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PlayStation (Games)

Who Says 2D Gaming is Dead? 164

Retro Gaming with Racketboy has up a feature looking at the best modern 2D games out there, all on the PlayStation 2. He highlights the best of every genre, from the modern classic RPG/beat-em-up Odin Sphere to the timeless beauty that is the Metal Slug series. "Disgaea: Hour of Darkness & Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: Disgaea greatly resembles other strategy RPGs. Its isometric perspective, 3D battlefields, and nice-looking 2D characters are clearly reminiscent of most other games of this type, and on first impression, so is the game's turn-based combat system. However, you'll soon realize that this game actually plays very differently. The gameplay itself is, in a word, weird."
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Who Says 2D Gaming is Dead?

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  • Me. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Next question?
  • SF4 - 2D (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Street Fighter 4 is going to be 2D.
    • Right--and don't forget about all the other great 2D fighters being released every year!!

      Just this month, Arcana Heart [youtube.com] was released for Japanese PS2s, and last month Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core [youtube.com] was released domestically. King of Fighters XI was just released stateside and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is to be released later this month.

      It's kind of a shame that this deep, rewarding genre has been pushed aside here in the US. I think it's a due to a combination of factors, namely: how graphics-oriented gamers ar
      • I think it's a due to a combination of factors, namely: how graphics-oriented gamers are, the fact that arcades are pretty much dead in this country
        One of the attractions of arcades was that the games hardware was far more technologically advanced than home games consoles. If arcades were still popular in the US and Europe today, gamers would probably want cutting-edge graphics which in practice would be 3D anyway.
        • Maybe, but it doesn't seem to be an issue in Japan. Arcades foster competition and community, things that fighting games--especially technically demanding ones--need to be playable and fun.
          • Maybe, but it doesn't seem to be an issue in Japan.
            True, but Japanese tastes are often very different to European and US ones, which probably reflects the major underlying cultural differences (despite the superficial hyper-Westernised appearance).

            Basically, there's a whole load of weird shit that is massively successful in Japan that doesn't play nearly so well elsewhere.
      • by Bobartig ( 61456 )
        as a gaming genre, the fighter seems to have benefitted very little from advances in 3d. Most mechanics are still based on a series of 1D vectors, rather than exhibiting any true 3 dimensionality. Im curious to see how the capcom team updates their perenial favorite in an industry that uses 3d graphics as some sort of crutch. the sf franchise still sees a lot of play at high level gaming tournaments.
      • 2D is still popular in the US it's just for casual gaming now. Look at Xbox Live Arcade or Nintendo's Virtual Console. Most mobile games are still 2D and a lot of the flash games I play at work are 2D. Most of the games on the DS are 2d and the DS sells 400,000 units per month. These games are still fun, but they just don't get the spotlight and media attention anymore.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LKM ( 227954 )
      So are a ton of Wii games, and probably more than half of all DS games. I love those two consoles, they are the last bastion of 2D gaming. After this generation ends, so does a huge part of 2D gaming. Even cell phones have 3D games now :-(
  • Disgaea is 2D in the same way that Wolfenstein 3D (and Doom 2) are 2D...as in, they just use sprites.
    • That really isn't the characteristic that makes a game 2d. Commander keen starting at IV was 2d, but it had a small amount of perspective in the backgrounds, and the player could effectively go behind in certain spots. It also had parallax, but it was still a 2d game because the character could just move in a single plane which was aligned with the monitor's plane.

      In contrast games like w3d, lethal tender, ROT were all 3d games, the character could move on a plane that ran perpendicular to the monitor and e
      • by cerelib ( 903469 )
        If you are classifying a 2D game as confining the player movement to a single plane, then Wolfenstein 3D fits that category. If you remember, rooms in W3D had no real "height". All rooms were the same height and the player could not move up and down (i.e. jump or climb). W3D is just Gauntlet from a first-person perspective. As you said, "a plane that ran perpendicular to the monitor", but it was still a single plane.
        • by interiot ( 50685 )

          W3D is just Gauntlet from a first-person perspective. As you said, "a plane that ran perpendicular to the monitor", but it was still a single plane.

          But that, along with being first-person, made all the difference. Yes, W3D didn't have stairs or crossing paths, but the feel of the game was still much more like a proper 3D FPS than Gauntlet... at the time, it seemed FAR more immersive than third-person games.

