Follow TV Tropes


Dueling Works / Platform Game

Go To

Initiator Imitators Description Misc. Winner?
Dig Dug (1982) Mr. Do! (1982) Golden age arcade games where you dig through a maze and drop objects on enemies. Both games came out in 1982, but Mr. Do was seen as the knockoff, since it came from obscure manufacturer Universal rather than arcade juggernaut Namco. Each game is a classic in its own right. Dig Dug is more widely known and has better graphics. Mr. Do is faster paced, and lets you use the falling objects (apples) more creatively.
Super Mario Bros. (1985) Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986) First-party platform games for 8-bit consoles starring mascots who break open blocks for prizes. Super Mario Bros. became a pack-in game for the Nintendo Entertainment System; Alex Kidd in Miracle World was actually built into the Sega Master System itself. Whereas the levels in Super Mario Bros. all scrolled left to right, the first level of Miracle World was a vertical descent; later levels featured vehicles to ride and castles to explore. Also, Alex Kidd attacks by punching (he'll die if he lands on an enemy), and moves faster than Mario. A completely overwhelming victory for Mario and for Nintendo in the Console Wars, with the title proving the system's Killer App and going on to establish one of the biggest multimedia franchises in history. Miracle World actually was pretty successful on its own terms however, being probably the most fondly-remembered game for the Master System (with the possible exception of Phantasy Star and the various Sonic the Hedgehog entries), but couldn't compete with Nintendo's offering.
Castlevania (1986) Ghost House (1986) Side-scrolling platformers released in 1986 where you venture into a haunted mansion filled with B-movie monsters to kill Dracula. Ghost House came out for the Sega Master System about 2 months before Castlevania showed up on the NES. While Ghost House is a ladder-based arcade platformer along the lines of Mappy, Castlevania uses the then-new (and now more familiar) Super Mario Bros.-influenced format of running and jumping through linear stages. Castlevania with ease. If you aren't a hardcore Sega fan, you probably haven't even heard of Ghost House.
Castlevania (1986) Ninja Gaiden (1988) Third Party Platformer series using a certain HUD layout, ammo-based secondary weapon power-ups, two-stage attack power up (whip/shadow clones), etc While NG's controls are faster and more fluid, added the ability to cling to walls and climb ladders, and Tecmo was the first to add cutscenes to their series, there are still fairly massive similarities between the two, especially when compared to other action platformers of the time. Castlevania, though Ninja Gaiden also made it to 3 installments during the NES era, and did eventually make a comeback in modern times, Castlevania is a legendary series that has basically been in continuous production since the beginning.
Haunted Castle (1988) Ghouls N Ghosts (1988) Arcade games in long-running franchises, which involved rescuing a Damsel in Distress from an evil monster and tackling armies of ghosts and monsters. Oh, and both were really, really difficult. Haunted Castle was released a few months earlier, and despite being a Castlevania game at heart, borrowed more than a few things from Ghouls 'n Ghosts' forerunner, Ghosts 'n Goblins. Ghouls 'n Ghosts, easily. While frustrating, it was widely recognized as a very solid game, whereas Haunted Castle is regarded as arguably the worst Castlevania-related game of all time.
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (1989) Sequels to the two aforementioned games, which returned to the gameplay style of the original games (with some additions) after intermediate entries that changed up the gameplay. Mario 3 remained on the NES, but Enchanted Castle was produced for the new Sega Genesis, and was a launch title for it (though not the pack-in game, which was Altered Beast). An even more comprehensive victory for Nintendo than the first time around. Mario 3 became the top-selling stand-alone game for the system and to this day is regarded as one of the best video games of all-time. Enchanted Castle got a middling at best reception in Japan and was a critical and commercial bomb in the west, ultimately proving the Franchise Killer for the series and setting Sega on the path to going with Sonic the Hedgehog as their new mascot.
