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By Shamus
on Saturday Sep 25, 2010
Filed under:


So, the whole 2D vs. 3D gaming thing….

Link (YouTube)

Amazing. How does something like this even get made? An incredible amount of work went into this, from a lot of different people. It’s a blend of art from very different mediums. Everything from Pixar 3D to Nintendo 2D. With appropriate music. Voice actors. Sound effects. The YouTube pages says nothing about why this was made or who funded it.

But thanks, whoever you are. I love when the internet dispenses free stuff.

Comments (48)

  1. Blake says:

    Very awesome, thanks for sharing.

    For my part, I think there’s more then room enough in the world of gaming for both. :)

  2. Aldowyn says:

    Imagine a game made like that. The only problem is it would be pretty much impossible to play, so I guess we can stick with Nintendo’s 2.5D they keep using.

    That was pretty awesome, though I think I would have liked it better if the hero kept his coat on!

    • BenD says:

      How is that impossible to play? It looks like it might have a learning curve, and you’d probably be better off if you had some 2D platformer experience to start with, but the only part I saw that looked impossible to play was the tower climb, and that only because the graphics were too pretty and complicated (making it too difficult to be sure where you could jump/climb to next while under a time limit).

  3. Joe says:

    That was awesome. Thanks.

  4. X2-Eliah says:

    I for some reason am now certain Shamus doesn’t read the escapist himself :P

    On the clip, yeah, major awesome. It was made by movie fx studio, if I recall the escapists’ newsblurb on this.

  5. Mr. Son says:

    Why… Why do boxers and a trenchcoat make such an awesome combo?

    *Adds to one of his YouTube playlists*

  6. Jarenth says:

    Things like this, and the ‘8-bit Gameboy versions of modern games’ pictures floating around here, make it really clear what an underappreciated art making good-looking 8-bit games really was.

  7. Vladius says:

    I didn’t like the art style (when it was 3D, anyway,) but it was a really good idea and well executed. I want to know how they put this up and didn’t give themselves credit…

  8. Vekni says:

    Oh boy, another “3d is evil I miss 2d gaming because that’s what we imagined as kids not having any way to know what future gaming technologies would be like” diatribe. I love the “subtle” suggestion that stereoscopic 3d gaming is what is “next” and “more evil”. 8bit is not an “art style”, it is/was a technological limitation. No developer in the 80s wanted their games to look and sound like that, they’d have sold their souls to have access to today’s technology-just as anime wasn’t a “style”, it was “we can only afford to draw three frames for this conversation, make it work” solution.

    • krellen says:

      Seeing Lucas’s “realised vision” version, I’m thinking that technical limitations are an overall good for creativity.

      • Jabor says:

        The mantra of the lead Magic: The Gathering designer is, in fact, “Restrictions breed creativity”.

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        The “realized vision” isn’t reviled for the technological changes that are incorporated but rather for the actual *directorial* changes. We’re not bewailing te fact that we can’t see the cel matting behind TIE fighters anymore, but that “funny” was injected into serious moments, and a known scoundrel was made more heroic.

        • krellen says:

          No, I think the realised vision has way too much visual bling – unnecessary visual bling, not just “humour” – that detracts heavily from the movie. The entrance to Mos Eisley, for instance, is far too drawn out and pointless in the Expanded version. The additional ships in the battle sequences are also wholly unnecessary (and, frankly, the CGI looks fake, whereas the models, being real, actually looked real.)

          • Avilan says:

            With all respect… I am too young (37) to have seen Star Wars Episode IV in the theater, and to me the models never looked real. They looked like extremely well made models.

            That said, I prefer the original version of the first three (chronologically) movies because of three major things, two in Episode V, one in Episode VI:

            The 3D “muppets” now “singing” at Jabba’s palace, which was a totally over the top and basically a Biglipped Alligator Moment, the addition of the extra mouth inside the Sarlac, which just looked fake and also was totally unnecesary, and the cut of the final celebration and the tribal music on Endor and the replacement with scenes that were meant to glue it together with the new episodes.

    • Jarenth says:

      And yet, somehow, looking back, those 8-bit and 16-bit games still have a lot more soul than most modern games.

      I’ll agree the moral is laid on a bit thick, though.

    • Henebry says:

      Sure, the moral’s a bit goofy. The fact that the movie comes off as “clever” rather than goofy says a lot about how much psychic energy we’ve invested in old games. No doubt you’re right to attribute this to the fact that such a sizable fraction of the population grew up on these games. The phenomenon nicely parallels the way that my generation views the new Star Wars films not simply as “bad” but as an evil travesty.

      But as Krellen suggests, there’s something more than just childhood memories at stake here. The better your tools, the more you need a powerful vision to guide those tools, to give them purpose, lest the product become simply an expression of the tools, rather than of the vision.

      • Kylroy says:

        Let’s not forget the nostalgia filter here, people. A lot of those 8-bit games were crap, but we mostly just remember the good ones. The crap games of the current generation haven’t had a chance to fade away yet.

