Author Archives: J.C
Welcome back to part 2 of our Remake Roundup feature looking at redo’s of the classic 1985 turtle-smashing game Super Mario Bros.
Last time around, we looked at some pretty straight-up remakes that, for the most part, took the original formula and merely spruced it up with better graphics or gameplay elements, but kept things mostly the same.
This time around we dive deeper into the abyss to look at games that take the original Mario concept and start to alter it in more interesting ways. There were no hard rules on what fits for this round, but I generally looked for games that added something innovative but kept the implacable Mario spirit.
Retro is surely a relative term, since the last event I went to considered Mario 64 as being particularly old-school and anything earlier than that as “ancient school.” That felt jarring to me, but then again, Locomalito’s excellent horror-tinged chapel platformer L’Abbaye Des Morts‘ ZX Spectrum look’n’feel always felt a bit too ancient for me to really get into. Luckily, they’ve shifted things up 8 gears and released a Megadrive port, enabling me to slip seducitvely into a more comfortable bracket while still maintaining enough decrepitness to maintain snarky comments about “kids these days.”
If you want to go the extra level, they’re also appeared to go ahead and make a physical cartridge release for playing on an actual Megadrive (curses mum for giving it away…), though from what I can tell on the Spanish-only page, it’s some sort of Kickstarter campaign at the moment.
Apart from that, as far as I can tell, nothing else has been changed about the game aside from the graphics and sounds, but if you haven’t already played the original version then this just might be the last push you need to dive into a church full of demonic horror.
L’Abbaye Des Morts | Download
The game is a Sega Megadrive ROM file (.bin) so you will need an emulator to play it. I recommend KEGA Fusion.
You have to win the game… Again! Minimalist indie classic You Have to Win the Game was a sweet little hit back in 2012. If there were an alternative universe with a DOS-based 286 metroidvania, this game would have been it. It was one of the first games I posted about, and I loved what it managed to pull off with the otherwise eye-gouging CGA graphics limitation.
At some unknown point, YHtWtG moved onto Steam, and then added a bunch of new features including an equally lovely EGA mode, boasting a whopping 16 colours! It also includes more difficult remixed campaign and a playable cat character, you know, for people who are into that sort of thing. And best of all, it’s still 100% free (note: there’s a $1 option on Itch.io if you want a permanent Steam key, which is otherwise not available for free games.)
Those anime protagonists sure know how to wield a massively oversized impractical sword. You’d think that by the time they actually manage to lift it, a ninja would’ve already stabbed them in the face a few times, but apparently not. Nevertheless, Bold Blade puts my theory to the test, with gameplay entirely swiveled around (pun intended) the art of sweeping a screen-clearing hunk of metal through wave after wave of monsters.
Bold Blade clearly channels the impractical sword-wielding antics of Ginormo Sword, but where that effort happily jumped into a lo-fi psychedelic deep end without abandon, Blade is far more polished in appearance and follows a much more grounded 90s arcade approach, and I could easily see myself playing this on the SEGA Megadrive as an angst-filled teenager, when giant swords where the best solution for most problems.
Fortify is a classic tower defense game, reeking of late 90’s indie. From the MS paint style graphics to the somewhat clunky interface, everything takes a distant backseat to the detailed gameplay and challenging learning curve.
Back in the day elves were seen as cheery little bastards, known for helping lost travelers find their way, constructing toys for old fat men in subzero temperatures, or being Will Ferrel.
Elf, a 1991 game developed by Nirvana Systems and published by OCEAN, is not about those kinds of elves. Elf hates you and your family and wants you to die a confusing, pointless death, again and again. But it looks fantastic while doing so.
osmic Star Heroine has been floating around out in the void for almost a year now, but it totally flew under my radar. With the plethora of retro-styled games out there, that’s easy enough to happen these days. Yet, for a SNES style RPG with influences of Chrono Trigger, one of my all-time favourite JRPGS, it’s still surprising that it only just emerged in my airlock recently.
Being mired in relative poverty, I never even owned a N64, let alone the Switch or whatever it is called. But I know well enough that the newest Mario Odyssey game grants the chelonaphobiac plumber disturbing Kirby-like powers to consume and become his foes.
Thanks to Free Game Planet, I found out about an enterprising modder who maybe could only afford an N64 has decided to bring Odyssey to the N64, with Super Mario 64.
It brings Super Mario Odyssey’s enemy possessing gameplay into Mario’s N64 shenanigans, meaning you apparently consume and control of any character in the game now. Sure, why not. I have no idea how such a mod is possible, but it’s a darn impressive feat.
It’s been a long time coming but we’re finally back with another Remake Roundup, where we examine an arcade classic and unearth modern remakes!
This time around we take a look at the venerable classic Super Mario Bros. franchise and see what sort of remakes are lurking around. This will be a
two three-parter: the first part will focus on more straight-forward remakes, while the second will look at remakes that take the Mario concept and apply it to different gameplay styles (Mario as a metroidvania? Sure, why not) and then finally, we take a cautious gander at some of the more… esoteric interpretations.
Grab your fire flowers and, in some cases, axes, bombs or megablasters, and see how deep the green pipe goes.