Plenty of our favorite Nintendo franchises have games in both the 2D and 3D space. While perhaps some modern gamers who are primarily exposed to 3D games have trouble transitioning to a 2D title, there is still a lot of love left for both styles. With the upcoming release of a brand-new 2D Mario game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, I wonder which Nintendo IPs are better in 2D?
The best thing about this question is that it will depend on each person’s experience with the two different layouts. I’m sure if I asked ten people, I would have ten different answers. Both 2D and 3D bring something different to the table. Here are some of my personal thoughts on which ones I prefer in 2D:
Although Super Mario Odyssey is a blast, I cling to the 2D Mario games. For a platformer, the massive worlds of 3D Mario overwhelm me, while the 2D counterparts allowed me to focus on the gameplay. For Nintendo’s most famous mascot, I preferred the platforming over the sand-box aspect.
I joined in on Metroid late–very late–with Metroid Dread. I absolutely loved it. When Metroid Prime Remastered released, I jumped right on it. Perhaps it was the first-person aspect I was not used to, but the re-visiting of areas after gaining new abilities felt more like a slog in a 3D environment versus a 2D one. I never felt overwhelmed going back and forth in Metroid Dread, and my brain handled the mapping much better.
Back in the day, I loved Donkey Kong 64. (Admittedly, it’s…not so fun going back to it now with the dreadful camera angles). We haven’t seen a 3D Donkey Kong since, so it may be unfair to make a decision yet, but like with Mario, the 2D Donkey Kong games were a ton of fun–and again, there’s something about 2D platformers that I prefer over 3D platformers.
Other Nintendo franchises like The Legend of Zelda can tackle for 2D and 3D really well, although my vote for Zelda is 3D. Even Kirby, who has had many 2D launches, found favor with fans in Kirby and the Forgotten Lands.
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