In recent years, Loot boxes have gotten a lot of criticism in the gaming community. Accused of being gambling and seen as a cheap way of making money, they’ve become perhaps the least liked ‘mechanic’ in the industry, and something so despised that even governments seem to be willing to crack down on them.
But while they’re bad in modern games, the idea has at least made for one interesting Doom mod. Why? Because it basically reimagines the game as if it was designed by EA with microtransactions in mind!
No really. Instead of merely picking up weapons, now they’re stashed inside lootboxes found throughout the level.
And it doesn’t end there either. Nope, just like in many modern multiplayer games, the keys to the boxes and the items inside are both randomly dropped. So yeah, you have to hope a monster drops a key, then hope the box gives you a decent weapon rather than your standard piece of bog standard crap. It’s a pretty good illustration of how Doom could have worked if developed in 2017:
So, if you’re interested, check it out sometime. It’s not really a fun experience, but it’s not meant to be either, and shows just how bad these questionable monetisation schemes by framing them within the context of a classic game.
It really does make you grateful for the technical limitations of the era.
Doom Loot Box Mod (Zdoom Forums)
Over the last few months, Kaze Emanuar has made some interesting mods for Super Mario 64. He’s made an online multiplayer mod called Super Mario 64 Online, which adds new characters and abilities along with the ability for 24 players to play at once. He’s made Super Mario Odyssey 64, a mod that adds the Capture mechanics from Mario Odyssey into Mario 64 so you can control enemies.
And well, that’s not even getting started on his full-length projects. Like the amazing Super Mario 64 Last Impact game. Or his equally impressive looking Ocarina of Time remake that’s in development right now.
The guy’s basically a Mario 64 hacking god. If Nintendo’s done something interesting, he’s already replicated it in the Mario 64 engine the very same day!
Which is only reinforced even further by his latest mod. Why? Because this one actually adds a portal gun to the game!
Yep, a portal gun like the one you use in Portal is now usable in Super Mario 64. Here’s a video showing it all in action:
As you can see, it works pretty damn well for the most part. What’s more, it’s not limited to Mario either. Nope, this mod works on everything in the game.
Want to cheat the Bowser fight? Drop a portal on a bomb, then chuck Bowser in the other one. Want to win a race? Sure, just put one near the start and one near the finish line.
The possibilities are virtually endless! It really does feel like a natural part of the game here.
So, if you’re a Mario 64 fan (or want to see Mario mess around with portals), check it out. It’s definitely one of the better mods seen in a while!
Over the years we’ve been playing Super Mario World mods, we’ve seen some interesting stuff. There was that creepypasta game called MARIO, which tried to tell the story of a messed-up video game ROM hack with an actual ROM hack that readers could download and play. There was Xkas Shack, which promised a gimmick heavy mod written in pure machine code and provided something else entirely (we’ll let you experience that one for yourself).
As well as various attempts at gimmicky ASM showcases and crossovers from unknown Japanese ROM hackers. Like Brutal Mario, Super Mario LD and the Scarlet Devil Mario series.
But one thing we’ve never seen is an ARG based around a mod of the game.
Until now. Because as the title suggests, a new Super Mario World ROM hack is actually part of an ARG (alternate reality game) about the Spice Girls!
Seriously. Named Super Spice World, the hack starts out pretending to be your bog standard, celebrity focused fan game. You’ve got the main characters replaced by members of the band. Some of their lyrics are used in the game in message boxes. And well, even their songs have been ported over to the SMW engine.
At first glance, it seems like your typical fanboy hack. The kind of mediocre hack you constantly find in SMW Central’s submission queue.
However, it then turns out there’s much more to this than meets the eye. For example, in level 1 there’s a series of raised platforms with coins on them.
Seems normal, right? Yeah, that’s what I’d have thought.
But that’s not the case. Instead, the height and order of said platforms isn’t actually a coincidence. It’s a coded message!
