Do you fancy yourself a video game journalist? Have a game or gaming event you really wish to give your opinion on, but have nowhere to post it? Want to potentially win 200 dollars in video games of your choice?
If so, then you’re going to love the new writing contest at Gaming Reinvented. It’s pretty simple really; write a good article, and if it’s better than everyone else’s, you can win up to 200 dollars in video games of your choice. There’s no catch, no fees and nothing to worry about, it’s purely about who can write the best article on Gaming Reinvented.
Here’s how it all works:
- You register on Gaming Reinvented via the forums. This gives you access to the article posting features on the main site.
- Once you’ve registered, you return to the site and post your article. It can be a standard article, a review, a walkthrough or an interview.
- The article then gets added to a list of other articles posted by contest entrants.
- This contest will then end on the
22nd September. No wait, 23rd September, 10pm
- Then, each article is scored by a group of judges (once of which is myself). These judges will rate the article based on the following factors:
- How unique or interesting the topic of the article is. Things you can’t easily find elsewhere will score well here, while bland top/bottom ten lists and clickbait will score low.
- The written quality of the article. Does it flow well? Has anyone proofread the thing, or is it filled with spelling and grammar errors?
- Once everything else is done, the winner will be contacted and the prizes sent out.
And that’s it.
So what are you waiting for? Write your dream article today!
[button removed, contest over]
In today’s gaming world, fan remakes are everywhere. Whether it’s a classic Mario game, the latest FPS or anything in between, some plucky group of fans is likely out there trying to make it even better. It’s like a rule of the internet; if something exists, someone out there is trying to remake it.
But even with this flood of remakes, there are some that really stand out from the crowd. Games which take an early title and make it a full 3D extravaganza with all the trimmings. Remakes that make you wonder how the project is even possible. Or fan recreation of classics that even match up to commercial games on a quality level.
And so that’s what this list is all about. Fantastic fan remakes that tried to overhaul Nintendo games and make them much better than ever imagined. Some got cancelled (those are marked with a [C} icon). Some are still in progress. And some? Well, they just vanished off the face of the planet for no apparent reason.
Either way, let’s begin the list shall we?
10. Conker’s Pocket Tales Remake (Project Spark)[C]
Namely with a lesser known title. Does anyone remember what’s Conker’s first video game was?
No, we’re not talking about Bad Fur Day. We’re talking about Pocket Tales, an obscure Game Boy game that was closer in tone to the cancelled Twelves Tales title. Here’s a video, in case you haven’t seen it:
As you can see, it’s got its own charm. But something doesn’t really work about the game. Namely, the whole 2D top down perspective. Why? Because it doesn’t really lend itself well to the collectathon/puzzle platformer type gameplay. It comes across as confusing and a tad bland.
And so that’s where this game came in! Conker’s Pocket Tales HD was a fan remake of Pocket Tales in an editor called Project Spark. What was Project Spark? Well it was basically a game maker program released by Microsoft for Windows 8, Windows 10 and Xbox One in late 2013 and early 2014 respectively.
It’d already got a Conker’s Bad Fur Day asset pack (for an episode called ‘Conker’s Big Reunion’), and so the remake took this, added in lots of stuff from Pocket Tales and tried to present it as a prequel to Bad Fur Day. Here are some pictures:
Looks good, doesn’t it? Yes, yes it does. And based on the topic about the game by Agent Ape on DK Vine, that was only a small teaser of what was to come.
Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Because Microsoft killed off Project Spark. Yes, the company decided their ‘game maker’ wasn’t popular enough, so they discontinued the game and shut down the servers for good. As a result, Conker’s Pocket Tales HD became the first fan remake to die because it’s engine went the way of the dodo. Talk about some miserable luck!
