Recently, a bit of controversy has started up about YouTube’s new ‘advertiser friendly content’ rules. Basically, they’re a list of things that are seen as ‘inappropriate’ for monetisation.
They’re bad. Bad enough that just about every big channel on the site has complained about them and said that enforcing them will kill YouTube. Seriously, Gaijin Goomba may have said it best here:
But while they’re bad for most people in general, the rules are worst for one specific group above all others. Namely, gamers and gaming fans in general.
Why is this?
Because by definition, they make it a risk to post gaming content on YouTube.
This is because every one of these points is dangerous for gaming videos. For example, take the point about ‘sexually suggestive’ content. The one about ‘partial nudity’ and ‘sexual humour’. What can that easily describe?
Oh wait, a lot of video games. Dead or Alive is the obvious one, and the VR demo footage makes this even more apparent. As is the entire Leisure Suit Larry series, or any other gaming franchises that focus around adult humour and a character spending the entire game trying to get laid. And that’s just the start of it. What about games like GTA, where some games are shown in a sexual way in some situations (like say, the strip clubs)? How about a typical racing game where attractive women are shown next to the cars at the start or end of the race? The list just goes on and on.
As far as Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire go, they are generally great remake of the gen 3 Pokemon titles. From their astounding 3D visuals to the remixed music and nice extras like the Delta Chapter, they improve on the originals in pretty much every way possible.
Well, except one thing. Difficulty.
Cause like Pokemon X and Y, these remakes are not particularly challenging to long time fans. They’re still fun, but they’re pretty much a cake walk with things like the new EXP Share set up and what not.
Thankfully though, help is at hand. Why? Because Pokemon Rutile Ruby and Star Sapphire take these titles and greatly increase the difficulty level for expert gamers.
For starters, all gym leaders now have a full party of six Pokemon. So if you think first leader Roxanne will still go easy on you with just two Pokemon… think again. Now you’ll have to cope with her full team, likely similar to the one used in the World Tournament in the last generation.
And to add even more fuel to the fire, Mega Evolutions have become more common too. Now, random trainers throughout the world will have them, as part of their redone team line ups. And from Wattson onwards, this includes every gym leader and elite four member in the game.
Levels have been increased too. For example, now the average level for Wattson’s team (gym 4) is level 41. For comparison, that’s about as high as Wallace and Juan’s teams were in the original gen 3 games.
There are other neat changes too. For one thing, all Pokemon that evolve via trading now evolve via being levelled up while specific items as well.
So you can now get a Gengar by levelling up a Haunter to level 36 while at night. Or have Scyther evolve into Scizor by having it level up while holding a Metal Coat.
Add various distribution changes (rare Pokemon are common, while common ones are rare), better held items (many Pokemon hold their mega stones in the wild) and other minor changes, and it’s a pretty impressive ROM hack for such a recent set of games.
Either way, you can find more information about it here in its GBAtemp topic:
Pokemon Rutile Ruby and Star Sapphire – GBAtemp
So what do you think? Is this the type of ROM hack you might be interested in? Think it’s something that might tide you over until Pokemon Sun and Moon are released?
Post your thoughts here or on social media now!
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?