Many gamers (especially in SA) never got the chance to enjoy the brilliance that was Banjo-Kazooie.
It’s a shame because the 3D platformer from the Nintendo 64 days is a stalwart in the genre. And with the recent release of Rare REPLAY, a collection that celebrates a number of fantastic platformers (among others), we thought we’d talk about the genre for a bit.
So to celebrate the world of platformers, we look at the 5 best in recent years.
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2 managed to take a great game and make it even greater. The visuals of Galaxy 2 are not worlds apart from its predecessor, but there’s definitely an improvement in the platforming madness.
The level design took a huge step up and all of the added galaxies make you feel like you’ve been slipped an even stronger drug.
You feel completely intoxicated as you run, swim, fly and jump around the crazy looking levels, and you realise that Nintendo’s innovation in level design and gameplay trump even the biggest graphical powerhouses, and their platforming ideas are definitely up there with the stars.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong and his simian primate friend Diddy Kong have flashed their faces across a few of Nintendo’s gaming platforms over the last few years, but something that has been lacking is a full-blown platformer reminiscent of DK’s glory days.
Donkey Kong Country Returns brought back the tough-as-nails platforming to the Wii, not to mention the stellar graphics, thanks to incredible animations and vividly coloured characters and backgrounds.
The platforming moments are definitely not as easy as they look; however, if you’ve got the time and patience, and you’re a fan of the big ape, you’re in for one of the best games to hit Nintendo’s little console, and one of the best platformers jumping around.
While many people have lost faith in Sega’s blue mascot, Sonic Generations is hands-down one of the fastest and most exciting games the anthropomorphic hedgehog has ever had, and should be played by all.
Generations manages to combine the old-school appeal of Sonic with the modern elements which hardcore fans related with.
The result is an incredibly fun and frantic platforming adventure that revisits many of Sonic’s past adventures from the Mega Drive heyday to the high-points from the Dreamcast years.
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
Since its inception in 2002, the Ratchet & Clank series has become an all-time favourite amongst fans.
The famous lombax and his tin sidekick made their return to the PS3 with A Crack in Time and delivered one of the strongest games in the series, thanks to some great platforming.
It’s gameplay is as solid as the metal on Clank’s back and tests your brain and reactions with some great time-bending platforming puzzles. To top it off, it’s a really good looking title that runs like a dream.
Our two favourite heroes have come a long way since 2002 and even after all this time they still managed to deliver a great running and jumping adventure that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
While most consider the Prince of Persia series to be more of an action game, the franchise has always had tricky platforming at its core.
The Forgotten Sands raised the wall-running bar once again, as players found themselves jumping and climbing in a whole new array of ways thanks to new powers, which allowed you to freeze water, swing your way across ledges and teleport your way across strange static birds and large gaps.
While The Forgotten Sands was neglected pretty quickly, it’s still one of the most attention-demanding and challenging platformers out there.