For me, back then it was unheard of to expand the original game with more content. That’s why I consider this combination the best Sonic game to this very day and one of my favorite platformers of all time.

    People will kill me for this, but I loved Zelda II. Yes, in more ways than one it’s considered a platformer, too. A unique one at that with a lot of RPG elements. It was my first Zelda installment so I have a lot of nostalgic attachment to it, but it’s still well designed and addicting.

    Another favorite of mine is Kirby’s Super Star for the SNES. The amount of variety this game packs is just staggering. Never have I played a platformer that had multiple modes of play. The reason why I like Kirby in general is that it’s one of the few series which kept it’s consistent 2D platformer feel as other game series converted to 3D post-SNES. Kirby 64 was one of the very few 2D platformers released during that generation and it’s a superb game in its own right. Kirby kept on chugging with 2D in the GBA/DS until it finally moved back to console with Kirby’s Return to Dreamland on the Wii. The only 3D release of the series is not a platformer, but a GameCube racer…which was unique in its own right.

    In this generation, the 2D platformers which have blown my mind is Braid, Limbo and Fez. Glad 2D’s coming back in a big way. I like that Mario and Sonic embraced their roots recently, and while those installments are still fun, I’d love for more platformers to push the scope like the downloadable ones.

    Another platformer series that I really found unique too is the LocoRoco series. 1 & 2 were pretty cool experiences on the PSP.

  2. Awesome list man! There’s not much else I would have done differently. I would probably have talked about Kirby 64, since that’s by far my favourite Kirby title. I would also include Trials…. because those are simply fantastical.

  3. Guys keep in mind these aren’t my favourite platformers ever as I said, just some of my top ones and other ones I enjoyed greatly, so it’s nice to see you both mention others. It would be really boring to have the exact same games mentioned over and over again. I purposely left out Sonic & Knuckles because I knew Ahmed would talk about it, and I left out SMB3 because well, everyone talks about that one. As for Yoshi’s Island, I didn’t want to focus on it too much because SMW remains one of my favourite games of all time, let alone platformers. I have very fond memories of it though. I loved the style and the challenge it offered.

    The one series I haven’t gotten into is Kirby, as you both know. That’s something I’m trying to change now. Just ordered the two Wii Kirby games for $40 for the two, brand new. Man these Wii games are insanely cheap. I just spent $100 and bought almost everything I ever wanted on the Wii. Madworld for $8 FTW!

    1. Nice prices, Jarrod! I’m upset because I haven’t actually gotten to the Wii Kirby games, but I’ve played every single one including the handheld titles (need to play more Kirby Massive Attack though). Didn’t play Epic Yarn at all but I did dabble in a few levels of Return to Dreamland and it’s absolutely classic in every sense of the word. The collection will also help you out more.

      1. Indeed it will Ahmed. I did play the original Kirby though, on my huge Game Boy lol. This anthology will be a life saver for me because it, hopefully, will allow me to go through virtually all the classic games. I’m looking forward to Epic Yarn the most as it looks extremely unique, although I’ve heard it’s a cake-walk. Return to Dreamland looks like pure classic action platforming goodness so I’m sure I’ll enjoy that one. Seriously though, these Wii prices are just nuts and all these games are brand new!

        1. My first experience with Kirby was Super Star for the SNES. Since then, I’ve been following the little puffball everywhere. Not really in the mood to play the original Game Boy Kirby as it doesn’t have what makes the series unique nowadays; the ability to copy powers. But I’d like to give the NES installment a try. I heard that it’s been released as a 3DS classic so I may check it out. I already played the GBA remake of the NES installment though (Nightmare in Dreamland) which was pretty good.

          I heard that Epic Yarn is tough to beat 100%, but going through it without perfecting it seems to be a cake walk. So go for the 100% completion dude.

          Since we’re talking about platformers, I completely forgot about a series that I really love: Wario Land. Man, Wario Land 2 in particular is probably one of my favorites. The unique immortal approach made it so unique, but Wario Land 1 is just as good too because his powers are hilarious! Didn’t play Wario Land 3, but played through a bit of Wario Land 4. Since you’re looking out for Wii games, try to get your hands on Wario Land: Shake It, which is made by the same team behind Kirby Epic Yarn. I played some of that too and it’s an absolutely awesome reboot of the series with some very well-made hand-drawn visuals.

  4. Oh man how could I forget about Wario Land. Yeah Ahmed I LOVED 2 through 4. Incredible platformers. Man I miss those! If Shake It is anything like those you can bet I’ll pick it up. Just found a copy on eBay that includes shipping to Canada for $25. That works for me!

    There have been so many excellent platformers released throughout the years that we’re bound to forget some.

    1. Shake It is a bit different as you’re no longer immortal, but retains a lot of what makes Wario Land awesome, especially the exploration aspects. It also adds a lot of speed-running aspects to the game if you can believe it. The motion controls are surprisingly very responsive. And as an added bonus, it has AN INCREDIBLE soundtrack. Yes, incredible in caps. That’s how good it is. Very under-rated and so funky.

      Have you played Super Meat Boy, Jarrod? It’s basically a tribute to classic 2D platforming, but it gets incredibly difficult later on.

      1. Haven’t had the chance to try Fez or Super Meat Boy yet, but did enjoy Braid and Limbo like crazy so I’m sure I’ll enjoy these. Your vids on Fez were really something so once I have more time I’ll look into that one.

        As for Shake It, what kind of motion controls are used? Are they sparingly like NSMB Wii or more hardcore? Thus far I seem to prefer Wii games that only use the Wiimote every now and then and aren’t crucial to the experience, unless they’re part of something like Skyward Sword.

        One of these days I really have to go back to Mario Galaxy and finish that off because I’d like to try 2, which everyone says is the best 3D platformer ever created.

        1. There are parts like NSMB Wii but Wario Land has more core motion controls to it. Aiming your enemies are done via motion and the butt stomp are also motion-based. They’re not distracting and well-implemented though.

          1. For the low asking price I’ll be sure to pick it up. I’m thinking of picking up Pikmin as well. At this rate I’ll have virtually every Nintendo-published Wii game except Wii this and Wii that before long lol.

  5. Good list! For me, it’s hard to nail down what platformers I like, because there are so many. You could even say games like Mega Man are 2D platformers, albeit ones with a twist. Games like Viewtiful Joe and Bionic Commando have shades of platforming as well, just the former is more of a beat ’em up while the latter is more of an action game. I am particularly fond of the Mario series, New! Super Mario Bros DS and Wii are both so much fun to play. I love both Galaxy games as well.

    Super Meat Boy is a good 2D platformer, but an overrated one. The music is rad and the level design is devious, but honestly, what seems to sell the game most is the difficulty. Braid I found to be a pretty good game, but for the most part, a by-the-numbers platformer. It basically took elements of Super Mario and Prince of Persia and passed it off as something new, so I didn’t call it really innovative–if anything, I found it a bit pretentious. LIMBO though, I absolutely enjoyed. The haunting setting and the hazardous stage design make it a great platformer. Short, but incredibly memorable. It’s an amazing game.

    1. What surprised me about Braid is its shocking plot twist. I loved how the game ended and what the developer was trying to pull with the ambiguous yet deep plot points. I’m surprised you didn’t find the gameplay unique. Sure it had POP’s time mechanic, but it used it in a pretty unique fashion when it came to the 2D navigation and puzzles. Plus each level in Braid used time in a different manner as only the first few levels had the typical mechanic while the rest was sort of different.

      1. I don’t know, just didn’t quite sit as well with me I suppose. I did find it fun and enjoyed it quite a bit, just didn’t find it as new or innovative in terms of game design. The story part is what sold it for me. I think I was more impressed with LIMBO out of the 2D platformers mentioned above, not really sure why. Part of it is the visual aesthetic, which I admit is shallow, but man that game is pretty. It’s just so haunting and surreal. Super Meat Boy I did like a whole lot (and again…love that music), but don’t think I’d put it up there with favorite 2D platformers. Don’t think it really counts as one because its more adventure heavy, but I have an undying love for Cave Story. I could not love that game any more than I already do. I’ll probably buy it AGAIN when Cave Story + gets released on the 3DS eShop. I remind you that I already have Cave Story on WiiWare, DSiWare, and Cave Story 3D.

        Donkey Kong Country series and the Wario series are both quite fun too. I really like Wario World and Wario Land Shake It, those are both quite fun but for different reasons. You can really see Treasure Studio’s off-the-wall brilliance showing through in Wario World for GameCube, but Shake It hooked me in because of the beautiful 2D visuals and tight gameplay.

