2D sprites, oh how we love thee, you guys went from these little blocks of color with so much personality into full grown things. So it was strange seeing our favorite game characters jump from 2D to 3D. In this top ten list we take a look at the top ten classic characters that jumped from 2D to 3D. The redesign look, the amount of detail, but yet still the same character. These are Top Ten Classic Game Characters That Jumped To 3D.
10. Toe jam and earl 3
If there was one game that we enjoyed over and over again, that game was Toe Jam and Earl for the Sega Genesis, I was always Toe jam and Rooster was always Earl. There was another game, ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron which let us see our favorite characters from the side rather from the top view, then there was ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth. This game brought elements from both past games and revived them into a 3D world. It was very bright and very colourful. It just wasn’t as good as expected. The controls were wonky and the graphics were blocky but still seeing these guys come back was nice, even if it did add a third character that no one asked for. I’m still hoping for a REMAKE on either XBLA or Nintendo DS. It would be perect with touch screen and it would be fun online. One can dream though….one can dream.
Giving Pac-Man a body was nothing new we saw it before in Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures on the genesis and SNES. Then in the Tips & Tricks magazine there was a picture of Pac-Man inglorious 3D for a system called Dreamcast (I went through a really huge Pac-Man phase as a kid) I was excited. Never got the game on a Dreamcast but I did get a Pac-Man game for the PlayStation named Pac-Man World (20th Anniversary) and it was actually pretty good. The whole family was there including Pac-Baby. Unlike Sonic Pac-Man didn’t have a voice and I love him for that. The game was a typical 3D platforming game with homages to original Pac-Man games, all with different themed levels. It was just good to play as the old Pac…or Man….or whatever
I remember reading about this game in Tips & Tricks magazine and being all psyched about this 3D Sonic. Sonic 3D Blast was a close call but it was only from an isometric view. Sonic Adventure kept everything about the Sonic we grew up with, the speed, the attitude. The only thing they gave him which we didn’t need was a voice… And about a whole bunch of new characters we didn’t want. Unfortunately Sega thinks we still want to hear the runt speak and they are missing the point. We just liked to as fast as sonic speed. We want to bounce of springy things, we want to turn into Super Sonic. We don’t need no crazy stories. Although you can see what I mean in my very long article on Sonic here. They did keep him blue though….so um , at least there’s that.
When Splatterhouse came out last year it was exactly the kind of game I expected, apparently to other sites it wasn’t. It had basically everything the original had, plus more, and the originals! Sure it wasn’t as tense and the atmosphere wasn’t as dark but it had blood. Lots and lots of blood. Bringing Rick into a 3D world was a tough step. The original Splatterhouse games barely had a story and were hard as hell. Splatterhouse 2010 (this is why they should stop making remakes) was a little easier but the hell mask was a joy to listen to, even if he repeated the same lines 4 bazillion times. Rick was still a badass, and he was still huge. They gave made the mask different instead of a hockey-Jason-Mask, but it was all done with good intentions. I still highly recommend trying this game out, it’s brainless and fun.
6. Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
This probably isn’t a classic to some, but for us here at paranerds.com this is a classic. We only saw Abe in a side scrolling game before hand and witnessed him in full 3D during the cut scenes. Never did I think about the game being in full 3D. That was until I saw a teaser for it on an old Canadian show called GamerZ. Seeing my favourite character in 3D got me a little worried, but after playing this masterpiece of a game it was fantastic. Nothing has changed, you still ask Mudokons to follow you, you’re still weak and you now have a new buddy named Munch. The only thing that was different was the environment and the way you worked around the puzzles…that and lots of Sobey vending machines. Seriously it’s disgusting how many vending machines their was. This is the first and only time we saw Abe in 3D, after that we had Stranger’s Wrath with no previous characters, the only thing it had in common was Oddworld.
5. Epic Mickey
Mickey Mouse has been a great lovable character and actually had a surprisingly good number of games under his belt, my personal favourite being Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Seeing Mickey in 3D took a while. Our first glimpse of him in 3D was in Kingdom Hearts and the reason that’s not on the list is well… Mickey’s a bad ass in the game. We never had the original Mickey in his original outfit as a playable character. That is until the greatness that is Epic Mickey. Mickey Mouse feels so innocent and lost and that’s what he’s supposed to be. For the first time you’re controlling a version of Mickey Mouse whose weapons isn’t a key blade but instead a brush (after all, the pen is mightier than the sword, I love myself sometimes). Epic Mickey not only revives the classic Mickey we all know and love but also his earlier movies. Sure the atmosphere is a little dark and sure the voice isn’t the same, but this is the equivalent of any previous 2D Mickey Mouse games, it’s fun it’s enjoyable, it’s Mickey. This is a true classic reborn.
4. Legend of Zelda
I’ve got a confession to make, I never got into the Legend of Zelda franchise. The only games I did enjoy were the original two on the NES, Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass on the DS. But for what it did on the Nintendo 64, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brought everything from pastZelda games and more. Utilizing the same perfect controls from Super Mario 64 and many quests to journey on. Riding horses traveling in time keeping Link as Link and not giving him an annoying voice, they gave that to Navi. Standing on the outside looking in , I do appreciate that this is still Link. The little green blob from the NES era is the same thing standing in Ocarina of Time.
I was a huge fan of the original Metroid on the NES and an even bigger fan of Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy. Then I stopped caring. That was until I saw Metroid Prime on the GameCube and I thought to myself “yah it looks good and all but where is the morph ball?” then it happened… The morph ball. Metroid Prime took everything we loved about Metroid and somehow made it work as a first person shooter. Her ship is in it, her armour, her isolation in space, it was astonishing how they revived that character and made her look different but yet the same. It’s like an old pair of shoes that gets washed. Hell the story was even interesting and I didn’t even know what I was doing in the original Metroid I just had fun. Nintendo eventually gave her a voice in Metroid other M and people hated it. Metroid Prime is where it’s at. I mean look at that morph ball!!
2. Metal gear solid
Solid Snake was the characters name on a game I had for the NES. The name of that game was Metal Gear, as a kid I hated that game, as an adult I hated that game. But I was interested in this little thumbnail sized man and I wanted to know more about him, who he is, what he does. Many years later Solid Snake was reborn in 3D and I have completely forgotten about the original. I can tell you that once I realized that this Solid Snake is the same Solid Snake from the NES era, my ear started to bleed. I couldn’t believe how much character they gave this character with some character (that actually makes sense). Solid Snake was back and had a great voice to boot. All his items were there including of course binoculars and a pack of cigarettes and the stealth remained.
1. Super Mario 64
Well this is an obvious choice and also very cliché. I tried really hard not to put this as number one, but it is the best character we have ever seen jump to 3D. Everything was the same but yet different. I mean come on, I remember being at a friend’s house and hearing the words “it’s a-me Mario” then having this full 3D Mario face looking dazzled, all of a sudden you can squeeze his cheeks, bull his ears, just like mum used to do. We have only seen this face this up close on old Nintendo cartridges and cartoons but never in game. Seeing the whole Mario world in 3 dimensional was a great experience but seeing Mario in 3 dimensional was better. The trademark Mario hat, the mustache, the overalls, all remained. The closed we got to seeing Mario in 3D was Super Mario RPG but that an isometric view and all pixelated. Super Mario 64 was the best classic game with the best classic character that jumped from 2D to 3D.