My last post got me thinking: this has been a pretty excellent year for fans of the Second Dimension. In addition to finally getting our hands on a comprehensible version of the aforementioned Mother 3, we’ve had a surprisingly decent amount of 2D (and semi-2D) releases for a time when even our handhelds are doing 3D.
First up is the “Good lord, that’s beautiful!” category, lead by Wario Land: Shake It! Have you seen that thing? Regardless of whether or not it’s worth more than a rental, it is certainly gorgeous to look at (but I guess hiring an animation studio to work with you will do that). In the same vein, we finally got a glimpse at Muramasa: The Demon Blade, another piece of 2D eye candy from the folks that brought us the stunning Odin Sphere. If your jaw isn’t on the floor, you’re probably at the wrong website, pal.
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Next up is the “I’m technically 3D, but I play like a 2D game anyway” category. While fudging the definition just a little, these games serve as a nice reminder that there are major developers out there that believe in 2D as much as we do. LittleBigPlanet is easily the highest-profile game on this list, but notable entries like Bionic Commando Rearmed and the Klonoa remake for Wii might technically make this the most well-liked category of the bunch.
Lastly, we have the “miscellaneous remakes/revivals/sequels/reimaginings” category, which is so hefty I’m not even going to bother trying to remember everything that came out here. Everything from Space Invaders Extreme and Cave Story on Wii to Chrono Trigger on DS and exciting news about Retro Game Challenge can be stuffed into this category.
Yes, 2D is alive and kicking, and I’m finally comfortable saying that its fans won’t have to worry about those shiny new 3D games killing the format we love so dearly. Maybe it’s digital distribution, maybe it’s rising development costs, maybe it’s simply publishers finally realizing there’s a huge market there; but it’s nice to see the industry has expanded to try and cater to this particular dimension as well as the next. And if you don’t believe me, well, just look at how well-received the biggest 2D game this year has been.
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