Today was the day. Kaze Emanuar’s presentation of the best mods, romhacks and IP stealing indies touched down once more. Hosted by Nathaniel Bandy in a suit, we were all graced with about an hours worth of trailers and segways featuring the best of the best fan content that’s too good for us. Too good for anyone! You modders are the best *sobs* you didn’t have to but you did. And I love you for it.
I’d say the list of games was about as big as last years list, but boy were they potent (and seemingly actually going to get released!) Kicking us off was the obligatory SM64 mod scene.
First was a new trailer for Peach’s Memory. This might look familiar, as it was the game to kick off the first F3 last year. However, now it’s creator, Daniel EDC, has given it a release date of July 26th, 2019! This mod has got a ton of love and care going into it, as it looked good a year ago and looks even better now!
Next up, a reimagining of the classic controller throwing, rage inducing party game — it’s Mario Party 64 by Mr. Comit! From the looks of it, levels include original boards like Yoshi’s Tropical Island, DK’s’ Jungle Adventure and the iconic Mario’s Rainbow Castle. Of course many of the minigames have been shown love, too! Featured in the trailer were Platform Peril, Teetering Towers, and Skateboard Scamper. No word on how to complete these challenges, but I’m personally excited to see if Limbo Dance, Bumper Balls and Hot Rope Jump make it into the game. Also, if we wreck our hands playing this, will Mr. Comit send us gloves?
Puzzles For Yoshis was shown off with little to know information about besides a dramatic dialogue sequence was announced by usernamesarespiders, known for making troll hacks that are sometimes accidentally good. Star Revenge 6.25; Lugi’s Adventure DX by was announced as well a demo available tomorrow (why not today?) Brodute makes pretty great rom hacks though, so we’ll excuse the naming convention and the 24-hour delay. 😉
With the Super Mario Galaxy mod scene starting to popoff, it was only a matter of time that a large scale mod got announced. Super Mario Galaxy 64 by Jared Suprun is that mod! Don’t be fooled by its name, however, this is a mod of Galaxy aiming to remake SM64 content — not vice versa. What I liked most about this remake is how polished its levels appear. I haven’t seen wavey terrain, particle effects and thematically consistent assets with a lot of the other Unity or Unreal Engine 4 remakes that go viral on social media. It just feels very ‘official’ from what I’ve seen, and I think I’m going to really enjoy playing this, despite having no desire to play the vanilla Galaxy games.
One of the better PC Mario clones available is the Darius series, seen last year at F3 with the entries Darius the Mailman & Darius Battle Royale. This year, Rovert brought us a new Darius game akin to the other Maker game available soon. Darius Maker! You can download it for free right here at GameJolt. (This seems like the type of game that’d get a cease and desist, so why not download it this moment?) The gameplay is surprisingly similar to *cough cough* which is quite impressive considering just how open ended and complex that game is! Plus, having a mouse and keyboard to design with is just a blessing. I’m really excited to see what pro levels get made and streamed in the following months.
Super Clash Bros. is getting some new characters, too! This game is obviously trying to imitate the feel of Super Smash Bros. but I think to stop there would potentially understate the beauty of this indie game. All off the sprites and animations have been directly lifted from their source material and it seems like balancing combat comes second to recreating actual mechanics every character is known for. I’d recommend you watch the trailer on this one and see for yourself because it’s uncanny how faithful immersive and genuine each character feels. Michael Jackson was just added to the roster of fighters and his final smash makes everyone dance. It’s great! His sprites and animations were mimicked extremely well compared to his game for Genesis and let me tell you, they’re still some of the best in the business. Animators, you’d be remiss to not check this one out!
Two Pokemon total conversions were announced, both romhacks of the GBA games. The first, Pokemon Final Legacy by RainbowKappaMC, is the more serious Pokemon fan game of the two, opting for new quests and storylines with the polish of an official game. Exploration is key here, and it sounds like a 100% completion will take more than just filling Pokedex. A few quests shown were Solving Oak’s Last Wish, beating a new Elite 4, and something about a Backwards Long Jump???? PFL will of course focus on singleplayer, but along side its release, we’ll be getting Legacy online, an open world component to the fan game. Not much else is known but by Holiday 2019, we should be getting more details.
The second Pokemon romhack shown off was SmashMons: Spirit Red by Manekimoney, is something like an IP mashup cross over. Chainchomp fighting Molgera, Goomba King fighting Dino Piranha, Metal Gear fighting Blade Knight… This has got me excited. If the creator’s previous romhack, Pokemon Sword and Shilled, is anything to go by, this might just be a big meme. Still, I’m excited to see what else is included in the final release, and I’ll probably have this one one at least on my phone to amaze people who still don’t know romhacks are as big as they are. BUP.
Side note: the naming of this game is so unique that it’s one of the few romhacks you can actually immediately find with a Google search.
The next indie is an English remake of the Japanese version of Mother 2. Kind of like the source game + an unofficial patch, in my opinion, MaternalBound Redux looks to reintroduce the qualities left out of the American version (I think) supplimented by the work of Clyde Mandelin (aka Mato). In his book, Legends of Localization, Mato breaks down the differences between the two games in each region. In addition to story revamps, many quality of life changes have been made like retstoring the original CD quality music, running in the overworld, unique enemy sprites, nametags over text boxes for important characters, and UI navigation adjustments. This is available for download right now and I ABSOLUTELY recommend you grab it straight away! If you’re looking for that PC Quality audio, it’s separated into four separate files here. I couldn’t get it to download without making an account but it’s there if you want it.
Should mention that a Jojo Part 5 game is being made with the artstyle of Earthbound! Project Golden Wind by Foxy5437 is being developed in GameMaker as we speak and it’s not one that I can speak of a whole lot, as I don’t know much about either Jojo or Earthbound, but I def love the way it looks! Seems like fans of one are also fans of the other so I hope is fun and looks cool to even the hardcore fans of either!
Quite a few French made SM64 romhacks have been popping up lately, thanks to the close knit community these French modders have been cultivating. Celestial Kingdom, The End of the Stars, Meltdown, Lost Worlds Crusade were all shown off but it was ZTAR Attack 3 that captivated my eye thanks to the Simpleflips namedrop! TheGael95 brings it again with a third iteration. Actually, when rounding up these trailers, I found the French SM64 YouTube page and to be honest, I’m just quite impressed at how unified these modders are. They’re definitely helping each other grown and I would say that you shouldn’t miss any of these mods!
The next group of mods are sort of like up and comers for their games as not a lot of big, custom content exists for them! The first, The Legend of Zelda: Master of Time, finds Link pissed off (their words, not mine) that he’s been travelling through time so much. This leads him to a new land named Abello, which seems like an excuse to smartly reuse OoT assets to form a brand new set of dungeons to overcome with new items to use and puzzles to solve. The demo for this game is available now and features quite a bit of content already; which is something I’ll be downloading right away as the old school 3D Zelda games are some of my favorite ones of all time.
Side note: Zelda fans! Last article I wrote talked about Death Mountain, a custom Left 4 Dead 2 campaign that remakes the mentioned dungeon and it’s super good!
My boy… Kurko Mods… he got featured.
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know I’m blowing this dude up, but I’m happy to see that Kaze is too! Featured in F3, his most notable Banjo-Kazooie mod was featured, Banjo-Kazooie: The Jiggies of Time! Not so much a straight port of BK to an OoT framework and more of an imagining the Zelda world in a Banjo-Kazooie style. Not much is actually known about this mod other than that, but lots and lots of screens exist! Kurko is super active on social media and has even announced many other projects on there like the Wind Waker BK crossover/demake. This one is going to be crazy good without a doubt and I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets released sooner rather than later. If you just can’t wait, a demo was indeed released.
I’ve been thinking for awhile now that more racing mods should exist but I never really put in the effort to find them. Thankfully, F3 included what seems to be the very best racing mod available! CTGP Revolution is in development by MrBean35000vr, Chadderz and many talented contributing track designers. Think of it as the truly definitive Mark Kart experience with new cups, new courses, mechanics, modes, online support and a slew of other features. The best looking tracks I’ve seen are remakes of older tracks. I’m pretty sure every track from Double Dash is in here too. This game has controller support and can be played on Dolphin, that’s super important to note! Everything I’ve seen is quite polished and feels great — probably thanks to how easy it was to modify wii games. Yo, shouts to the homebrew community, you guys rock!
Closing out F3 this year, was a mod that’s been known about for awhile but hasn’t been talked about until recently. Demakes seem to be popping up quite a bit, lately, and Super Mario Sunshine DS is here to set the bar for how great a console game can look on severely under powered hardware! Seriously, textures have been optimized for the handheld extremely well and modellers didn’t skimp on making the level design as complex as we remember it. F.L.O.O.D. is fully incorporated and, based on the trailer, you can do everything with it that you could in the source game. Gameplay has been optimized for emulation, adding rumble and even a camera stick, but you can still play this on original hardware. Take Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Wario to the beach, or an amusement park, or even a haunted hotel to show the ghosties! This is pretty astounding!
So yea! Those were my favorites in the F3 2019 line-up. Many more games were announce that I failed to mention above, those being…
Super Mario Bros. The Extra Objects (SMB Romhack)
Toadette’s Sweets Gallery (Indie)
Project Green (Indie)
Nintendo Nightmare Deluxe (Indie)
The Legend of Zelda: Dawn & Dusk (OoT Romhack)
The Spy Who Loved Me (Goldeneye Romhack)
CTGP-7 (Mario Kart 3DS)
F-Zero DSX (Mario Kart DS Romhack)
Mario Kart DS Gamecube Grand Prix
Super Mario 64 DS Online
Thanks again to Kaze Emanuar for rounding up all these submissions and thanks to Nathaniel Bandy for being this years excellent and very professional host! I can’t wait to play these romhacks as they get released and I’m even more excited to see what F3 2020 will be like!