A few days ago, many fans were ecstatic about how Another Metroid 2 Remake and Pokemon Uranium were nominated for ‘Best Fan Creation’ at the 2016 Game Awards. After all, it was fan games getting recognised! A chance for Nintendo to see why not to shut down projects!
Well, it seems that was short lived. Because as of earlier today, both AM2R and Pokemon Uranium have been dropped as Game Awards 2016 nominees. We don’t know why (presumably it had to do with Nintendo), but they’re now no longer up for the Best Fan Creation award.
So yeah, it’s a bit disappointing really. Both AM2R and Pokemon Uranium are great fan games, and both really did deserve to win the award here. Let’s hope they’re reconsidered, or a different Nintendo fan game is up for nomination next time around!
Nominees (Game Awards 2016)
Remember that Castlevania remake someone online was working in the Unreal Engine? The one GoNintendo and a bunch of other sites talked about?
The one which somehow got a campaign on Kickstarter?
Well, it’s been shut down by Konami. After they got word of the campaign, the developer was served a cease and desist order in regards to the game’s future development. So as neat as it may have looked, it’s not getting any more content any time soon.
However, as bad an outcome as this is, I’ll give Konami some credit. Why? Because it could have been worse.
Indeed, they only shut down future development. So for now, the creator is allowed to maintain an official site for the game and provide a download for level 1. That’s better than what happened to Pokemon Uranium, right? Or what Square Enix did to Chrono Resurrection.
And hey, it could still become official at one point. It’s not likely, yes. But the dev is talking with someone called Jay at Konami UK, who is apparently going to do everything possible to see if Konami Japan can grant the use of the license. So there’s always the slight possibility this project may still see the light of day. Or heck, even end up on the eShop or something in future.
But for now, it’s not in development. It’s a sad fate for a promising fan game, but a predictable one none the less. Let’s hope something will still come of this game one day…
Castlevania 1 Remake Official Site
Have you ever wanted to create your own Mario Party boards? Wished that something similar to Lunar Magic or Super Mario Bros X existed for the Nintendo 64 era Mario Party games?
Well if so, it seems you might be in luck! Why? Because as of earlier today, the first beta for Mario Party board editor PartyPlanner64 has been released. Available online here, the editor lets you create boards for Mario Party 1, 2 and 3 and comes with a whole host of interesting features to boot.
For example, you can import your own board backgrounds. Change the scenes played when the board is first loaded and the characters get given instructions. Choose the background music for your boards. Change the name and description for the board.
Basically, you can customise most aspects of the board in order to really make it feel unique.
That said, there are a few things to point out here.
Firstly, this is a beta. As such, it will likely have bugs and glitches, like other programs in the early stages of their development. So watch out for those, and report anything broken to the project’s issue tracker on GitHub.
Secondly, the editor doesn’t work with ? spaces yet. It’s not surprising, given that said spaces cause board specific events to occur (like rolling boulders, volcanic eruptions or position changes for both Toad and Bowser) and likely involved complex code behind the scenes, but it does mean your possibilities are a bit more limited at the moment. So if you want a board with complex custom events, you might want to wait til the final release. Or maybe figure out how to mod them in yourself.
But for the most part, PartyPlanner64 seems like a fine tool for making Mario Party boards. So check it out, see what you can create and then post your creations online at places like Gaming Reinvented or Mario Party Legacy. Let’s make Mario Party great again!
Beta for PartyPlanner64 Released (Mario Party Legacy)
Where Nintendo ROM hacks are concerned, there are a few games that usually come to mind. Super Mario World. Super Mario 64. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Pokemon… you know, all the normal ‘popular’ games that people modify on a regular basis.
But do you what’s a lot less common?
Super Mario Land 2 hacks! For whatever reason, far less people seem interested in working with Mario’s Game Boy adventures.
However, that may now be about to change. Why? Because Skelux (the creator of Super Mario Star Road) has just released Vivian Land, a Paper Mario themed mod of Super Mario Land 2 for the Game Boy! Compatible with both the original Game Boy and 3DS, the title changes the game to star everyone’s favourite shadow siren in an adventure across all new worlds and levels, all with their own stylings and concepts.
Here’s a trailer for it:
So yeah, if you’re a fan of the Paper Mario series (or just want to try a Mario Land 2 mod for a change), check out Vivian Land: 6 Shadow Stars today! You won’t regret it!
When it comes to Super Mario 64 hacks, two names tend to be the first that come to mind. One is Super Mario 64: Last Impact, whose developer we interviewed about a week ago. And then there’s Super Mario Star Road.