Indeed, if you assign each platform a number between 0 and 9 (with the higher platforms getting lower numbers), then consider the coins two levels above zero as modifiers (like in an IMB punch card system), then this translates to:
69 6d 67 76 41 30 6c 6d 66 34, or “imgvA0lmf4’
Which in turn provides the following Imgur link:
That turns out to be part of a QR code with the characters ‘1/6’ at the lower right corner.
And that’s basically the meta game here. Solve the puzzles, find the QR links, piece it all together.
It’s a setup that continues throughout the whole game. There’s a cave with an actual in-game code QR code:
A castle where coloured coins are part of a code. Seriously:
Heck, there’s even a ghost house with tons of turn blocks that turn out to either be spinning blocks or coin blocks. Reading those from the top left to bottom right ends up giving you a code in binary which can be decoded into a QR code link:
All in all, it’s a fascinating experience. Like MARIO for a modern audience.
So, check it out if you’re a puzzle fan (or perhaps a die-hard fan of the Spice Girls in general) and tell us what you think. It’s certainly a very creative way of using a Super Mario World ROM hack as part of a larger story, and very reminiscent of Petscop and Ben Drowned.
Super Spice World Analysis Article (Human Souls ARG)
When it comes to Super Mario 64 hacks, it really does feel like we’re in a new golden age. We’ve got Kaze Emanuar recreating mechanics from Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Maker in the engine. There’s a full blown online multiplayer mode with multiple selectable characters.
And with things like whole game worlds being imported as levels and Ocarina of Time being remade as a Mario hack, it’s quite clear we’re seeing the title pushed further than ever before.
But even with all that said, the latest Mario 64 mod that’s been released is something else entirely. Why?
Because it’s a full-blown Super Smash Bros game created as a Super Mario 64 hack! No, we’re not making that up:
Named Super Smash Bros 3D, the title is the latest Mario 64 hack from SKELUX, the creator of Super Mario Star Road and the special level importer that allows ridiculously large stages to be imported into the game. As the title suggests, it’s an attempt to translate Super Smash Bros mechanics to a fully 3D environment, with players able to go anywhere they like in stages and attack each other from any possible angle.
And well, it’s already looking incredible right now. Indeed, not only are there multiple stages to choose from (including some from Melee), but actual online multiplayer so you can play against people on the other side of the world. That’s utterly ridiculous, especially given how its based on a single player only game.
However, it’s SKELUX’s future plans which will really make it shine. Why? Because future additions coming to this game will include:
- A proper character select screen, with a decent sized roster to choose from
- More special moves, likely straight from the N64 title
- Lots more stages, as well as said stages having fully operational stage obstacles (like spinning blocks on Yoshi’s Island)
As well as four player support on top of all that.
This means we’ve already gone from a 3D platformer with no multiplayer functionality in sight, to a complex fighting game with completely new mechanics and features.
It’s absolutely insane, to the point of perhaps being one of the most ambitious N64 game mods ever made.
So, if you’re a Smash Bros fan, check it out. It’s a nice look at how the series could work in 3D, as well as one of the craziest technical showcases I’ve seen in a while.
It’s one mod you definitely shouldn’t miss!
Super Smash Bros 3D Release Trailer (YouTube)
Back when Breath of the Wild was in development, there were a few people asking about a female Link. Or at least, the possibility of playing as a female character in general.
Now, this obviously didn’t happen in the actual game. There, not only can Link not be customised in any (real) way, but no other characters like Zelda are unlockable either. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s disappointed a few people none the less.
However, it seems these folks may finally have just the mod for them! Why? Because an all new project in development does exactly what it says on the tin. It replaces Link with Zelda.
Here’s a video showing this mod in action:
As you can obviously see, it’s pretty early in its development. Indeed, it’s so in fact that we don’t actually get to see Zelda do much of anything in the video. Just walk forward in a straight line, as proof the mod has been inserted into the game.
But hey, just because it’s in the early stages doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. It’s got the perfect model for Zelda (the one used in the cutscenes in the game itself), and it’s been implemented in a way that looks absolutely perfect so far.
So, if you’re interested in playing Breath of the Wild with Zelda as a main character, check it out. It may not be official (or released yet), but it’ll be a neat option for anyone wanting to play the game with someone new none the less.