playing video games

The Side Scroller Is Still Alive and Kicking

Video games these days have more widespread appeal. But during its early mainstream days in the ’70s and the ’80s, most young boys would do anything to get some time with a 2600 or NES. If you knew that your neighbor had one of them, you would go to great lengths just to watch someone else play. If you had to climb a window that has just been installed to catch a glimpse, it would not be surprising. Having the ability to control the images on your TV was a fresh concept then, which made it exciting just like the games of yesteryear. The industry is the biggest in the entertainment category, with the gamer moniker no longer being associated with geeks or loners. It pretty much has seeped into the mainstream consciousness and also has become part of the lifestyles of the young and old.

two kids playing video games
Even though most video games these days take place in 3-D worlds, there is still a lot of content being played out in the 2-D space. This should take you back and make you wear your gamer heart on your sleeve like you were still the same little boy who was always excited at the sight of them.

The Run-and-Gun Shooter

If you were someone who grew up during the glory days of Nintendo’s NES, you probably have heard of Contra. It is one of the system’s most popular games and is a great example of a run-and-gun shooter. The genre tests the players’ mettle by overwhelming them with enemies and incoming bullets. This is a true test of reflexes and hand-eye coordination, as you will often have a small window of opportunity to not mess things up. Maneuvering your character involves jumping through a shower of projectiles while gunning down the foes in front of you. You would earn the respect of fellow gamer if you could beat the game without using any continues.

The Platformer

If you are great at estimating distances while running, the side-scrolling platformer is your genre. This is a type of game that was defined and popularized by the iconic Super Mario Bros. from Nintendo. Combat takes a back seat, and you will need to bring your jumping A-game here. Expect lots of narrow platforms and deadly pits that you have to overcome with precision running and jumping skills.

The Beat ‘Em Up


It is bad to get yourself involved in a brawl, but the next best thing for you to do is play a beat ’em up. This is a genre popularized by Sega’s Streets of Rage and Capcom’s Final Fight series of games. Here, you control your avatar while taking on waves upon waves of thugs that you have to dispatch by engaging them in hand-to-hand combat. What makes it more fun is if the game features a cooperative mode, so you will no longer be alone in your battle. The simple premise makes you feel a badass as you dismantle dozens upon dozens of thugs.

The Fighter

The 2-D fighting games of today still owe a lot to Capcom’s seminal Street Fighter II, which was released in 1991. This is where gamers become their competitive selves, analyzing moves and combos to get them into winning form. People used to crowd around an arcade cabinet then, waiting for their turn to beat the player with the winning streak. Aside from being good with reactions, there is also a psychological element to playing a fighter. Bluffs and fakeouts are all fair game if you want to be on top.

As you can see, there is still a lot to love about 2-D gaming. Do not dismiss a game because it is not 3-D, because you can look at it as an aesthetic style. You do not have to have three dimensions to make a game deep and enjoyable.

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