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NES Mega Man

Mega Man 1 (NES): The Blue Bomber goes to work.

Also known as Front View, this is a video game perspective in which all objects are viewed strictly from the side, with little or no amount of their tops or bottoms visible. This is the classic perspective for 2D Platform Games, Metroidvania games, Fighting Games and Horizontal Scrolling Shooters. This perspective has fallen out of favor with modern 3D games.

Depth Perplexion almost always comes with this view; for example note that in the picture to the right Mega Man and the turret enemies can shoot bullets "through" the walls.

See also Isometric Projection, Top Down View and Three Quarters View.

Due to its ubiquity in 2D Platform Games, Metroidvania, Fighting Games and Horizontal Scrolling Shooters, please list only subversions or unusual instances.

Examples of Side View include:

Platform / Metroidvania

  • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel had certain sections in 2D.
  • Some parts of the daytime levels in Sonic Unleashed, as well as the levels in Sonic Colors and Modern Sonic's levels in Sonic Generations.
  • Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario played with this with sections in the former where you went from the 3D foreground to the 2D background, and in the latter with 2D to 3D flips.
  • Similarly, Crush was based around transitioning between 3D, 2D side-view, and 2D top-down-view.
  • Fez involves a 3D environment that gets flattened into a 2D plane for side-view platforming; the player can alter the level by switching the positions of the X- and Z-axis at will.
  • The Mega Man series-- with the notable exception of 8, where the tops of platforms were visible.
  • Little Big Planet, though you could "jump" forward and backwards in depth in certain spots.

Shoot'Em Up

Eastern RPG

  • Interestingly, despite being 3D, Wild Arms 4 had areas that would switch to this perspective for platforming elements.
  • The Mario & Luigi games were usually Top Down View, but had a bunch of side-scrolling segments.

Action Adventure


  • The Contra series infamously uses alternative viewpoints (such as top-down and pseudo-3D) in some of its levels.

Other / unsorted

Other Media

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox has a few action scenes like this.
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