Song of the Day
Inside the Castle Walls
The Birth of 3D Platforming
Since the early 80s, platform games has been the king genre of home video game consoles. The aim of the classic platformer is to get from A to B while jumping over obstacles such as enemies, gaps, barrels, spikes and various other traps. While there was plenty of platform games by the time the NES rolled around it would be a certain plumber in 1985 who created the blueprint of what a 2D platformer should be. It helped that 'Super Mario Bros.' was the biggest selling game of all time until recently (Wii Sports holds the record now-a-days, due to it being packed with every Wii...).
|I'm sure just about all of you have seen this screen at least once...|
In 1996 Nintendo released Super Mario 64, a launch title for their new Nintendo 64. The game was a critical and commercial hit, it pretty much wrote the rulebook as to what 3D Platforming should be. However, it was not the first attempt at a 3D platformer. There was a few games in the 1980's that could be classed as a 3D platform game, but being the 80s, most were pseudo-3D at best. In 1990 a game was released for the Atari ST (though later ported to the Amiga). The game looks dated to hell 22 years later, but it can be considered the first 3D platformer game. I've never played it myself, but the way it's described you have a 3D field and you have to jump onto a platform which acts as a trampoline to allow you to jump to the next platform until you reach the level goal.
|The levels were "abstract". You don't say...|
|The precursor to Metroid Prime? (Image: MobyGames)|
Nintendo, SEGA and new boys in the console war Sony were in a rush to get a 3D Platform game for their respective new consoles. After all platformers were still big money-makers in the gaming world.
Sony would put their trust into Naughty Dog, seen as a risky move at the time as they had just released 'Way of the Warrior" which was not a well received game at all. But, with the backing of Universal Interactive Studios, Naughty Dog's game would be 'Crash Bandicoot' and it would go on to sell over 6.8 million copies.
|We'll be seeing this fella soon enough...|
|This is apparently what it would have looked like...|