          • by LKM ( 227954 )
            So by that logic, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass would be a 2D game???
          • by cerelib ( 903469 )
            The point I was making was addressing the idea that a game is 2D because of being confined to a single plane of movement. Under such a definition, Wolfenstein 3D is really only a 2D game with a different perspective (first-person) while a game like the original Doom was actually 3D because you were not confined to a single plane of movement. So it all comes down to the question of what classifies a game as 3D? We have accepted that it is not the use of 3D models because many early games used 2D sprites.
            • It's a good point, especially to back up the fact that just because something is named "3D" doesn't make it actually 3d. If anything, they added it to the name to give the impression that the visuals had "depth" to them. Real 3d games (like Doom) didn't need to add 3d to the title.
              • Seems like I always remember hearing Doom referred to as 2.5D. Because while objects width and depth, they all had infinite height. Nothing could ever be placed over something, and you didn't have to aim up and down.
              • They needed the "3D" on the title because a game called Wolfenstein already existed.

                Wolf3D was a 3D game. It was a primitive 3D game, but a 3D game nonetheless. And, the only difference between Wolf3D and Doom was that in Doom, you could fall off of or be blocked by a ledge. You were still restricted to only controlling yourself in the X/Z plane. (yes, that's oversimplifying the improvements in the Doom engine)

                If you want the first first-person game engine that actually rendered arbitrary polygons, that
            • Re:Disgaea (Score:4, Interesting)

              by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:43PM (#21026903)

              So it all comes down to the question of what classifies a game as 3D? We have accepted that it is not the use of 3D models because many early games used 2D sprites. That really only leaves us with control mechanics.

              Hey, just because the enemies in Wolf3D and Doom were sprites, doesn't mean they weren't 3D! Was their position described in terms of 2D screen coordinates or 3D level space? Did the levels have 3D geometry? Could you aim up and down, as well as left and right (thereby requiring vectors representing shot trajectories to be 3D)? Any of those things would cause the games to be classified as 3D, from a technical perspective.

              Now, if you want to classify games instead by the way they look, lots of even really old games could be 3D. Take racing games on the Super Nintendo, for instance. Even though the console was entirely 2D, games like F-Zero and Mario Kart allowed apparent movement in all three directions (movement down the track, side-to-side movement, and jumping). Heck, Top Gear for the SNES even had hills! And even Pole Position had the same sort of perspective (but had neither jumps nor hills).

              So, what's the answer? I say that either the distinction should be based on whether the game world is described in terms of 3D space (whether it uses sprites or not), or all of these games -- from Pole Position to Doom -- should be classified as "2.5D."

    • What makes a game 3d? To me, Wolfenstein 3D looks as tridimensional as Half Life 2 (excluding the obvious quality, detail performance, etc.)
      If what I'm perceiving feels or looks like 3d, doesn't that make it 3d, regardless of whatever technique used?
      At least on my frame of reference!
    • by Jartan ( 219704 )
      That is not how 2d is classified. 2d in graphical terms usually means something like the client does not store 3d data and then try to depict it differently based on where the games camera is situated relevant to the object.

      This is why Doom/Wolfenstein etc are often called 2.5d or some such.
  • I was ready to bid a fond farewell to 2D gaming when SNK died six years ago. That was a pretty sad moment, but I was proven wrong many times over since then.
  • by MLCT ( 1148749 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @06:17PM (#21017265)
    Despite having around a dozen modern games installed on my machine at the moment (and that ranges from Civ4, through HL2 and ending up at Simpson's Hit & run) I just spent the last two hours playing Lemmings. Enjoyable, engaging, straightforward and fun. I can play it while running 5 other things & it doesn't take over my system. I don't know what the "kidz" today would make of a basic 2D game like Lemmings - it would be interesting to see if games of that time really have something special, or if I am just being nostalgic.
    • by Threni ( 635302 )
      What happened to text adventures? I used to love them. Whenever I mention them to people there's a 10% chance someone will say `you can still get them - look for Interactive Fiction on the net`, and I have to remind them that I don't mean really shit games with no graphics - I mean stuff like Infocom games, or those for the BBC Micro like Philosopher's Quest.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mattack2 ( 1165421 )
        "You can still get them..."

        http://www.ifarchive.org/ [ifarchive.org]

        There are some that various reviewers have said are as good as the Infocom games. Also, using the Inform programming language ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inform [wikipedia.org] ), you can write games that will play on all Infocom interpreters.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Iwanowitch ( 993961 )
        Hmm, let me be the 10%... Shit games? Have you played some of the 'classics' of the new wave of IFs? Things like Photopia, All Things Devours, Slouching Towards Bedlam, Metamorphoses, Shade or Vespers? Or whatever the latest IF competition is going to yield?