Aka the most well known Super Mario 64 ever made. Released in 2011 by a hacker named Skelux, it featured 130 new stars across a wide range of interesting levels, as well as numerous ASM additions and custom mechanics years before most hacks had anything to match.
In fact, the game became so popular and well known that it was featured on mainstream news sites, unofficially referred to as a Super Mario 64 sequel and even got some people claiming that it was the best Super Mario 64 ROM hack of all time.
So to commemorate it and bring a bit more attention to its 3DS sequel, here’s our exclusive interview with Skelux himself!
As is the norm, let’s start with a personal question. Can you tell us a bit about yourself in general?
I’m some kangaroo Australian weirdo who has been ROM hacking as a hobby for nearly a decade. I’ve spent quite a lot of this time refining various skills for this such as coding, 3d-modelling, musical composition, and image manipulation among others. In present times I also work as a waiter which I’ve been doing for a couple of years, and moving into teaching IT by the end of the year.
What got you interested in the Mario series?
I’ve been playing Mario games since I was a kid, and found interest in modifying SM64 when I stumbled upon Toad’s Tool 64. After that I collaborated with someone in making the first major SM64 hack, The Missing Stars. He did most of it, I just made a couple of areas, most notably The Secret Woods level.
So why Super Mario 64 in particular? Any reason you got into hacking that game rather than say, Super Mario Bros 1, 3 or World?
Hacking 2D games has never really interested me much since there are more creative limitations, but every now and then I make something, i.e. the Legend of Zelda (NES) hack I made several years ago, or the Super Mario Land 2 (GB) hack I’m currently working on which will be released probably by the end of the month.
Onto the original Super Mario Star Road now. What inspired you to make the game?
I made Star Road because no one else had really made a full custom-model SM64 hack yet. I’m not too proud of most of the level models and game content these days, as they are extremely dated compared to my current standards and abilities. The DS port I’m making serves to correct that.
And what inspired the level design here? Because it’s pretty different from the original Super Mario 64 in feel, and seems a lot more focusing on precision platforming…
The main point I make with my level designs is never to use the same theme twice. Other than that I just tried to be very creative and make the levels fun to explore.
It was also a very technically advanced hack for its time, with stuff like custom enemies and blocks being present in later levels. How did you learn to program for the N64 to make this stuff possible?
There were a few documents to get me started, and the rest I figured out myself. A lot of the functionality of current SM64 hacking is only possible because of the extensive updates I have made to the level-editing software. Many of the issues with the software at the time lead to limitations in the original Star Road, such as levels with small boundaries and a low polygon count, and buggy music importation. This especially affected the music level, ghost level and lava level, since the game would crash if there were more than about 1500 polygons.
People’s reactions to Star Road have generally been pretty positive over the years, with some people calling it the ‘best Mario 64 hack ever’. Did you expect this amount of popularity or acclaim?
Above: Star Road actually got a magazine feature about it in Nintendo Gamer
I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this popular, no. I’m hoping my DS port can receive the same level of attention.
Do you ever think you made some of the levels too easy or too hard though?
The difficulty was somewhat inconsistent, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it really.
A few general questions now. What’s your favourite level in the original Star Road, and why?
My favourite might be the toy level, I just feel there are a lot of creative ideas in it.
And your least favourite?
My least favourite is probably Mad Musical Mess, it was pretty bad compared to what I had originally envisioned – again, this was a result of buggy software.
So it seems you’re remaking the game as a Mario 64 DS hack. What’s the reason for this? Did you just want to try out a different game engine?
I like playing around with a variety of different game engines, plus I want to make a version of the game which doesn’t have all the drawbacks of the original – including being able to play it on real hardware.
I also hear it makes some fundamental game design changes, like toning down Gloomy Garden or removing those bee enemies. Is that true? And what other changes do you have in mind for the DS version of the game?
Yes, it is extremely different. If you’ve played the original Star Road, the DS port won’t just feel like a port. The level designs are very much improved, matching my current standards for game design.
What about Yoshi, Luigi and Wario? How does the game accommodate them?
I haven’t entirely figured that one out yet, I might be replacing Wario and/or Yoshi with different characters.
They have new Power Flower abilities too. Does the level design now incorporate those?
And they’re also usually locked up. Do you plan new levels to unlock them as playable characters? Are Goomboss, King Boo and Chief Chilly still the bosses in said levels?
Yes, there are new levels where you unlock the characters, and some cool new bosses, none of the originals.