Super Mario World (1990) Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) Leading platform games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Both titles were the pack-in games for their respective consoles, with Sonic 1 replacing the previous Genesis pack-in, Altered Beast. Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog both sold roughly the same units (both getting 20 million sold) although more of Sonic's sold copies were standalone. However, Sonic had a major impact on gaming and pop culture while SMW, despite being very well received, tended to be regarded as being just another Mario game (it was later praised for its surprising amount of exploration in the years when Sonic started to lose steam).
Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension (1992) Zen: Intergalactic Ninja (1993) Side-scrolling platformer from the early 90s starring an otherworldly ninja with a monosyllabic name starting with Z. Zool is a Sonic the Hedgehog clone first released for the Amiga in 1992, and ported to a wide variety of platforms thereafter; Zen is an NES-exclusive Licensed Game from 1993 based on the Archie Comics series of the same name. Zool is better-known, mostly due to being on more platforms.
Aladdin (Capcom) (1993) Aladdin (Virgin Games) (1993) Video game tie-ins for the film Aladdin. Capcom's game was released only on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, while Virgin's was on a variety of systems, albeit the Sega Genesis was the lead platform. The Virgin game is near-universally considered the better of the two due to more polished gameplay and controls, and the involvement of Disney animators in creating the game's artwork. By contrast, the Capcom game is regarded as a very solid, but not especially memorable platform game, with even lead designer Shinji Mikami admitting years later that Virgin's game bested his own in nearly every way. The Virgin version also outsold the Capcom version two-to-one even when only counting the Genesis version's sales, cementing its victory.
Plok (1993) Rayman (1995) Platformers involving a character with detachable arms who can throw them at enemies. Plok came out on cartridge systems in 1993; Rayman came out for CD-ROM systems in 1995. Rayman, which, unlike Plok, has had a fair number of sequels and spinoffs, and a better reception. Even the original developers have admitted that if they were to release a new game, it'd be viewed as a Rayman ripoff, despite Plok having come first.
Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy (1994) Ristar (1995) Platformers where characters with stretching limb must save a star system invaded by literal space pirates. Top Hunter mostly plays like a Beat 'em Up and the stretching limbs are not very important. Ristar is a straight platformer. Both failed financially, although Ristar is considered something of a Cult Classic.
Super Mario 64 (1996) Bubsy 3D (1996) 3D mascot platformers The games were released very closely, and quite deliberately on Bubsy 3D's part. Super Mario 64 won by miles. Bubsy 3D was an alpha released as a finished product while 64 was an actual finished product. It never stood a chance. This is completely on Bubsy's publisher as the developer admitted that what they had was a finished alpha. Mario 64 was hailed as a landmark of game design and is acclaimed as one of the best videogames ever made; while Bubsy received the polar opposite response and ultimately buried the series for nearly a quarter of a century. Interestingly enough, Sony ended up buying Bend Studio and since then has had a really good track record with video games, proving that all they needed was a better publisher.
Super Mario 64 (1996) Crash Bandicoot (1996) Both established the 3D platformer on their respective systems, the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation. Both were released in 1996. But while Mario 64 focused on exploration and had less limited control, Crash was more of an action-based platformer and was essentially a 2D platformer viewed from a 3D perspective. Mario 64. While both have a huge following, Mario 64 stood out as the game of the Nintendo 64, while Crash mostly faded as just another Killer App for the PlayStation and had two better received sequels. The Mario franchise (though it had the advantage of very well-received games before Mario 64) is still going on very strong, while the Crash Bandicoot series was run into the ground by Vivendi Universal before winding up in the hands of Activision, who, outside of a few smartphone games, hasn't bothered with the franchise (albeit an extremely successful Compilation Re-release of the first three games in 2017 has given fans hope of a revival).
