Sidescroller: 2-D games can still charm the 3-D world

"Guacamalee"'s outrageous images are based on the Mexican Day of the Dead. Credit: Drinkbox Studios
The art of “Guacamalee!” is based on the Mexican Day of the Dead.
Credit: Drinkbox Studios

The first time Mario set his hefty foot atop a hapless Goomba, the 2-D sidescroller was born. With each passing generation, game designers find new and innovative ways to keep this ancient genre alive. Here are reviews of two brand new sidescrollers that merge the best parts of the last 30 years.

‘Guacamelee!’
Drinkbox Studios
PS3/Vita
4 (out of 5) Globes

This game technically falls into a category called “Metroidvania,” meaning that it owes great allegiance to both “Metroid” and “Castlevania.” This means an open world to explore, with plenty of side-scrolling action. Exploration is rewarded with new moves and abilities, which in turn let you explore new areas to find even more stuff. The perfect addictive cycle!

The hook with “Guacamelee!” is the world, which is set in Mexico and loosely based on the customs surrounding the country’s Day of the Dead celebration. It’s colorful, laugh-out-loud funny and features great controls.

One caveat though: The platforming in this title can be brutal. You may have to time travel and get your 9-year-old self to beat some of the more difficult segments.

"Terraria" plays like internet sensation "Minecraft" in 2-D. Credit: 505 Games
“Terraria” plays like internet sensation “Minecraft” in 2-D.
Credit: 505 Games

‘Terraria’
PS3/Xbox/PC
505 Games
5 (out of 5) Globes

Unless you’ve been hiding under an Internet-disabled rock, you have no doubt heard of indie darling “Minecraft.” That game’s mix of action and literal world-building has made its creator one of the most influential, and wealthiest, men in the video game world. “Terraria” takes the randomized, build-anything tomfoolery of “Minecraft” and makes it 2-D. Yeah. It’s as good as it sounds.

“Terraria” is more a brutal, life-changing addiction than a video game (in a good way). Once you enter your randomized world, you’ll be able to explore every nook and cranny at your leisure. And we do mean every nook and cranny. You can dig all the way to Hell and build bridges all the way into space. There’s also plenty of treasure to find and enemies to fight, including some really cool bosses.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Local

Reports: Dead man pulled from water at Boston's…

A dead man was reportedly pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Fire Department.

Local

Primark to make US debut in Boston

Dublin retailer Primark will make its U.S. debut with a store at the former Filene's site in Boston.

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

MLB

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has…

Statistics show plate approach for Red Sox has been off so far in 2014

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."