Even though platformers generally have the same controls for basic movement, when actually playing them they can feel very different. The inertia, momentum, gravity, and various other physics values can have a great affect on the feel of a platformer. You should try moving about in a safe area whenever beginning a new platformer until you are comfortable.
In early single screen platformers, your movement is confined to a single screen. The background does not change regardless of how you move.
In side-scrolling platformers, the screen moves as you do. It is important to take this into account as you move. Some obstacles may be obscured off the screen.
In 3D games, movement is more difficult. The analog stick has no absolute relation to your surroundings, unlike in 2D games. Movement is always relative to the view of the camera.
This is the most important action in any platform game. It is by jumping that you navigate across the platforms from which the genre takes its name, and jumping is often a form of attack.
Jumping controls are very “tight” in Super Mario Brothers, once you jump, you have limited directional influence. Take your time and make precision jumps.
Sonic controls loosely by contrast. Sonic is often moving very fast, so you will have little time to think about jumps. Be sure to adjust in midair.
Every character jumps a bit differently. The only way to become comfortable is through practice.
Difficult jumps aren’t the only obstacle in a platform game. Levels are also inhabited by many enemies. Every character has a method of attacking these enemies. Here are some of the most common methods.
Since platform characters are so skilled at jumping, it makes sense that they would put it to other uses. In some games, the primary method of attack is simply jumping on top of an enemy. Care should be taken, however; the tops of some enemies will actuall damage you. This is usually indicated visually.
Don’t jump on spiked enemies!
Some platform characters will be damaged if they touch an enemy. They attack instead with projectiles. This action is usually taken with the secondary button.
As the Mega Man games proceed, Mega Man will gain a number of different weapons.
Rayman throws his fist.