2D Sprites in a 3D World

Im playing Vandal Hearts and love the visual style. Something about those 2D sprites in 3D spaces really does it for me. I love moving the camera with L and R and watching the sprite change based on the angle. Theyre like little dioramas. I want to play more of them!

I know there are games like this on playstation and saturn, but they probably exist elsewhere too.
What ive come up with so far:

  • - Vandal hearts (probably other tactics games too, i havent played many)
  • - xenogears
  • - grandia
  • - dragon quest vii
  • - thousand arms
  • - azure dreams
    What are some more games that do this? Extra points if theyre not Rpgs.
  • Is rotation a requirement? If not there's loads of games like strider 2, MK mythologies sub zero, psychic killer Taromaru, etc - just wondering what fits the bill here.

    @“exodus”#p139118 yeah good point, i guess i wasnt initially thinking of side-scrolling as in the same category but why not. Psychic killer taromaru looks real cool never heard of it.


    @“Updog”#p139114 dragon quest vii

    All three of the DS dragons quest also fit into this.

    The pokemon games looked like this for at least one set of games (no manual rotation but multiple angles):

    I kinda want to bring up Super Paper Mario too. I don't think it's in the spirit of the thread, but it's in the next town over and nobody ever talks about that game.

    radiant historia! one day i‘ll actually finish this game, it’s so ps1-core.


    there are a couple of modern platformers that do this too - thinking of _here comes niko_ and _demon turf_. the latter is allegedly quite good, though i haven't gotten to it:


    Dark Saviour on Sega Saturn.

    Probably some more saturn games, Bug!, Bug too! Willy Wombat!

    persona 2 !!!

    Yes these are all excellent

    I kept feeling like I was forgetting a big one and then I remembered that a few modern Ys games use this style

    @“Mnemogenic”#p139138 oh yeah good one. I guess trails games too.


    @“Punchmaniacs”#p139133 Probably some more saturn games

    Hello my friends, have you heard the good news about our Lord and Savior **Shining Force III**


    Hey now, @"Updog"#947 didn’t say the game has to look good! This one goes for the same "CG-rendered sprites on 3D" look at Ys above.

    **Wachenröder** goes the more conventional way with a technique similar to FF Tactics.


    **Bulk Slash** is a different example of applying 2D sprites on a 3D world, made famous in the West via its recent and impressive translation patch. It works very similarly to Mario Kart 64 but with a more dynamic camera.


    Early in that generation’s life, when games were still experimenting with the best approach to this new 3D thing the kids are raving about, **Virtual Hydlide** went for the now oft derided digitized sprites on a 3D plane option.


    The most impressive of them all, Grandia, has already been cited but another Saturn masterpiece mixing 2D sprites and 3D models (for larger enemies and environments) so effortlessly players ain’t even noticing is **Radiant Silvergun**. They even trick players at the very beginning with "fake" polygonal versions of the playable ships before a clever transition to their actual sprites.


    @“◉◉maru”#p139172 I immediately thought of Shining Force 3!

    Grandia and Dark Saviour were both great examples.

    I would play a full game or Wild Arms 2 puzzles.

    @“Mnemogenic”#p139138 yessss the look of this era of Ys is a big reason why it’s my fav

    I recently discovered Tomba for the PS1. This game is so incredibly charming and has some really great “sprites on 3D background” going on. I love the way they let you jump into the background or foreground or turn the perspective of some areas. Such a creative use of 3D in a 2D platformer, when gamedevs were still kinda figuring out what to do in the new generation.


    I haven’t had enough time to prep a proper response but this is a great thread. I love this aesthetic. And one of our regulars just posted this which I wasn’t previously aware of:


    Also I didn’t know Bulk Slash has a localization patch. I’m pumped about that.

    totally different aesthetic but slave zero X is definitely trying something (along the lines of strider 2 or taromaru): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CFPQ0HHHSg

    @“exodus”#p139520 This reminded me a bit of Marvel 2, which also lives in this space


    @“Mnemogenic”#p139522 yeah… the camera doesn't really move but there were a fun 3 or so years where there were a lot of fighting games with sprite-based characters and 3D backgrounds. On the dreamcast especially! MvC 2, CvS 1 and 2, KOF 99, etc!