Why are there no all-time great Euro Platformers?

I think there are more than a few issues here:

  • - “Up to jump” is found in plenty of early computer games, including Japanese games made for the Japanese market (Sorcerian, Golvellius).
  • - A general (and honest) lack of awareness. Superfrog is not a deep cut - and that's OK. But I wish people would say "I don't know" more often than they say "Lol as if Robocod could beat Mario".
  • - The Amiga 500 in particular launched the same year _Final Fantasy_ did. In _Japan_. There's a rarely acknowledged gulf between the machine's advanced graphical capabilities and the general game design expectations of the era.
  • - Framing. NES Castlevania's jumping is "precise" and "predictable", a Euro Platformer's would be called "stiff". _They're the same thing._
  • - Euro gaming in the era these topics tend to talk about was very much computer-centric, and many of the best games created for popular Euro computers reflected their hardware, accessories, and differing culture (The Lords of Midnight, Dungeon Master, Syndicate, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Lemmings, etc.). Imagine if the SNES was judged only on the quality of its flight sims and point and click adventure games?
  • @“Kimimi”#p82072 i think this is the first honest-to-goodness mic drop i've seen in these forums.

    I would love to hear from the euro platformer likers what the particular ones they like are! I want to give some more a shot, especially now that I‘ve got a cd32 that’s about to turn into an Amiga 1200

    Also I don't know about all-timer but I like tinhat - if only it didn't have those dang traps in it

    @“Kimimi”#p82072 Speaking of Golvellius, I am SHOCKED there are so few Euro developed Master System platformers. That might answer the “is it the hardware?” question. None of the Disney games are made in Europe. Not even Asterix!

    Fantastic Dizzy is European and I have come to appreciate it

    Zool and James Pond 2 are fine.

    But then you look at the horror of Teirtek / US Gold and you forget all the perfectly acceptable attempts.

    I wonder if the issue here is that bad is so prevalent that its casts a pall over the decent.


    @“gsk”#p81959 Might it have something to do with lazy, short-sighted american netizens dictating the historical narrative around games for the better part of twenty years?


    @“Kimimi”#p82072 Framing.

    These points in particular ring so very true for me. Here in Australia our video gaming history more closely relates to the UK and Europe than the US. I saw many more C64's and Amiga 500's than NES/SNES consoles, and none of my friends owned a Master System and instead we would rent one for a weekend from the video store.

    I had never heard of the allegedly Universal "video games crash" until the mid-to-late 90's once I had access to the internet and started talking with Americans.


    The Bitmap Brothers produced one of my favourite platformers, one I lost countless hours to when it came out. I had pages of hand drawn maps, including notes on what I thought were the best routes to take.
    [upl-image-preview url="https://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/73406-gods-amiga-screenshot-main-character.png"]

    @“exodus”#p82081 Do you mean Tin Head? That one is perfectly fine as well. Just kind of bland.

    Lol I sure did mean tinhead, oops. That was rich lemarchand and pals trying to make a sonic-like before going on to make uncharted.


    @“robinhoodie”#p82082 I am SHOCKED there are so few Euro developed Master System platformers.

    It has taken a very long time for European devs and publishers, outside of a handful of exceptions such as Rare and Argonaut, to have access to Japanese consoles.

    Once they became Sega’s de facto distributor, Virgin made strides to extend local access to the Mega Drive and Master System devkits and publishing licences in Northern Europe circa 1991-1992. [Have you heard the good news about our lord and savior?](https://youtu.be/Ng0HxM93FPw)

    Nintendo basically waited until they created NOE in 1992 because they were suddenly losing ground to Virgin & Sega. But as @"Kimimi"#p82072 astutely articulated, it’s not like the best Euro devs really cared about platforming that much anyway.

    Well here is a nice coincidence considering this recent discussion: there is a new Youtube video probably no one asked for (i.e. the best kind of video) comparing the different ports of Flair Software’s Whizz.

    Flair Software is a developer from Newcastle mostly known (some would say _notorious_) for [Oscar](https://youtu.be/chcehaCIMAA) and [Dangerous Streets](https://youtu.be/KMwOGYCVJh0), with whom you have probably crossed paths if you are even faintly interested in the Amiga CD32.

    I am into Whizz –let me rephrase that– My personal interest in the game is first and foremost that it is one of the few games to have hit both the Amiga and the Saturn, by virtue of releasing on Amiga in 1994, right smack into the grandiose game hardware Smörgåsbord of the era. We just need an over-ambitious PAL exclusive Master System port to complete the family portrait.

    [upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/YleOC4C.jpeg]

    The game is aggressively average, especially for how much it’ll cost you on most platforms, but it is a pretty interesting insight into isometric 3D platforming design immediately preceding the Super Mario 64 revolution. My biggest gripe is how lazy (and directly transplanted from the PS version) the Saturn port feels, especially for a 2D game, when we had Traveller’s Tales’ [Sonic 3D Blast](https://youtu.be/Q5hnBsUWmAI) hitting shelves around the same time.


    Not mentioned in the video: the commercial heritage of the game is also a little mosquito stuck in amber for how wild it was to release and access video games in those times. Obviously, the Amiga, DOS and Amiga CD32 versions (1994) are European exclusives. _But_ the Super Nintendo version (1996), despite being released by French publisher Titus, is a North American exclusive release. _But_ the PlayStation and Saturn versions (1997) were only released in Europe and Japan. D’accord !

    And the Japanese versions were released on both platforms by Bandai (via B-Station, an obscure sub-label of Emotion) but the PAL versions were released by Konami, of all people! Seeing the classic double wave logo above that goofy rabbit’s face never fails to slay me.

    [upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/Vyy7CQ0.jpeg]

    This is going to be stretching the definition of platformer quite heavily towards being more of an action game but I'm rather fond of The First Samurai. I played the early stages of the DOS version to death as a kid but would have loved to have played it on a bigger TV screen on an Amiga.

    The intro owns so much too.

    Nice overview of Amiga-exclusive platformers.