Hardcore Gamer: 3D shook the video game market. When Super Mario 64 dropped and gamers could finally control the famed plumber in a fully 3D environment, things simply were not the same. The standard had been set and the future had been seen; 3D was in, and 2D? That was just old news. The success of Super Mario 64 led to a golden age of 3D platformers, pioneered by second-party developer Rareware, who left the SNES with sparkles in their eyes. The Banjo-Kazooie series, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and the nuanced Donkey Kong 64 expanded upon Nintendo’s vision of breaking free of physical, axis-based confinements. Doors were opened and gamers felt freer than ever before. It was a moment that didn’t appear to be ending, but soon, the 3D platformer fell into obscurity. By the time the 360, PS3 and Wii appeared, it was niche and neglected. So where did it go, and even more curious, why are there more 2D platformers these days? Why is the genre that the 3D platformer was destined to surpass now more common and appealing than ever?