        Seriously, these things are worth your time. Not as big and time-consuming as the old Infocom classics, I agree. But they do what they have to do (entertain you for a few hours) and the price is right. Damn better than most of the commercial games thes
      • Go to http://ifcomp.org/ [ifcomp.org] for this year's IF competition, if you'd like to judge.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xtracto ( 837672 )
      I just spent the last two hours playing Lemmings. Enjoyable, engaging, straightforward and fun

      Aaaah, lemmings, probably on of the beset puzzle games ever created. I loved the SNES port for the multiplayer gameplay. Games like lemmings show you how a 500KB game can be more entertaining and have more replay time than a full blown 2 DVD game...

      Personally, I prefer 2D games, nowadays I play a lot of Worms (or the open source equivalent Wormux) with my girlfriend and it is one of the only games where we have rea
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by towster ( 25630 )
        I must admit I liked lemmings but..
        The incredible machine was even more fun to me..
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incredible_Machine [wikipedia.org]
        I wish they still made games like that..
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
          There's a clone called Crazy Machines, CM2 came out not too long ago AFAIK. No idea if it stacks up to TIM but it's probably not expensive to try it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by eht ( 8912 )
          If you liked that you might like Armadillo Run [armadillorun.com] or Pontifex One [chroniclogic.com] or Two [chroniclogic.com]. OK they drift from 2D, but are still very fun construction type games.
          • by desenz ( 687520 )
            I love the chronic logic bridging games! My favorite being Bridge Construction Set, because it has clients available for Windows, Linux and OSX. Under 20MB, and entertaining for hours. Frustrating at times, but thats part of the fun, or so I'm told... But really, this will run on damn near any computer. Its 3D also, but very basic. Turning off shadows and reflections helps. http://chroniclogic.com/bcs_download.htm [chroniclogic.com] --- Demo.
    • by r_jensen11 ( 598210 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @06:53PM (#21017801)
      play Lemmings while running 5 other things? I have a hard enough time running 5 things within Lemmings, let alone 5 things in addition to that game!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by IgLou ( 732042 )
        Silly lemming! It's easy to do when you play to kill the lemmings!

        What? There's another goal to the game?
    • Kids these days like "old-style" games just fine. I have a little brother whose first experience with games was the PS2. His current favorite game: SuperBomberman on the SNES emulator.

  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @06:20PM (#21017325) Homepage
    Half the games on that list aren't even fully 2D, but 3D with restricted movement. The other half is made up of decade old series or derivatives from them (Street Fighter, MetalSlug). Original 2D games are near non-existent these days, except for a few ones left on the DS, but even there its mostly sequels or already 3D or well, both (Metroid, Zelda:PH).

    I do love 2D games, but there really isn't much at all left these days, especially when you want original content instead of just some new food to celebrate nostalgia.
    • Original 2D games are near non-existent these days, except for a few ones left on the DS

      You're just wrong about that. 2D fighters are alive and well, with updates and completely new games coming out every year. I can name half a dozen current franchises off the top of my head. We're an underground [shoryuken.com] community [dustloop.com] in the US, but the games are much more mainstream in Japan, where the arcade scene hasn't died off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )
      Most 2D games are being produced by "independent" developers. You can find most of these games by going to various flash portal websites rather than looking in the local stores.

      As an alternative to flash portals, you can subscribe to sites that specialize in looking for these style of games. I have indygamer.blogspot.com in a list of rotation sites I have - you can probably find others from that site as well.

      Even though it's not technically 2D, IFComp07 just released a batch of short adventures. If Inter
    • Two words: Cave Story [wikipedia.org].

      Granted, your use of the term "few" still applies, but it really, really deserves a mention.

    • Does Paper Mario count as a 2D game? (With the exception of the latest Wii installment) It has basically the same level setup as Ninja Turtles where you can move up, down, back, forth, and jump. The only thing 3d are the transitions.
      • by grumbel ( 592662 )
        Super Paper Mario, just like New Super Mario Bros., is a games that celebrates the good old times and little else, which is ok, but on its however neither really is all that good, they are not, bad but they don't hold a candle against a MarioBros3 or Yoshis Island. And that is basically the problem I have. When there is a new 2D game these days, it is either some tribute to an old classic, a sequel/update (StreetFigtherHD) or something of those new "abstract" games, where you have a lot of colorful shapes (
        • I disagree about NSMB. That game was better than Yoshi's Island, imo (to be fair, I didn't like Yoshi's Island), and probably as good as SMB3. It's a great game which brings back the fun Mario gameplay we know and love, its only flaw is that it's a bit short.

          Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, is a whole different ball of wax. I don't compare it to classic Mario games because I don't think it's trying to emulate them, it's doing its own thing.

        • by LKM ( 227954 )

          Super Paper Mario, just like New Super Mario Bros., is a games that celebrates the good old times and little else, which is ok, but on its however neither really is all that good

          Of course they are no Super Mario Bros 3, but they're still in the top 1% of all games released in the last decade, in my opinion.

          But yeah, you're right. 2D has had a kind of revival in the last years (due to the Wii, due to online console game stores, due to flash games, and due to the incredible success of the DS9), but I thin

    • There are tons on the PC, I know this because I make lots of them. like these (all original)


      The article is obsessed with the playstation. 2D games are aplenty on the PC. And people are still happily and deliberately making more of them. 3D is not automatically more fun.
      • by grumbel ( 592662 )
        ### like these (all original)

        Yes, they also happens to be all written by the same guy. I am not claiming that there are no longer are any 2D games, but it are definitively are not tons, but just a tiny few.
    • Animal crossing? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by porcupine8 ( 816071 )
      What about the Animal Crossing series? Or does that count as "3D with restricted movement?" I'm not sure what you mean by that label - personally, I like (and consider 2D) anything that doesn't make me swing the camera around, because that confuses me and sometimes makes me dizzy. If it has a fixed camera angle, even if the graphics are 3D-ish and you have 360 degrees of freedom in your movement, it's 2D for most intents and purposes.

    • Well, there are some fighting games that are 2d and are kinda new. Capcom vs. SNK 2 is a PS2 game that I enjoy, and it's 2d. In fact, the only time I've seen a street fighter game in 3d, it was awful.

      But otherwise, I agree. To be honest, Disgaia is not really 2d, especially since you can rotate the grid for another view when positioning your people. And there are some cut sequences that are rendered in 3d.

      The nintendo DS is where the 2d games are these days for sure. And Nintendo has realized what peop
  • Idiots, that's who. I've played a lot of good 2D games recently. They're still fun. Played the new Castlevania games? New Super Mario Bros? Then again, I do have a friend who essentially shuns all non-3d games. Not saying he's not an idiot though.
  • Some of them actually use 3D graphics for all of the visuals, but keep the gameplay in a 2D perspective.

    I find it odd that there are 3D games locked in 2D perspective. Baldur's gate, Dark Alliance on playstation was is in 3D but locked into a perspective where it's cool graphics had no justice.

    As for real 2D games: A while back I got NetHack to see what the fuss was about. I was confused at first, the appeal was lost to me. I've tried playing again since and enjoying it. The game isn't about the graphics.


    • by uucp2 ( 731567 )
      As for real 2D games: A while back I got NetHack to see what the fuss was about. I was confused at first, the appeal was lost to me.

      No wonder you were confused; Nethack is 3D. Don't tell me you never escaped a hopeless situation by zapping a Wand of Digging to '>' direction.
      • or used boots of levitation to get over water or out of a pit. Rock piercers and bolders also fall from the top.

        What about 4D games? "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all around." :)
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionary.yahoo@com> on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @06:38PM (#21017593) Journal
    and that's the way we liked it! Oh, the times we'd spend in between shifts in the poison mines, playing Dots on a Line...
    • by LKM ( 227954 )
      You had it good! We only got 0D, and we still had to walk upwards both ways, in the winter, and the snow was twenty foot deep in all available dimensions!
    • Quoth "Wierd" Al Yankovich. "We didn't have Nintendo, we just poured salt on snails."
  • If you want proof that 2d games aren't dead, look no further than the fighting genre. Although more and more 3d fighters such as Tekken and Soul Calibur are being churned out all the time, they still can't match the depth and originality of the Guilty Gear series (Full 2d) or the pick up and play fun of Smash Bros. (3d in a 2d playing field)
  • by vertinox ( 846076 )
    Personally, I like the DS because of its plethora of 2d games. Mostly this is because of a hardware limitation but I think 2d games still have its place. I really miss hand drawn games like Monkey Island as well.
    • There are plenty of good 3D games for the DS. It could probably run a port of any Nintendo 64 title.

      The difference is that back in the N64 days, 3D games were the new thing... it was one of the main selling points, the whole new dimension, etc. Nowadays we see that we're nowhere near the bottom of the 2D barrel yet.

      And in regards to your last comment... you might find this [scummvm.org] interesting.

    • Many of those "2D" games are probably at least partially 3D. Yeah, there are pure 2D games on DS, but most of them use a lot of 3D background or sprite elements mixed in with all the 2D.
    • by jmauro ( 32523 )
      I think it's more the control setup with the touch screen than the processing power that provides most of the 2D action. That's why so many more "2D" DS games are made vice 3D games.
  • Descriptive (Score:5, Funny)

    by Boronx ( 228853 ) <evonreis@mohr-engineerin g . com> on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @07:00PM (#21017897) Homepage Journal
    The gameplay itself is, in a word, weird.

    That one word description is, in a word, non-descriptive.
    • And the gameplay of Disgaea really isn't, well, weird. The storyline is. The characters are unique and the dialogue can be hilarious. The gameplay, however, can be summed up as, "Move next to a guy and hit him. And if any of your teammates are standing next to you, you get a bonus!" And by the way, the job system in that game is horrible - your boxer character has evolved into a... nother boxer character with the exact same moves! And now you get to go back and grind it back up from level 1 again! I'
  • I remember the first time I played Super Mario Bros. on my uncles Nintendo! That was the best game I ever played. I've played Grand Theft Auto, plenty of racing games and Super Mario Bros. is still the best. You just can't find the original version anywhere these days! I think a great idea for the original game makers would be to release the original version. That was the only good Mario game, everything after that had was too complex (for a Mario game.) I also liked Pong. It gets boring and repetitive afte

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )
      You just can't find the original version anywhere these days! I think a great idea for the original game makers would be to release the original version.

      Nintendo is one step ahead of you. Its available as a 500 point download on the Wii virtual console. (approx $5)

      100% complete. And the Wii remote held sideways works brilliantly as a classic NES controller, and is wireless. I spend almost as much time playing Virtual Console games like R-Type, Gradius, Super Mario Brothers, Galaga, Sonic the Hedgehog, and L
      • To be honest the only reason I was ever remotely excited about the Revolution ... I mean Wii ... was the possibility of playing virtual console games. When all the ones I want are available, I might even pick one up.
    • Super Mario Bros. is still the best. You just can't find the original version anywhere these days!

      ...Are you joking? The game has been rereleased at least three times in physical form (Super Mario All Stars, Super Mario Deluxe, and the Classic NES GBA port) and has been for sale on the Virtual Console since it launched. Hell, even ten years ago the game was as common as dirt - Funcoland used to sell the Mario/Duck Hunt cart for $0.29 in the mid-nineties, and most stores had at least five or ten copies of it just sitting on the shelves.

      If it wasn't for the fact that you suggested a FPS that (as far as

  • No modern games actual gameplay can hold a torch to the Phantasy Star series on Sega Genesis or the Exile/Avernum series for the computer. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I played the, as a kid so I'm biased but last time my MMORPG was having weeks of issues, I played Exile 3 again and liked it a lot better.
  • 3d Game makers
    Video Card makers
    Processor makers
    OS makers trying to push new 3d APIs down our throats

    There's still plenty of fun to be had in 2D, but it doesn't really "sell" systems and it means you have to compete on how fun a game is rather than how good the graphics are.
  • Plenty of great 2-D games on Arcade all original .. suprised no one has mentioned them yet.

    Aegis Wing - 2d Shooter for free dreamed up by a team of interns.
    Alien Hominid - not just fun side-scroller but with a fantastic art style.
    Heavy Weapon - Cute 2d shooter with a nice sense of humor.
    Small Arms - Smash Bros.-esque multiplayer fighter with guns.

    Those are just the ones I've played .. all under 50MB, not including the re-releases of old classics. And there's still a plethora of great 2D Flash game
  • My girlfriend and daughter beg me to play Odin Sphere [atlus.com] every single day. I'd rather be programming, but invariably: "Lioooon, would you play Odin Sphere?"

    It's a beautiful and gorgeous game. I highly recommend it to all story gamers (Final Fantasy and the like.) Also to puzzlers, because inventory management & alchemy (making potions) is pretty involving.

    Yes, it's weird-- read the Penny Arcade comic on it. [penny-arcade.com] It's not actually as weird as they made it out to be, once you acclimate to it. But, yes: You
    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      I was impressed at how badly they were able to make a 2d sprite game run on PS2 hardware. Slowdowns are inevitable in parts of the game (underworld especially) and some of the boss battles are basically guaranteed slowdown. There are also some fairly fundamental gameplay flaws IMHO (block and attack on the same button) but it does look absolutely beautiful. Since Altus is publishing it you can pretty much guarantee that it will be a rare game in a year or so and fetch a decent price on the used market.
      • ...and some of the boss battles are basically guaranteed slowdown.

        Oh yes, I was quite grateful for that feature.

        If you aren't hooked by Odin Sphere's unique visual style, then you'll be grabbed by its classic sentimentality and tough-as-nails difficulty. -- Gamespot review [gamespot.com]

        I have no idea what Gamespot is talking about. This is a cakewalk. Progress is practically guaranteed.

        Etrian Odyssey is hard. The original Starflight is hard as nails.

        Gamers today are soft.

        I love Etrian Odyssey, but it's easy.

  • Topic Summary (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shabadage ( 1037824 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @07:14PM (#21018067)
    It scared me into thinking the article was written by some idiot who though that the best 2d games were all on the PS2. Not the best 2D Games on the PS2. Anyone who thinks 2D games are dead should really look into the indie PC scene though. Aquaria (IGF 2006 Winner) is a beautiful game; and there are many others in development. Heartforth Alicia features some of the best 2d graphics I've seen in a while. http://www.tigsource.com/ [tigsource.com] You can find a ton of awesome 2d games on there.
    • by lgw ( 121541 )
      You don't even have to look for the indie scene: the most popular games for many years have been 2D flash-sytle games, mostly from PopCap. I think Bejeweled has been played by more people than any game than Tetris.
  • I got hooked on Castle Crashers [castlecrashers.com] at PAX this year. I had so much fun with its cute graphics and awesome gameplay. Too bad it's only on Xbox360.

    So, um, how long until there's an X360 emulator for linux?

  • Narf Butter (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zephiris ( 788562 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2007 @07:29PM (#21018273)
    The title of the Slashdot article itself is slightly misleading. Since when are 2D games even the exclusive dominion of the PS2? And how do they define 'modern'? Last 2 years? I can name off just oodles of (especially arcade) 2D games over the last 10 years, though, I suppose there are few for the PC or bad modern consoles these days, and few games (though particularly 2D) for any platform that actually try to be original. Many of those listed are just yet more basic rehashes. Even since Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the 2D landscape hasn't been all that barren. I know it's slightly offtopic, but I saw '2D gaming not quite dead?', and thought of one (PC) game that really stands out, and I still think it'd be of interest to Slashdot readers on the topic. In particular since most would theorhetically be viewing Slashdot via a capable PC, and not via PS2. ;b

    Hammerfall [fun-motion.com]. I'm not even sure how to describe it, aside from "there probably need to be more Russian gamemakers". It's a non-casual physics based game that is an interesting combination of action and adventure. It reminds me of the days when games were actually something to get excited about and actually buy. If I were to buy a game, say, 15 years ago, it was an investment. You were expecting many dozens of ours of entertainment out of the purchase price. There are plenty of games now where there's no reason to keep playing after the first time, and even that's a paltry 10-or-less hours while still being full price. Then again, that (and later) was also back when there were just oodles of sharewhere and freeware games that were decently entertaining and quite a few were a bargain at $5 or $10. But I digress. Hammerfall is just very...unique, innovative, and even if you don't care about the story, the gameplay is just sublime.
    There's just something satisfying about taking your beat up Flying Contraption and *smacking* an attached hammer into someone at full speed, causing them to crash into the ground, break apart part of the level (yes, really), and catch itself (and other things) on fire. And the current 'demo' is a pretty complete game in and of itself, despite being pre-release.

    It's a pipe dream, but a girl can hope that someday notions like "innovation" or "original" or "risky", actually return to the gaming proper, rather than something to be feared worse than death by companies looking to make an extra billion profit this year instead of spending a few lousy dollars taking a chance on the lost artform of games.
    • by LKM ( 227954 )

      Since when are 2D games even the exclusive dominion of the PS2?

      Actually, the PS2 is one of the worst consoles for 2D gaming since Sony actively discouraged 2D games, and did not publish many 2D games outside of Japan.

  • doomrl is a cool TEXT mode game http://doom.chaosforge.org/ [chaosforge.org]
  • Ever heard of Soldat ? That game is played hugely. Not to mention a bunch of games made in Flash (see Newgrounds). Heck, last game I've played was Portal - the 2D port of it, to be precise. 2D games are really huge in the casual gaming market too.
  • Ya might be because i'm "older" but the best, BEST, Super Mario game I've played in recent memory is New SMB for the DS. No screwing around with cameras or anything, just pure good old fashioned platform jumping. I have nothing wrong with 3D, and nowadays it can look absolutly amazing, but long live 2D! :D
  • I am a big fan of Harmotion [harmotion.com], which is a PvP 2D shooter. It is free-as-in-beer to download and play. The game is in Beta with upgrades being released on a very regular basis.

    Two things of note: On Vista, you must run the game with administrator access; otherwise the auto-update will not work (all you will get is an exit to desktop with no notice).

    Secondly, even if you have a really nice gaming rig, I would recommend low graphics mode. High graphics mode can really lag your machine down, especially late in th
  • 2D gaming is not dead. Why? Because 2D is not uniformly better than 2D. Sometimes, choosing 2D over 3D means your game will be simpler. Because 3D can tremendously complicate things, look at the Sonic games, they started to suck when they moved to (true) 3D for these reasons.

    Sure, 3D is most of the time nicer, but not in certain kinds of games, that's why we'll always have 2D games.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LKM ( 227954 )
      Not only is 3D not uniformly better than 2D, but 2D is very often better than 3D.

      There is one genre where 3D is most often better than 2D: Car racers. There's one genre that doesn't work in 2D at all: FPS. Other than that, almost all games would be better off in 2D, in my opinion.
      • by Trogre ( 513942 )
        That's one reason you can have my Megadrive when you pry it from my cold, dead, RSI'd thumbs.

  • I read that there was an executive order handed down for the PS1 saying that no company would be allowed to make a conventional 2D game, no platformers or the like, because they wanted to stress the 3D nature of the console, that's what was supposed to be so revolutionary. I can understand the reasoning behind that even if I disagree with it.

    2D and 3D are such different animals, they really cannot be compared. Some ideas just work in 2D, others demand 3D. The best truism is that it's almost always a bad ide
  • Two that have given me a lot of pleasure, though are not PS2 games...
    Ikaruga [wikipedia.org] on the GameCube
    Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project [wikipedia.org] on PC

    And of course, the real reason it's a PS2 only list..on a cross-platform list, Mario stomps all other 2D games, up and down and left and right :)
  • Flash games? Most are 2D as most webgames.
    Board games?2D.
    Emulated Nes/mega/snes games? Mostly 2d.
    I don't see any decline in these categories.
  • The most recent 2d game that I actually played for a while, that IS a real release and that ISN'T a flash based game would be Introversion's "Defcon" [everybody-dies.com].

    It's only a year old guys.. surely you haven't forgotten about it!

    The entire premise of the game is you looking at 'the big board' and nuking the other guys. It's totally a 2d interface.. they don't even mock 3d with things like 'shadows' on the units or anything.
  • by Stele ( 9443 )
    I (accidentally) got my wife hooked on Peggle. It is OBSCENELY addictive, and a lot of fun. The presentation is very very good. Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY. Your productivity will go down.
  • 2D with ascII characters. I still enjoy this game.

    http://www.nethack.org/common/index.html [nethack.org]

    http://www.nethack.org/ [nethack.org]
  • What are the best sites out there for searching and reading about indie games, both old and new? I'm thinking something like IGN (or any of its competitors that have tons of reviews, previews, etc, and some sort of database listing of games), but for indie games?

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe