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[Freeware] Mariovania

Let’s face it, Bowser is horribly incompetent. The number of times his plans for world domination have been thwarted by a overweight plumber from Brooklyn should be enough of a signal to call it quits. But what if Bowser… teamed up with Dracula? That is very the question Mariovania answers.

Die, Bowser! You don’t belong in this world! Not quite the same ring to it, but just go with it.

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Actually, considering Drac’s similarly lacklustre record, actually, probably not a whole lot would be different. But the combination of Mario platforming and Castlevania stlye exploration works surprisingly well.

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[Freeware] New Retro Vault – Street Fighter x Mega Man

A lot of big name games companies get flak for shutting down otherwise impressive fan projects. Once ever so often however, a fan game manages to avoid the DCMA banhammer and get official endorsement. Street Fighter x Megaman is one such fan game.

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Coming out in 2012, it’s surprising how something both so retro-orientated and high profile could pass us by all these years, but sometimes that’s the joy of the internet. This indeed exists, and you can download it right now. And it doesn’t cost a cent.

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Murder Mansion

Capcom may be taking its latest zombie-or-hillbilly fest back to its survival horror roots, but Murder Mansion takes the same concept back to its roots in a much more literal way – placing a Jill Valentine lookalike in an eerily familiar looking mansion full of undead creatures waiting around for you to shoot the crap out of them.

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It’s more of a homage than actual survival horror, with its easy to disaptch enemies and tongue-in-cheek humour making it more fun than scary. It also has a little, unexpected surprise…

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Sonic Boll Classic

This is, thankfully, not a Uwe Boll take on the venerable blue hedgehog (SEGA have done a good enough job ruining the franchise on their own), but rather a Super Mario Crossover inspired Sonic mashup. A quick fangame that lets you rush through the original Mario levels as Sonic or just fly over them as Tails, orĀ if you absolutely must be puritan about it, plod through as Mario. Or Bowser. Because, why not?

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Mini-Doom

Back in the day the platformer was king, basking in its divine gory and conveniently ignoring the death throes of the adventure game genre. Companies churned out generic side scrolling run ‘n’ gun after generic side scrolling blaster like there was no tomorrow (remember Halloween Harry? Anybody?). Then Doom came along and filled the genre with a buckshot full of lead, turning it into a fine red mist: the FPS had arrived.

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I mean, sure, Doom wasn’t the first first-person shooter, but it just so happened to sit its tainted demonic ass right on top off a major turning point in gaming, opening the world to the FPS as a mainstay; kicking off the death knell of the platformer in the process.

But… what if things were different?

Mini-Doom provides an unerringly good look into an alternative dimension where an early 90’s Doom came out that bit earlier and instead started life as a sidescrolling platformer.

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[New Retro Vault] Donkey Me

When it comes to retro games, we spend a lot of time panning classic movie licensed games (and with good reason – they were almost universally terrible). However, it’s about time we dig up something more positive – so allow me to present Donkey Me: a collection of movie themes applied to the classic Donkey Kong arcade format.

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Featuring 10 “skins” to choose from, there’s pretty much something for everyone here, whether it’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Rambo, or my personal favourite, Gremlins.

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Castlevania 1 Remake

Castlevania has to be one of my favourite game series of all-times, from the classic Super Castlevania IV on the SNES to, of course, Symphony of the Night on the PSX, and some modern DS outings such as Order of Ecclesia. You’ll note that I didn’t include any of the 3D games in there, because they were mostly rubbish.

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Old Konami haven’t quite figured out how to transfer the franchise into the 3D world just yet (with a few, notable exceptions), which is a fair crime since it’s not easy to make the move without losing that intangible something that makes the 2D counterparts work so well. But this one fan decided what the heck, and went and tried anyway, by taking it right back to the roots of the very first Castlevania.

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