Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has been quoted by Nintendo Power recently, saying that not everything needs to be 3D in the games industry. The creator of Mario and Zelda, two franchises that have had success in both dimensions, says:
“I don’t think everything needs to be 3D, or that just because we’re seeing more 2D games now, that everything’s going to shift back to 2D. Instead, I think that what’s going on is that people are realizing the benefits of a 3D game, and at the same time, remembering what the benefits of 2D games were.
When going 2D, you need the courage to not be so attached to visual appearance of the games and to really pursue the gameplay experience.”
I find myself worrying about Miyamoto’s recent obsession with fitness and self-help using the Wii, but it’s quotes like this that restore my faith in him. Think about all of the times a game has been put onto the DS (or PSP, for that matter) in 3D, where it could have been in 2D and played a hundred times better. Some games work in 3D, like Mario Kart, but honestly the best experiences I’ve had on those platforms are all 2D. Get the gameplay down, and I’m sold on the game. If it happens to look great, that’s a plus.
Oh, and just a note to DS and PSP developers: 2D looks so much better than 3D on those platforms. Think about it: the late-era SNES games looked crisp and sharp compared to the early PS1 and N64 3D polygonal messes.