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) Super Mario Galaxy (2007) The two franchises' first forays into the seventh generation of consoles.   No contest; Super Mario Galaxy won and became a classic. Sonic '06, thanks to a very Troubled Production, was released unfinished and became one of the most infamous low points in any franchise (its crimes include a kiss between Sonic and a human female; they didn't have much chemistry and it put a heavy dent in the Interspecies Romance trope). This led to a handful of Sega/Sonic employees getting their pink slips and eventually led to a shakeup of management at Sonic Team.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009) Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010) Reconstructions of two rival game francises in their prime, done in the Sprite/Polygon Mix style NSMBW introduces Co-Op Multiplayer to the Mario series, while Sonic 4 is an Episodic Game. Sonic 4 Episode II ditches the Sprite/Polygon Mix aesthetic in favor of full 3D while still maintaining the Side View. NSMBW. Both NSMBW and Sonic 4 were commercial successes, but the scope of NSMBW's success — a large-budget, retail game released on one single platform — is leaps and bounds ahead of that of Sonic 4 — two episodic downloadable games released on several platforms. NSMBW has a generally positive reception from critics and fans alike. Both episodes of Sonic 4 have a mixed to positive reception among critics, and the fanbase was not at all forgiving.
'Splosion Man (2009)

Explodemon (2011)
MaXplosion (2011) Platformers where player character uses explosion as a method of propulsion. Explodemon's and 'Splosion Man's concepts and trailers of the game were released almost simultaneously. Explodemon uses Mega Man (Classic)-style artwork while 'Splosion Man is goofier. Explodemon was initially greatly overshadowed by 'Splosion Man and publishers weren't willing to market a game with a similar concept. MaXplosion was considered a cheaper imitator of 'Splosion Man. The winner out of all three is 'Splosion Man, as it was the only one that got a sequel.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010) Sonic Colors (2010) 3D mascot platformers IN SPACE! Galaxy 2 utilized largely the same gameplay style as its predecessor with a few new additions, while Colors utilized a gameplay engine based on the Daytime stages from Sonic Unleashed. Galaxy 2. Despite being hit with It's the Same, Now It Sucks! from some quarters and not selling quite as well as the first, it was still a major critical and commercial success. That said, Colors still did very well, being regarded as the best Sonic game for the better part of a decade and received modest sales.
Super Mario 3D World (2013) Knack (2013) Flagship 3D platformers for the Wii U and PlayStation 4 respectively. Both games were released within a week or two of each other (depending on the country), though Knack was a launch title for the PS4, whereas the Wii U had already been out for a year. 3D World was a traditional 3D Mario platformer with lots of exploration and depth, while Knack was an incredibly linear platformer that was entirely focused around combat. Unexpectedly, Knack easily outsold 3D World to begin with (and got an ironic cult following as a result), but sales quickly dropped away after Christmas 2013. 3D World sold much more consistently and ended up moving thrice the units, along with getting much better reviews, making it the clear winner.
The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (2013) The Irate Gamer Game (2013) 2D platformers released in 2013 based on popular video game critics. The former is based on The Angry Video Game Nerd, the latter on The Irate Gamer. The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures is a 2D platformer originally for PCs via Steam and later ported to consoles, and has him fight characters from various reviewed games on his quest (like Mr Hyde, Custer, and Jason Voorhees). The Irate Gamer Game is a mobile game which has him fight his evil counterpart in a simpler platformer style. The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures. It's got semi-decent reviews and is seen as a somewhat good game, whereas The Irate Gamer Game is seen as an attempt to Follow the Leader and is an example of Plagiarism from the app developers (who used someone else's engine and made minimal changes to it).
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (2014) Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014) Spin-off titles from the main Sonic and Mario franchises, both released exclusively for the Wii U in November 2014. Both titles varied up the gameplay from the usual entries in the franchise, with Rise of Lyric adopting a tethering system vaguely like Knuckles Chaotix, and Captain Toad not allowing the title character to jump, instead being based around solving platforming puzzles. Captain Toad by a landslide, with far better reviews, and sales that were pretty decent, if nowhere near being one of the Wii U's best sellers; it would later get an Updated Re-release for the Switch and 3DS. Rise of Lyric was considered by many to be the worst Sonic game in history (or at least the worst one that wasn't a Porting Disaster of some kind), and ultimately one of the worst games in general.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (2018) Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (2017) Respectively a re-imagining and a direct remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. Both games are from European studios (a Franco-German joint venture and a French one). Ryuichi Nishizawa, Wonder Boy's original creator, is helping with both projects. The latter looks like a faithful remake with gorgeous hand-drawn graphics, the former reinvents the title with a more Animesque appearance. The main difference seems to be that the pirate pig person will be a playable character in the former. The Wonder Boy remake was released with mostly positive reviews. Monster Boy has yet to be released, though it does have its work cut out to match or surpass the reception of Wonder Boy.
