Sunday, November 29, 2009

Demade, As Per Your Requirements

Demakes. By now you're probably familiar with the concept: take a contemporary game and remake it as it might have appeared on an earlier platform. The term and concept, coined by Phil Fish over at the TIGSource forums (THE definitive repository for independent demakes!), are a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the whole short-on-ideas-but-big-on-fan-franchises mentality of today's game development industry - It's hilarious to imagine Mirror's Edge on the Atari 2600 or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. on an XT with EGA graphics, but at the same time, we're still playing the latest Castlevania, Metroid or Wolfenstein. If games can be updated, why can't the reverse also be true?

And truthfully, there's some very impressive work being done in the indie demake quadrant - again, much of it stemming from The Independent Gaming Source's Bootleg Demake Compo in the summer of 2008.

So without further ado, I give you a small sampling of games dragged kicking and screaming into a generation of hardware limitations they were never meant for.

Megaman 4kb (C64 Demake of Megaman)

Hold Me Closer, Giant Dancer (Shadow of the Colossus Demake for the TRS-80 III)

Final Fantasy 7 (Demake for the NES)

Codename: Gordon (Half-Life\Half-Life 2 Sidescroller Demake, available on Steam)

Soundless Mountain II (Demake of Silent Hill II for the NES)

Portal: Still Alive (Flash-based Demake of Portal)

ASCIIpOrtal (ASCII Demake of Portal)

Super 3D Portals 6 (Atari 2600 Demake of Portal)

A list of the games being demade by the guys over at TIGSource can be found here, as well as the official catalogue over here.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic Gameboy demake mockups, in glorious grey\green\beige, by the folks over at wayofthepixel:

(Bioshock, by CroM)

(Psychonauts, by HMC)

(American McGee's Alice, by Arachne)

(Okami, by Doppleganger)

(Sam and Max Hit The Road, by KhrisMUC)

(World of Warcraft, by Arachne)

(Resident Evil 4, by Bouzolf)

And then, of course, you have the other side of the coin: remakes of retro games, a designation which apparently only requires that the game in question be updating to a platform released subsequently to the one the original came out on. Retro Remakes has a great list of remakes both current and in development. This deserves a post in itself, but in the meantime I'll leave you with this, from the as-yet-unreleased Maniac Mansion remake by German-based indie developers Vampyre Games (and which looks downright brilliant):

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back To The Future Crysis Mod.

Despite FPSs being my videogame drug of choice, I haven't yet played Crysis (sadly). One minute and forty-nine seconds after pressing play on this video, however, I am now consumed by the need to rectify that, if only so I can install this mod.

Click through for the larger version, as always.

(Delorean Time Machine mod for Crysis, via

Monday, November 9, 2009


The biggest problem with blogging about videogames is that, well, you have the built-in distraction of playing videogames when you should be blogging. I tried to bring the two worlds together earlier today by writing a review of my latest pixellated fixation, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, but instead I just ended up playing the game itself for five hours. FIVE HOURS. And it's not even that great a game (Kotaku says pretty much everything I was going to say anyway, in slightly different terms, in their own review. Yeah, I'm not a lazy blogger; I'm efficient).

But I should probably stop shirking my duties already and draw attention to a few interesting developments in Videogame World - developments which numerous other far-more-responsible and on the ball blogs have gotten to first. What are you gonna do?

First off, American McGee's back at the Alice mill, and while there hasn't been a whole lot of media, there is this intriguing trailer making the rounds. The first Alice was, for all of its superficial Hot-Topic\Tim-Burton-ripoff qualities, a solid third-person actioner with some very clever design elements, and I'm curious to see where McGee ends up going with this.

The MMO thing has been getting stale in recent years, but The Secret World (which may or may not be the official title) looks like it may inject some new life into the genre. Or not; it's hard to tell given the similarly-limited material available thus far. Either way, the contemporary urban setting and secret-society theme is a welcome new approach to the tired, hack-and-slash fantasy conceit of 90% of the current crop of MMOs. My brother (who both plays a lot more MMORPGs than I do and reads a lot more comics than I do) describes it as "a bad-ass Hellblazer MMO", and I have no choice but to defer to his expertise in such matters.

Finally, via Threadless offers up this little retro gem:

So they weren't aliens after all. I mean, the ships are probably being flown by aliens. Possibly aliens that look exactly like said ships. There are so many meta-layers here I can't even begin to comment.

You can get it here for the very reasonable price of $18.