Thursday, December 31, 2015

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2015 Awards - Top Five Platformers

The platformer is my favorite genre in gaming, whether it is the classic 2D or more modern 3D variety. It only makes sense then that I devote an entire top five list to the best platformers of the past year. Thankfully, like last year, there were more than enough platformers to consider for this year's list. Read on, and see which five platformers released in 2015 satisfied my need to run and jump the best.

5) Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash (3DS)

I ended up liking Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash a lot more than I thought I would. Annoyances like the level roulette and some vehicle stages hampered some of my enjoyment, but the gameplay and level design otherwise were so top notch that the overall product was more than entertaining for me. Using Chibi-Robo's plug to whip enemies, pull himself to faraway platforms, and interact with the environment were nice touches and great innovations to this 2D platformer. The levels were as creative as the challenging boss battles, especially if you wanted to find everything in the game, which isn't an easy task. It all makes for a 2D platformer on the 3DS that was way more likable than I was expecting it to be.

4) Adventures of Pip (Multi)

Like Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash, this next game appeared on my Top Five Biggest Surprises list. Adventures of Pip by Tic Toc Games was an atypical platformer featuring a really cool gimmick where the main character Pip would transform into different resolution forms, like 8-bit and 16-bit. Each form had its own benefits and drawbacks, and while transforming wasn't manually done (you had to hit a specific object to change forms), this allowed the developers to design levels that had you turning into the right form for the right task at hand. With multiple paths in levels, hidden townspeople to save, and incredible design, Adventures of Pip is my fourth favorite platformer from 2015.

3) Freedom Planet (Wii U eShop)

Did anyone call for a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game turned amazing unique platformer? Well, I actually didn't, and I ended up amazed by the end result that was GalaxyTrail's Freedom Planet anyway. With sizable levels with plenty of loops, curves, ramps, obstacles, enemies, and secrets, Freedom Planet satiated my hunger for a fast-paced, action-based platformer that got rid of a lot of the gripes I had with 2D Sonic, such as the more recent inclusion of various bottomless pits. Freedom Planet lacked those for the most part, offering challenge through tough boss battles, other platforming peril, and dangerous obstacles. Freedom Planet wowed me immensely, and it makes me excited to see how the recently announced sequel will shape up.

2) Yoshi's Woolly World (Wii U)

I argue that this next game is almost as good if not better than its predecessor, Yoshi's Island. That might be blasphemy to some fans of the Yoshi series, but Yoshi's Woolly World is an astonishingly great game that rivals the fun, quality levels, and feel of the Super Nintendo classic. The levels are designed superbly, making those who seek out their secrets enjoy the game even more than they would already. The level of creativity developer Good Feel showed with this game is off the charts, and it's a sizable reason why Yoshi's Woolly World is one of the best platformers of 2015.

1) Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

While the game is more of a creator than a platforming game, Mario's platforming prowess in Super Mario Maker is still as fantastic as ever. The tightness and responsiveness of the controls is pretty much unmatched across all four game types available in the package. The added ability to create and play shared levels is an amazing bonus that has resulted in countless hours of playing and enjoying all the running, jumping, Goomba-smashing, Koopa Troopa-bashing goodness that is almost always found in the Super Mario series.

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