Pokemon Uranium Has Been Released

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!

Pokemon Uranium Logo

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

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.

Pokemon Uranium Starters

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!

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge is being remade in 3D!

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!

Gruntys Revenge Redone Logo

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:

Cliff Farm Alpha

Cliff Farm Mill

Corn Mill Rafters

Or Spiller’s Harbour, the Rusty Bucket Bay esque area from the game:

spillers harbour

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?

Nintendo Officially Takes Down Metroid 2 Remake

Remember a few days ago when we said AM2R had been taken down via a DMCA notice? And how we’d hoped it was a faker like with the other fan game take downs?

Well, the worst has now been confirmed.

We were wrong. The notice to remove it really was sent by a genuine Nintendo lawyer, and it seems like Nintendo doesn’t want this game distributed for whatever reason. Here’s the Twitter post confirming it, via Metroid Database:

So yeah, it’s not a Jason Allen type situation here. Someone at Nintendo or Miller Nash has caught wind of the project and decided to try and get it taken offline. As a result of this, it seems things are a bit chaotic over on the official site.

For example, remember that post about the game’s release? How version 1 had just been released to the public?

Well for whatever reason, it’s now gone. As have the download links and (for some reason) every post on the blog since June. No, we don’t understand the last one either.

removed downloads page

However, there is some good news here. Namely, the game’s release has ensured that millions of people have copies of it. As a result of this, it can be found on all manner of file sharing and torrent sites through minimal amount of searching. Smooth move there lawyers! Guess someone doesn’t know/care much about the Streisand Effect!

And talking of take downs and sharing, I do have to wonder one thing here. Namely, why now?

The game’s been up and running for about ten years now. In that time, it’s been on tons of best fan game lists, been featured on fan sites, had videos of demos posted online and has clearly been on Nintendo’s radar all the while.

So if Nintendo were seemingly so happy to ignore it then, why not now?

Did something change at the company in the last few years? Because it seems we’re getting a lot more arbitrary shut downs now than we did in the 90s or early 00s. Are Nintendo’s recent business failures causing it to look for scapegoats? Did the change in management put a hyper paranoid board of directors in charge?

Do Nintendo just hate complete fan works, and leave the ones that are in development?

Did someone literally tip them off and ask for it to be shut down?

Because it seems rather strange that it’s only now that AM2R is being wiped out. It makes no sense, and seems to be completely out of the blue.

But hey, what’s done is done. If Nintendo doesn’t like a fan game or work that uses their characters, there’s not really much to do at this point.

Just keep playing it, hope it gets distributed enough that others can find it and hope nothing more serious comes as a result. It’s incredibly disappointing news, but it’s somewhat expected none the less.

So what do you think? Are you disappointed that this great Metroid 2 remake was taken down? Why did it happen?

A Quick Update About That Metroid 2 Remake

DoctorM64 hasn’t received any messages about the game’s take down. As of this point in time, he hasn’t heard anything from Nintendo about the game or anything related to it.

So off the bat, something unusual is going on. Shouldn’t the creator of a fan project know that someone doesn’t want it to keep being available online? I think so, since otherwise said creator would keep reuploading it while being none the wiser.

Additionally, there’s something a tad about the removed links too. Basically, the game was removed from Mediafire and FileDropper. Not surprising, both are very quick to pull content the minute a single random claim is made. But what is surprising though is the notice on Mediafire.

Why? Because of these lines:

Company: Nintendo of America Inc
Email: dmca@millernash.com

Yes, Miller Nash have sometimes helped Nintendo with legal notices and what not.

But they’ve never used their email for this purpose.

Seriously. Look up the Lumen database. Basically, they archive DMCA notices sent to various file hosts and what not. They used to be called ‘Chilling Effects’ at one point, but changed it to appear a little less political in their branding.

Either way, I found no results for millernash.com in the database. Lots for Nintendo, but pretty much all of them used Nintendo.com in their email address.

As a result, this contradicts every other DMCA notice ever sent by the company. It also doesn’t match the details on their official legal page:

Nintendo Legal Page

Similarly, their IP Policy page lists ‘dmca@noa.nintendo.com’ as the contact email address:
Nintendo’s IP Policy

Nintendo IP Policy

So yeah, it’s a little suspicious at the moment. Could it be real? Maybe. For all we know, they could be completely changing their processes overnight and somehow switching all their emails over to their lawyers. But given how the original creator wasn’t notified, something definitely seems off here.

Still, at least Metroid Database is following it up with Nintendo’s legal team:

So for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens.

But what do you think? Are these notices real? Or is a hoaxer trying to screw everything up all of a sudden?

Has Project AM2R Been Shut Down by Nintendo?

Well, that was quick! Seems just 24 or so hours after hosting it, Metroid Database has received a take down notice for the Metroid 2 remake. Here’s the topic about it on their forum:

AM2R Takedown on Metroid Database Forums

But is the take down real? Well, it’s hard to be certain really.

On the one hand, it’s not associated with Jason Allen. Instead, the take down notice was sent by someone called Brian Sniffen, who claims to be from Miller Nash. This checks out a lot more, assuming the LinkedIn and Miller Nash profiles below refer to this individual:

Brian Sniffen on LinkedIn
Brian Sniffen’s Miller Nash Page

So it seems like the name refers to an actual attorney at least. In that sense, it seems like the notice may really have been sent on Nintendo of America’s behalf.

On the other hand… something still seems a bit off about the whole affair.

Why?

Because the actual project site and main download links haven’t been affected. Instead, the only notice sent was to Metroid Database for hosting the game. Not Mediafire. No FileDropper. Not whoever’s hosting the torrent file. The project site’s main news announcement is completely intact with all links working.

This seems odd for a DMCA notice. I mean, why go after a single random mirror? It’s not like more people were posting it, and the main download links themselves come up after maybe five minutes in Google.

It’s similar to what happened with Ocarina of Time 2D, which did seem to be the subject of a dodgy take down notice. Is the idea of going after a single download link a sign of anything? Is it a lazy hoaxer trademark? Maybe a strange practice by the legal team?

Because it’s a very strange decision to take, and seems to defeat the purpose of a DMCA notice.

It’s also worth noting that correct details don’t confirm anything in regards to a DMCA notice’s legitimacy. Yeah, a fake name is a clear sign that something’s amiss. But given that many such notices are posted online (via the Lumen Database), and email spoofing is extremely easy to do, it’s not inconceivable it could be faked here too.

But this is all speculation really. We’ll have to wait for a statement by Nintendo to know if it’s really been taken down by them or not.

So what do you think? Is it a real take down notice? Or another faker?