        I really need to get Fez. It looks very cool, and I’d love to give it a try.

        Also Jarrod, YES PLAY MARIO GALAXY 2. It is fun distilled into its purest form.

        1. Wario World was awesome, man. Thanks for reminding me of that gem. I loved that little game even though critics bashed on it. It had some nice platformer elements mixed with beat ’em up style play. Pile driving your enemies is the coolest move ever.

          As for Cave Story, I’m not sure which version to fully play yet. I dabbled with the WiiWare version and enjoyed what I played, but now I’m seriously considering restarting my playthrough with a different version. Right now it comes to Cave Story 3D vs. Cave Story+. Really torn on which one to play. Thoughts, Tim?

          1. Honestly, I’d probably pick Cave Story +. You can get it on Steam right now and it’s exquisite. It’s coming to the 3DS eShop with some added features and cool 3D support too, so you get something neat there. Cave Story 3D is a retail release, which is cool, and it has nifty new graphics. Not much else to it. There are secrets (you can apparently unlock Prinny, but I haven’t managed to do it in my run throughs of the game yet). WiiWare version was the most robust until CS+. I’ve supported every entry though and have no regrets. Cave Story is easily my favorite indie game ever. It’s a fantastic adventure from start to finish.

  6. I didn’t add the likes of Mega Man or Metroid, etc because I consider those action games over traditional platformers. The same could be said for NiGHTS as well, but I snuck it in there for good measure ;). Very interesting comments about all the newer platformers though. The two big ones I enjoyed, as I already said, we’re Braid and Limbo. Really want to try Fez though because it looks really unique.

    As for Galaxy, keep in mind that I really wasn’t feeling the whole motion setup. I still don’t find it all that, but I now have some free time over the summer to give all these games another go. I’ve always preferred my Mario games in 2D, but his fun factor never gets old so I’m sure I’ll enjoy both of these games.

  7. The only thing that I didn’t like much about the first Super Mario Galaxy is the Luigi mode, where you have to play through the same entire game again and get all 120 stars again with little or no changes (except the Cosmic Luigi races, which are next to impossible), just to unlock one final level that is completely *not* worth the effort involved. Of course, I did it all anyway because I’m usually a completionist. The story and ending are both rather deep and dark compared to other Mario games, even the sequel.

    Super Mario Galaxy 2 took nearly everything good from the first game and made it even better. You can play as Luigi in some levels well before finishing the game (and, of course, in any level once you do), Yoshi is well-implemented and fun to use (and actually *needed*, and isn’t just poorly tacked on like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii), and the game difficulty is much higher. Basically, you’re almost expected to have fully completed the first game before getting into this one (like Majora’s Mask). Unlike the first game, getting all 120 stars gives you *another* 120 stars to find and collect, and after that, one final and horrifyingly difficult galaxy. I’ve only completed the final mission *once* and that was after many deaths, game overs and a load of luck.

    All this talk really makes me want to play both of those again, especially 2. Another thing I love about it is its music… Sky Station Galaxy’s second mission is what really got me into the game (I played 2 before 1). The epic music (which only plays in this level) and the entire level is just pure greatness.

    As for other platformers… I’m not a super fan of Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I don’t have much of a desire to play it again. It’s horribly cheap and hard, much more so than any of the SNES games, to the point where trying to get through most of the later levels is more of a chore than anything else. Very pretty though, it’s easily one of the Wii’s best looking games. I could play through any of the SNES Donkey Kong Country games from the beginning at any time, because the difficulty level for them is just right and not mind-numbingly hard like DKCR.

    Though it’s very dated nowadays, I still love Super Mario 64. The Galaxy games come close, but not even they give the same feelings as this game. Like Ocarina of Time, it was a main franchise’s first true venture into 3D, and it was *fantastic*. The controls are rather clunky though (especially on the Wii, because the Classic Controller is much more sensitive than the N64 one ever was), and the camera is often terrible… but nearly sixteen years later it’s still very fun to play.

    When it comes to Mega Man games, I could sit down and play 2 or 3 from beginning to end at absolutely any time. They’re easily the peak of the classic series, as 4 and up started to resort to many gimmicky add-ons, bosses and twists, which pretty clearly says that they were starting to run out of ideas.