Yooka-Laylee (2017) Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2017) Two platformers hearkening back to the 90s. Yooka-Laylee is a Spiritual Successor to Rare's collectathon platformers, specifically Banjo-Kazooie, while N Sane Trilogy remakes the first three PSOne games in a single package. Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic are formed from ex-Rare employees, while N Sane Trilogy is developed by Vicarious Visions, who have worked on the franchise before, most notably with Crash Nitro Kart. Yooka-Laylee is multi-format, but its heritage means it's most closely associated with Nintendo. (The Wii U was intended as the lead format in the initial Kickstarter campaign, but that version was cancelled when the system was effectively retired. It instead released on the Switch.) N Sane Trilogy spent its first year exclusive to PlayStation 4, in a way firing up the Nintendo 64 vs PlayStation Console War once again. Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy. The release of Yooka-Laylee was Overshadowed by Controversy at the last moment, and it received a very divisive response, along with underwhelming sales. In contrast, N Sane Trilogy received mostly positive reviews, sold extremely well, surpassing Activision and Sony's wildest expectations, and most importantly, renewed interest in the franchise and Crash Bandicoot as a character, having been largely forgotten for the best part of a decade.
Super Mario Odyssey (2017)

Sonic Forces (2017)

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back (2017)

Knack II (2017)
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2017)

Sonic Mania (2017)
Respectively, four brand-new entries in their franchises (with Bubsy not having been seen since 1996), a remastered trilogy of classic games; and a game that remixes classic levels from its series, with some new levels thrown in the mix. N. Sane Trilogy was released first, followed by Mania, Knack, Odyssey, Bubsy, and finally Forces. N. Sane Trilogy is being handed by Vicarious Visions, Mania is headed by Christian Whitehead (producer of the incredible mobile ports of Sonic 1, 2, and CD) and a dream team of fan-run studios; Knack is being developed by SIE Japan Studio, while Odyssey is... well, developed by Nintendo. Bubsy is being handled by Black Forest Games (developers of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams), and Forces is Sonic Team's first new major Sonic title since Lost World. Odyssey effectively took first prize by a undisputed margin; the game was highly rated by reviewers with many perfect scores, considered Game of the Year material, and became the fastest selling Mario game upon release. Crash and Mania tied at a dead heat for second; with Crash getting the edge in sales due to being a retail release; while Mania —due to an initially digital release— got better reviews; both entries nonetheless got great reviews and sales and were praised as much-needed comebacks for both series. Knack trailed along at a distant third; while it was considered a visible improvement from the relatively dire first game, it was still chastised as a lackluster game that didn't improve on its predecessor enough and sold nowhere near as good as the original. Forces likewise was considered mediocre with its paltry level design and not going further in its potential that was advertised despite being the first entry to allow you to make an original character, placing a even further distant fourth. Bubsy bottomed out as the Straw Loser, due to the game having barely any advertisement (most didn't even realize it had released on its launch date) and, while fixing mistakes that plagued its original games, was considered too short a title that didn't offer anything special to help it stand out from its competitors.
Sonic Mania (2017) Sonic Forces (2017) Both games developed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. While both are part of the same franchise, the nature of the Sonic fanbase means that fans of one will more likely not be fans of the other. Sonic Mania released first in August, with Forces releasing later that year in November. Mania's serves itself as a 2D retraux pure love letter to the classic 16-bit games; while Forces is a modern game continues the Boost gameplay (while also having a new Avatar playstyle and having its own share of classic-inspired gameplay) and reaches for more serious, story-driven fare of the earlier 3D games. Mania by a mile. Despite being a retro Sonic title, it already garnered a large amount of critical acclaim with both critics and fans leading up to its release; and was ultimately praised for its creativity, music, gameplay, and being a fresh entry in the series even though most of the stages were re-makes of existing ones. Forces while commended for good production values and not without fun moments; was criticized for stages being too short, offering little to no variety on levels and simply being too easy with little innovation to the series, and while not considered outright bad was largely considered a mostly weak entry.
Knack II (2017) Super Mario Odyssey (2017) A rematch between the flagship platform franchises for Sony and Nintendo respectively, both being released in the autumn of 2017. Knack II remains on the PlayStation 4, and features mostly the same type of gameplay as its predecessor, with a few refinements and extra features. Super Mario Odyssey was made for the new Nintendo Switch and features some major additions overhauls to the Mario formula. Odyssey utterly destroyed Knack. While Knack II was better received than its predecessor, it was still criticized for having many of the same problems and for largely covering up issues as opposed to actually solving them, and had lackluster sales. Odyssey became the fastest-selling Mario game in history and became a serious contender for best reviewed game of 2017 within a week of release.
A Hat in Time (2017) Yooka-Laylee (2017) Indie 3D platformers funded via Kickstarter that aimed to be throwbacks to titles like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. Yooka-Laylee came out first in April 2017, while A Hat in Time was released later in October 5th 2017. Both have similar mechanics and the same composer, but while A Hat in Time tried to modernise the camera mechanics and go for its own feel in terms of levels and characters, Yooka-Laylee took it much safer with a design that borrowed more from Banjo-Kazooie in particular. Given the limited reviews A Hat in Time has received, it's too early to tell at the moment. However, those reviews that exist have been more positive than those for Yooka-Laylee, mostly because of the game's unique charm and design improvements since the N64 era.
Super Mario Odyssey (2017) A Hat in Time (2017) Games that deal with 3D Platforming through creative worlds. Pure and simple. A Hat in Time released first and is an indie developed title to throw back to platforming earlier days, including some nods to Mario 3D games themselves. Meanwhile Mario Odyssey was released later and is an in-house game developed by Nintendo themselves being the latest in the Mario games and likewise expanse more on the original platforming. Odyssey due to being more polished and being more of an open world which let you proceed however you wished in the adventure (Play the game story to the end or just keeping getting more moons before the final boss) with a wide bevy of moves and ways to get to your objectives. Not to say A Hat in Time was a pushover; on the contrary, it was praised for its charm, tight controls and creative use of powerups to further the challenge, making it a worthy contender to the jumpman with the only thing hurting it being its linear structure (save the fourth world which you can go about doing however you wish). Being sold on the rival console (PS4, XBox One and Steam) helped greatly with the latter even gaining a wonderful mod community.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (2017) Spyro Reignited Trilogy (2018) Updated collections of popular PlayStation games who, fittingly, dueled during their heyday. Crash was released first to unanimous praise for its updated graphics and animation, staying true to the challenge and spirit of the original and adding some new features as well, such as Coco being playable in all three games. Spyro was released the following year, bringing the character back to his roots and original look after being pushed into the background among the Loads and Loads of Characters in the Skylanders series. Both remakes likewise were handled by developers that had prior experience with these series: Vicarious Visions taking over from Naughty Dog for Crash and Toys for Bob taking over from Insomniac Games for Spyro. Crash was essentially a 1:1 remake with a few tweaks; Spyro was more of a re-imagining that took some liberties with character design, brought back some of the original voice actors, and had the ability to use the original scores. Surprisingly enough, a tie. Both remakes are solid, well designed and animated, and play just as well as their original incarnations. Spyro does get some flack due to having download the 2nd and 3rd games since they weren't on the disk (a result of it's development) though the downloads are free. But not many review sites counted that against it while most of Crash's grumblings were largely due to Difficulty Spike. Otherwise they're both stated to be wonderful platformers with little issues that no one can really state that one trilogy collection is better then the other.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: