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Smorgasbored!

This week we're going to take a spritely animated spirited look at one of the lesser-analyzed side effects of SNES platformers having big sprites.
Many people have already discussed that one effect of bigger sprites is "smaller view of the level around you." This can lead to poor level design and "blind jumps": in these you have to leap off into space assuming there will be a platform there, because you can't see far enough to look before you leap.
While this is a valid concern, large sprites also means your character can be animated to do funny things if you stand still for too long!
I think we can all agree that broken gameplay is a small price to pay to enjoy these amusing animations in some of your my favorite platformers! First let's start with some...
Dishonorable Mentions: Checking Over your Shoulder
These games just have your character occasionally glance over their shoulder -- I didn't think these are worth animating, so I'll just show a representative frame:
Warlock   ...although it's also true that your cloak constantly billows around you for no particular reason.
Pitfall: the Mayan Adventure   Perhaps he's jumpy because his energy meter is a picture of a crocodile about to eat him?
Judge Dredd   In addition to checking behind him, Dredd also twirls his gun.
Now for the fun stuff! The most common approach to full-fledged your-character-is-waiting animations is...
Toe-Tappin' Impatience!
Adventures of Dr. Franken
...though maybe if the good doctor spent a little less time glaring at me from behind his Ray-Bans, he'd notice that his bookshelf is POSSESSED BY POLTERGEIST!
We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story
Mr. T-Rex is grumpy because he can't eat that delicious-looking drumstick until I press "right" on the controlpad...but I'm too stunned by the sight of a gol'darn Thunder Lizard walking a tightrope high above New York City. (I have this same problem with the idea that he can CLIMB FRIGGIN' DRAIN PIPES)
Skuljagger
(Here our bubble-gum-blowing pirate protagonist commits another anachronism by pretending to look at his forearm, as if he was wearing a wrist watch)
Another way to indicate that your character thinks you should be paying more attention is through the consumption of an infinite supply of...
Tasty Snacks!
Dennis the Menace
...did someone say "bubble gum"? When Dennis gets tired of waiting for you to play the game, he blows.
The irony is that I get tired of playing the game because it blows. It's a self-reinforcing loop, with disgusting yellow-colored bubblegum!
Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt
Actually, Pugsley takes a page from Beavis & Butt-Head: he does a whole bunch of different odd animations when he gets bored...but his sandwich-eating was his most noteworthy distraction.
And speaking of games that do too many animations, let's wrap this up with...
Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday
There's not a lot to say about this game that VGJunk didn't already cover, but Porky's "standing still" animation really deserves special mention:
Not only is it every bit as twitchy and spastic as it appears above -- he launches into it the millisecond you stop walking or jumping.
While most of these games require you to put the controller down for upwards of 10 seconds before your in-game avatar gets bored and starts to do random things to amuse himself/itself, not Porky! He has some serious tics and twitches to go with his stutter.
I don't think I can top that;
so that means...
— carlmarksguy, 2013-11-08
1
Bubsy bangs on the screen after awhile.
2
That's kind of cute :) But given that the SNES is lousy with these animations, my excuse for only doing a few was just doing "some of MY favorite platformers" (also what more can one say about Bubsy? It'd be like reviewing "Plan 9 from Outer Space")
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