  8. I played through the first few worlds of DKC Returns today with my brother and it took us pretty much all day to master all the levels. The K-levels are especially insane. My goodness I don’t remember the game being this damn impossible. You have to be SPOT on or it’s game over and in co-op you lose two lives per full death. Brutal! All that said, I haven’t had so much fun cursing at a TV screen in ages.

    We can say what we will about the motion controls and whatever, but Nintendo still knows how to put out pure fun games.

    1. I played as far as getting all the K-O-N-G letters, puzzle pieces and orbs, and (somehow) managed to get through the Golden Temple. And then I tried a few levels of Mirror Mode… forget it. You have to go through the entire game again, only reversed, with no Diddy Kong or items available to be used, and you have only one heart. Yes, this means you’d have to beat all the bosses and temple stages without getting hit *once*.

      This is one game where Super Guide really comes in handy. Sure, it just does the bare minimum and gets you through the level without any of the pickups, but if you just want to get to the end of the game it’s quite nice. I admit to using it a few times, before eventually going back to finish them myself.

      1. When I originally played through the game I simply went until it was finished, I didn’t bother unlocking absolutely everything. Playing the game with my bro sort of reminds me why lol. This is hands-down one of the most challenging platformers out there simply because of how ruthless the difficulty is. It’s hella fun though.

  9. Man, you guys are lucky I’m planning to start up a Skyrim session in about five minutes or so or I’d drop a novel right here.

    Great picks, Jarrod. I’m a huge platforming buff as we all are, and there are just so many out there that I love to bits. I won’t bother discussing the obvious ones because, yes, SMB3, Super Mario World, DKC, and other heavy hitters are way up there on my list, too. Here are a few of my personal faves that are often overlooked:

    Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins – This was the first video game I ever owned. I got it the same day that my parents bought me my Game Boy Pocket (also the first game system I ever owned), and let me tell you, I played it so long that my eyes hurt and my thumbs were rubbed almost raw from pressing buttons and sliding my thumb across the D-pad for hours upon hours. I played this game top to bottom, wrapped it over and over, and generally just loved it. This was the first time Wario was introduced to us, and he came across as a real dick which served the game. I have extremely fond memories of the first time I made it to the top of Wario Castle and kicked his ass all over the place. The game had kind of a weird visual theme compared to the rest of the series, and I especially remember those weird looking ants, the levels on the moon which have Mario in astronaut gear, and the Castlevania-esque Graveyard areas complete with bats and vampires. And let’s not forget the bunny ears power-up… haven’t seen it since.

    Vexx – This was one of those amazing sleeper hits that was simply doomed to obscurity from the day it was released. But damn, it was great! It was a 2003 multiplatform release, and I picked up the Xbox version. I remember it particularly well because it was one of the few games that my dad sat and watched me play a lot. The worlds were cool, the gameplay was fast, and the controls were tight. The story wasn’t bad either in that “story in a platformer” kind of way. The camera was occasionally a little wonky, but that’s a minor complaint. I’m sure you can snag Vexx for less than $10 on ebay these days, so what are you waiting for? Do it! Do it now!

    Rocket: Robot On Wheels – I already talked about this one at length in one of my Reflection articles, so, umm, here: http://www.projectcoe.com/2012/04/24/reflection-4-a-robot-on-wheels-gravity-guns-and-paintable-sheep/

    Goemon’s Great Adventure – I feel like the Goemon games go unnoticed in North America despite the fact that a solid number of them have been released outside of Japan. I absolutely adored Mystical Ninja — the only true 3D outing in the series, but what followed was equally awesome. The best thing about Great Adventure was that there was co-op. Oh man, my brother had a fun time with this one. He was pretty young then and probably doesn’t even remember how great it was. I only ever rented this one, so I’m really going to have to pick up a copy off eBay when I get back to Canada. This game was also one of the few platformers I can think of that utilized a day/night cycle which made enemies more powerful at night. Great game, and painfully overlooked like every other game on this list apart from SML2.

    Anyways, I’m falling behind on my Skyrim schedule so I’ll leave it at that for now lol. A few others that were the bomb include Mischief Makers, Space Station Silicon Valley, Donkey Kong 64, Lost Vikings, and Sonic Adventure 2, but I’ll talk about them later, perhaps in a future article. ;)

    Also, I’m glad you mentioned Wario World, Ahmed. Great game that lays under the radar for the same reason that Luigi’s Mansion does. Man, this discussion makes me want to revisit so many classics!

    1. I remember Vexx Charles. Platformers released during that period were really unlucky because that was the genre’s fall from grace as it were. So many publishers were releasing quality platformers that seemed to go by the wayside, which is a real shame. To this day I think platformers offer players a fun world to traverse.

  10. Oh, and you’ll laugh at me for dropping this one, but Tigger’s Honey Hunt for PS1/N64 was actually a solid little platformer. My grampa rented for my little bro back then and I ended up playing it more than him lol.

  11. Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is a great platformer for DS. The marriage of old-school platforming and Tetris Attack on steroids works excellently. In the same vein as Super Mario World, there are well-hidden secret exits to challenging bonus levels. Add in boatloads of customization, hidden upgrades/wall jumping (found in Mega Man X) and, of course, the ability to don a huge robot suit and dominating everything on the screen. Definitely one of my favorite DS games.

    One game that hasn’t been mentioned is Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels/2 Japan. This interesting title takes the original Super Mario Bros. and increases the difficulty tenfold (at least). Noteworthy in this game is the hidden content after beating the game eight times without warp pipes– now that’s a feat. I imported the Famicom Mini version a few years ago and love playing it on my GBA. Even though Luigi’s jumping ability comes in handy, I absolutely hate skidding off the edge to my death, so Mario’s my main man.

    Also, the Donkey Kong Land games are a lot of fun. Just a few months ago I got finally got 103% on DKL3 despite owning it since I was eight.

    Too bad you’re not including Mega Man games, because I would extol the virtues of Network Transmission for GameCube. ;)

    1. Henry Hatsworth is one that I’m dying to try out, but never did. It certainly presents itself as a unique blend of genres. I know that the development team has moved on to create the Metroidvania-like Monster’s Tale for the DS and the upcoming Epic Mickey: Castle of Illusion reboot on the 3DS. I’m very excited to play the latter one because of its relation to the Genesis platformer of old. They seem like a talented bunch of devs.

      1. Is it wrong to be more excited for the 3DS version of Epic Mickey than the console versions? If it is, then wrong I am!

        Thank for bringing up the true SMB2, that is the hardest platformer ever created. Honestly I have no idea how Miyamoto and gang thought players would easily get into this, it’s super tough. Therein lies its charm though, and it remains an excellent game that I frequently tell people who complain platformers are too easy, to go check out.

        I never even heard of Henry Hatsworth so I’ll be sure to eBay that one if I have the chance. At only $20 that’s a steal.

        I enjoyed the DK Land series, and totally forgot to mention it above. I’m so happy by all the comments we’re getting with this article that I think I’ll follow it up in the next few days with another “Let’s talk about…” feature. As for Mega Man, I consider him much like Castlevania, an action platformer. Technically Metroid fits in there too, so that should be an even more insane list of games lol. I won’t include run and gun shooters though. I’ll leave that for another day :-P

        1. Not wrong at all, Jarrod. That 3DS version may be one of the most underrated platformers of recent times if the development team brings their A game together and make it just as good as Henry Hatsworth and Monster’s Tale. I won’t be surprised if it gets superior ratings in contrast to Epic Mickey 2.

          Didn’t play any of the DK Land games. Graphics turned me off as I’m used to how good DKC looked.

          I never played the true SMB2 until the All-Stars collection, and I bet 99% of fans fit in that same boat. I couldn’t believe that I actually beat that damn thing back in the day. Saving made it easier of course, but wow that was a tough one.

  12. Aside from the typical classics (various Super Mario, DKC, Adventure Island, Cave Story), Clash at Demonhead Mountain is probably my favourite “underdog” platformer. Challenging gameplay, fun graphics and music, kooky characters and tons of powerups (with an inventory system) gave me hours of fun as a kid. I’ve written Nintendo half a dozen times asking for them to bring it to the Virtual Console ;)

  13. I love hearing about new games. Never checked that one out Christina. Thhe Virtual Console is a ghost town lately, what the heck happened? We used to get tons of updates and then boom everything dried up so quickly. A shame really.

    I played the original Famicom Disk version of SMB2 and beat it back in the day, but will always remember the sheer difficulty of it.

