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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.