The Curse of the Double Jump

It will be short, it will be a rant, and you might not agree with me, so keep that in mind…NOW!

I don´t care about the solutions they had in good ol´ 2D-times, and i don´t really know which one was the first 3D-game to “feature” this, but i do know that i don´t like it: The Double Jump.

I am talking about that gameplay-action, where you´re inmidst of the air after pressing the jump-button once, then press the same button again while you´re still up, and you can jump a second time…without touching the ground again. This came to my mind when i played God of War yesterday, and no, this is not something only this game does “wrong”. How about the “Sony Jump’n Runs“, how i call them, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, Sly the Racoon. Or Crash Bandicoot. They all feature this Double Jump, that, at least from my point of view, doesn´t make any sense.

Rather than being ridiculous from a visual point (your character jumps from the air, lolwut, is this One Piece, CP9?!?), it´s even moreso a cheap way out of a game design problem. Without a Double Jump, many areas in the above games would have to be completely reconstructed, simply because they character wouldn´t have such a reach. Also, it´s a matter of accessability. Tapping the same button twice is easier than, for example, holding another button AND press the jump-button to do a long jump.

This is what brings us to the Mario-series. Really, much more so back last gen then today, it was said that the best Jump’n Runs are on a Sony-system now. You see, i could never agree with that…for the simple fact that the only Jump’n Run today that actually features a deep Jump-system IS the Mario-series. No Double Jump, no, when Mario jumps, he either reaches his goal or falls to death. No rescue-jump. And it seems Nintendo especially thought about that matter, as the Double Jump in Metroid Prime is a gameplay-mechanic that´s totally well explained. Then there´s Zelda where you cannot even jump anymore on your own. I really wish for some jumping-action in future Zelda-games, but i definitely don´t want Link jumping around like an idiot, Nintendo always kept the movements in Zelda-games somewhat “realistic”.

To make long matters short: I´d love to see more reasonable jump-concepts. One idea i had for a long time is that if you want to jump farther, you hold the jump-button, press the stick into the wanted direction, and your character realistically takes an inrun, and once you feel like it´s enough, you release the jump button and the character jumps…in horizontal, not vertical distance. A game that featured that idea in some kind was Spiderman 2 for all systems last gen. Though it was way overdone, totally not suited for a normal jump’n run. Anyway, that´s what i want.

Do you like the Double Jump? Have you even ever thought about it? Tell me…so i ca rant some more.

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One Response to The Curse of the Double Jump

  1. baghead says:

    hey fauli,
    i think you’re right…double jumping killed the atmosphere in god of war for me
    it just looks so silly when kratos, a ~100kg spartan warrior, does a second jump in the air
    i don’t mind double jumping in cartoony games like jak & daxter, although i still prefer having it explained consistently within the game’s world(e.g.: jetpack in ratchet & clank, kazooie in banjo-kazooie) as opposed to no explanation (e.g.: sly raccoon)
    fo realistic games, automatic jumping á la zelda is best and this is what sony should do for god of war iii, because double-jumping-kratos will look even sillier in ps3-graphics

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