But let’s move on from that now. Onto an interesting little remake of Wario Land 1 for the Game Boy…
9. Super Mario Land 3 Remix (SMW ROM Hack)[C]
Or as the creator called it, Super Mario Land 3 Remix. This ROM hack was meant to reimagine Wario Land 1 as a Mario title in the Super Mario World engine, complete with all new graphics and level design tweaks.
And on the graphical front… it certainly did look impressive. I mean, here are some screenshots showing Wario Land 1 in a style almost reminiscent of a Game Boy Advance game:
Heck, it was even going to be a base hack at one point! You were going to be able to make your own Wario Land style game by using this one as a base, complete with all those lovely graphics and what not!
Unfortunately, it never came to be. NeonSwift (the creator of the game) eventually stopped updating his blog and SMW Central topic about the title, and hasn’t been heard from since 2009 as of this article’s writing. End result? It’s pretty likely that Super Mario Land 3 Remix will never see the light of day.
Still, it’s not a complete loss. After Super Mario Land 3 Remix was cancelled, someone else decided to make their own Wario Land remake in SMW’s engine. This one (dubbed ‘Wario Land SNES’) was eventually released and can be found here:
Wario Land SNES Download from ROM Hacking.net
It’s not as good as the cancelled one might have been, and it does have a few glitches, but hey, at least something good came out of the ‘Wario Land remake’ idea.
But how about something a bit more positive now? Like a remake that’s not been cancelled?
8. Banjo-Kazooie Grunty’s Revenge Redone
Such as this remake of Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge. We already wrote a full blown article about the game a few days back, and you can read that one here:
Grunty’s Revenge Redone Article on Gaming Reinvented
Or see a few (reused) screenshots below:
It’s a really impressive game, and definitely one that’ll be an amazing recreation of the original if it’s ever completed.
Which is a bit like what the next project would have been. In a much better universe…
7. The Ura Zelda Restoration Project [C]
Well, it does count as a remake, right?
After all, just because it’s remaking a cancelled game doesn’t make it original. And hey, if that wasn’t enough, it even tried to restore the game’s beta content too! So it’s a remake of two games in one!
Either way, the URA Project looked incredible when it was in development. We were going to have a whole new set of dungeons! With new enemies, bosses, story, final boss, items and everything else besides! A whole new soundtrack was being composed and sounded incredible!
It was big. It had an official site on The GCN. There were pages upon pages off discussions on every Zelda fan site and forum under the sun.
And well, based on the trailers, the game really was living up to its own hype:
So what happened to it?
Why did we never get to see the URA Project get released?
Massive, massive amounts of team drama. Basically, the people involved absolutely flipped out, with the team leader Zeth and various others on his team ending up at loggerheads due to personal disagreements. Eventually, this got so severe, the entire GCN forum was literally hacked in a fit of rage. It was quite the spectacle, and if you really need to hear more, you should read the comments here:
URA Zelda Article on Zelda Informer
URA Zelda Article on Zelda Dungeon
It’s… a long, convoluted story. The game had more internal strife than Duke Nukem Forever by the time it imploded.
But hey, you can’t keep a good idea down. And so the legions of followers have made their own versions. Some got cancelled, like you’d expect. Some are still on going. And this one looks to be the latest of the bunch:
URA Zelda Revival on Zelda Fan Games Central
Perhaps in the next few years, this remake might actually get finished and released in some form. We can only hope and dream…
6. Legend of Zelda Project
Talking of Zelda, URA Zelda wasn’t the only interesting attempt at a Zelda remake. Oh no, the first game got one as well. In 3D!
But wait, you may say. Isn’t this the one Nintendo shut down?
The one you played in your browser window?
Ah. No. No it isn’t.
That one was a sort of 2.5D Zelda 1 remake, with the same retro sprite graphics turned into simple models. This Zelda remake is full 3D, complete with the possibility to use a third person camera like in the 3D Zelda titles!
Here’s some footage of the first dungeon done in this way:
As you can see, it looks pretty awesome really. Oh sure, Link doesn’t have animations yet. And various sprites and enemies weren’t implemented.
