Where have all the platforming adventure games disappeared to?

In a time where shooters are highly anticipated and expected on a yearly basis, the number of single player games is decreasing – which is natural, but at what cost? Didn’t we all start playing single player games and enjoy the compelling stories - rather than buying a game for multiplayer modes?

As much as I like shooters, I miss solid platforming adventure games and in the recent years, I have enjoyed games like Uncharted, InFamous, God of War and much more, but none of which are core platformer games. Sure you could argue that the games mentioned have platforming elements, but they seem less light-hearted and fun then let’s say; Ratchet & Clank, Jak and Daxter or Sly Cooper which we saw in the last generation of games. I'd just like to see more entries in those franchises, or hopefully new IP's in general.

I know that Neowin and NeoGamr’s resident writer, Byron Hinson is an active platformer player - judging from our conversations on Twitter, but what about everybody else? Are platformers a thing of the past?

I grew up on games like Mario 64, Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot (to name a few) and couldn’t imagine being the person or gamer that I am now without the experienced gained from them. I genuinely enjoyed those games and still play through the games mentioned so far on a weekly basis.

Just because I have a ridiculous trophy count of many hard masculine games on the PS3, does not mean I do not desire something a little more enjoyable and light-hearted to play nowadays. It’d be nice to be able to share these experiences with the younger generation of gamers like my eight year-old sister.

The concept of understanding stories both in-general and in technical terms for me comes from building up a sense of knowledge from older games to present titles. For me, I try to encourage my sister to play games like Crash Bandicoot before trying a game like Sly Cooper and then something harder like Uncharted. My encouragement is simply down to giving her the ability to understand stories.

I believe that games can really help with a child’s ability to understand a narrative portrayal of a fun easy to play game - which does do wonders ten years later, should you be writing on various blogs about experiences – cough.

Platforming games have never had problems with the media. Never has a kid tried to find mushrooms, spin his way into wooden crates or breathe fire or reacted in a way which worries parents. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t let my kids enjoy a first-person shooter until; they were at least 13 – regardless of age restrictions for shooters being 15 and over.

However, platformers offer a better and more compelling experience because of the single player experience. Each level, environment and character is made to be remembered, just as the stories are.

I want to see more games like Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper and even the Legend of Zelda series. Just because they’re not first-person shooters does not mean that they aren’t good – if not more compelling than other games. Jak II and Jak 3 are two of the greatest games I have ever played and even compare to games like Uncharted in terms of story.

I just feel that developers need to stop making games primarily for money. I think a big problem with the industry is that many companies feel the urge to milk franchises which usually ends up killing other genres. Wasn’t gaming originally intended for kids anyway? So why are the grown-ups suddenly having all the fun?

Although I am pleased that we'll be graced with the release of Sly 4: Theives in Time, I hope to god we see a Jak IV, a new Ratchet & Clank game and even more Zelda games in the toon-style which we’ve seen in The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker. I think kids in this generation deserve to have good games pushed their way. I just don’t feel the game industry offers that experience anymore and it’s saddening.

What are your views on the topic? Would you feel platformer games would be a refreshing experience to both kids and older gamers at this point in time, or do you believe that the genre is a lost cause? Please leave your comments below.

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