Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

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NX17

Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby NX17 » July 22nd, 2015, 7:28 pm

I believe so. More specifically I'm speaking of Yoshi and Kirby franchises. Yoshi's Wooly World hasn't been released in the US yet, oddly enough it is the last region for it to release in, but it's come out in Japan this past week with a very unimpressive debut. Here is a comparison of opening weeks in the series:

N64 : Yoshi's Story ( Nintendo ) { 1997-12-21 } - 53,428 / 852,864
GBA : Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island ( Nintendo ) { 2002-09-20 } - 95,596 / 526,458
GBA : Yoshi Universal Gravitation ( Nintendo ) { 2004-12-09 } - 34,389 / 261,317
NDS : Yoshi Touch & Go ( Nintendo ) { 2005-01-27 } - 52,407 / 197,337
NDS : Yoshi's Island DS ( Nintendo ) { 2007-03-08 } - 254,523 / 1,053,833
3DS : Yoshi's New Island ( Nintendo ) { 2014-07-24 } - 66,225 / 258,847
WIU : Yoshi's Woolly World ( Nintendo) {2015.07.16} - 33.821 / NEW

It's never done hot over there, but does have an 'okay' 77% Metacritic rating. Which is higher than the series usually gets.

The same could be said for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse this year, with a 73% rating. In launch week, it did even less in Japan with 32,000 and 58,000 after a month. NPD figures for lower selling games in the US are more difficult to come back.

My opinion is the combination of a large amount of platformers already on Nintendo's system, combined with the fact that I don't think these games appeal to the people Nintendo THINK they do. Instead of focusing on making a more complex platformer with a decent difficulty and a more 'conventional' throwback graphics style, they've basically made franchises like these the 'baby' franchise where ANYONE can complete the game without much difficulty.

The retort to that by some, including Nintendo, would be: 'Well thats just to beat the game, that isn't counting collecting 50 items or extras or getting a higher ranking per level.'

To me, that's the problem in of itself. The main part of great platforming design is to have great balance between your enemies and making it through the level. I don't care how many trickets or hard to reach items you throw into a level, GETTING something in a level is a different type of design and fun factor than GETTING THROUGH a level. Your timing, speed, way you react to enemies in difficulty is NEVER going to be replicated by addition optional hard-to-reach items where the goal is to stop and search or make a jump in a certain part of the level. But in this appeal to the lowest common denominator world now, that is completely opposite of the 'arcade at home' difficulty model 25 years ago, it seems to have set in that this is an adequate replacement for people who have a little more experience with a controller.

Anyone else agree with this assessment? It seems the critical and retail reception seems to echo this.

Vexer6
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby Vexer6 » July 23rd, 2015, 1:41 am

I would't call the Yoshi's Island games easy, some of those secret levels are insanely difficult(Endless World of Yoshi's anyone?), and getting 100% on every level will drive you nuts.

Vexer6
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby Vexer6 » July 23rd, 2015, 1:46 am

Interestingly enough, Yahtzee criticized the Yoshi's Island series for starting the trend of collectibles in video games(I.E. flags in the Assassin's Creed games), and his review for Wooly World was rather unenthusiastic to say the least. I personally don't find the yarn art style very appealing myself, so that's one game i'm not too upset about the rest of the world getting first.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/extra-punctuation/14339-Yoshi-s-Island-Wasn-t-Good

mbd36
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby mbd36 » July 23rd, 2015, 10:31 am

Vexer6 wrote:I would't call the Yoshi's Island games easy, some of those secret levels are insanely difficult(Endless World of Yoshi's anyone?), and getting 100% on every level will drive you nuts.


I thought that the original SNES "Yoshi's Island" was pretty challenging just playing it straight through not even trying to get 100%. It took me awhile to complete. The art style is cutesy but the gameplay is no joke.

NX17

Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby NX17 » July 23rd, 2015, 6:42 pm

mbd36 wrote:
Vexer6 wrote:I would't call the Yoshi's Island games easy, some of those secret levels are insanely difficult(Endless World of Yoshi's anyone?), and getting 100% on every level will drive you nuts.


I thought that the original SNES "Yoshi's Island" was pretty challenging just playing it straight through not even trying to get 100%. It took me awhile to complete. The art style is cutesy but the gameplay is no joke.


Well to be fair, I love SMW2: Yoshi's Island. The Yoshi series itself, however, is a lot different. I don't consider the SNES games a part of that series - its a lineal part of the Super Mario Bros series that went off in a tangent. Which is ironic, because all Miyamoto wanted to do was spite the approval process of Nintendo because they wanted more 'realistic' games like Donkey Kong Country, so he took the cartoon concept even deeper:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshi%27s ... re-release

Somehow, this has spawned that every Yoshi series game now has to be baby-level difficulty and nauseating cuteness.

ESauce
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby ESauce » July 23rd, 2015, 7:06 pm

I don't agree with this assessment. Easy platformers have always been around for one, contrary to what you seem to think, and there is no rule that states that a platformers needs a particular difficulty to be fun.

The problem with your logic is if you are really good at platformers, like me, then pretty much all platformers are easy. So this logic would follow:

If a platformer is easy then it is not fun
If you are really good at platformer then all platformers are easy
Hence, if you are really good at platformers then no platformers are fun.

That's certainly not true of me, and I doubt it's true of most expert platformers.

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DaHeckIzDat
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby DaHeckIzDat » July 23rd, 2015, 7:49 pm

Easy platformers, maybe, but I don't think platformers themselves are dead. Like Super Meat Boy, really popular and incredibly difficult. And the Super Mario sidescrollers are still being made today. They're so popular that Nintendo even made a toolset to make your own levels. So yeah, platformers definitely aren't dead, I just think the primary audience (the people who grew up with them) are looking for more or a challenge in what they play.

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zetax
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby zetax » July 23rd, 2015, 10:01 pm

ESauce wrote:If a platformer is easy then it is not fun
If you are really good at platformer then all platformers are easy
Hence, if you are really good at platformers then no platformers are fun.


Completely unrelated, but I like your logic. Modus ponens! Ever read Copi? Wish I still had that symbolic logic book...

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Rev
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby Rev » July 24th, 2015, 12:50 am

I think platformers are my favorite genre as a whole. I love challenging platformers but the cute/easy ones are also appealing. There are definitely ones that are easier than others (Klonoa Wii vs. DKC2 SNES) but both are fun in their own ways. I don't think collectibles should be dismissed as they are a fundamental part of the genre as a whole. While you can just zip through a platformer and ignore everything around you, collecting things in platforming is one of the genres main appeals (IMO). Trying to figure out how the heck are you supposed to get that item that is floating just out of jump reach is all part of the fun.

As far as why easy platformers are less successful than the harder ones... I think that has more to do with the large number of platformers available of the Wii U/Wii. Why get the Yoshi or Kirby game when better ones with more variety are available?

ESauce
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Re: Is the cute and easy platformer genre dead?

Postby ESauce » July 25th, 2015, 12:00 pm

zetax wrote:
ESauce wrote:If a platformer is easy then it is not fun
If you are really good at platformer then all platformers are easy
Hence, if you are really good at platformers then no platformers are fun.


Completely unrelated, but I like your logic. Modus ponens! Ever read Copi? Wish I still had that symbolic logic book...


Thank you. Yes I have read Copi. I was having trouble writing what I wanted to say so I just went back to basics. Ha-ha.


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