Well, kind of.
They’ve released a version of VIP 6.
But it’s not really a finished one by any means. It’s more a beta version with a title screen hastily added and a few other minor tweaks made.
Kind of like Mario Tennis Ultra Smash or Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival, except by a bunch of random people on 2ch rather than a professional game development company.
But what killed it? What killed VIP 6 to the point the team just decided to toss it out the door and be done with the whole thing?
Well, resources really. Previous VIP games (like 4 and 5) did well because there was a large community contributing their work. There were great overworld graphics by 660. Carol made awesome bosses like Julius and Tanasinn. And others contributed their own levels.
Above: Some of the finest aspects of the VIP series.
Unfortunately, the Super Mario World ROM hacking community is going through tough times at the moment.
For one thing, a lot of people are getting bored and moving on. This is especially true in the Japanese scene, where a dedicated community for the hobby didn’t really exist anywhere for years. Oh sure, there was a regular 2ch topic and a few final hosting sites. But there was nothing like SMW Central, and hence nothing to really keep the community together.
It also didn’t help that the best remaining SMW hackers there got bored with the whole VIP deal. So instead of working so much on VIP levels like they did in the past, they got together on Twitter and put together ASPE Mario. That was a simpler hack, sure. But it was also a much better designed one which didn’t try to drag things out for 9 worlds and had mostly decent level design throughout.
Above: An example level from ASPE Mario
And that trend continues with carol. Why?
Because the Brutal Mario maker has other projects to focus on. Like Brutal Mario itself, which needs done after 10 years. Or Mario’s Nightmare Quest, a project very close to this site… He just got bored of the VIP games and moved on.
Either way, the result was clear. The best level designers, the overworld designer, the final boss programmer and a bunch of other important people didn’t contribute to the game, and it simply couldn’t be finished as a result. It took months upon months of pointless discussions and plans going nowhere, but eventually the game was considered impossible to finish and released as is.
So it’s not a very dignified ‘end’ for VIP 6.
Well, it’s time. Well, it’s time. We’ve had the first list of great Nintendo fan games. We’ve had the second list of great Nintendo fan games.
But we’re not done just yet! Oh no, here’s another list of amazing fan projects! Yes, they’re not as well known as Mother 4 or Mushroom Kingdom Fusion. None the less, they’re all still incredibly well made titles, and really do show you just how far the fan game and ROM hack development scenes have really come in the last decade or so.
So let’s get to the list! With a name that quite a few Nintendo fans might know about…
Newer Super Mario Bros DS
Namely, Newer Super Mario Bros. You remember the Wii games, don’t you? The games that introduced new enemies, new music, new bosses and all kinds of fun, interesting new levels and mechanics to the New Super Mario Bros series.
The ones that got this right nice trailer?
Well, the series is continuing. And now it’s on the DS!
Yes, Newer Super Mario Bros DS is now a thing, and it looks great. Made by modder Skawo, the project tries to loosely port the Wii game over to the DS, with some of the features, graphics, music and ideas from the main game coming with it.
Here’s a trailer for the project:
As you can see, it pulls of the feel of the older games really well, and the new level concepts work really well on the DS too. Like that awesome space level, which seems to have reduced gravity befitting the theme.
Talking of space, here’s a better video of that level:
With that nicely downsampled Mario Galaxy music and the gorgeous graphics, it really makes me wish Nintendo considered making more space themed levels for their own 2D Mario games. I mean, why should the 3D games get all the fun stuff?
But, moving on…
Super Mario Sunshine 64 DS
To another Mario hack. Yeah, I know it’s a bit much to have two in a row. But come on, it’s a port of Super Mario Sunshine to the DS. How can you not think that’s one of the coolest concepts ever?
It’s also mighty impressive how precisely these worlds were ported. Remember, Mario Sunshine has some massive stages, especially compared to many of those in the original Mario 64. Bianco Hills is enormous , yet it apparently fits really nicely on the old DS:
But while the idea is neat, it’s the execution that matters here. Porting levels is cool, but it’s also a fairly common thing in the modding scene now. Heck, the Mario 64 scene (at least on home consoles) seems to have made a hobby out of trying to port whole worlds from as many games as possible.
What’s really interesting is how they ported the other mechanics. Like FLUDD and the various nozzles:
Or how they ported the Sand Bird level, complete with its flying pattern around the tower:
It’s a really neat project, and though only a remake, shows just how much the original DS could have been capable of had Nintendo felt like making a few more big 3D games for it. Seriously, it’s a real shame how wasted the DS’ capabilities in regards to running 3D games were. I mean, there was Super Mario 64 DS, Mario Kart DS, Metroid Prime Hunters… and I think Diddy Kong Racing DS? Nintendo basically treated the whole thing like a big GBA, with about ten times more 2D titles for the system than 3D ones.
Mario Sunshine 64 DS shows that more could have been done there. And also, that maybe a proper 3D version of Zelda Phantom Hourglass could have been a possibility too.
But this is about fan games, not wasted opportunities on Nintendo systems. So let’s move on to…
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 2D
Well, the ‘current’ version of the game anyway. It’s been attempted by about twenty different teams at this point, and the results have usually been something akin to ‘gave up after realising the effort required’. Or pretended to die in a car crash if your name was Dampe.
None the less, the current version of the game looks quite a bit more promising. For one thing, they’ve actually got some progress to show up to Hyrule Castle in the released demo, so that’s a bit further than most people got. And hey, with stuff like Dodongo’s Cavern and Jabu Jabu’s Belly in active development, it seems like we may actually get a finished game this time around.
And hey, an online mode seems to be present here, which is something cool. Can’t wait to see that get remotely active!
Here’s a trailer:
So yeah, let’s hope this version gets a bit further than the last few attempts. As well as you know, onto the next item on the list.
Star Fox Shadows of Lylat
Which happens to be one of the only promising Star Fox fan works out there. Shadow of Lylat is an attempt at making a full blown Star Fox sequel in the style of Star Fox 64 and its successors. Made as a Freespace mod and with full co-op multiplayer, the trailer looked rather promising:
Note the term ‘looked’.
Because unfortunately for people who wanted something unofficial to play after Star Fox Zero, the chance of the game actually coming out is now just about non existent. After more than 6 years in development, the game was officially cancelled by the team in 2012, as seen in this forum discussion:
Shadows of Lylat Cancellation Topic – Game Warden (archived)
Not surprising given the scope of the project, but it’s a real shame none the less. Fortunately, our next few fan games are not cancelled…
Well, for a few small dungeons anyway. It’s a Four Swords esque experience where you play through new levels based on the Great Deku Tree, Dodongo’s Cavern and the Ice Cavern, and then fight a boss at the end.
Except you know, the game is in full 3D, like the game it was based on. What’s more, there’s also the ability to set the camera to use a top down view, for those Four Swords purists who somehow don’t like 3D Zelda games very much.
Here’s the trailer for it:
As well as some pictures from the original topic about the game:
So what do I think here?
Well, what do you expect me to think? The concept is amazing and the ROM hack looks incredibly fun to play too. It’s certainly a lot more interesting than another top down Zelda game with multiplayer functionality (*cough* Tri Force Heroes *cough*), since that concept’s been done to death in the earlier Four Swords games.
Either way, download the mod now. Because damn, this should be a great time filler until the new Zelda game for Wii U/NX is ready!
OoT: Four Sword Arena Edition – Zelda 64 Forums
When it comes to the Paper Mario series, there’s not really much hope on the official front. Sticker Star took out the storyline and interesting characters. Paper Jam forgot about everything except what was in Sticker Star. And Colour Splash… well, that’s got a reception best described as ‘hostile’. Seriously, people are actually petitioning to get that game cancelled.
As a result, it’s up to the fans to do what Nintendo’t; make a decent Paper Mario sequel. And there have been some really good attempts in the past too. Like Paper Mario 3D Land, which mixed classic Paper Mario with the gameplay style of Super Mario 3D Land and World. Or Epic Paper Mario, which turned out to be a lot more epic than anything Nintendo made in the last couple of years.
And so here’s another one. Namely, Paper Mario Colors of Creation. Made by Mario Fan Games Galaxy user Benstar, this hopes to be another original Paper Mario game with its own story, interesting gameplay mechanics and art style, among other things.
So what’s the hook?
Well, it’s a Super Paper Mario sequel. So it’s a 2D platformer/RPG hybrid, albeit one which mixes Colour Splash esque colour mechanics with classic Paper Mario characters and originality. Here are some interesting screenshots of it:
As well as some videos showing game mechanics and new enemies:
Notice anything interesting? Well, there’s apparently an audience in this one, like in the Thousand Year Door. So not only do we have colour related puzzles and gimmicks and Super Paper Mario esque platforming, but also a Paper Mario 2 esque audience system to go along with it. It’s also apparently got badges, a popular mechanic which Super Paper Mario (and later games) didn’t bother to include.
To add to this, there’s also some interesting new music tracks that have been posted for the game. Like this one for the main city, Penton:
As well as underground themes and a haunted house song:
Yeah, the latter remixes parts of the Luigi’s Mansion theme and its sequels Gloomy Manor theme. But it certainly sounds very appropriate for a ghost house, don’t you think?
Either way, Paper Mario Colors of Creation looks like an interesting game. Is it the best Paper Mario fan game I’ve seen so far? Not yet, since there’s some very, very tough competition on that front. But as a general rule, I’m more interested in this title than I am in Color Splash. Who wouldn’t be? It’s got a more interesting storyline, better looking gameplay mechanics and something resembling charm and creativity.
But what do you think? Does this Super Paper Mario sequel seem interesting to you?
Paper Mario Colors of Creation – MFGG
How is this possible? The game was already taken down. Its site was already replaced with a ‘Full Screen Take Down Notice’. It was even mentioned and documented in our list of fan projects shut down by Nintendo a short while ago!
Well, yes. And no. You see, the site itself has been down for years now. But the code for the project was actually posted on GitHub at the same sort of time the site itself launched. The result? The code has been actively developed, forked and had issues reported ever since. It also let you download the game to play locally, or upload it to your own server. Here’s what used to be its repository there:
Full Screen Mario – GitHub Repository
Unfortunately, it seems Nintendo discovered the GitHub version as well. As a result, the repository has been removed with the following notice:
Repository unavailable due to DMCA takedown.
This repository is currently disabled due to a DMCA takedown notice. We have disabled public access to the repository. The notice has been publicly posted.
They also posted the DMCA notice, which seems to be from Nintendo’s typical legal organisation of the moment (Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP).
So what do I think about this?
Well to be honest, I do wonder how effective it’ll even be. Sure, you can take down a GitHub repository, but the game is open source (the clone, not the original). As a result, it could easily keep reappearing on GitHub, private websites and torrent sites alike. That’s the ‘magic’ of open source, taking it down is virtually impossible, because of the Streisand Effect and the general tech savvyness of its authors.
Still, it’s done now. Full Screen Mario is now off of GitHub too, thanks to another Nintendo takedown. Will it return? What do you think?