But damn, the creator was going the full distance with the modernising here. Nods to modern games were being added. Like statues of Nabooru in the dungeon renamed after her. Or various extras like the Gerudo symbol, falling sand, etc to give each dungeon it’s own atmosphere.
Basically, it was going to take Zelda 1, and genuinely tie it into the world of Hyrule in a way not possible on the NES. It would make the classic less barren and samey and more like the modern Zelda games.
Unfortunately, it’s unknown whether the game ever got finished or cancelled. Like Super Mario Land 3 Remix, the official dev blog just stops in 2013. It’s a shame, but for now, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Remember how AM2R was taken down a few days ago? And how much criticism that brought Nintendo and everyone else?
Well, it seems like something similar may have happened to Pokemon Uranium.
The trailer for Pokemon Uranium
Possibly. Because there’s some good news and bad news here…
Good news, is that no cease and desist order has been received. Like with AM2R, the Pokemon Uranium team will continue developing fixes and updates for the game in the foreseeable future.
Bad news is, their download links seem to have been taken down by Nintendo lawyers. Because of this, the team has decided to remove all ‘official’ links from their website. You can still get it online (through tons of fan uploads). But for now, there won’t be any official download links on the Pokemon Uranium website.
However, this brings us to an important question.
Is this take down real?
Because for a lot of games and ROM hacks, it wasn’t. File hosting services don’t really check someone actually is a lawyer before they remove a file, so lots of Nintendo fan works were being removed by people like ‘Jason Allen’. Could he have hit Pokemon Uranium too?
Possibly, but I suspect it probably is legitimate this time round. why?
Because remember, this isn’t an obscure fan game. We’re not talking… say, a random mod on SMW Central or KCMM here. It’s not a game only a few message board goers have heard about. It’s not a small community project or anything.
Instead, we’re talking a game that’s received massive amounts of press coverage. Everyone from Wired to Polygon to the Metro newspaper has written an article about this game. It’s basically become a media phenomenon overnight.
As a result, it’s basically the same sort of situation as AM2R. A super hyped game that’s gotten a ton of press coverage and one that Nintendo’s legal teams have been watching like a hawk in recent weeks. Add how no cease and desist was received (but DMCA notices were sent to download links for the game), and it seems to following the AM2R takedown pattern. Go after the downloads, but don’t actually personally go after the team behind it (or site hosting it).
That popularity is also why hoaxers might be less keen to go after the project. They like works and authors that few people have heard of, so no one really shines a light on their activities. Go after something like this or AM2R? Then dear god, the media will basically annihilate them. And Nintendo? They won’t be all too happy that some random guy is giving them a bad name.
But hey, we’ll have to wait and see whether we can get a follow up here. It seems like a genuine take down notice, but let’s not make any rash judgements without any evidence.
So what do you think? Are you disappointed that Pokemon Uranium’s download links have been take down? Or that someone seems to have noticed the project?
Well, seems like Another Metroid 2 Remake wasn’t the only big fan game released this month! Oh no, a whole new Pokemon fan game called Pokemon Uranium Version was released as well! And while games based on the series are common, this one takes it to a whole ‘nother level!
Here’s the game’s trailer:
As you can see, the game looks incredible. You’ve got graphics on par with the DS titles, complete with neat weather effects and stuff. There are tons of new sprites and artwork as well as a new soundtrack to listen to.
Heck, they even replicated some online features like the Global Trade Station, Wonder Trade and Mystery Gift! That’s pretty awesome for a fan made game released for free!
But that’s not the most interesting aspect of the game. Oh no, that goes to the main ‘mechanic’ added to it. Namely…
The Nuclear type.
Basically, this type acts a lot like the Shadow Pokemon from Pokemon Colosseum and XD. Their attacks are good against all opponents, but they’re also weak to all type attacks in return. So it’s a high risk, high reward type that requires very careful usage.