        Also, remember that there’s another generation that will be emitting the same nostalgia squee for Halo 1 in about a decade.

    • Herman says:

      I see you trollin’

  9. Sam says:

    I have no idea what just happened, but I enjoyed the music.

  10. A Different Dan says:

    Shamus, the URL at the end of the video: http://www.8bitsmovie.com/.

    Looks like a graduation film project by a group of French art students.

  11. swimon says:

    Cool movie and very well animated. I do think that the very messy art-style combined with the speed and the lighting made it really hard to see what was going on sometimes though. Still, really cool.

  12. Another Scott says:

    I love how the villain was glowing red & blue at times, to show of his evil “3Dness”.
    Nostalgia and funny action sequences are a very good mix in my book.
    This vid made my day!

  13. Brandon says:

    I’ve been lurking on this blog for a while now, figure it’s maybe about time I actually start to participate in some of the conversation that goes on here.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about old school games lately, mostly since I watched Scott Pilgrim, Read the comics, and played the game they released with it.

    I know that things like platformers and beat em ups are pretty prevalent in the indie scene, but it would be nice to see more of those genres end up in the mainstream, as long as they are quality of course. It’s certainly possible to make older style gameplay work well with the newer systems. Look at Shadow Complex and ‘Splosion Man, to name two of the higher quality ones I’ve played. The Scott Pilgrim game is charming with all of it’s 8-bit throwbacks, and I don’t think people have to have grown up with the NES to enjoy it.

    Older genres were mostly abandoned when hardware limitations became less.. well limiting. That’s sad, because let’s face it, they were fun. We played them for a reason, after all.

    • Gale says:

      The Scott Pilgrim game is an 8-bit throwback. It’s River City Ransom with more frames of animation. Which was probably the best possible outcome for a Scott Pilgrim game, naturally.

      • Bret says:

        Well, to be fair to RCR, it was a decade or so ahead of its time, minimum.

        RPG elements, open world, central protagonist whose only drive is violence (sure, Ryan’s saving his girl, but Alex? He just likes beating people up for money.) all uncommon in the NES era, but more popular now.

        Combining it with Scott Pilgrim just increases the fun.

  14. Lanthanide says:

    For some reason I had difficulty understanding anything that the bad guy said – his voice was too low (not ‘deep’, low). Then when it switched to 2D mode, I had difficulty actually seeing wtf was going on because everything was too small and the backgrounds were way too busy (and clearly still being rendered in 3d anyway). Overall I give it a big ‘meh’.

  15. SKD says:

    Highly amusing and fun.

    But ultimately I don’t see it as vs thing so much as trying to remind some of us that graphics aren’t all that games are about. Game companies and gamers seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of continuously puching the graphical envelope when we should be more worried about whether a game is fun and enjoyable to play.

  16. Zaxares says:

    That was an awesome watch! :D Thanks for sharing, Shamus!

    Although… The Evil Overlord in me is railing, “You dummy! Why didn’t you just SHOOT the girl when you had her at your mercy?!”

  17. IgnusDei says:

    ah, french. that explains the art design.

  18. Herman says:

    The character designs are ugly as shit, the message is ham-fisted, a lot of the action is incomprehensible, and the voice acting is misdirected. Not completely terrible music, though.

  19. Stephanie says:

    That was cool, although I found the bondage/abuse of the female character to be pretty disturbing.

  20. Slothful says:

    Gentlemen, we have seen the future, and it is weeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiird.

  21. Wolfwood says:

    its cool and all but man are those models freaky to look at. Couldn’t bring myself to rewatch it. They just creep me out.

  22. RCN says:

    Liked the art style, liked the action in itself, liked the music.

    The problem is that during the 2D scenes they didn’t make the protagonist nor the minions or the boss stand out enough for you to be able to instantly recognize them (which is essential if those individual scenes are going to last about a couple of seconds). The problem is not the background, there have been games with 2D gameplay with busier backgrounds, the secret is making the important stuff STAND OUT. Like this.

    Ironically, due to this very fact that the 3D scenes were more cohesive and focused than the 2D scenes the very point they were trying to (supposedly) make with the video lost some weight.

    The message… if it is that 2D is superior to 3D… I’m not the nostalgic type of guy. I usually like newer versions of series than older, unless they’re atrociously bad. I believe that there are many great things that can be done with modern technology it is just that… well, today the people making those games are responding directly to boards of executives who demands only sure profits (with the occasional exception). This is what happened to Warhammer Online and… well, to tell the truth it is what happened with EVERYONE that allowed themselves to be subjected to either EA or Activision. Ubisoft may be a bit more out there and allowing when it comes to creativity but… DRM. Must I say more?

    It is not the technology that is making everything suck. It is the monster that comes attached with those technological resources.

  23. Lionday says:

    That’s what the video is saying. 3D wasn’t evil it was being misused by the villains. Also anyone else notice the girl had a triforce drawn on her head?

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