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Top Five – Coolest Fan Work

I write about video games because I’m a fan, and each fan has a way to express his or her love for the medium. I’m not musically talented, I can’t program to save my life, and I couldn’t draw my way out of a paper bag, so writing is all I’m left with. Other fans, however, have incredible talent and manage to create pieces of video gaming love that are absolutely mind-blowing. This blog entry is to talk about the coolest fan made work based on established video games…

Here I go!

5. Graal Online:

I honestly have no idea how many people know this game even existed, but when I was younger this was my MMORPG of choice. It was free to play and included all the cool things you see in MMORPGS today (and then some). You would walk around doing just about anything you wanted, from sitting in a cafe and chatting with people to doing quests all over the map. Me, personally? I spent a lot of my time using the really cool level building tool set the game came with. I remember creating entire cities just for kicks and giggles.

The inspiration for this one is pretty obvious (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past) and that’s the main reason it makes to the list. In fact, before Graal was called “Graal” (another word for “Grail,” as in: “The Holy Grail”) it was actually simply billed as a Zelda MMORPG. After the release of the game the team behind it began to distant itself more and more from the Zelda comparisons, probably to avoid legal trouble. But ultimately the game still carried the Zelda feel.

It’s kind of a shame that the game became absolute garbage when the team decided to implement a P2P system and some of the ugliest tile sets and sprites I have ever seen used in a video game. The awesome Graal of old is long dead, but the memories remain.

Here is a picture of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, for comparison’s sake:

4. Metroid II Remake:

Ah, Metroid II, the often neglected red-headed stepchild of the Metroid franchise. For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, Metroid II is a sequel to the original Metroid, but rather than being on NES it was instead created for the original Gameboy. Often criticized for its lack of environmental variety and repetitive music, the game has sort of fallen into obscurity since it first released. But is anyone here really to blame? I mean…have you seen old Gameboy games? The hardware had obvious limitations so there was only so much the development team could do about it. The original Metroid is kind of ugly by today’s standards too, but that one got a proper remake from Nintendo for the Gameboy Advanced (Metroid: Zero Mission).

Fortunately for us this means that one eager fan going by the name of DoctorM64 has taken it upon himself to recreate Metroid II for future generations. Did I mention he’s not even programming this with C++ or any of today’s modern programming languages? Nope, he’s doing it all with a pre-built engine from Game Maker. That’s pretty effin’ hardcore. Best of all? The game is actually set to be done and released and Nintendo has yet to catch on to its popularity and fuck it up somehow.

Here’s the blog where DoctorM64 posts updates on his progress (and it’s looking well underway!):

Project AM2R

Here’s also a picture of the original Metroid II: Return of Samus for comparison’s sake:

3. Morrowind 2011:

I adore Morrowind, so imagine how I felt when I heard there was a graphical upgrade for it. Yeah, I was incredibly excited. This one isn’t actually the work of a single person as it is the work of several different people. More or less, one brave soul took all the best mods for Morrowind and combined them so that the game would have one really great upgrade and be playable in this day and age. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well it is. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the state of the project is and whether or not there is a download link for it.

Turns out that certain mod creators threw fits at the idea of their mods being used or combined without their permission. While this is perfectly logical, what really gets me is that even after being given credit and apologizing a few of the more angry modders still did not want to let their mods be used. Hey, guess what? I understand your work is wonderful and took a lot of effort to make, but what better way to show it than to…you know…let people play while having them installed? It’s like making a delicious cake for a party of ten but not letting anyone eat it, instead opting for leaving it perpetually in the fridge. Game developers are already f**kin’ over the fanbases that try to edit or remake their games; do we really need this kind of cattiness in the modding community?

Here’s the original:

2. Perfect Dark Source:

This is what Perfect Dark Zero should have been like. For shame Rare, for shame! Perfect Dark Source is a mod to Valve’s source engine (specifically Half-Life 2) in which you get to play the original Perfect Dark in glorious new generation graphics, gorgeous HD, and all the upgrades that the genre made since Rare last made a game on the Nintendo 64. Perfect Dark Source is actually fan made and as you can see in this video it actually runs pretty damned well.

The bad news? It seems to have completely died and nobody really understands why. Perfect Dark Source was last updated about two years ago and then never again. No news has come along since then and it really, really sucks that it croaked. Perfect Dark still remains as one of the best FPSs ever and a new generation upgrade (more than the XBLA version) would do well.

Note to Rare: Look at your life, look at your choices! Also: look at this fan game and take out your notepads and pens. You’ll learn a lot.

Here’s a picture of Perfect Dark for N64, just for comparison:

But because I’m awesome like that I’ll link to the Goldeneye 007 Source, which, if I am not mistaken, actually works:

Goldeneye Source.

Now go have fun…

1. Sonic Fan Remix:

A complete remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 using the original game’s engine. Best of all it’s all in high resolution and the graphics are better than a lot of today’s top titles coming from big development houses. I actually got a chance to play the demo and not only did it control like a dream (it had controller support), but it looked absolutely gorgeous as well. Everything about it just screamed “quality” to me and I’m really hoping this will see the light of day…

…but unfortunately, it might not. Sonic Fan Remix, unlike the Metroid II remake, actually reached the ears of the liscense holders. Needless to say that SEGA quickly forced the team to shut down their website and to take down the demo they released. But can you blame them? SEGA released Sonic 4 only a short time before Sonic Fan Remix demo was uploaded by the creators and yet Sonic Fan Remix makes SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog 4 look downright amateurish. SEGA’s basically butthurt that a group of fans made something clearly superior to almost everything Sonic Team has made in over a decade (face it, the only good games to come out of that god awful studio since the DC are Samba de Amigo and Sonic Colors).

This game gets the number one spot because it resoundingly kicks the living s**t out of the original series and makes SEGA look like the lazy slobs they have become as of late. Suck it, SEGA!

Here’s a picture of the original Sonic the Hedgehog 2:

And here’s the horribly overpriced Sonic the Hedgehog 4:

Note the "lulzy" looking background and compare it to Remix.

2 Responses to “Top Five – Coolest Fan Work”

  1. blu says:

    I’ll admit that Sonic 4 could;ve been better, but saying its better than the classics is kinda pushing it, me thinks.

    Also, I think its worth mentioning that Sonic Generations certainly gives that fan remix a run for its money, and is clearly proof that Sonic Team, as of late, are anything but “lazy slobs”.

  2. Andrew says:

    How could you leave out Streets of Rage Remake? Seeing as you were on a roll with calling out Sega you could have called them out on that bullshit they did with censoring that Masterpiece A WEEK AFTER ITS FINISHED AFTER SIX LONG YEARS OF WORK. SEGA = DOUCHEBAGS

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