Viewing your party from on-high is well-established in the world of video games. So well established, in fact, that it has slipped from 'established' to 'extinct' in most genres. There just aren't that many action games that still use it. After all, ditching that perspective and going for an over the shoulder viewpoint allows players to see what's ahead of them and more often than not that's helpful. Sure, it should give you a decent tactical awareness of where your enemies are, and looking down at the world has some charm, but it feels pretty restrictive unless you're in a dungeon.
There's no real technical reason to stick with this viewpoint any more – today's games are more than capable of rendering epic landscapes. Is it just tradition, then, that has prompted Obsidion to stick with what has come before? Quite possibly, but I can't help but feel that gamers who are less familiar with this genre will get annoyed by the decision. We're used to being able to scope out our surroundings, so being unable to lower the perspective will be an inevitable frustration for some. And yes, I am aware that there's more than one viewpoint to choose from; but even the one that's closest to the character and looks ahead the most still left me wanting to see further.