Written by Cyrus Chan

The following article was written by an international student in Year 10 who wrote the entire article in his second language.

Have you ever wondered why people like to play 2D games? People play 3D games because they enjoy “getting lost” in 3D games and letting the time pass. Their aim is to explore the open map and get away from reality. Whilst I think it is a good idea, I also think it can be a waste of time. People enjoy playing 2D games because they want to improve their skills. In 2D games, you don’t need to worry about finding things to progress as you won’t get stuck in a location for hours and hours just to find a map. The main struggles in 2D games are dodging projectiles and timing your jumps or aiming. That’s why I enjoy playing 2D games more.

In 2D games, all you have to worry about is your character’s movement on the x or y axis. If you want to identify how good a 2D game is, the character’s ability to jump is the key. The character’s jump is usually the second main movement in 2D games. To make a good 3D game, the jump needs to feel good. Not only do you have to make the character move in one direction during the jump, but you need to determine how high the jump is, how fast the character lands during the jump and how many frames the character has moved during the jump. For example, in the legendary game “Super Mario Bros”, Mario is able to jump five times his own height, however, in the game “Super Meat Boy!”, the character can jump over six times its own height. But it doesn’t mean that the jump is better as Super Meat Boy’s jump is floaty, unlike Mario’s. In 2D games, the jump doesn’t matter as much because the character’s movement is focussed on running; jumping in 3D games is not as useful as in 2D games.

In 2D games, running is an important feature in the game. Let’s take a good look at “Super Mario Bros”. When the character is moving at full speed, Mario runs at 2-3 pixels per frame (1/24 seconds). When you hold the D-Pad in another direction at full speed, Mario’s momentum will stop and run in the other direction immediately. There is no floating animation. A decade later, the makers of Mario changed the game. This meant that as the player holds the D-Pad in another direction when the character is running at full speed, the character will “float”. The character is pushed back in the direction which the player is holding down for a few frames before the character turns and continues in the opposite direction at full speed. This makes it harder to stop the character. We call this being “floaty”. It makes it harder for the player to control Mario games. The slang for it is ‘Toxic Platformer”. However, in my opinion, the more you play and master that level, the less you will notice about how “toxic” the character is running. The jumps will feel more straightforward and intuitive. That’s the reason why I like 2D games more.

In general, 3D games are harder than 2D games. 3D games are harder only because there are more controls and movement options. However, it doesn’t mean 2D games are easy. Let’s talk about my favourite game – “Cuphead”. In case you don’t know, “Cuphead” is a 2D side-scrolling game which is famous for its beautiful visual, wonderful jazz soundtrack and its difficulty. In my opinion, “Cuphead” has the same difficulty as the old-school games. It shows that even modern games can be difficult if the developers make the game difficult. In 3D games, “Dark Souls” is the king of difficulty. If you compare “Cuphead” to “Dark Souls”, “Dark Souls” has more option choice, and its boss has lots of health. So, each game’s genre has its difficulty.

In conclusion, I think 2D games are the best type of gaming because of the following reasons. The jump feels better and the more you play, the better you will get. I hope game developers will keep the 2D game genre going. Nowadays, teenagers think 2D games are dull, but if you took some time to appreciate them, you will find the beauty of 2D games. That’s what makes video games so amazing.