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Line Trace vs Collision Volumes in a 2D game

Which is the better/more efficient way, concerning a 2D game (with 3D characters)? For example:

Case 1) Usable items
What I’d like to do is put a large, cube volume in front of the character and check it a few times a second to see if any usable items have entered it. It’s a 2D game, so doing a trace to check for items in view, as I’ve seen in tutorials, seems like overkill.

Case 2) Performing actions
I’d also like to do something similar with, for example, wall jumping, where there’s a volume (possible multiples, in order to check that it’s not just one small point that’s being detected, but an actual large, continuous surface?) that is checked whenever the user jumps. A similar case would be checking for grabbable ledges, I suppose.

Case 1 seems like a reasonable approach to me, but case 2 seems like a stretch and a better candidate for tracing… ?