    1. I’m not sure why Nintendo decided to make their VC releases mostly junk with a rare gem. I knew that the idea was going downhill when I checked my Monday Nintendo releases e-mail a couple of years ago, and saw “Mappy” as their VC release. Seriously, Mappy. That arcade port with the police officer mouse who fights ghosts and cats, flies around with a balloon in some levels, and has some of the most irritating controls and music I’ve ever seen in a NES title. Mappy was a sign of the end of VC days to me.

      Thankfully, Nintendo occasionally redeems themselves with the likes of Wonder Boy, some old school Final Fantasy (Mystic Quest is there but let’s forget that it even exists, okay?), SNES Star Wars, N64 Zelda titles, StarTropics, Mega Man, etc.

      Oh, would Blaster Master (NES) count as a platformer? Maybe a half-former. Love it despite the ego-crushing difficulty.

      1. The Virtual Console had the potential to extend the life of the Wii during these dark days of 0 releases, but instead it’s going through the same thing the Wii itself is going through, a complete lack of software and/or updates. There are countless gems missing from the service, not the least of which is Earthbound. On the Genesis side as well there are so many awesome games that could be released.

        I think the most bizarre part of all of this is the eShop Virtual Console on the 3DS. WTF is up with that? It’s brand new, where in the blue blazes are all the updates? There are some really excellent games on there, but I find they’re taking way too long to push out regular updates with classic games, especially GBC and GBA games. Is there something we don’t know about releasing games on the VC?

        As for Blaster Master I think that falls into the action platformer category, but it’s still awesome.

        1. I don’t know what’s going on with the Virtual Console, especially for the 3DS (I don’t have a 3DS yet, but am considering getting one in time). Releases are few and far between, and disappointing. Japan already has all three Wario Land games out, while none of them have been released here yet.

          All of those games are good, but I still have a soft spot for the first one (Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3). I spent hours upon hours playing that both on a regular Game Boy and Super Game Boy… it’s definitely going to be one of the first games I pick up. I haven’t played any of them for close to ten years now.

          Wii VC is terrible now, to be honest. There’s still plenty of games I’ve yet to buy, but I think it’s safe to say that the service is basically dead. We’ll get Mega Man X2 in time, since that’s been out in Japan for a while, but as for anything else notable… probably not.

          1. The Wii VC always ticked me off. I find playing NES games on the classic controller all but impossible. I don’t particularly like the small d-pad on the Wiimote itself, but it gets the job done I suppose. I would have LOVED to have been able to use the classic controller pro and map the buttons differently. How is it the VC on the 3DS allows me to do this, but not the Wii. Does that make any sense? I also really want to now what’s going to happen to all those games I downloaded. Can I easily switch those over to the Wii U? If not, that’s going to tick me off. Then again, the Wii has GCN backwards compatibility so I guess it’ll be staying somewhere close for those GameCube itches I get every now and then. I’m hoping that when the Wii U launches we can continue to see more VC releases, but I’m no longer holding my breath because of the snail’s pace release schedule on the 3DS.

          2. Yeah, I have a feeling that the Wii titles that you’ve paid for will not be transferred to the Wii U. Hell, Nintendo couldn’t even do it if you wanted to swap Wii consoles. I agree about the GC usage, our Wii will stick around for a while to come.

            Wii eShop just seems sloppy. The 3DS eShop is a bit more polished, I like the addition of the wishlist and ratings features. Nintendo seems to have abandoned the Wiishop.

          3. Yeah. It’s a stupid mentality to have for the Wii Shop to be honest. Just because the Wii is toward its final days doesn’t mean that you abandon its digital content. After all, any virtual console releases during this time will not only help the Wii’s appeal, but also by default carry over to the Wii U’s own offerings. Just like how the 3DS has DSiWare releases and highlights to this very day. I think the last high profile release for the Wii’s Shop are Final Fantasy III (VI) and Cave Story. Nothing else comes to mind. There’s a lot of backlog to go through in the VC realm…and if Nintendo keeps going in this pace, even once their Wii U is release, we might get see their n64 stuff and Earthbound in 100 years if we’re lucky.

          4. The 3DS is a step in the right direction, but titles are coming out way too slow. If licensing is truly the issue, then just say so and people will stop bitching all the time. It was like that on the PSN with the PS1 backlog. Sony came out and said look it’s not as easy as you all think because of X and Y. Now people hardly say anything when PS1 classics show up three times a year. The thing is with Nintendo, their Virtual Console platform has multiple consoles from so many different publishers and developers that I can’t imagine everyone having licensing issues to their original games.

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