And here’s the other interesting thing; only a few Pokemon in the game are naturally Nuclear type. Namely Nucleon, the Xenomite family, Hazma and Urayne.
Nucleon, a Nuclear type evolution for Eevee
But the type isn’t limited to these species. Oh no, other Pokemon in contaminated areas can get it too. And unlike the natural Nuclear Pokemon, these ones have… issues. Namely, they’re very aggressive, will disobey orders and will sometimes even attack their own trainers! That’s pretty messed up, even for a Pokemon fan game!
In addition to that, the game also has a few other interesting additions. Like a Pokemon Speech Translator that lets you talk to your Pokemon. A Nuzlocke Mode, that lets you do a Nuzlocke Run in game without having to voluntarily release your Pokemon. And a trainer test. This basically works out what kind of trainer the player is, and gives them a certain starter based on their answers. Focus on attacking? You get Raptorch. Play defensively? Then you get Orchynx. Try and be the best of both worlds? Then it’s Eletux for you. It’s an interesting mechanic, and a creative way to vary up how starters work.
The three starters of Pokemon Uranium
Add in all the usual additions (a new region, new villain team, new gyms and elite four, hundreds of new Pokemon) and you have a really impressive fan game with a lot to offer. Yes, it’s not all fancy 3D like X and Y onwards. And yes, it might be a bit darker than some official works.
But damn, it’s a really impressive Pokemon title which actually feels like it could be a genuine title.
Even more impressive is just how long this has been in development. Namely, more than 9 years. That’s a long development time for a fan game, and one that’s on par with the likes of AM2R and Brutal Mario on the longevity front. You have to give the team props for actually sticking to the game for all that time.
So yeah, you should go and try the game now. At the moment, the official site is down. But you can still get it here:
Pokemon Uranium Download Links – Tumblr
And when the site returns, you can find it at the link below:
Pokemon Uranium Version Website
Along with the official wiki for the title. That one can be found here:
Pokemon Uranium Version Wiki
But what do you think of Pokemon Uranium Version? Is it an impressive fan game given that it’s been in development for nearly a decade? Post your thoughts here or on social media today!
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you here! It’s a remake of Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge as a 3D platformer in the style of the Nintendo 64 games!
But what’s Grunty’s Revenge?
Well, after Rare were bought by Microsoft, they couldn’t make games for Nintendo’s home consoles any more. However, they could make games for the GBA since Microsoft had no competitor for it.
So they made this game. A portable Banjo-Kazooie title for the GBA, which tries to bring Banjo’s world into an isometric style. Here’s a video showing the game in action:
As you can see, it’s okay. The game does a decent enough job at making a Banjo like game on a much weaker system, it keeps the humour intact overall and it does an admirable job of bridging the first two games even more.
But it doesn’t live up to the Nintendo 64 games. For you know, extremely obvious reasons.
And that’s where this mod comes in. Grunty’s Revenge Redone is the original game, remade as a mod of the original Banjo-Kazooie. As a result, the gameplay is in 3D, the platforming is easier to get used to and the title has been made to feel much more like a proper Banjo sequel.
It’s by a user called Brady on the Banjo’s Backpack forums, and comes with lots of spiffy screenshots showing areas from the title in 3D. Like various parts of Cliff Farms:
Or Spiller’s Harbour, the Rusty Bucket Bay esque area from the game:
Heck, even beta content might be considered for the mod! So Freezing Furnace may become Freezing Fjord and Fiery Furnace again!
Either way, you can follow the game’s progress in its official topic on the Banjo’s Backpack forums. It’s quite a long topic at the moment, but there’s a ton of great pictures and mock ups to see there none the less.
It’s fantastic to see such an obscure game get the remake treatment, especially when it’s as improved as this one. Maybe this should happen to Mario Pinball Land and Conker’s Pocket Tales too!
But what do you think? Are you interested in this remake of Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge?