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A Detailed Cross-Examination of Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games

August 4, 2006 Article Start Previous Page 23 of 31 Next

Power-Ups Per Level

The data shows an average of between 3 and 5 per level for each game. The only extreme case here is Jak and Daxter’s levels, which contain a range of between 3 and 15 power-up emitters per stage. This could possibly be attributed to the fact that Jak and Daxter is a heavily action-orientated platform game and thus needs to keep the action constant to keep the experience exciting throughout. Also the power-ups are time-restricted and so several of the same kind of power-up are often lined up on a route – possibly in a subtle attempt to have the player conform to a route leading to a special door, platform, boss or otherwise.

Ending (Game Completion) Rewards

Here, results show that extra bonuses upon completion of the game are favourable, with Sonic and Mario leading the way in the amount of total bonuses on offer.

In particular, Sonic Adventure and Mario Sunshine have additional gameplay in the form of drastically altered versions of previously played areas and newly accessible levels and sections of levels. In 3D Sonic’s case, an additional climatic story CG is gifted, following with granted use of an additional ‘super’ character to get the game’s ‘real’ ending.

All games bar SMB3 grant rewards for collecting a full set of Quota tokens, as SMB3 has none to collect.

Unfortunately – at least in this writer’s opinion - Jak and Daxter’s reward is somewhat anti-climatic and unsatisfactory, with the player merely receiving a three second clip of a door opening to reveal bright light for their dedication and effort.

Best seller Super Mario Bros 3 delivers a replay incentive upon the game’s completion, granting the player 28 “P-wings” – an item granting the player infinite flight ability for a whole level – for use in the player’s next play of the game.

2006 Addition: NSMB delivers a very standard ending – nothing spectacular – and reveals a code so players play as Luigi, though his abilities are exactly the same. There’s also an added bonus in the way of wallpapers you can collect and a proof-of-skill marking in star icons that appear next to your save file. Finding all the game’s hidden exits, levels and quota tokens bestows the file with three stars, showing you have beaten the game as thoroughly as the design allows.

Article Start Previous Page 23 of 31 Next

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