Austin wrote:@invader_quirk: I'm not going to bother arguing whether you're right or wrong for not liking a genre-- to each their own of course-- but I will make the case that Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie ARE part of the same genre. There's no more "tedious busywork" in Banjo Kazooie than Mario 64.
What do you think makes them so different?
@Patrick: You too!? Noooo. Alright I'll ask you the same question: What "killed" the genre? What aspects of the games made you dislike them?
I'd definitely lump Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64 together in the same genre, but there's a lot less collecting in Mario 64. Ignoring the dumb 100 coin challenges, each star is basically its own level that just happens to use the same area as other stars (doesn't Mecha the Slag say that in the interview, anyway?). By comparison, Banjo-Kazooie's levels are much larger and the game expects you to collect just about everything in them in one go. Also:
Things to collect in Super Mario 64:
- Red coins
- Gold coins
Things to collect in Banjo-Kazooie:
- Music Notes
- Mumbo Tokens
- Hollow honeycomb pieces
- Level-specific collectibles
- A whole bunch of feathers, eggs and stuff
- Those cheat page things?
I'd call that a lot more "tedious busywork".
The genre died because there wasn't a whole lot developers could do to expand on the genre outside of adding new moves and more pointless things to collect. Most of the "collectathon" games either borrowed elements from other genres and became something completely different (like Jak and Daxter, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro) or disappeared completely. Part of the initial draw of 3D platformers was the promise of having massive (by the standards of 32 and 64 bit consoles) worlds to explore and plenty of secrets to discover. Once Grand Theft Auto III came along and sold like crazy, it showed that another genre could do the same thing and end up being much more profitable. I think that during the last two generations 3D platformers in general were seen as being exclusively for kids (the countless Disney and Dreamworks tie-ins didn't help) so when something like Psychonauts came along it was pretty much ignored.
As for what was wrong with the genre, well, collecting things is fine in small doses. It's just games like Donkey Kong 64 that made collecting a bunch of dumb colour-coded objects even more tedious by spreading them out over large levels and forcing you to constantly backtrack and switch characters to find everything. I do like the sense of discovery that comes with hunting down hidden objects, but when you've already seen everything in the level more than enough times it just becomes repetitive and boring. It also comes down to the whole quality vs. quantity thing - some games in the genre just threw in a bunch of stuff to collect without giving much thought to having decent platforming mechanics.
/rant about why Donkey Kong 64 is A Bad Game.